Academics: Faculty

Robynn Cox, Ph.D.

Phone: 404-270-5570

Dr. Robynn Cox is an assistant professor in the economics department at Spelman College.  Her teaching interests include econometrics, economics of crime, health economics, public finance, urban economics, and labor economics.  Dr. Cox is currently the instructor for econometrics and urban economics.  She also teaches courses in principles.  In addition, she has developed a new course on the economics of crime.  

Prior to her appointment at Spelman College, she was a postdoctoral associate in the department of economics at Duke University. Her research interests include the economics of crime, law and economics, health economics, urban economics, labor economics, and public finance.  Currently, Dr. Cox’s research is concerned with the impact of incarceration on various aspects of the former inmate’s life such as employment, wages, health, family, etc.  Dr. Cox has been awarded the Young Investigator Development Grant, and a small grant under the Research Program on Childhood Hunger to conduct her investigations.  Her research has been published in the Review of Black Political Economy.  In addition, she has given numerous presentations at professional conferences and has also appeared on North Carolina Public Radio’s the “State of Things.”  Most recently, Dr. Cox was invited by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to take part in a roundtable conversation on work force development and employment strategies of the formerly incarcerated.  In addition to Secretary Solis, the panel also included Attorney General Eric Holder and EEOC chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien.  

Dr. Cox is part of the first cohort of women in the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ leadership program Preparing Critically Faculty for the Future.  In addition, she is a 2010 fellow in the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics.  She holds professional memberships in the American Economic Association, the Southern Economic Association, the American Law and Economics Association, and the National Economic Association.  Dr. Cox is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.  Dr. Cox earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in economics from Georgia State University, where she was awarded the Andrew Young Fellowship, the highest award for graduate students in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.   Dr. Cox completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University where she attained a dual bachelor’s in economics and Spanish and Latin American Studies.

Download Curriculum Vitae

Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 30303
Ph.D.: Economics; August 2009
Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 30303
M.A.: Economics; August 2007
Duke University Durham, NC 27708
Bachelor of Arts: Economics and Spanish & Latin American Studies; May 2002


  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • Urban Economics
  • Crime and Economics
  • Global Health


  • Economics of Crime
  • Law and Economics
  • Health Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Urban Economics
  • Public Finance
  • Economic Growth/Development
  • International Economics

Cox, R. (2011).The Impact of Mass Incarceration on the Lives of African American Women.The Review of Black Political Economy, DOI number 10.1007/s12114-011-9114-2.
Cox, R. (2010). Crime, Incarceration, and Employment in Light of the Great Recession. The Review of Black Political Economy, Vol. 37 (3-4), pp.283-294.

U.S. Department of Labor Washington, D.C., 6/21/2011
Invited by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis to participate in a roundtable discussion with Attorney General Eric Holder and EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien titled Workforce Development and Employment Strategies Targeting the Formerly Incarcerated
Video Link:

The Effect of the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program on Labor Market Outcomes of Prison Releases (In Progress)
The Effect of Private Sector Work Opportunities while Incarcerated on the Recidivism of Prison Releases (In Progress)
Does Working While Incarcerated Help Ex-Offenders on the Job Market?: The Case of North Carolina (In Progress)
Does Working While Incarcerated Help to Close the Revolving Door of Recidivism?: The Case of North Carolina (In Progress)
The Impact of Incarceration on the Food Security of Children (with Sally Wallace)
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Pretrial Detention for Non-serious Misdemeanors (with William Darity and Frank Sloan)
Expectations Updating and Criminal Behavior among Young Men (with  Frank Sloan, In Progress)
The Obama Effect: A Test of Competing Theories (with William Darity, Jr. and Leslie Wallace, In Progress)

Co-Principle Investigator- UKCPR Research Program on Childhood Hunger, $45,000
Principle Investigator- UKCPR Young Investigator Development Grants Program, $7500