Kim Pernell

Kim Pernell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is an economic and organizational sociologist who examines the causes and consequences of risky, ineffective, and socially harmful organizational behavior, with an emphasis on dynamics in banking and finance. She studies these issues from multiple vantage points, using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

In one line of research, she uses comparative-historical methods to account for the development of the national regulatory systems that constrain or enable undesirable bank behavior. She is currently writing a book (under contract with Princeton University Press) that explains how different political-cultural traditions in the U.S., Canada, and Spain contributed to the divergent evolution of banking regulation in these countries. Despite following the same international rules, each country developed a very different regulatory system in the 1990s and 2000s, with important consequences for bank outcomes when the global financial crisis hit. 

In a second line of research, she uses quantitative methods to examine the drivers of the dramatic expansion in bank risk-taking that has occurred after the 1980s, which has often come in the form of increased exposure to complex and opaque innovative financial instruments.

In a third line of research, she examines the impact of transformations in banking and finance for other domains of society. Current projects in this area consider the impact of financialization and the rise of shareholder value management for growing inequalities in privately held business ownership and for the quality and cost of American childcare.

Pernell holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University. Her research has received awards and funding from the American Sociological Association, the National Science Foundation, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and the Canada Research Chair program. Her work has been published in American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Theory and Society, and other journals.

Pernell served on the SASE executive council 2020-2023, holding positions on the network oversight committee and the early career workshop committee. She would be honored to continue to serve in this role, and to work to maintain SASE as an intellectually generative and inclusive organization.

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