Victor Nee

Sociologist,Professor and Author

Victor Nee is the Frank and Rosa Rhodes Professor of Economic Sociology at Cornell University and Director of the Center for the Study of Economy and Society.

Nee is an American sociologist and professor at Cornell University. Nee has written widely on the new institutionalism in economic and organizational sociology, immigration and assimilation, and inequality, including his books, Remaking the American Mainstream (with Richard Alba), Longtime Californ’ (with Brett de Bary), and Capitalism from Below (with Sonja Opper). His current research is focused on the emergence of new regional knowledge economies in the twenty-first century.

Nee was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2020. He was awarded an honorary degree in Economics by Lund University’s School of Economics and Management in 2013. He was a Fellow of John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2006-2007) and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1996-1997), and a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (1994-1995; 2015-2016). Nee is married to Brett de Bary and has two children.

Published Research

Recent Articles

Theory of Emergence: Knowledge, Rewiring and Innovation. (Victor Nee, Sirui Wang and Michael Macy). 2023. Social Science Research.

Cooperation with Strangers: Spillover of Community Norms. (Mario Molina, Victor Nee, Hakan Holm). 2022. Organization Science.

Emergence of Diverse and Specialized Knowledge in a Metropolitan Cluster. (Daniel DellaPosta and Victor Nee). 2020. Social Science Research 86:102377.

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Research Projects

The Making of New York City’s Tech Economy

Why did New York City, particularly Manhattan, experience such explosive growth in tech start-ups at the outset of a major economic downturn? To investigate this question, the Cornell Center for the Study of Economy and Society, embarked upon a groundbreaking study.

New York and Los Angeles technology community member networks on

Related Articles
field research
Field research
Published Research


Nee’s research interests and writing focus on middle range theories and their confirmation in economic sociology, new institutionalism, inequality and immigration.

Research Question
 What explains why so much extreme wealth is now being made across the global economy, and why is it growing fast, even during the pandemic? 

⸺ Victor Nee