Call for papers and open registration (deadline: July 15th):

The Sociology of Market Microstructure

A Workshop at the New York Stock Exchange

Daniel Beunza and Yuval Millo (organizers)

August 9th 2013, 9.00 am – 5.30 pm

In the past three decades economic sociologists have developed a distinct understanding of financial exchanges, yet the current trend towards automation and ongoing regulatory debate over high frequency trading have called for renewed research on the topic. This workshop aims at putting together a coherent body of sociological research focused on financial exchanges and related issues — the automation of trading, high frequency trading, financial regulation, the Flash Crash, the European MiFID directive, etc.– with the goal of developing a sociological literature in the area known as “market microstructure” in economics. Appropriately, the event will take place within the New York Stock Exchange, and include tours of the floor in small groups. Confirmed speakers include Daniel Beunza, Bruce Carruthers, Donald MacKenzie, Karin Knorr Cetina, Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, Aaron Pitluck, Yuval Millo, and others.

We are inviting proposals for paper presentations. Registration to attend is now open for participants. Places will be limited to 50, including the panelists and will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Registration is free, but we expect a firm commitment. For inquiries please contact Daniel Beunza and or Yuval Millo at


Trading Post No 12

July 22, 2008


Photo-reportage by guest blogger Emmanuel Didier (assisted by Martha Poon).


Trading Post No 12 at the University of Chicago Graduate School fo Business


This is what you see when you enter the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business: Trading post No 12.  It is a horse shoe shaped desk from which was traded, in its day, a specific set of shares including Gould, General Motors and Central Telephone and Electronics.



 As this brass panel explains, as the NYSE became electronic, the old exchange posts were sent to different schools and museums throughout the US.




The desk is designed for share quotes to appear on an convex panel running around the top. 




Traders presumably stood on the outside of desk where they could see these prices.  The desk provides pull-down seats, perhaps for them to rest while waiting for orders.  Note the impressive number of built-in drawers and cubby holes.




The agents receiving the transactions presumably stood inside of the horse shoe…




 ….where they had their own little drawers and organizational devices.




According to Greg Redenius, the facilities person responsible for taking care of No 12 and the only person able to provide any meager information about it, “the center ‘island’ with the holes in it worked similarly to the vacuum transport system at a typical bank drive through”. 





Here I am pressing the buttons.


If you have “visual question” please ask – I’d be happy to go and take further photographs. Coming soon, a report on my recent trip to the Chicago Board of Trade…


Emmanuel Didier is a researcher at CSDIP in Paris and was a visiting scholar at the Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine, University of Chicago this spring.



His forthcoming book, En quoi consiste l’Amérique? Les sondages et le New Deal, (What is the Composition of America? Statistical Surveys and the New Deal) is forthcoming from La Découverte.