Robynn Cox

Assistant Professor
Contact Information
University Park
Department of Study 
Social Change and Innovation
PhD, Georgia State University, 2009
MA, Georgia State University, 2007
BA, Duke University, 2002

ROBYNN COX is an assistant professor and a member of the faculty at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Her research interests include the fields of crime, health, labor, and social and racial inequality. She has primarily focused on understanding the social and economic consequences of mass incarceration. 

Cox was a 2014-15 Resource Center for Minority Aging Research Scholar at the USC Schaeffer Center, where her research explored the impact of incarceration on health outcomes over the lifespan. Most recently, she received a Russell Sage Foundation Presidential Authority Award to investigate the relationship between perceptions of criminality, race, trust and employment outcomes (with Jennifer Doleac, Benjamin Hansen and Sarah Jacobson). Cox’s research has also been funded by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Poverty Research through the Research Program on Childhood Hunger and the Young Investigator Development Grant. 

Her work has been published in various academic and policy outlets such as the Southern Economic Journal and the Economic Policy Institute. In addition, she has presented her research at numerous professional conferences and has been featured on both locally and nationally syndicated radio programs such as NPR. In 2011, she was invited by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to take part in a roundtable conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien on workforce development and employment strategies of the formerly incarcerated.  

Prior to her appointment at USC, Cox served as an assistant professor at Spelman College and a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Economics at Duke University. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in economics from Georgia State University, where she was awarded the Andrew Young Fellowship. Cox completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University, where she obtained a dual bachelor’s in economics and Spanish and Latin American studies.

Awards and Distinction
CeMent Regional Mentoring Workshop Participant, AEA CSWEP (2011)
Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future, AAC&U (2011)
Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics (2010)
Golden Key International Honour Society, Georgia State University (2008-present)
AEA CSMGEP Dissertation Workshop Presenter (2008)
Andrew Young Fellowship Recipient, Georgia State University (2004-2007)
Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship Honorable Mention, Ford Foundation (2004)
AEA Summer Minority Scholarship, Duke University (2004)
AEA Summer Minority Scholarship, University of Colorado (2002)
More awards
Selected Publications

Cox, R. & Wallace, S. (2016). Identifying the Link Between Food Security and Incarceration. Southern Economic Journal.

Cox, R. (2015). Where Do We Go from Here? Mass Incarceration and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Economic Policy Institute.

Cox, R. (2011). The Impact of Mass Incarceration on the Lives of African American Women. The Review of Black Political Economy, 39(2), 203-212.

Cox, R. (2010). Crime, Incarceration and Employment in Light of the Great Recession. The Review of Black Political Economy, 37(3), 283-294.