Dr. Walter Casey, political science professor at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and two of his students recently presented a paper titled “Black = White – Green: Racism and Income Inequality” at the 74th Annual Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago.
Kishon Daniels, a junior political science major at A&M-Texarkana, and Damon Page, who in May received a Bachelor of Science in history, performed much of the data gathering and initial analysis for the work, which more clearly demonstrated the complex-causal relationship between racism and income inequality.
Dr. Casey mentored the two undergraduates through the process.
“An international conference of this importance is an excellent place for our students to show the world our research capabilities,” Dr. Casey said.
“Kishon is becoming one of the best budding scholars I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Dr. Casey said. “Damon is well on his way to achieving his goal of pursuing an advanced degree in history, and the skills, knowledge and experience he gained at A&M-Texarkana are preparing him to be highly successful in graduate school.”
The conference is the second largest in the political science discipline. Almost 10,000 scholars, researchers and students from more than 100 nations flock to Chicago every April for the conference, Dr. Casey said.
“Very few undergraduate students are permitted,” Dr. Casey said, “so the presence of students from our university is a testament to how well done their research was.”
The research the three showcased examines how racial cues lead to decision-making processes, so that receiving a racist cue triggers reflexive responses leading to fear-oriented decisions.
“The cases in the study centered on healthcare choices,” Dr. Casey said, “with data showing that blacks in the U.S. had historically chosen to not access available standard healthcare options, seeking instead options that would not provoke animus from whites.”
The methodology that helped uncover this complex interdependent feedback and feed-forward relationship is known by the acronym NARX and is a methodology used to model decision-making based upon non-linear signals.
The paper was nominated for the Robert Durr Award for best paper using a quantitative method to solve a substantive problem.