Nina Banks

Nina Banks

Associate Professor of Economics
Affiliated Faculty in Critical Black Studies, Interim Director for CSREG
Cross Icon

About Nina Banks

Nina Banks is Associate Professor of Economics and an affiliate of Women’s and Gender Studies and Critical Black Studies at Bucknell University. She is a past president of the National Economic Association (NEA) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Previously she served on the board of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) and the Editorial Boards Feminist Economics and The Review of Black Political Economy. Her research - as discussed in a New York Times profile - makes visible the unseen work of Black and other marginalized women by developing an economics of their unpaid work and community activism against racial and ethnic disparities. Her determination to restore Black women to U.S. economic history led to the recovery of the economic thought of the first Black American economist, Sadie T.M. Alexander.

Professor Banks is the founder and past organizer of the annual Freedom and Justice conference of the National Economic Association (NEA), the American Society of Hispanic Economists (ASHE), and the Association for Economic Research of Indigenous Peoples (AERIP). The social justice conference brings together a small group of scholars who are dedicated to finding solutions to the pressing economic problems facing racialized communities.

In addition to her edited volume, Democracy, Race, and Justice: The Speeches and Writings of Sadie T. M. Alexander (Yale University Press, 2021), Professor Banks has three other books under contract including a biography of Sadie Alexander. Her research has been featured in popular media outlets that include NPR, the Economist, the New York Times, SiriusXM's Urban View, the Financial Times’ Alphachat podcast, the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, and the State of Working America podcast.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • B.A. Hood College

Research Interests

  • political economy
  • political economy of gender and race
  • economics of family migration


  • ECON/WMST 224: African Women & Social Action
  • ECON/WMST 236: Gender, Race, and Poverty
  • ECON/WMST 253: Gender and Migration
  • ECON 204: Intermediate Political Economy
  • ECON 319/WMST 318: Economic History of Women in the U.S.

Select Publications

Democracy, Race, & Justice: The Speeches and Writings of Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, editor.Yale University Press, June 2021.

“’The Race Was on Trial’- Migrant Adjustment in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh during the Great Migration,” Essays in Economic & Business History, Special Issue: The Economic and Business History of Black Americans, November 2023, 41 (2): 171-185.

“Sadie T.M. Alexander: Black Women and ‘A Taste of Freedom in the Economic World.’” Journal of Economic Perspectives, November 2022, 36 (4): 205-20.

"A Nation of Laws, and Race Laws." With Warren C. Whatley. Journal of Economic Literature, June 2022, 60 (2): 427-53.

“100 Years of African American Economists: Oppositional Knowledge and Scholarly Activism.” The Review of Black Political Economy, March 2022, Vol 49 (1): 9–19.

“Intersectional Identities and Analysis,” Handbook of Feminist Economics, Berik, Gunseli and Ebru Kongar, eds. Routledge, 2021.

“Black Women in the U.S. and Unpaid Collective Work, Theorizing the Community as a Site of Production,” Review of Black Political Economy, 2020, Vol. 47(4) 343–362.

“Family Migration in the U.S.” Deborah M. Figart and Tonia Warnecke, eds. Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, November 2013.

“The Black Worker, Economic Justice, and the Speeches of Sadie T.M. Alexander,” Review of Social Economy. LXVI (2) June 2008: 139-161.

“Uplifting the Race through Domesticity: Capitalism, African American Migration, and the Household Economy,” Feminist Economics. 12(4), October 2006: 599-624.

“Black Women and Racial Advancement: The Economics of Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander.” 2005. Review of Black Political Economy. Vol. 33, no. 1, summer 2005: 9-24. (Issued June 2006).

Banks, N., Schneider, G., and Susman, P. “Paying the Bills Is Not Just Theory: Service Learning about a Living Wage, Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 37, no.3, summer 2005.

Reports, Op-Eds and Blogs

“The Ideas of the First Black Economics PhD Offer Solutions to Our Problems Today,” Made by History, Washington Post op-ed by Nina Banks, June 15, 2021.

“What Should America Do for a Fair Economic Recovery? Sadie T.M. Alexander Had Some Thoughts,” The Commons: Women Economists on the Post-Pandemic Recovery, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, April 13, 2021.

“Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander and 100 Years of African American Economists,” The Minority Report. Edited by Ebonya Washington, The American Economic Association, Issue 13, winter 2021.

“The Food Injustices of Covid-19 on Black Communities,” Op-Ed, WISER Policy, May 2020.

“The Black Woman Economist Who Pioneered a Federal Jobs Guarantee,” Institute for New Economic Thinking, February 22, 2019.

“Black Women’s Labor Market History Reveals Deep-Seated Race and Gender Discrimination,” Economic Policy Institute, Working Economics Blog, February 19, 2019.

“Alliances between the Black and White Working Class Can Strengthen the Economy,” Blog for Jobs for Justice, May 17, 2017.


“Donna Summer x Women’s Liberation,” Being Black in the ‘80s with Touré, theGriot Black Podcast Network, August 2023.

“Rediscovering a Lost Heroine of Economics: the Alexander Technique,” The Economist Money Talks podcast hosted by Soumaya Keynes, June 2022.

“Valuing the Work We Do: Black Women's Unpaid Labor,” Break Concrete: Black Women at Work podcast, November 2021.

“Writings and Speeches of Sadie T.M. Alexander,” Alain Guillot Podcast, November 2021.

American Economic Association CSMGEP Profiles: “Nina Banks: Bringing Women’s Work into the Light,” October 2021.

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, “Women in Economics: Nina Banks” Podcast Series, September 15, 2021.

“The Lost Archives of Sadie Alexander.” NPR: Planet Money podcast interview by Kenny Malone, aired August 27, 2021.

“Democracy, Race & Justice: The Speeches and Writings of Sadie Alexander,” State of Working America Podcast, aired August 4, 2021.

“Why the Words of America’s First Black Economist Resonate Today.” NPR: Marketplace podcast interview by Kimberly Adams, June 28, 2021.

“How Sadie Alexander, the First Black Economics PhD, Became a Voice for Black Workers,” interview by Jana Kasperkevic, ProMarket, Stigler Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, June 22, 2021.

“How Sadie Alexander Became America’s First Black Economist,” NPR 1A podcast interview by Jenn White, June 10, 2021.

“Economic Update: Valuing Work By Women of Color” Democracy at Work conversations with Rick Wolff, video, May 17, 2021.

“Why It’s Time to Value Women’s Unpaid Labor,” Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, May 12, 2021.

“Grassroots Activities are Political but Economical as Well: Banks” Bloomberg, April 21, 2021.

“Invisibility of Black Women’s Community Work in the U.S. Economy” Everything Co-op, radio show interview/podcast by Vernon Oakes, March 2021.

Press Call with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) to unveil the Congresswoman’s Historic Federal Job Guarantee Resolution, February 18, 2021.

“Structural Racism and its COVID-19 Effects on Black Communities” webinar interview by SOAS University of London, May 28, 2020.

“The Story of Sadie Alexander” at Vision 2020: Evidence for a Stronger Economy, Washington Center for Equitable Growth, November 1, 2019.

“Racialized women’s unrecognized community work uplifts everyone” State of Working America Podcast interviewed by Pedro da Costa, Economic Policy Institute, October, 2019.

“Unsung Economists #1: Sadie Alexander,” NPR:The Indicator, February 22, 2019.

“Sadie Alexander,” Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) video, Chicago, February 2018 (interviewed January 2017).

“The Life and Speeches of Sadie Alexander,” Financial Times Alphachat Podcast, November 2017 (interviewed September 2016).

Additional Information

Further Information

Contact Details


130 Academic West Building