Malleable Prices: Interactional Mechanisms and Inequality in the Housing Market

103 McNeil
November 27, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Assistant Professor of Sociololgy
Rice University
Speaker Biographies: 
Max Besbris received his Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University in 2017. Before starting graduate school, he worked at UCSF and Google and received B.A.s in Sociology and Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. His research examines how individuals make decisions in organizations and economic markets, how these decisions are influenced by interaction with others, and how these decisions reproduce existing demographic and geographic inequalities. His book, Market Makers (under contract with the University of Chicago Press) investigates how people choose where to live and how much to spend in the housing market. Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork analyzing interactions between real estate agents and prospective homebuyers, Market Makers presents an in-depth account of the social influences that come together during the sales process. The book offers a new perspective on markets, revealing how intermediaries like real estate agents set the terms for our most important economic decisions. Max's work has received awards from the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, the Eastern Sociological Society, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.