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

Keister, L. A. “Wealth Inequality.” Georgetown Law Journal, 2009.

Keister, Lisa A., and Wenhong Chen. “Financial Markets during Transition.” The Encyclopedia of Modern China, 2009.

McGrath, D. M., and L. A. Keister. “The effect of temporary employment on asset accumulation processes.” Work and Occupations 35, no. 2 (May 1, 2008): 196–222. Full Text

Keister, L. A. “Conservative protestants and wealth: How religion perpetuates asset poverty.” American Journal of Sociology 113, no. 5 (March 1, 2008): 1237–71. Full Text

Keister, Lisa A. “Value clusters and Inequality,” 2008.

Keister, L. A. “Upward wealth mobility: Exploring the Roman Catholic advantage.” Social Forces 85, no. 3 (March 1, 2007): 1195–1225. Full Text

Keister, Lisa A., and Donald McGrath. “Nonstandard Workers and Asset Accumulation.” Work and Occupations, 2007.