Lisa A. Keister

Lisa A. Keister

Professor of Sociology

External Address: 
268 Soc/Psych Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90088, Durham, NC 27708-0088
(919) 660-5624


I do research in the areas of economic sociology, organizations and management, and social networks. I study organization and household behavior in both the U.S. and China, including work on organization strategy and the role that relations among organizations play in shaping strategy, household financial decision making, and business start-up. My work on business networks in China looks at relations among firms and how these shape firm performance, survival, and structure. I also do work on wealth accumulation and the factors that contribute to wealth disparities, including social networks, inheritance, religion, and inheritance.  


Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Cornell University 1997

  • M.A., Cornell University 1995

  • M.A., University of Oklahoma 1991

Entrepreneurship. Ed. LA Keister. Greenwich, CT: Elsevier, 2005.

Keister, LA. Wealth in America. Cambridge University Press, 2000.


Keister, LA. "Wealth Distribution." The Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology. Ed. J Beckert and M Zafirovski. Routledge, 2006.

Keister, LA, and Moller, S. "Wealth Inequality in the United States." Social Stratification: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences. Ed. D Inglis and J Bone. London: Routledge, 2006. (Chapter)

Keister, LA. "Interfirm Relations in Business Groups: Group Structure and Firm Performance in China." Networks and Organizations During Transition. Ed. S Clegg and M Berrell. 2005.

Keister, LA. "Who Owns What? The Changing Distribution of Wealth." Intersecting Inequalities: Class, Race, Sex, and Sexuality. Prentice Hall, 2005.

Haveman, HA, and Keister, LA. "The Dynamics of Domain Overlap: Effects on Financial Performance, Growth, and Failure." Current Issues in Economic Sociology. Ed. F Dobbin. Princeton University Press, 2004.

Haveman, HA, and Keister, LA. "The effects of domain overlap and non-overlap on organizational performance, growth, and survival." The Sociology of the Economy. January 1, 2004. 228-264.

Kim, PH, Aldrich, HE, and Keister, LA. "Household income and net worth." Handbook of Entrepreneurial Dynamics: The Process of Business Creation. January 1, 2004. 49-61. Full Text

Keister, LA. "Wealth Distribution." Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology. Routledge, 2004.

Keister, LA, and Moller, S. "Wealth Inequality in the United States." New Developments in Economic Sociology. Ed. R Swedberg. Elgar Publishing, 2004.

Keister, LA. "Wealth Inequality." Encyclopedia of Social Issues. M.E. Sharpe, 2003.


Keister, LA, Benton, R, and Moody, J. "Lifestyles through Expenditures: A Case-Based Approach to Saving." Sociological science 3 (January 2016): 650-684. Full Text Open Access Copy

Freeland, RE, and Keister, LA. "How Does Race and Ethnicity Affect Persistence in Immature Ventures?." Journal of Small Business Management 54.1 (January 2016): 210-228. Full Text Open Access Copy

Keister, LA, Vallejo, JA, and Borelli, EP. "Mexican American Mobility: Early Life Processes and Adult Wealth Ownership." Social Forces 93.3 (March 1, 2015): 1015-1046. Full Text Open Access Copy

Keister, LA, and Eagle, D. "Religion and Inequality: The Role of Status Attainment and Social Balance Processes (In preparation)." Social Theory and Research 4.1 (2015): 41-74.

Keister, LA. "The One Percent." Annual Review of Sociology 40.1 (July 30, 2014): 347-367. Full Text Open Access Copy

Keister, LA, and Lee, HY. "The One Percent: Wealth and Income Concentration." Sociological Currents (March 2014). (Academic Article)

Keister, LA, and Lee, HY. "The one percent: Top incomes and wealth in sociological research." Social Currents 1.1 (January 1, 2014): 13-24. Full Text

Keister, LA, and Borelli, EP. "Market transition: An assessment of the state of the field." Sociological Perspectives 55.2 (June 1, 2012): 267-294. (Review) Full Text Open Access Copy


Keister, LA. "Is the Estate Tax a Modern Robin Hood?." The American Prospect (May 2001): 13-14. (Academic Article)

Keister, LA. "China’s Financial Market and the Asian Crisis." University of Michigan Center for Society and Economy Policy Newsletter 1 (2001). (Academic Article)

Keister, LA. "Friend or Foe? Business Groups During China's Economic Development." Chinese Business History (2001). (Essay)

Keister, LA. "Attitudes toward Inequality." New York Times Opinion Pages. (Editorial Comment)