Victor Nee is the Frank and Rosa Rhodes Professor in the Department of Sociology at Cornell and the Director of the Economic Sociology Lab. Nee’s current research interests in economic sociology examine the role of networks and norms in the emergence of economic institutions and organizations. He is working on an ongoing study of institutional change focusing on networks and norms of entrepreneurs and firms in the Yangzi delta region of China. Why and how did a modern capitalist economic order emerge in China? Where do economic institutions come from? The first publication, Capitalism from Below: Markets and Institutional Change (Harvard University Press 2012), details the theory and evidence explaining the emergence of the economic institutions of dynamic capitalism in China.
Nee’s longitudinal research on the rise of dynamic capitalism employs “mixed-methods” integrating a quantitative survey of private firms and CEOs (2006, 2009, 2012, 2016-17), face-to-face qualitative interviews and lab-in-the-field behavioral experiments. A series of papers co-authored with his graduate students and colleagues at Lund University are in progress drawing on the longitudinal data set to examine a broad range of problems in economic sociology. Articles to date include publications examining networks and economic performance (Nee, Liu and DellaPosta 2017), a theory of endogenous institutional change (DellaPosta, Nee and Opper 2017), the sources of trust in a low-trust society (Nee, Holm and Opper 2018), and cooperation in competitive markets (Nee 2018).
Nee has a new research program on the making of a knowledge-based regional economies in the United States (project website). The study examines the rise of a 21st century regional knowledge economy in New York City. Papers in progress examine the emergence of a division of knowledge, a network analysis of email threads of participants in the NY Tech Meetup.com, inter-generational mobility of tech entrepreneurs, and innovative activity and entrepreneurial action in the context of open access economic institutions.