Events

Workshop on Theory, Prediction, and Confirmation

The Center for the Study of Economy and Society is sponsoring a workshop on Theory, Prediction, and Confirmation on Saturday, February 10th at the ILR Conference Center in New York City and via Zoom. A reception and dinner will follow. The complete program for the workshop can be found here.

Participants

  • Delia Baldassarri, New York University
  • Yang Cao, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Karen Cook, Stanford University
  • Daniel DellaPosta, Penn State University
  • Paul DiMaggio, New York University
  • Diego Gambetta, Collegio Carlo Alberto
  • Hakan J. Holm, Lund University School of Economics and Business
  • Siegwart Lindenberg, Universitiy of Tilburg
  • Michael Macy, Cornell University
  • Barnaby Marsh, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Victor Nee, Cornell University
  • Barum Park, Cornell University
  • Arnout van de Rijt, European University Institute
  • Sirui Wang, McKinsey Consulting and Fellow of CSES
Lecture Series

David John Frank, UC Irvine

David John Frank (UC Irvine) joins the Center for the Study of Economy and Society for an in-person talk on his latest work on Friday, May 5th between 3:00 – 4:15pm in Uris Hall G08.  Details of the talk will be shared in the coming weeks.

Lecture Series

Frank Dobbin, Harvard University

Frank Dobbin joins the Center for the Study of Economy and Society for an in-person talk on his latest work at 3:00pm on Thursday, April 20th.  Details and the location of the talk will be announced in the coming weeks.

Lecture Series

James Evans, University of Chicago

Designing Diversity for Sustained Innovation

Abstract

The wisdom of crowds hinges on the independence and diversity of their members’ information and approach. Here I explore how the wisdom of scientific, technological, business, and civic crowds for sustained discovery, invention, and cooperation operate through a process of collective abduction wherein unexpected findings or conflicts stimulate innovators to forge new insights to make the surprising unsurprising. Drawing on tens of millions of research papers and patents across the life sciences, physical sciences and inventions, as also interactions between diverse collaborating groups, I show that surprising designs and discoveries are the best predictor of outsized success and that surprising advances systematically emerge across, rather than within researchers or teams; most commonly when innovators from one field surprisingly publish or share problem-solving results to an audience in a distant and diverse other. This relates to other research I summarize that shows how across innovators, teams and fields, connection and conformity is associated with reduced replication and impeded innovation. Using these principles, I simulate processes of knowledge search to demonstrate the relationship between crowded fields and constrained collective inferences, and I illustrate how inverting the traditional approach to artificial intelligence approach, to avoid rather than mimic human search, enables the design of diversity that systematically violates established field boundaries and is associated with marked success of predicted innovations. I conclude with a discussion of prospects and challenges in a connected age for sustainable innovation through the design and preservation of difference in science and society.

About the Speaker

James Evans is the Max Palevksy Professor of Sociology, Director of Knowledge Lab, and Founding Faculty Director of Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago and the Santa Fe Institute. Evans‘ research uses large-scale data, machine learning and generative models to understand how collectives think and what they know. This involves inquiry into the emergence of ideas, shared patterns of reasoning, and processes of attention, communication, agreement, and certainty. Thinking and knowing collectives like science, Wikipedia or the Web involve complex networks of diverse human and machine intelligences, collaborating and competing to achieve overlapping aims. Evans‘ work connects the interaction of these agents with the knowledge they produce and its value for themselves and the system.

Evans designs observatories for understanding that fuse data from text, images and other sensors with results from interactive crowd sourcing and online experiments. Much of Evans‘ work has investigated modern science and technology to identify collective biases, generate new leads taking these into account, and imagine alternative discovery regimes. He has identified R&D institutions that generate more and less novelty, precision, density and robustness. Evans also explores thinking and knowing in other domains ranging from political ideology and misinformation to popular culture. His work has been published in Nature, Science, PNAS, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology and many other top social and computer science outlets.

5th Future of the Social Sciences Conference

February 25th, 2023

The Center for the Study of Economy and Society hosted its 5th “Future of the Social Sciences” conference on Saturday, February 25th in New York City. The series brings together like-minded social scientists for cross-disciplinary discussion about new work and trends that may influence the direction of the social sciences.

At this year’s conference, we explored new work on the exchange between the humanities and social science on the mind and AI, theory and prediction of the middle range, experiments in the social sciences, cumulative advantage and the Matthews Effect, immigration and climate change, novel methods of studying the dynamics of behavioral traces and multiple triangulation in the study of social behavior.

