Julian Jacobs

Research Topic:

Artificial intelligence; technological shocks; inequality; debt; populism; political polarisation
Government and Politics Network
Wolfson College
DPhil Politics
Office address
DPIR, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Julian Jacobs is a DPhil/PhD student specialising in comparative political economy. His research areas of focus include artificial intelligence, the political implications of technological shocks, inequality, debt, and polarisation.

He is currently studying the relationship between disruptive digital technology shocks and rates of household indebtedness in the United States as well as the question of 'who can be retrained' in an age of digitally-enabled automation and task substitution. His previous work looked at the relationship between technological disruption and socio-political views, with a focus on populism, class dealignment, and polarisation.

He is a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, through which he pursued research into comparative AI governance and political economy.

Outside of academia, he has previously worked for the Office of Barack Obama, The Brookings Institution, the Center for AI Safety, OMFIF, and University College London. And his writing and research have previously been featured in the New York Times, Financial Times, Vox, Politico, Bloomberg, and Jacobin.

Prior to joining the Oxford DPIR, he received his MSc in Political Science and Political Economy from The London School of Economics. He received his BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Brown University.


Academic Research Papers

Jacobs [2024] "The Artificial Intelligence Shock and Political Polarization," Technological Forecasting & Social Change 

Muro, Jacobs, and Liu (2023) "Building AI cities: How to spread the benefits of an emerging technology across more of America," The Brookings Institution

Selected Essays

Muro and Jacobs (2023) "New data shows that without intervention, generative AI jobs will continue to cluster in the same big tech hubs," The Brookings Institution

Jacobs (2023) "The Arguments Against Student Debt Forgiveness Are All Bunk," Jacobin

Jacobs (2023) "A Recession Is Underway for the Many but Not for the Few," Jacobin

Jacobs (2022) "An unequal embrace of digitalization may contribute to recession risk," The Brookings Institution

Jacobs (2022) "Democrats Are Ditching Class, and It’s Costing Them Working-Class Voters," Jacobin

Jacobs (2021) "Automation and the radicalization of America," The Brookings Institution

Jacobs (2020) "America’s House of Debt," Dollars & Sense 


Jacobs (2023) "Global Growth Perspectives in a World of Digital Innovation and AI," Narodowy Bank Polski

Jacobs (2021) "Is This Time Different: Artificial Intelligence, Inequality, and Power in America," CES Virtual 27th International Conference of Europeanists

Jacobs (2020) "Artificial Intelligence: Inequality, Power & Politics," Goethe Institut

Jacobs (2019) "The Problem of Inequality in the Age of Artificial Intelligence," TEDx

Jacobs (2018) "How will artificial intelligence affect income inequality?" TEDx


"Best Place for A.I. Jobs (New Report Says) Won’t Surprise You," New York Times (2023)

"The skewed geography of AI," Politico (2023)

"FTAV’s further reading," Financial Times (2023)

"AI boom's big winners are all in four states," Axios (2023)

"S.F. is the epicenter of the AI boom. Will it always be?" San Francisco Chronicle (2023)

"The UK’s growing economic crisis, explained," Vox (2022)