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, and Deeb-Sossa, N. "Are Baby Boomers Richer Than Their Parents? Intergenerational Patterns of Wealth Ownership in the United States." Journal of Marriage and Family 63.2 (May 2001): 569-579. Full Text

Keister, LA, and Nee, VG. "THE RATIONAL PEASANT IN CHINA: FLEXIBLE ADAPTATION, RISK DIVERSIFICATION, AND OPPORTUNITY." Rationality and Society 13.1 (February 1, 2001): 33-69. Full Text

Keister, LA. "Exchange structures in transition: Lending and trade relations in Chinese business groups." American Sociological Review 66.3 (January 1, 2001): 336-360.

Keister, LA, and Nee, V. "The Rational Peasant in China: Flexible Adaptation, Diversified Risks, and Market Opportunity." Rationality and Society 13 (2001): 33-69. (Academic Article)

Keister, LA, and Moller, S. "Wealth Inequality in the United States." Annual Review of Sociology 26.1 (August 2000): 63-81. Full Text

Keister, LA. "Chinese Business Groups: The Role of Conglomerates in the Remaking of China’s Economy." Journal of Business in Developing Nations 4 (2000). (Academic Article)

Keister, LA. "Family Structure, Race, and Wealth Ownership." The Jerome Levy Economics Institute Bulletin (2000). (Academic Article)

Keister, LA. "Where Do Strong Ties Come From? A Dyad Analysis of the Strength of Interfirm Exchange Relations During China’s Economic Transition." International Journal of Organizational Analysis 7 (1999): 5-24. (Academic Article)

Keister, LA. "Engineering Growth: Business Group Structure and Firm Performance in China's Transition Economy." American Journal of Sociology 104.2 (September 1998): 404-440. Full Text