The article states that supporters of reparations recognize past housing discrimination as a primary driver of today’s racial wealth gap. Fishback's study notes that there is a more fundamental problem with linking reparations to past redlining policies. While a higher percentage of the black population lived in redlined areas, most residents of neighborhoods where the FHA refused to insure mortgages weren’t black.
Fishback joined the Eller College of Management as associate professor in 1990 after teaching at the University of Georgia. He was appointed the Thomas R. Brown Professor of Economics in 2010. He earned his PhD in Economics from the University of Washington in 1983. His research area of interest is the political economy of Roosevelt’s New Deal during the 1930s, examining both the determinants of New Deal spending and loans and their impact on local economies throughout the U.S. He also works on state labor legislation during the Progressive Era, the American Economy during World War II and changes in agriculture in response to climate, government policy and technology. Fishback is also a research affiliate at the Centre for Economic History at Australian National University, a CAGE Fellow at Warwick University, a program scholar for the Hoover Program on Regulation and the Rule of Law, a fellow at the TIAA-CREF Institute and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.