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, Lisa A., and Victor Nee. “The Rational Peasant in China: Flexible Adaptation, Diversified Risks, and Market Opportunity.” Rationality and Society 13 (2001): 33–69.

Keister, L. A., and S. Moller. “Wealth inequality in the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology 26 (January 1, 2000): 63–81. Full Text

Keister, Lisa A. “Chinese Business Groups: The Role of Conglomerates in the Remaking of China’s Economy.” Journal of Business in Developing Nations 4 (2000).

Keister, Lisa A. “Family Structure, Race, and Wealth Ownership.” The Jerome Levy Economics Institute Bulletin, 2000.

Keister, Lisa A. “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.

Keister, Lisa A. “Social Ties and the Formation of Chinese Business Groups.” Sociological Analysis 1 (1998): 99–118.

Clarke, Graham, Steven Caldwell, and Lisa A. Keister. “Modeling Regional Changes in US Household Income and Wealth.” Environment and Planning C 16 (1998): 707–22.

Keister, L. A. “Engineering growth: Business group structure and firm performance in China's transition economy.” American Journal of Sociology 104, no. 2 (January 1, 1998): 404–40. Full Text