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2013 14 Seminar Series

Seminar Series

2013-14 Institutions, Market Processes, and the Firm Seminar Series: Jason Greenberg, NYU Stern

A Matter of (Relational) Style: Loan Officer Coherence and Consistency in Contract Enforcement in Microfinance

Please join us for our next IMPF Seminar Series on November 14th, 2013 at Cornell University from 4:30 to 6PM in the Uris Hall 302. Jason Greenberg will present his research “A Matter of (Relational) Style: Loan Officer Coherence and Consistency in Contract Enforcement in Microfinance.”

Abstract

Social scientists have long considered what mechanisms underlie repeated exchange. Three mechanisms have garnered the majority of this attention: Formal contracts, relational contracts, and embedded social ties. Although each mechanism has its virtues, all three exhibit a common limitation: An inability to fully explain the continuation of inter-temporal exchange between individuals and organizations in the face of change. Drawing on extensive quantitative data on approximately 450,000 microfinance loans made by an MFI in Mexico from 2004 -2008 that include random assignment of loan officers, this research proposes the concept of “relational styles” to help explain how repeated exchange is possible in the face of change. We define relational styles as systematically reoccurring patterns of interaction employed by social actors within and across exchange relationships–in this paper, between microfinance clients and loan officers. Findings support our arguments that social actors care about the relational styles of their counterparties in an exchange. More specifically, we show that relational styles that are coherent facilitate a clear understanding of expectations and thus exchange. We also demonstrate that consistency in the relational styles followed by successive exchange counterparties mitigates the negative impact of change, like a broken personal tie. Theoretical implications and extensions are discussed.

About

Professor Greenberg’s research focuses on economic and organizational sociology, social networks and entrepreneurship. His dissertation work investigates how social networks have a bearing on the structure, functioning and performance of entrepreneurial founding teams. This work has received awards from the Kauffman Foundation, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the Academy of Management and the National Federation of Independent Business. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Professor Greenberg was a research fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University and a research fellow at the Departments of Computer Science and Political Science at Northeastern University.  Additionally, he has worked as a specialist clerk on the floor of the American Stock Exchange, and as a management consultant specializing in organization and employee research for global and local companies such as Agilent Technologies, American Express, AstraZeneca, Bank of America, Boeing, CSX and IBM, among others.  He has also advised several start-ups with organizational, strategic and human capital issues, and helped found and manage several family-owned businesses. Professor Greenberg received his B.A. from SUNY Binghamton, his M.A. from the University of Florida, his M.P.P. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Seminar Series

IMPF Seminar Series: Arnout van de Rijt, SUNY Stony Brook

Success Breeds Success: Evidence from InVivo Experiments

Please join us for our next IMPF Seminar Series event on October 3rd, 2013 at Cornell University from 4:30 to 6PM in the Physical Sciences Building, 401. Arnout van de Rijt will present his research “Success Breeds Success: Evidence from InVivo Experiments.”

Abstract

Successes tend to accrue to people who have been successful before. Two mechanisms can explain the relationship between past and present success. Pre-existing differentiation along fitness dimensions may repeatedly direct successes toward certain subpopulations. Alternatively, success may breed success through positive feedback. Observational studies have not been able to evidence the operation of a success-breeds-success mechanism because correlations between successes in longitudinal records may also be produced by unobserved fitness advantages. To overcome this problem of empirical confounding, we conducted randomized experiments by intervening in four live social systems across the domains of funding, status, social support, and reputation. In each system we consistently found that bestowed success upon arbitrarily selected recipients produced significant improvements in subsequent rates of success as compared to the control group of non-recipients. Experiments in which money was donated to random projects reveal that the average benefit of the treatment exceeded its cost, suggesting that under certain conditions investments may pay for themselves through the subsequent contributions they trigger, even when made in disregard of target quality.

About

Arnout van de Rijt is associate professor of sociology at SUNY Stony Brook University. Arnout’s work on social networks focuses on linking emergent network structures to principles of relationship formation. For Arnout’s contributions to social network analysis he received the 2010 Freeman Award for Distinguished Junior Scholarship and several best article awards. His work on cumulative advantage explores novel empirical strategies for studying success-breeds-success dynamics in various tournaments for resources and status and is supported by the National Science Foundation through award #1340122. Arnout’s research has been published in American Sociological Review and American Journal of Sociology.

Seminar Series

2013-14 IMPF Seminar Series

The Institutions, Market Processes, and the Firm Seminar Series

Please join us for the 2013-14 Institutions, Market Processes and the Firm Seminar Series!

October 3rd, 2013, 4:30PM, Uris Hall 302

Arnout van de Rijt, Stony Brook

Success Breeds Success: Evidence from In Vivo Experiments

November 14th, 2013, 4:30PM, Uris Hall 302

Jason Greenberg, NYU Stern

A Matter of (Relational) Style: Loan Officer Coherence and Consistency in Contract Enforcement in Microfinance

“A hardhitting economic sociology would attempt to draw on the best of sociology and economics, and to unite interests and social relations in one and the same analysis.”— Richard Swedberg