Lisa Keister

Gilhuly Family Distinguished Professor, Duke University

Areas of Interest

Economic sociology
Chinese economic transformation


PhD, Sociology, Cornell University,1997
MA, Sociology, Cornell University,1995
AB, Duke University,1989
Lisa Keister’s CV

Lisa Keister

Research Description

I am an economic sociologist who studies wealth inequality (particularly in the United States) and organizations (particularly in China). Both research agendas explore the emergence of social structure and the subsequent effect of social structure on the behaviors of actors. Some of my recent work has looked at the one percent of wealth owners, religion and inequality, immigrant wealth ownership, Chinese American attainment, and business networks in China. My work on wealth includes research into the growing concentration of wealth and the factors that affect wealth accumulation over the life course. For example, I have studied the role that contemporary work arrangements, religious affiliation, and immigration play in shaping wealth ownership and other SES outcomes. I also study business networks, including relations among firms in China and how these shape firm performance, survival, and structure.


Wealth in America by Lisa Keister

An exploration of trends in wealth ownership.

Faith and Money by Lisa Keister

A study of the relationship between religion and asset ownership.

Getting Rich by Lisa Keister

An investigation of wealth mobility. This book asks: can you move up in the wealth distribution?

Inequality by Lisa Keister

An inequality and stratification textbook.

Religion Work and Inequality by Lisa Keister

A collection of works on religion and inequality.

Religion and Inequality in America by Lisa Keister

A co-edited book with Darren Sherkat on religion and inequality in America.

Entrepreneurship by Lisa Keister

A collection of papers on entrepreneurship. Part of the Research in the Sociology of Work series.

Work and Organizations in China after Thirty Years of Transition by Lisa KeisterA collection of papers on China’s economic transition.