Elizabeth Jacobs

Faculty Advisors: 

Emilio Parrado, Chenoa Flippen, Pilar Goñalons-Pons

Research Interests: 

Labor migration, return migration, global cities, immigrant incorporation


Elizabeth Jacobs is a Doctoral Candidate in the Sociology department at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research spans the areas of migration, globalization, and immigrant incorporation and centers on the global flows of people, knowledge, and culture. Liz’s current research agenda considers how state, corporate, and academic institutions enable and constrain global mobility.

Liz is conducting a mixed-methods dissertation project that aims to answer long-standing questions about skilled migration and return migration using novel data sources. She is constructing a new dataset of migration histories, using employment history data from LinkedIn to study the migration behavior of skilled migrants in the United States. Specifically, she is examining how these flows are shaped by gender ideologies, and how public and private institutions collaborate and conflict as they shape global migration. The LinkedIn data gives purchase on studying exciting new dynamics unmeasurable in previous data, which will then be enriched through in-depth interviews with skilled migrants and institutional actors at universities, companies and the state.

Liz earned her MA in Sociology at Columbia University, where she examined the evolution of New York City's language access policy as a specific mechanism of immigrant immigration. She graduated from Penn with a BA in Anthropology, and wrote an honors thesis on the tensions between development and displacement in Rio's favelas in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games. Liz’s prior research has been published in Frontiers in Sociology.

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