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  • Economic Sociology Seminars

    Seminars take place on Wednesdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Seminars at MIT meet in E62-350.

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    Date Event Location
    February 7, 2018 Donald Tomaskovic-Devey - Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts

    Producing Inequalities: The workplace generation of earnings inequalities in thirteen high income countries

    HU - 1550 William James Hall
    February 14, 2018 Jonathan Levy - Professor of US History, Fundamentals, and the College, University of Chicago
    Instability and Inequality: The Volcker Shock and American Capitalism after 1980
    HU - 1550 William James Hall
    February 21, 2018 Adam Kleinbaum - Associate Professor in the Strategy and Management, Tuck School of Business
    Language Style Similarity and Friendship Networks
    MIT - E62-350
    February 28, 2018 Mary Hunter McDonnell – Assistant Professor of Management, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

    Take a Stand or Keep your Seat: Board turnover after SocialMovement Challenges

    MIT - E62-350
    March 7, 2018 Markus A. Höllerer - Professor in the Department of Management and Head of the Institute for Public Management and Governance at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business; Professor in Organization Theory at UNSW Business School, Sydney
    Opportunity and/or Challenge for Societies?Exploring Heterogeneity in Public Governance Strategies for the Sharing Economy
    HU - 1550 William James Hall
    April 4, 2018 Mary Ann Glynn -Joseph F. Cotter Professor, Management & Organization Department, Carroll School of Management - Director of Research, Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics - Boston College HU - 1550 William James Hall
    April 11, 2018 Martin Ruef - Duke

    Jim Crow and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis

    Since the economist John Kain firstformulated the spatial mismatch hypothesis (SMH), a robust body of socialscience research has investigated the consequences of geographic disparitiesbetween black residential locations and potential opportunities for employment.  Focusing on U.S. urban areas between the 1960sand the present, studies have produced equivocal evidence on the implicationsof spatial mismatch for black employment. In this presentation, we argue that the mixed evidence may result from amisspecification in both the historical time period and mechanisms wherebyspatial mismatch affects black employment opportunities.  We show that national declines in blackemployment and labor force participation, particularly among black women, wereespecially pronounced in the Jim Crow era (1880s-mid 1960s), rather than thepost-industrial era (1960s to present) in which the SMH has generally beentested.  We then investigate the extentto which the SMH should be formulated as a commuting problem, involving thedifficulties that blacks face in reaching non-residential sites of employment,or a problem of residential ecology, in which blacks who do not live near whiteneighbors and entrepreneurs are less likely to obtain jobs.  Analysis of census micro-data between 1910and 1970 suggests that residential segregation provides the most consistentaccount of black-white employment gaps, insofar as employment under Jim Crowsuffered when black housing was separated from the homes of business owners andwork opportunities in residential locales. Both findings point to a more sociological version of the spatialmismatch hypothesis, in which black underemployment is a consequence of theexclusion of blacks from neighborhood referral networks and domestic spaces,rather than commuting costs.

    MIT - E62-350
    April 18, 2018 Francisco Ramirez - Professor, Graduate School of Education - Professor of Sociology - Stanford University HU - 1550 William James Hall
    April 25, 2018 Mabel Abraham - Columbia

    The Importance ofGender-Mission Congruence in Shaping the Applicant Pool: Field ExperimentalEvidence

    Abstract:
    Labormarket scholars have made recent calls for moving beyond demand-sideexplanations for observed labor market outcomes and for uncovering supply-sideprocesses. Some recent work in the vein suggests that job seeker preferencesmay lead certain subsets of job seekers to apply to some jobs over others.While it is plausible that job-seeker decisions and preferences are shaped bydemand-side factors, we have a limited understanding of how these processesinteract. In this study, we examine how easily observable characteristics ofpotential employers—namely gender composition and mission—contribute to shapingthe applicant pool. Specifically, since these firm characteristics coexist andsocial mission is commonly understood to be female-typed, we examine how thesecharacteristics interact in influencing prospective employees apply forjobs.  Addressing this research question poses a key empirical challenge:It is necessary to observe not only those who do apply to a job, but also therisk pool of those would could have applied. We address this challengeusing a unique field experimental design and find that congruence between firmgender composition and mission is a key predictor of whether prospectiveapplicants apply for an otherwise identical job opportunity.

    MIT - E62-350
    May 2, 2018 Özgecan Koçak - Associate Professor of Organization & Management, Emory University

    Social structure andCommunication codes

    Agentswho intend to collaborate need to share concepts and labels for those concepts- what Arrow (1974) called communication codes. Such codes form the basis oftechnical languages and categories, organizational cultures, and implicitcontracts. An established research program uses laboratory experiments toexamine the emergence of codes in dyads. We extend this research totriples and manipulate triadic structures to investigate how communicationstructure impacts the process of code emergence. We find that groupsinteracting within transitive triads are slower than groups interacting withincyclical triads in early rounds of games but that they later catch up.Moreover, there is greater variance in performance of transitive groups. Weidentify some potential sources of this variability and theorize about how thedifferent structures give rise to differences in the process of code emergenceand some characteristics of the emergent code.

     Keywords:communication codes, conceptual pacts, coordination games, social structure
    MIT - E62-350
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