Community Banks, Credit Unions, the Evolution of Local Banking Structure and Their Effects on Local Economies - Small Business, Business Formation and Unemployment During the Great Recession

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
12:30 - 2:00pm
Public Affairs Building, Faculty Lounge 5391

Presented by: Marc Schneiberg, Reed College, Sociology

with Discussant: Bill Roy, UCLA Research Professor Emeritus, Sociology



About the Talk:

With good reason, scholars and policy makers have focused on the profound industry-wide transformations American banking and finance experienced over the last three decades, emphasizing deregulation, concentration within a handful of giant global banking corporations, their abandonment of the “real economy” for market-based banking grounded in securitization and derivative transactions, and the devastating effects these changes have had on the broader economy.  Less clear is the extent to which decentralized systems of smaller, locally owned and operating community banks and credit unions withstood transformations in American finance, providing local economies with alternatives to banking corporations like Citigroup or JP Morgan Chase.  Less clear also are whether and how localism, organizational diversity and the persistence of alternatives to “too-big-too-fail” institutions in local economies may have helped them weather the recent storm of a combined financial and economic crisis, whether by sustaining small business, fostering new enterprise formation or dampening employment shocks.  Analyzing banking organization and markets at the county and metropolitan area levels, this research documents substantial variation in banking structure across local economies in the US up to and including the current period, confounding a simple narrative of dominance, displacement and homogenization under the aegis of too-big-to-fail banking corporations.  It also presents preliminary analyses of whether and how differences in banking structure and the persistence of “Jeffersonian” alternatives to too-big-to-fail bank corporations in local economies affected levels and changes there in the relative size of the small business sector, new establishment formation and unemployment during and “after” the great recession.



About the Speaker:


Marc Schneiberg received his BA from Haverford College and his PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the John C. Pock Professor of Sociology at Reed College, and is currently a Visiting Researcher in Sociology at UCLA. He is an economic and organizational sociologist who research focuses on the rise, contemporary fates, and economic consequences of organizational diversity and alternatives to giant, shareholder corporations in American capitalism. This work addresses the evolution of cooperative and other alternative enterprise systems in the US, including electrical and agricultural cooperatives, insurance mutuals, community banks, and credit unions.  It also addresses the emergence of the enterprise alternatives can help reshape and upgrade markets, subject corporations to countervailing forces, and foster more decentralized and small stakeholder trajectories of capitalist development.  Schneiberg also studies association, regulation and self-regulation in American manufacturing and finance.  He is Editor of Socio-Economic Review and Consulting Editor of Sociological Science, has served on the executive council of the American Sociological Association, currently serves on the executive council of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, and has twice received National Science Foundation support for his work. His research appears in journals such as Politics and Society, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Organizational Studies, Socio-Economic Review, Seattle University Law Review, and Research in the Sociology of Organizations, and can be accessed on his webpage (


William G Roy is research professor of sociology at UCLA. He is author of Socializing Capital: the Rise of the Large Industrial Corporation in The United States, Reds Whites and Blues: Folk Music, Social Movements and Race, and Making Societies:  The Historical Construction of Our World. 





This event is presented by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor & Employment and cosponsored by the UCLA Department of Sociology and Sociology Working Group on Contentious Politics and Organizations