ACRE Reading Group

Upcoming! Economics and Social Issues: Markets and the Marginalized

The Fall 2017 Reading Group will begin in August. The group will meet Tuesday nights from 6-8pm. Participants will examine how disadvantaged groups fare in wealthy societies by reading works by a variety of scholars including Claudia Goldin, Walter Williams, and Thomas Leonard. They will work through questions like: How do markets and government help or hinder disadvantaged groups? What role has race played in the history of economic thought? What are the effects of discrimination in labor markets? What are the consequences of mass incarceration? Why do women typically earn less than men? What explains persistent poverty among Native Americans? Students in this reading group will also have the opportunity to travel to Dallas, Texas to participate in a multi-campus reading group hosted by Southern Methodist University.

The application period for the Fall reading group has ended. If you would like to know more about ACRE student programs or would like to be notified about our Spring reading group, please contact Ashley Wofford at

Past Groups:

Cities, Local Government, and Local Governance

Participants in the spring 2017 reading group read and discussed a variety of works by economists, political scientists, and urban scholars like Jane Jacobs, Elinor Ostrom, and Edward Glaeser. The group was led by Dr. Zack Donohew and consisted of 10 students from a variety of majors and backgrounds. The students in this group also participated in a summit in Dallas, Texas with a multi-campus reading group discussion. Students from UCA and three other universities all came together to learn from each other and from Harvard University economics professor Dr. Edward Glaeser, the author of The Triumph of the City, who was the event’s keynote speaker. Students were able to discuss his book with him and ask him questions about his research. Glaeser also responded to an inquiry after the event from one of our ACRE research fellows. Glaeser helped him to incorporate a new methodology into his Honors’ thesis. Meeting and discussing scholarly works in these kinds of settings is just one of many opportunities that make the reading group a formative experience.

Students enjoyed being able to meet Edward Glaeser at the multi-campus reading discussions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Students enjoyed being able to meet Edward Glaeser at the multi-campus reading discussion at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

When Voters Do Bad Things

In fall 2016, Dr. Zack Donohew lead a group of ten interdisciplinary students through It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis and Dr. Jason Brennan’s The Ethics of Voting. The salience of the readings was high in a close presidential election year. Students drew on current events nationally and in Arkansas to relate to their readings. ACRE also hosted Brennan for several university events, including a dinner with the reading group where they got to ask questions about ethics, democracy, his works, and predictions on the  2016 election.

Students listen to a lecture from Dr. Jason Brennan on the ethics of voting.

Students listen to a lecture from Dr. Jason Brennan on the ethics of voting.