Kent State Economics Professor Receives W.E.B. Du Bois Grant to Explore Alleged Racial Bias

Shawn RohlinShawn Rohlin, Ph.D., associate professor of economics in Kent State University's College of Business Administration, and colleague William Horrace, Ph.D., of Syracuse University, have been named W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars and will receive a research grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of Justice Programs and the National Institute of Justice to deepen their exploration of alleged racial bias in the Syracuse Police Department in New York.

The DOJ-funded study will build upon Horrace and Rohlin's previous research assessing racial bias among Syracuse police officers during traffic stops. The new research will seek to understand the causes of racial bias, while analyzing the impact of officer experience and exposure on their inclinations for bias.

"This research could lead to important policy implications that could save lives," Rohlin said.

The National Institute of Justice, which administered the $280,000 grant under the DOJ, supports research that explores race and crime, and encourages scholars to analyze "the confluence of crime, justice and culture in various societal contexts."

"Dr. Rohlin's research contributes to greater understanding of the economic forces that shape a region, and this work increases the potential to address societal injustice across the nation," said Deborah Spake, dean of the College of Business Administration at Kent State.

In addition to serving as associate professor of economics at Kent State, Rohlin is the director of the College of Business Administration's Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Kent State. His research specialties are in urban, public and labor economics. He studies how government policies impact local economic factors.

Rohlin has received the Junior Scholar Award from the Lincoln Land Institute and the David C. Lincoln Fellowship in Land Value Taxation. His research as won the "Most Outstanding Paper" for Public Finance Review. Rohlin also conducted a recent study with colleague Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, on the Utopia East Pipeline Project. Proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc., they concluded the project could bring an estimated $237.3 million to Ohio's economy.

For more information about Kent State's Department of Economics in the College of Business Administration, visit

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