Lora Phillips

IPR Graduate Student Affiliate
Graduate Affiliate

My research explores the material insecurities inherent in contemporary American life, as studied through the lens of income loss, unemployment, and foreclosure. I am particularly interested in how the prevalence of insecurity varies geographically, the role of local economic and political factors in precipitating or mitigating insecurity, and the implications of insecurity for spatial inequalities in life chances, health, and political beliefs and action. I have published on these topics in journals like City & Community, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Additionally, I have been awarded both internal and external funding in support of my research, including a fellowship from the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program and The Ohio State University's Presidential Fellowship.


My dissertation is among the first to study economic insecurity below the national level. First, I develop an innovative measure of economic insecurity at the county level and utilize this measure to identify and map the prevalence of such insecurity from 1997 through 2016. Next, I test the extent to which the changing economic and political characteristics of counties explain variation in county-level economic insecurity. My analysis relies both on Census data and on novel administrative data collected with the assistance of over 30 undergraduate research assistants.


Areas of Expertise: Urban Sociology, Stratification, Economic Insecurity


  • M.A., Sociology, The Ohio State University, 2013
  • B.A., Kent State University, 2012
  • B.A., Kent State University, 2012
  • A.A.B., Lakeland Community College, 2007