Lisa A. Keister

Lisa A. Keister

Gilhuly Family 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

Keister, LA. "Wealth Distribution." Great Divides: Readings in Social Inequality. McGraw-Hill Companies, 2003.

Keister, LA. "Wealth Distribution." Poverty and Social Welfare in America: An Encyclopedia. Ed. G Mink and AO Connor. 2002.

Keister, LA. "Wealth Inequality." Inequalities and Societies Reader. W. W. Norton and Company, 2002.

Keister, LA. "Guanxi in Business Groups: Social Ties and the Formation of Economic Relations." Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture, and the Changing Nature of Guanxi. Ed. TB Gold, D Guthrie, and D Wank. Cambridge University Press, 2002. 77-96.

Keister, LA. "Insider Lending and Economic Transition: The Structure, Function, and Performance Impact of Finance Companies in Chinese Business Groups." Managing Organizational Change in Transition Economies. Ed. D Dennison. University of Michigan Press, 2000.

Keister, LA, and Caldwell, S. "The Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S., 1962-1992: Estimates Using Dynamic Microsimulation." Microsimulation in Government Policy and Forecasting. Ed. A Gupta. Elsevier, 2000.

Caldwell, S, and Keister, L. "Wealth in America: Family Stock Ownership and Accumulation, 1960-1995." Microsimulation for Urban and Regional Policy Analysis. Ed. G Clarke. Pion, 1996.

Benton, R, Keister, LA, and Lee, HY. "Real Estate Holdings among the Super Rich (In preparation)." Cities and the Super Rich: Real Estate, Elite Practices, and Urban Political Economies. Ed. R Forrest, B Wissink, and SY Koh. Palgrave MacMillan. (Chapter)


Keister, LA. "Religion and Attainment." Sociological Focus 44 (February 2011): 354-83. (Academic Article) Open Access Copy

Keister, LA. "Business Groups in China." American Behavioral Scientist (2010). (Academic Article)

Keister, LA. "Organizational research on market transition: A sociological approach." ASIA PACIFIC JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT 26.4 (December 2009): 719-742. Full Text

Keister, LA. "Interfirm Relations in China Group Structure and Firm Performance in Business Groups." AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST 52.12 (August 2009): 1709-1730. Full Text

Keister, LA, and Zhang, Y. "Organizations and Management in China." ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT ANNALS 3 (2009): 377-420. Full Text

Keister, LA. "Wealth Inequality." Georgetown Law Journal (2009).

Keister, LA, and Chen, W. "Financial Markets during Transition." The Encyclopedia of Modern China (2009). (Academic Article)

McGrath, DM, and Keister, LA. "The effect of temporary employment on asset accumulation processes." WORK AND OCCUPATIONS 35.2 (May 2008): 196-222. Full Text

Keister, LA. "Conservative protestants and wealth: How religion perpetuates asset poverty." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY 113.5 (March 2008): 1237-1271. Full Text