Videos of the presentations will be shared on our YouTube channel in the weeks following the event.  A complete program can be found here and a list of participants below:

Presenters

  • Laurent Dubreuil, Professor of Comparative Literature, Romance Studies and Cognitive Science, Cornell University
  • Delia Baldassarri, CSES Fellow; Professor of Sociology, New York University
  • Filiz Garip, CSES Fellow; Professor of Sociology, Princeton University
  • Victor Nee, CSES Fellow; the Frank and Rosa Rhodes Professor of Economic Sociology, and CSES Director (on sabbatical leave from Cornell University 2022-23)
  • John Padgett, CSES Fellow; Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
  • David Strang, Professor of Sociology and CSES Acting Director 2022-23, Cornell University
  • Arnout van de Rijt, CSES Fellow; Professor of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute, Florence
  • Sirui Wang, Graduate Student, Wharton School and McKinsey Consulting
  • Duncan Watts, CSES Fellow; the Stevens University Professor and twenty-third Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • Cristobal Young, Associate Professor of Sociology, Cornell University

CSES Fellows

  • Paul DiMaggio, Professor of Sociology, New York University
  • Barnaby Marsh, Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University

Participants

  • Brett de Bary, Professor of Comparative Literature, Modern Japanese Literature and Asian Studies, Emerita, Cornell University
  • Maurizio Catino, Professor of Sociology, University of Milano-Bicocca
  • Laurent Ferri, Curator and Adjunct Associate Professor, Cornell University
  • Barum Park, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Cornell University
  • Patricia Young, Program Manager, Institute for European Studies, Cornell University
Lecture Series

Siegwart Lindenberg, Tilburg University

Calibrating competition. The special role of competitive intensity and winner selection rule for cooperation after competing.

Register here for online access.

Join CSES for a virtual presentation by Siegwart Lindenberg, Professor of Cognitive Sociology at Tilburg University, as he discusses his latest paper, “Calibrating competition. The special role of competitive intensity and winner selection rule for cooperation after competing. An experimental study.”

Abstract

Much has been written about the desirability to combine the advantages of both competition and cooperation (“coopetition”). Yet, there is surprisingly little research on coopetition inside organizations, even though it may be argued that people’s mindset that is relevant for coopetition even between firms is largely formed on the basis of their experience with competition and cooperation inside the organization. How and under what conditions does the experience of competition negatively affect subsequent cooperation and when does it not have this negative influence? We present an experimental test of two competing theories about experiencing competition of different intensities, the subsequent willingness to cooperate, and the moderating role of how winners are selected: a relative deprivation theory (cooperation compromised by the frustration of losers) and a shifting salience theory (cooperation compromised by regimes that make competitiveness salient). The results favor the shifting salience theory. Experiencing moderate competition intensity affects people’s subsequent willingness to cooperate more positively than experiencing fierce competition. Moderate competition intensity works best, especially with selecting winners on the basis of their performance. If fierce competition cannot be avoided, subsequent cooperation is best served by random selection of winners.

Lecture Series

The American State in a Multipolar World: Samuel Moyn

Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War

Overview

Making war cleaner has made it endless. Samuel Moyn, Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale University, examines the origins of ‘humane’ warfare and argues that its embrace by policymakers has led to the justification of U.S. involvement in armed conflict across the world.

Join the Center for the Study of Economy & Society for the fourth installment of its lecture series on “The American State in a Multipolar World,” featuring distinguished scholars and public intellectuals Francis Fukuyama, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Joseph Nye, Samuel Moyn, and Theda Skocpol, as they discuss the future of American foreign policy.

About the Speaker

Samuel Moyn is Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and Professor of History at Yale University.  He received his PhD in modern European history from the University of California at Berkeley and his JD from Harvard University.  Before joining the faculty of Yale, he was the James Bryce Professor of European Legal History at Columbia University and the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Professor of History at Harvard University.  He is the author of several books on European intellectual and human rights history including, among others, Christian Human Rights (2015), Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World (2018), and Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War (2021).  His research spans legal scholarship in international law, human rights, the law of war, and legal thought as well as the intellectual history of twentieth-century European moral and political theory.

Lecture Series

The American State in a Multipolar World: Andrew Bacevich

A New Security Paradigm

Overview

What role should the United States play in an increasingly multipolar international order?  Should it continue to play the role of international policeman or should it cede influence to rising powers and focus on domestic problems? Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University, takes up the challenge posed by U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century to propose a new security paradigm, one that prioritizes the security and wellbeing of the American people where they live.

Join the Center for the Study of Economy & Society for the fifth installment of its 2021-2022 lecture series, “The American State in a Multipolar World,” featuring distinguished world experts, Francis Fukuyama, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Joseph Nye, Samuel Moyn, and Andrew J. Bacevich, as they discuss the future of American foreign policy and the threat of a new Cold War.

What You’ll Learn

  • An alternative view on the future of American hegemony from a leading expert on U.S. foreign policy
  • How the U.S. can achieve security without sacrificing its moral center
  • Key challenges to global peace and cooperation and how to navigate them

About the Speaker

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University and President and Chairman of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and a retired U.S. army colonel, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he was a professor at West Point and Johns Hopkins. Bacevich was a 2004 Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and has held fellowships at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and the Council on Foreign Affairs in Washington, D.C. He is the author of numerous books on U.S. foreign policy, including most recently, After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed (2021), The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory (2020), and America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History (2016).

Lecture Series

The American State in a Multipolar World: Jeffrey Sachs

A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism

Overview

What does the end of “The American Century” mean for U.S. foreign policy and global cooperation? How can the goals of sustainable development help move us towards a more equitable society? Jeffrey D. Sachs, a world-renowned expert on economic development, considers the failures of American exceptionalism and lays out a vision of how technological dynamism and global cooperation can secure a better future for the United States and for the world.

Join the Center for the Study of Economy & Society for the third installment of its fall lecture series, “The American State in a Multipolar World,” featuring distinguished world experts, Francis Fukuyama, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Joseph Nye, and Andrew J. Bacevich, as they discuss the future of American foreign policy and the threat of a new Cold War.

What You’ll Learn

  • How the goals of sustainable development promote a more equitable society
  • The role of American exceptionalism in threatening international peace
  • How a U.S.-China Cold War would threaten global cooperation on climate action

About the Speaker

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is also President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. He has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary General António Guterres. He spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. He has authored numerous bestseller books. His most recent book is The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020). Sachs was twice named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and was ranked by The Economist among the top three most influential living economists.

Lecture Series

The American State in a Multipolar World: Joseph Nye

The Future of U.S.-China Relations

Overview

Will the rise of China lead to conflict with the United States? Or is cooperation still possible in the current political order? Joseph S. Nye, Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus and former Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, offers a fresh perspective on the future of U.S.-China relations, suggesting that cooperative rivalry offers a path to preventing conflict and solving crises.

Join the Center for the Study of Economy & Society for the second installment of its fall lecture series, “The American State in a Multipolar World,” featuring distinguished world experts, Francis Fukuyama, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Joseph Nye, and Andrew J. Bacevich, as they discuss the future of American foreign policy and the threat of a new Cold War.

What You’ll Learn

  • Whether geopolitical rivalry prevents cooperation
  • How empowering others helps nations achieve their own goals
  • The key challenges facing the international community in the 21st century

About the Speaker

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Is University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus and former Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He has previously served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy.  He has written extensively on U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy and was named as one of the top 100 Global Thinkers in 2011 by Foreign Policy.  His most recent books are Do Morals Matter? (2019), Is the American Century Over? (2015), and Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era (2013).

Lecture Series

The American State in a Multipolar World: Francis Fukuyama

Covid, Climate and the Coming Challenges to Global Democracy

Overview

What do two ongoing crises, the COVID-19 pandemic and the global climate emergency, mean for the future of global democracy and cooperation? Will liberal democracies rise to the challenge? Or will a resurgence of fascism prevent collective action? Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University, examines the key issues faced by the contemporary international order and delivers a prognosis based on the coming challenges to global democracy.

Join the Center for the Study of Economy & Society for the inaugural lecture by Francis Fukuyama of a new series, “The American State in a Multipolar World.” The series features distinguished scholars and public intellectuals: Francis Fukuyama, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Joseph Nye Jr., and Andrew J. Bacevich as they discuss the issues and choices facing the American state in a multipolar global economy and shifting world system. Does maintaining American democracy rely on American hegemony? Is a new Cold War compatible with the priorities of climate change and the COVID pandemic, which require inter-state cooperation?

What You’ll Learn

  • The challenges faced by liberal democracies in the years ahead
  • What lessons we should draw from the COVID-19 pandemic in addressing climate change
  • How we should respond to emerging threats to global peace and cooperation

About the Speaker

Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Mosbacher Director of FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and Director of Stanford’s Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy. He received his B.A. from Cornell University in classics and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He has written extensively on issues in development and international politics. His influential book, The End of History and the Last Man (1992), has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. Before joining Stanford, he has served as a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation, on the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. State Department, as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics between 2001-2004, and has taught at George Mason University and Johns Hopkins. His most recent book is Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018).

Lecture Series

Delia Baldassarri, NYU

Between in-group selection and economic interdependence: Field experiments on prosocial behavior in a multiethnic society
Baldassarri poster

How does prosocial behavior extend beyond in-group boundaries in multiethnic societies? Recent waves of immigration in Western societies have led scholars to conclude that ethnic heterogeneity undermines trust, social capital, and collective goods provision. However, the type of prosociality that helps heterogeneous societies function is different from the in-group solidarity that glues homogeneous communities together. The interdependence and division of labor of life in contemporary urban settings often forces people outside the comfort zones of their familiar networks to constructively interact with unknown, diverse others. Using a large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment with representative sample of Italian natives and immigrants from the metropolitan city of Milan, we study behavior toward coethnics and non-coethnics in strategic and non-strategic interactions. We find that when given the opportunity to select their interaction partners, Italians favor coethnics over immigrants. However, when forced to interact with non-coethnics, as it happens in many economic transactions, Italians generally treat them similarly to how they treat coethnics. They also value signs of social and market integration. Taken together, these results contribute to make sense of the persistence of discriminatory behavior toward minorities in selection processes, as well as confirm contact theory intuition that interaction with outgroup members, especially when individuals have common goals and equal status in the interaction, is likely to foster prosociality.

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“[T]he challenge is to specify and explicate the social mechanisms determining the relationship between the informal social organization of close-knit groups and the formal rules of institutional structures.”— Victor Nee