Molly Jacobs, PhD

Molly Jacobs

Assistant Professor, Health Services and Information Management

Phone: 252-744-6175
Office: 4340E Health Sciences Building

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Dr. Jacobs has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and German from Duke University and a Master’s degree in Economics from George Washington University. She received her doctoral degree in Economics from George Washington University with a concentration in econometrics and labor economics. She engaged in research grants from the US Department of Agriculture, Veterans Affairs and Commerce on a variety of topics including food stamps receipt, veterans’ disability rating, food security and patient activation measures. Dr. Jacobs served for four years as an agricultural economist for the USDA and was named a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany where she studied wage disparities among immigrant women.  She taught at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Queens University and the University of New Haven prior to coming to ECU. Her primary research interests include adolescent health and weight development. She has extensively examined the relationship between body perception and weight change as well as social and psychological influences on physical development.


  • PhD, Economics, George Washington University, 2015
  • MS, Economics, George Washington University, 2006
  • BS, Economics and German, Duke University, 2003

Program Affiliations

Courses Taught

  • HIMA 4075: Applied Health Services Research

Research Interests

  • Health economics
  • Obesity
  • Adolescent health
  • Household economics

Teaching Interests

  • Health economics
  • Econometrics
  • Statistics

Selected Works

Conference Presentations

Molly Jacobs, “Body Perception: Impacts on Adolescent Weight Gain/Loss.” International Health Economics Association Biennial Conference, July 2017.

Molly Jacobs, “The Maternal Influence on BMI Growth: Does Nurture Trump Nature?” Southern Economic Association, November 2016

Molly Jacobs, “Youth BMI Growth: The Role of Environmental, Household and Genetic Factors,” Southern Economic Association, November 2015.

Molly Jacobs, “Youth Weight-to-Height Proportionality (BMI): The Stability of Structure across the Teen Years and Twenties,” Southern Economic Association, November 2015.

Molly Jacobs, “Youth BMI Development: A Growth Analysis of Weight in the Teens and Twenties,” Southern Economic Association, November 2014.

Molly Jacobs, “Youth BMI Evolution Throughout the Teens and Twenties,” American Society for Health Economics, January 2012.


Grants and Contracts

March 2010 – July 2012: The George Washington University - Washington, DC
Head Research Associate on, “Earnings Loss Study: Musculoskeletal Parts of the Veterans Administration Schedule for Rating Disabilities” Grant awarded to GWU from the Department of Veterans Affairs

August 2006 – May 2009: The George Washington University -  Washington, DC
Research Assistant on USDA FANRP Grant, “South Carolina Food Stamp and Well Being Study: Transitions in Food Stamp and TANF Participation and Employment Among Families with Children”

June 2003 – June 2004: DIW (German Institute for Economic Research) - Berlin, Germany
Guest Researcher, German Socio-Economic Panel

Honors and Awards

Fulbright Scholar
Berlin, German
US Department of State

Diversity in Tenure Economics (DITE)        
Durham, NC 
National Science Foundation Award

Minority Scholarship ASHEcon  
Minneapolis, MN
American Society of Health Economists Biennial Conference, Graduate Awardee

Transatlantic Forum
Berlin, Germany
Chair, Economic Panel

Service Activities and Memberships

  • Member International Health Economics Association (IHEA), 2016-Present
  • Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP), 2014-Present
  • Member American Economic Association (AEA), 2014-Present
  • Member Southern Economic Association (SEA), 2010-Present

Professional Experience

July 2017-Present Assistant Professor, Health Services and Information Management, East Carolina University.
August 2016-July 2017 Assistant Professor, Masters in Healthcare Administration, University of New Haven.
January 2016-August 2016 Adjunct Professor, McColl School of Business, Queen University of Charlotte.
January 2016-May 2016 Adjunct Professor, Belk College of Business, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
August 2012-December 2015 Senior Data Scientist, Exoventure Associates, LLC.
January 2007-March 2010 Agricultural Economist, Farm Services Agency, US Department of Agriculture.