Social and Behavioral Sciences
Sociology, Demography, and Geography
Nee has made prominent contributions to economic sociology and the study of immigration. In the former, he has been a major proponent of the new institutionalism and has developed the networks-and-institutions approach, which examines how social norms and social networks serve as the informal institutional elements supporting cooperation in firms and markets. He has also developed market transition theory to account for the organizational changes and stratification impacts of the shift from a state socialist economy to market capitalism, most notably in China. In the area of immigration, he is one of the originators of neo-assimilation theory, which has been broadly influential.