The Economic Policy Institute is pleased to announce Jhacova Williams as the institute’s new economist. She will bring her interest in cultural economics and political economy to support EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE), which works to ensure racial and ethnic minorities participate fully in the American economy and benefit equitably from gains in prosperity.
“Addressing the problems of persistent racial inequality in this country requires a clear understanding of history and its connection to present day realities,” said Director of PREE Valerie Wilson. “The ability to translate that understanding into sound and compelling research that helps others to see those connections is one of the most valuable skills that Jhacova Williams brings to EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy. I am delighted that she has chosen to join us as we continue to shed light on the economic conditions faced by people of color in this country and to develop a policy agenda for racial and economic justice.”
Williams comes to EPI from Clemson University, where she was an assistant professor of economics. Her research, including groundbreaking work on the effect of historical lynchings on modern black voting behavior and the black-white labor market differentials of streets named after Confederate generals, focuses on the impact of historical events on the economic outcomes and political behavior of southern blacks.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jhacova Williams to EPI,” said EPI President Thea Lee. “Jhacova’s ground-breaking research on the long-term impact of racial injustice on today’s economy will help strengthen and enrich EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy. Jhacova is a rising research star, whose dynamic and creative work has tremendous potential to shift the policy debate in Washington and beyond.”
“I am delighted to join EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy,” said Williams. “EPI’s research on racial disparities in the American economy has laid important policy groundwork. I am excited to focus my research on an intersection of race and ethnicity with economics, politics, and history in order to advance policies that will benefit communities of color.”
Prior to joining Clemson University, Williams worked as a mathematics lab director and instructor at Xavier University of Louisiana. She was a Summer Economics Fellow for the American Economic Association in 2016 and 2017, and has received numerous honors and awards.
Williams earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Xavier University of Louisiana, an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Louisiana State University.