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Opinion
Noah Smith

Bigotry Is Expensive

Discrimination imposes a cost on the economy by making it harder for people to get the jobs that make best use of their skills.
The cost of bias lingers.

The cost of bias lingers.

Photographer: Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images

It seems like every day there’s a new battle being fought over discrimination in the U.S. There was the Ellen Pao trial and its claims of sexual bias at Silicon Valley's leading venture capital firm, the continuing revelations of endemic racial discrimination in Ferguson, Missouri, and the so-called religious freedom law in Indiana that many believe is a thinly veiled cover for anti-gay discrimination.

If racial and gender discrimination were purely matters of fairness, ending them would still be a worthy cause. But there is another reason to combat discrimination -- it boosts the economy.