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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
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Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Rights and Social Justice Samuel Myers of the Humphrey Institute

Samuel Myers

Professor, Chair of Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice

Phone: 612-625-9821
Office: 257 Humphrey School
Center/Department: Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice

Areas of Expertise

Microeconomic policy analysis; government procurement and contracting; modeling of disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) and emerging small business enterprise (ESBE) programs; racial disparities in drowning and competitive swimming and  in academic performance, evaluation of anti-racism programs; field experiments measuring racialized perceptions; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce; academic labor markets; race-neutral remedies; and income inequality in China and the economics of disability in China and the United States.


Samuel L. Myers, Jr., is Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice and directs the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice. He specializes in the impacts of social policies on the poor. Myers is a pioneer in the use of applied econometric techniques to:

  • Examine racial disparities in crime
  • Detect illegal discrimination in credit markets
  • Assess the impacts of welfare on family stability
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of government transfers in reducing poverty
  • Determine the impacts of food pricing on low-income communities
  • Detect disparities and discrimination in government contracting

He is a national authority on the methodology of conducting disparity studies and has served as an expert witness in the groundbreaking federal case of GEOD vs New Jersey Transit (3rd Circuit Court of Appeals). He is a co-founder of the Colorado Minnesota Disparity Study Consortium, which regularly provides technical assistance to state transportation departments, airport authorities, and local transit agencies.

Myers is a past president of the leading organization of policy analysts, the Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM). He has also served as president of the National Economic Association (NEA).  He has served on the executive committee of the Network of Schools in Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.  He is a former chair of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF), Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE); council member of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR); and member of the Economic Policy Advisory Committee, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

His current or past board memberships include: Catholic Charities of Minneapolis/St. Paul; the Breck School, Minneapolis; and the Catholic Community Foundation, Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and Social Science Quarterly.  He previously served on the editorial boards of Southern Economic Journal, Review of Black Political Economy, and Evaluation Review.

Myers has consulted with the National Employment Policy Commission; National Academy of Sciences; U.S. Civil Rights Commission; U.S. General Accounting Office; and U.S. Congressional Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime; and served as a senior staff economist at the Federal Trade Commission.  

He previously served on the academic advisory board of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and the National Council of Black Studies board of directors.  He is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

During the academic year 2008-2009, Myers was a Fulbright Fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.  His research in China examines ethnic income inequality, educational reform, and disability policies.  He maintains an affiliation with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute for Ethnology and Anthropology, Department of Economic and Social Development, returning to Beijing quarterly.

He holds the following concurrent appointments at the University of Minnesota:

  • Gradate Faculty, Applied Economics Ph.D. Program
  • Graduate Faculty, Graduate Minor in Population Studies, Minnesota Population Research Center
  • Graduate Faculty, Minnesota Interdisciplinary Training in Education Research (MITER), pre-doctoral research program in Education Sciences
  • Graduate Faculty, Graduate Multidisciplinary Minor in Family Policy

Myers holds a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Courses Taught

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