Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

For the latest information related to COVID-19, visit fsu.edu/coronavirus

Economics professor receives post-doc fellowship to study discrimination

Mackenzie Alston

Assistant Professor of Economics Mackenzie Alston has been selected for a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) to support diversity in economics.

The one-year fellowship is open to early-career economists from historically under-represented demographics within the economics profession and to researchers studying diversity issues.  

The $85,000 stipend for the 2021-22 academic year requires Alston to take a leave from her duties as an FSU faculty member and spend a year at NBER headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., carrying out her proposed research.

The research Alston proposed in her fellowship application focuses on understanding the role of stereotypes and discrimination in everyday situations (e.g., at work or in the classroom) using a combination of experiments and surveys. In this vein, she will continue to work on two ongoing projects, one of which includes a survey of the effect of the recent social justice movement on faculty productivity. She will also embark on new projects, including designing and collecting data for experiments to explore discrimination and disparities. 

The location of Alston’s fellowship will have benefits for her work, including interacting with NBER-affiliated scholars working on topics closely related to her research. Being in Cambridge will facilitate discussions with economists at surrounding universities, such as Harvard, to expand and strengthen both her research and her professional network. 

“Discrimination has and continues to be such an important topic, and I look forward to using my research to understand it better and shed light on the challenges women and minorities face,” Alston said. “I also think it’s great that our field is trying to advance the careers of under-represented minorities. I hope they will continue to offer this fellowship for many years to come and that I can be an example of how important opportunities like this are.”

Although dates haven’t been firmly set yet, Alston expects her year-long fellowship to start in late summer-early fall 2021. She plans to return to FSU after the term is completed.

Founded in 1920, NBER is a private nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that facilitates cutting-edge investigation and analysis of major economic issues. It disseminates research findings to academics, public and private-sector decision-makers and the public by annually posting more than 1,200 working papers and convening more than 120 scholarly conferences.