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MERC Leadership Academy

Education and Economic Development

A review of the relationship between education and economic development in the state and local communities with emphasis on developing human capital for building and sustaining an economic engine for the state and local communities

Peter Temin

Elisha Gray II Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Professor Temin received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1959 and his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT in 1964. He was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, 1962-65, the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University, 1985-86, Head of the Economics Department at MIT, 1990-93, and President of the Economic History Association, 1995-96.


Professor Temin's most recent books are The Roman Market Economy (Princeton University Press, 2013), Prometheus Shackled: Goldsmith Banks and England’s Financial Revolution after 1700 (Oxford University Press, 2013, with Hans-Joachim Voth), and The Leaderless Economy: Why the World Economic System Fell Apart and How to Fix It(Princeton University Press, 2013, with David Vines).


Profesor Temin presented his paper "The American Dual Economy: Race, Globalization, and the Politics of Exclusion".  


How Economics and Race Drive America’s Great Divide An Interview with Peter Temin By Lynn Parramore


Can education stop the country’s backward slide?


In the America of haves and have-nots, fewer folks are “movin’ on up” like George Jefferson of the classic sitcom. In a new paper for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Peter Temin, MIT economist and economic historian, breaks down how it happened and where we’re headed with a powerful model first used by West Indian economist W. Arthur Lewis, the only person of African descent to win a Nobel Prize in economics. Dual economies are common in less developed countries, but Temin argues that America has now diverged into a top thirty percent, where children receive excellent educations and grow up to work in sectors like finance, technology and electronics industries (FTE)— and then there’s the rest, the low-wage folks who live paycheck to paycheck and whose kids have little hope of joining the lucky ones at the top. Temin explains what drives the dual economy, what race has to do with it, how children are hurt, and why our political system can’t seem to fix anything.


Dr. Temin's presentation: The American Dual Economy: Race, Globalization and the Politics of Exclusion

Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe

Associate Visiting Professor of Economics at Bucknell University

Dr. Sharpe has three primary areas of research interest: in 1) educational attainment of women and blacks; 2) disparity in education policies; and 3) diversity of faculty and the scientific workforce.  


Her most recent publications include:  “What Type of Institutions are Successful at Replicating the Diversity of the Full-Time Student Population in the Pool of Bachelor's Degrees Awarded for STEM-Disciplines” in Beyond Stock and Stories of Folk Tales: African Americans and the Pipeline to the Professoriate and Evidence Based Examination of STEM Fields (Diversity in Higher Education series); and “America’s Future Demands a Diverse and Competitive STEM Workforce” in Jobs Rebuild America: Putting Urban America Back to Work.  She just completed a study titled: "HBCUs: Creating a Scientific Workforce Otta 15 Cents". 


She is president-elect of the National Economic Association.  She has presented papers at more than 50 conferences and seminars throughout the country.  Dr. Sharpe earned her Ph.D. in economics/mathematics from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from North Carolina Wesleyan College.


Dr. Sharpe's presentation: Mississippi’s Finance, Technology & Electronics Sectors

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William R. Emmons

Assistant Vice President and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Education, Mobility and Success: The Role of Race and Ethnicity A primer on the relationship between wealth development, management, and education. 

Rebecca Dixon

Deputy Program Director, National Employment Law Project (NELP)

Why Educated Persons are Unemployed?  A discussion on realizing the employee benefits of being an educated person.  

Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald

Director, Children's Defense Fund- Southern Regional Office

Unequal Lives: The State of Black Women and Families in the Rural South  - An overview on the most significant and persistent barriers to success, opportunity, and economic security for lower-income women and families in the rural South. 

Ryan Walker

Assistant Professor Dept. Curriculum & Instruction /nSPARC/MSU

Escaping a Legacy of Poverty via Education and Economic Development- Strategies for building a new middle class by using the tools of education and economic development.

James B. Wilxcox

Director of The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education

Student Business Development - Designing, developing, and funding businesses operated by student entrepreneurs for profit, education and experience. 










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