• About

    I'm an Economic Sociologist studying the offshore financial system and the professionals who run it. My research addresses inequality, both political and economic, as well as globalization and the professions.

    Who creates change in markets and other financial institutions? I'm interested in how things get done--what social actors actually do in their daily lives--and how that aggregates to the macro-level of financial markets, culture and political institutions. My work intersects with the literatures of political economy, anthropology, social psychology and behavioral finance.

    Since 2007, I've focused on the offshore financial system, which I studied from the inside after spending two years earning a wealth management credential; that was followed by six more years traveling to every region of the world, interviewing and interacting with practitioners in 18 offshore centers. The findings of my ethnographic research contribute to the literatures on inequality, political economy and the professions. The book and articles that emerged from this ongoing study are linked below.


    Previously, my research examined the effects of deception and fraud in financial markets, as well as the impact of diversity on the performance and decision-making processes of investment groups.

  • Books

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    2016, Harvard University Press

    Read the Symposium on the book published in Socio-Economic Review 17 (2): 461-470

  • "Law is reason, free from passion."



  • Scholarly Articles

    Secrecy, Simmel & the New Sociology of Wealth

    2021, Sociologica 15 (2): 143 - 152

    Why Do People Pay Taxes?
    Explaining Tax Compliance By Individuals

    2021, Pp. 356-374 in Handbook on the Politics of Taxation, Lukas Hakelberg and Laura Seelkopf (Eds.), Edward Elgar; with Alice Guerra



    Transnational Professionals

    2020, Annual Review of Sociology 46: 399 - 417; with Leonard Seabrooke

    Turning Vice Into Virtue:
    Institutional Work & Professional Misconduct

    2019, Human Relations, 72 (9): 1464-1496

    Between Kinship & Commerce:
    Fiduciaries & the Institutional Logic of Family Firms

    2018, Family Business Review, 31 (4): 417-440; with Vanessa Strike

    Attitude-Behavior Consistency in Tax Compliance:
    A Cross-National Comparison

    2018, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 156: 184-205; with Alice Guerra

    Trusts & Financialization

    2017, "Socio-Economic Review, 15 (1): 31-63

    Habitus & the Labor of Representation Among Elite Professionals

    2017, Journal of Professions and Organization, 4: 282-301

    Fraud & Fantasy: Toward a New Research Agenda for Economic Sociology

    2017, Socio-Economic Review, 15 (1): 249-255

    Studying Elite Professionals in Transnational Settings

    2017, Pp. 39-49 in Professional Networks in Transnational Governance, Leonard Seabrooke and Lasse Folke Henriksen (Eds.), Cambridge University Press

    Social Structure, Power & Financial Fraud

    2016, Pp. 340-355 in The Global Financial Crisis: Economics, Psychology and Values, Tassos Malliaris, Leslie Shaw and Hersh Shefrin (Eds.), Oxford University Press

    Going Global: Professionals & the Microfoundations of Institutional Change

    2015, Journal of Professions and Organization, 2 (2): 103-121

    Immersion Ethnography of Elites

    2015, Pp. 134-142 in Handbook of Qualitative Organizational Research, Kim Elsbach and Roderick Kramer (Eds.), Routledge

    The Companies We Keep: From Legitimacy to Reputation in Retail Investment

    2014, Socio-Economic Review, 12: 186-195

    States & Financial Crises

    2013, Pp. 267-282 in Introduction to Political Sociology, Benedikte Brincker (Ed.), Gyldendal Akademisk

    Trust & Estate Planning: A Profession & Its Contribution to Socio-Economic Inequality

    2012, Sociological Forum, 27 (4): 825-846

    Scenes from a Power Struggle: The Rise of Retail Investors in the US Stock Market

    2012, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 34: 231-258

    From Trustees to Wealth Managers

    2012, Pp. 190-209 in Inherited Wealth, Justice & Equality, Guido Erreygers and John Cunliffe (Eds.), Routledge

    Shame & Stock Market Losses:
    The Case of Amateur Investors in the US

    2012, Pp. 81-98 in Emotions in Finance, Jocelyn Pixley (Ed.), Routledge

    The Sociology of Financial Fraud

    2012, Pp. 393-410 in The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Finance, Karin Knorr-Cetina and Alex Preda (Eds.), Oxford University Press

    Politics in the Public Sphere: The Power of Tiny Publics in Classical Sociology

    2008, Sociologica, 1/2008: 1-20; with Gary Fine

    Can Small Investors Survive Social Security Privatization?

    2007, Pp. 308-13 in David Canon, John Coleman and Kenneth Mayer (Eds.), Faultlines: Debating the Issues in American Politics, W.W. Norton

    Where the Action Is:
    Small Groups & Contemporary Sociological Theory

    2006, Small Group Research, 37 (1): 1-16; with Gary Fine

    Tiny Publics: Small Groups & Civil Society

    2004, Sociological Theory, 22 (3): 341-356; with Gary Fine

    The Social Psychology of Access in Ethnographic Research

    2003, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 32 (5): 592-625

    The Pervasive Effects of Network Content

    2002, Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, 50: 1-6

    Obtrusiveness as Strategy in Ethnographic Research

    2002, Qualitative Sociology, 25 (1): 49-61

    Organizational Performance & Corporate Social Capital

    2001, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 18: 83-106

    Opening the ‘Black Box:’
    Small Groups & 21st Century Sociology

    2000, Social Psychology Quarterly, 63 (4): 312-323; with Gary Fine

  • "Law is reason, free from passion."



  • Media

    Secrecy, Simmel, and the New Sociology of Wealth

    2021, Sociologica 15 (2): 143 - 152

    Transnational Professionals

    2020, Annual Review of Sociology 46: 399 - 417

  • "Law is reason, free from passion."