David Jacobs

David Jacobs

David Jacobs

Professor Emeritus


Areas of Expertise

  • Work, Economy, & Organizations
  • Crime, Deviance, & Social Control
  • Political


  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 1975

David Jacobs CV

Research mostly involves studies in political sociology using a political economic perspective applied to issues such as labor relations and criminal justice outcomes like the use of the death penalty.  Current projects include a study of the influence of racial threat on laws that help or harm unions, the determinants of laws that influence punishments for rape, and the social determinants of the number of female representatives in state legislatures and in the House of Representatives.  A fourth project examines the racial and political determinants of imprisonment rates. (Crime, Deviance, & Social Control; Political; Work, Economy, & Organizations; Gender, Race, & Class; Theory)

I use a political economic approach to study political outcomes and outcomes in the criminal justice system.  Recent and current projects in political sociology include using the threat to white political and cultural dominance posed by larger black populations in the states to explain conservative votes in the House of Representa¬≠tives.  A second recent project investigated the (negative) effects of conservative presidents on the number of elections that are necessary to unionize workplaces.  Current but as yet unpublished studies include research on the determi¬≠nants of legislative changes in the federal minimum wage since the late 1940s and an investigation of social, political, and economic determinants of the growth in US income inequality since the early 1950s.  My co-authors and I also are about to send off a paper that explains the number of women in the state legislatures and in the House of Representatives since the 1970s.  My work on the politics of criminal justice includes five recent studies on capital punishment including its legalization and the frequency of death sentences and executions.  An analysis that soon will appear in print examines the relationship between lynchings in the states and recent admissions to state prisons.  One more current project assesses the connection between lynchings in the late 19th and early 20th century and the number of contemporary hate groups in the US states.