- Professor Donald MacKenzie
- SociologySchool of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of Edinburgh
- 6.26 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- +44 (0)131 650 3980
- Research Interests
- Financial Markets, Emissions Markets, Credit Crisis, Social Studies of Finance
Mondays, 2.30pm to 4.30pm (in teaching weeks), or email Frances.J.Burgess@ed.ac.uk for an appointment.
My current research is on the sociology of markets, focussing on automated trading, the use of mathematical models, and the evaluation and trading of bonds. I've worked in the past on topics ranging from the sociology of nuclear weapons to the meaning of proof in the context of computer systems critical to safety or security.
Unlocking the language of structured securities. Article in the Financial Times
Beneath all the toxic acronyms lies a basic cultural issue. Article in the Financial Times
My books include An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets (MIT Press, 2006; publisher's note); Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics, co-edited with Fabian Muniesa and Lucia Siu (Princeton, 2007; publisher's note); and Material Markets: How Economic Agents are Constructed (Oxford, 2009; publisher's note).
Downloadable working papers:
A Sociology of Algorithms: High-Frequency Trading and the Shaping of Markets, Donald MacKenzie, June 2014
The Lemon-Squeezing Problem: Analytical and Computational Limitations in CDO Evaluation, Donald MacKenzie and Iain Hardie, May 2014
The Formula That Killed Wall Street: The Gaussian Copula and Modelling Practices in Investment Banking, Donald MacKenzie and Taylor Spears, October 2013
A device for being able to book P&L: The Organizational Embedding of the Gaussian Copula, Donald MacKenzie and Taylor Spears, October 2013
Mechanizing the Merc: The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Rise of High-Frequency Trading, Donald MacKenzie Oct 2013
Insurgent capitalism: Island, bricolage and the re-making of finance. Donald MacKenzie & Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra Jan 2013
Drilling Through the Allegheny Mountains: Liquidity, Materiality and High-Frequency Trading, Donald MacKenzie et al, January 2012
Evaluation Cultures? On Invoking 'Culture' in the Analysis of Behaviour in Financial Markets. Donald MacKenzie, Sept 2011
Chalk: Materials and Concepts in Mathematics Research. Michael J. Barany & Donald MacKenzie, Preprint Sept 2011
The Credit Crisis as a Problem in the Sociology of Knowledge. Donald MacKenzie, American Journal of Sociology, May 2011.
Knowledge Production in Financial Markets: Credit Default Swaps, the ABX and the Subprime Crisis. Donald MacKenzie, Nov 2010
'Making Things the Same', Donald MacKenzie, Feb 2008 (.pdf)
'The Finitist Accountant', David Hatherley, David Leung and Donald MacKenzie, April 2007 (.pdf file)
'Finding the Ratchet: The Political Economy of Carbon Trading', essay for London Review of Books. Donald MacKenzie, March 2007 (.pdf)
'The Material Production of Virtuality: Innovation, Cultural Geography, and Facticity in Derivatives Markets. Donald MacKenzie, December 2006 (.pdf)
'Producing Accounts: Finitism, Technology and Rule-Following', Donald MacKenzie, November 2006 (.pdf file)
'Assembling an Economic Actor: The Agencement of a Hedge Fund', Iain Hardie, Donald MacKenzie, May 2006 (.pdf file)
'A Price is a Social Thing: Towards a Material Sociology of Arbitrage ', Daniel Beunza, Iain Hardie, Donald MacKenzie, January 2006 (.pdf file)
- BSc (University of Edinburgh)
- PhD (University of Edinburgh)
Topics interested in supervising
I'm keen to work with PhD students who have innovative project ideas in fields ranging from the sociology of science and technology to economic sociology (especially the social studies of finance, on which several of my current students are working).
If you are interested in being supervised by Donald MacKenzie, please see the links below for more information: