A top-10 graduate training program for over a decade

Economic sociology at Cornell has ranked as a top-10 graduate training program for over two decades. The U.S. News and World Report (2021) ranks Cornell’s graduate program in economic sociology top-6 among those of Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

gradaute students

The Department of Sociology at Cornell University offers graduate courses in economic sociology, the economic sociology of entrepreneurship, social network analysis, the new institutionalism, culture in economic sociology, and advanced graduate seminars. CSES plays an essential role in attracting and training the best of the next generation of scholars in a number of subfields related to the study of economy and society. At the Center, graduate students are welcomed into a collaborative group of economic sociologists and given ample opportunity to work with faculty members on sponsored research projects.


The Economic Sociology Lab, directed by Victor Nee, seeks to provide training in theory construction linked to empirical research. The Lab’s research projects employs an advanced mixed methods approach in the study of economic action. Its strategic research sites include New York City’s regional knowledge economy, where the Lab has conducted survey research of a large sample of tech entrepreneurs, in depth face-to-face interviews and big data. The Economic Sociology Lab offers mini-grants to lab members for collaborative research in economic sociology and organizations. The mini-grants are given directly to lab members and can be applied for again in subsequent years—the application is based on a peer review process. The Lab also provides opportunity to serve as graduate research assistant on on-going research projects. Advanced undergraduate and graduate students can take the Economic Sociology Lab for course credit.

Working Groups

Graduate students play an active role in the daily life of the CSES. For example, each working group has a graduate student intern who works closely with the group’s faculty coordinator(s). They are strongly encouraged to present papers at the working group meetings and to contribute articles.

Job Market

Historically, graduate students that have been trained in economy and society at Cornell University have done well on the job market. For example, the following is a list of former Ph.D. students at Cornell University who were trained in economic sociology, organizations, and network analysis:

Lisha Liu (2021)

  • Assistant Professor of Organization
  • Antai School of Business, Jiaotung University, Shanghai

Mario Molina (2019)

  • Post-doctoral Fellow
  • New York University, Abu Dhabi

Michael Siemon (2018)

  • Data Scientist
  • Albeado.com, Santa Clara, California

Lucas Drouhot (2018)

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • University of Utrecht, the Netherlands

Yujin Oh (2017)

  • Assistant Dean of Advising
  • College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University

Hilary Holbrow (2017)

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology of Japan
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Daniel Della Posta (2017)

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Penn State University

Scott Golder (2017)

  • Senior Manager, Data Scientist
  • Capital One

Christopher B. Yenkey (2011)

  • Assistant Professor
  • University of South Carolina, Business School

Li Mary Ma (2010)

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Tongji University, Shanghai

Yujun Wang (2010)

  • Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Renmin University, Beijing

Mark Dodd Jacobs (2009)

  • Assistant Professor
  • Business School, Renmin University, Beijing

Douglas Savitsky (2009)

  • Lecturer
  • Department of Economics, University of Connecticut

John Calvin Scott (2008)

  • Director
  • Pew Charitable Trusts, Severna Park, MD

Ed Carberry (2008)

  • Assistant Professor, Business-Society Management
  • Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Ko Kuwabara (2007)

  • Assistant Professor
  • Graduate School of Business, Columbia University

Min-Dong Paul Lee (2007)

  • Associate Professor
  • College of Business, University of South Florida

Arnout van de Rijt (2007)

  • Professor
  • Department of Sociology, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Damon Centola (2006)

  • Assistant Professor
  • MIT’s Sloan School of Management

Zhilin Liu (2006)

  • Associate Professor
  • School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University

Erik Volz (2006)

  • Researcher
  • Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan

Wubiao Zhou (2006)

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Sociology, Nanyan Technological University

Joy Pixley (2002)

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Sociology, University of California at Irvine

Brent Simpson (2001)

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina

James Kitts (2001)

  • Assistant Professor
  • Graduate School of Business, Columbia University

Pawan Dhingra (2001)

  • Professor and Chair
  • Department of Sociology, Oberlin College

Yang Cao (1999)

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Sociology, UNC – Charlotte

Rebecca Matthews (1998)

  • Analyst
  • US Bureau of Census

Duncan Watts (1997)

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Sociology, Columbia University

Lisa Keister (1997)

  • Professor and Director of Markets and Management Studies
  • Department of Sociology, Duke University

Sarah Soule (1995)

  • Professor
  • Stanford Business School, Stanford University

 Raymond Liedka (1995)

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Oakland University

Paul Ingram (1995)

  • Associate Professor
  • Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
citation engraving
“[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