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Memoir

Sherrie A. Kossoudji
Regents' Proceedings

Sherrie A. Kossoudji, Ph.D., associate professor of social work in the School of Social Work and adjunct associate professor of economics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2019.

Professor Kossoudji received her B.A. (1976) degree from Miami University and her Ph.D. (1984) degree from the University of Michigan. Professor Kossoudji joined the University of Michigan as a Mellon Assistant Research Scientist at the Population Studies Center in 1985. She was appointed assistant professor in 1987, and promoted to associate professor in 1995.

Professor Kossoudji concentrated on labor and wealth issues, and gender differences in economic outcomes for those at the margins of society. Her principal research was on the economics of immigration. She published articles on the legal status of immigrant workers in the United States and the incentives to cross the border without papers, including one of the earliest articles in 1992 about the perverse results of border apprehensions, showing that apprehensions lead to faster return times to the border. She published articles on the consequences of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which regularized three million undocumented residents, giving them permanent residency. She published articles about the wage consequences of working in the United States while undocumented, showing that becoming documented significantly increases the wages for men but not for women. Finally, she published one of the first articles on immigrant asset accumulation, home ownership, and urban housing markets. Her latest research focused on immigrant detention and on worldwide policies on regularization (policies to confer legal status) and on asylum and refugee policies around the world. Dr. Kossoudji spoke publicly about immigration, apprehension and detention, and the worldwide refugee crisis. Professor Kossoudji taught courses in both economics and social work that often focused on developing students' knowledge about the reality of U.S. immigration policies, the economic consequences of immigration, and the social justice consequences of punitive policies toward immigrants. Perhaps most importantly, she developed a weeklong experiential course at the U.S./Mexico border that required students to encounter the day-to-day activities that constitute the minutiae of a policy's impact on the people who migrate, the people who enforce the policy, and the community.

The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar by naming Sherrie A. Kossoudji, associate professor emerita of social work.