Economic Sociology

My economic sociology resides at the intersection of economic globalization, networked forms of economic organization and comparative institutional analysis. Global production networks increasingly embed production in inter-firm relationships that do not necessarily include equity ownership of one firm by another firm. They challenge conventional organizational categories insofar as they are governed neither by formal bureaucratic authority or pure spot market or arms-length transactions. They also differ from the archetypical economic network because there are a range of mechanisms that reproduce these network forms over time. Theories of production network governance also challenge fundamental principles regarding the salience of national level determinants of economic organization. As networked models of industrial organization diffuse globally, the position of national economic actors in global economic networks becomes an increasingly important determinant of the form and content of economic organization at the level of the nation-state. Finally, as an increasingly large proportion of all economy activity (including services and finance) becomes embedded in global production networks, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand the causes of development and underdevelopment without considering they way in which local places link up with these networks.

My research

Mahutga, Matthew C, Anthony Roberts and Ronald Kwon. 2017. "The Globalization of Production and Income Inequality in Rich Democracies." Forthcoming in Social Forces.

Mahutga, Matthew C. and Andrew K. Jorgenson. 2016 "Production Networks and Varieties of
Institutional Change: The Inequality Upswing in Post-Socialism Revisited." Social Forces 94(4): 1711-

Mahutga, Matthew C. 2016. "Theoretical Holism in the Sociology of Development: Another Look at
Foreign Direct Investment, Private Markets and Earnings Inequality During Post-Socialist
Transition" Sociology of Development 2(1): 1-24

Bair, Jennifer Lynn and Matthew C. Mahutga. 2016. “Commodity Chains and Development.” Pp 645-666 in Hooks, Gregory (Ed.), Sociology of Development Handbook. Berkeley: UC Press

Bandelj, Nina, Matthew C. Mahutga and Kristen Shorette. 2015. "Signaling Demand for Foreign
Investment: The Rise of Postsocialist Countries in the Global Bilateral Investment Treaties
Network." Europe-Asia Studies 67(6): 870-892.

Mahutga, Matthew C. 2014. "Global Models of Networked Organization, the Positional Power of Nations and Economic Development." Review of International Political Economy 21(1): 157-194.

Mahutga, Matthew C. 2014. "Production Networks and the Organization of the Global Manufacturing Economy." Sociological Perspectives 57(2): 229-255.

Mahutga, Matthew C. 2014 "Global Production Networks and International Inequality: Making a Case for
a Meso-Level Turn in Macro-Comparative Sociology." Journal of World-Systems Research 20(1): 11-37

Mahutga, Matthew C. 2012. "When do Value Chains Go Global? A Theory of the Spatialization of Global Value Chains." Global Networks: 12(1): 1-21.

Bair, Jennifer Lynn and Matthew C. Mahutga. 2012. "Varieties of Offshoring? Spatial Fragmentation and the Organization of Production in 21st Century Capitalism." Pp. 270-297 in Richard Whitely and Glen Morgan (Eds) Capitalisms and Capitalism in the 21st century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Some of my favorites

Bandelj, Nina.  2008.  From Communists to Foreign Capitalists: The Social Foundations of Foreign Direct Investment in Postsocialist Europe.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bair, Jennifer (ed.) 2009. Frontiers of Commodity Chains Research. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Biggart, Nicole Woolsey and Mauro F. Guillen.  1999.  “Developing Difference: Social Organization and the Rise of the Auto Industries of South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Argentina.”  American Sociological Review 64(5): 722-47.

Evans, Peter.  1995.  Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Gereffi, Garry, John Humphrey, Timothy Sturgeon.  2005.  “The Governance of Global Value Chains.”  Review of International Political Economy 12(1): 78-104.

Gereffi, Gary and Miguel Korzeniewicz (eds.) 1994.  Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism.  Westport: Praeger Press.

Hicks, Alexander and Lane Kenworthy.  1998.  “Cooperation and Political Economic Performance in Affluent Democratic Capitalism.”  American Journal of Sociology 130(6): 1631-72.

Rothstein, Jeffery.  2005.  Economic Development Policymaking Down the Global Commodity Chain: Attracting an Auto Industry to Silao, Mexico.”  Social Forces 84(1): 49-69.

Schrank, Andrew.  2004.  “Ready-to-Wear Development?  Foreign Investment, Technology Transfer, and Learning by Watching in the Apparel Trade” Social Forces 83(1): 123-156.

Uzzi, Brian.  1996.  “The Sources and Consequences of Embeddedness for the Economic Performance of Organizations: The Network Effect.”  American Sociological Review 61(4): 674-698.