My research areas are spatial inequality (community and regional inequalities, poverty and development issues), economic sociology, political sociology, and gender. Building from these areas, my research addresses a central theme: changes in the market and state and their impacts. In brief, I am concerned with the process of economic and political/governmental change and how it impacts socioeconomic inequality across regions, localities, households, and individuals; and in turn, how people respond to the market/state changes they experience, such as through political activism. The above research theme is developed through empirical studies that focus on how market/state forces create inequalities in socioeconomic well-being at the subnational level (among localities and regions) and among populations in different global settings. For an example of current research see the Relational Poverty Network website http://depts.washington.edu/relpov/places-poverty-and-the-local-state-local-governments-and-community-well-being-across-the-united-states/
Recent/current graduate students are studying issues of spatial inequality and poverty, rural-urban differences in political and other behavior, disability, and the role of the state in well-being across communities.
Research and Academic Experience
Professor, Rural Sociology, with courtesy appointments as Professor, Department of Sociology and Department of Geography, The Ohio State University.
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow.
Social Change/Innovation Diffusion
Theories and Concepts in Rural Sociology
2007 Lobao, Linda, Gregory Hooks, and Ann Tickamyer (eds.)
The Sociology of Spatial Inequality. Albany: The State University of New York Press. (Recipient of the CHOICE Outstanding Title Award, 2007; reviewed in the American Journal of Sociology, Rural Sociology, The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and other journals).
1995 Lasley, Paul, F. Larry Leistritz, Linda Lobao, and Katherine Meyer
Beyond the Amber Waves of Grain: An Examination of Economic and Social Restructuring in the Heartland. Boulder: Westview Press.
1990 Lobao, Linda
Locality and Inequality: Farm Structure, Industry Structure, and Socioeconomic Conditions. Albany: The State University of New York Press.
Recent Select Articles
2017 Joseph Campbell, Linda Lobao, and Michael Betz. “Civil Society and Intergovernmental Collaboration for Community Development.” Economic Development Quarterly (forthcoming).
2016 Linda Lobao “The Sociology of Subnational Development: Conceptual and Empirical Foundations.” Pp. 265-292 in Gregory Hooks (editor) The Handbook of Development Sociology. Oakland, CA: The University of California Press.
2016. Gregory Hooks, Linda Lobao, and Ann R. Tickamyer “Spatial Inequality and Rural Areas.” Pp. 462-476 in David Brown and Mark Shucksmith (editors) International Handbook of Rural Sociology. New York: Routledge.
2016 Linda M. Lobao. “The Rising Importance of Local Governments in the United States.” Sociology Compass 10: 893–905. DOI 10.1111/soc4.12410
2016 Linda M. Lobao, Mark Partridge, Minyu Zhou, and Michael Betz. 2016. “Poverty, Place and Coal Employment in a New Economic Era.” Rural Sociology 81 (3):343-386.
2015 Adua, Lazarus and Linda Lobao. “Business Attraction and Redistribution by U.S. Local Governments: To What Extent Is There a Zero-Sum Relationship Between Business and Citizen’s Interests?” State and Local Government Review 47 (4):223-239.
2015 Linda Lobao and Gregory Hooks. “Development Sociology at the Subnational Scale: Open Questions about State and Market Processes across the United States.” Development Sociology 1 (1): 43-76.
2015 Betz, Michael, Mark Partridge, Michael Ferran, and Linda Lobao. “Coal Mining, Economic Development, and the Natural Resources Curse.” Energy Economics 50 (July):105-116.
2014 Linda M. Lobao, Lazarus Adua and Gregory Hooks. “Privatization, Business Attraction and Social Services across the United States: Local Governments’ Use of Market-Oriented Neoliberal Policies in the Post-2000 Period.” Social Problems 61 (4):644-672.
2014 Betsey Donald, Mia Gray, Amy Glasmeier, and Linda Lobao. “Austerity in the city: Economic Crisis and Urban Service Decline?” Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. Volume 7: 3-15.
2014 Linda Lobao “Economic Change, Structural Forces, and Rural America: Shifting Fortunes across Communities.” Pp. 543-555 in Conner Bailey, Leif Jensen and Elizabeth Ransom (editors), Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s. Morgantown: University of West Virginia Press.
Linda Lobao (PI) Mark Partridge and Gregory Hooks co-principal investigators. Collaborative Research: Places, Poverty and State Capacity: Local State Responses to Recession and Socioeconomic Well-Being, 2001-2012. National Science Foundation (jointly funded by Sociology and Geography/Spatial Sciences) BCS-1259424 total $179,493; OSU $143,371 April 2013-September 2017.
Mark Partridge (PI), David Civittolo, Alessandra Faggian, Linda Lobao, and Eric Romich, co-principal investigators, “Maximizing the Gains of Old and New Energy Development for America’s Rural Communities.” National Institute of Food and Agriculture $499,980 March 2014-March 2018.
Linda Lobao (PI) Mark Partridge, and Lawrence A. Brown, co-principal investigators, “The Mining Industry and Its Relationship to Community Well-being.” Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science (ARIES-6). Total, 4 years 2013-2016. $257,558.
President, Rural Sociological Society, 2002-2003
Co- Editor (one of several international editors) Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2006-present
Board of Editors
State and Local Government Review 2017-present
Development Sociology 2014-present
Sociological Quarterly 2014-present
Academic Honors and Awards
Distinguished Rural Sociologist, Rural Sociological Society, 2016.
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow, elected 2008.
Excellence in Research Award, Rural Sociological Society, 2004.
President, Rural Sociological Society 2002-2003