Dr. Lowe’s research focuses primarily on local economic development and adjustment in the North American context. She is particularly interested in support institutions that shape strategies for industry upgrading and upskilling in ways that reflect and reinforce high-order development goals and values.
Building on the theme of skills transference, she is currently conducting research on North Carolina’s urban construction industry in order to examine processes of skill recognition and formation among recent Mexican immigrants. This project focuses on the experiences of less educated immigrants and specifically, the processes that enable them to reveal and defend their existing, though less visible, skill sets and talents. She is also interested in the role that regional labor market institutions play in initially discouraging employers from recognizing or taking full advantage of these skills and the policy implications of this dynamic. She has worked as a consultant for the International Labour Organization, Inter-American Development Bank, Bank of the Northeast Brazil and Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. She received her Ph.D. in Economic Development from MIT in 2003.