John F. Padgett
Organizational and Institutional Genesis
Walter (Woody) W. Powell Stanford University
Kelley A. Packalen Queen's School of Business
Kjersten Bunker Whittington Reed College
THE EMERGENCE OF ORGANIZATION AND MARKETS, Chapter 13, John Padgett, Walter W. Powell, eds., Forthcoming Queen's School of Business Research Paper No. 03-10
Padgett, John. 2010. Open Elite? Social Mobility, Marriage, and Family in Florence, 1282-1494. Renaissance Quarterly 63 (Summer 2010): 357-411.
- Padgett, John. 2010. Open Elite? Social Mobility, Marriage, and Family in Florence, 1282-1494: appendix. Uses: Cohesive blocking
- 374-375: "Finally, I have calculated social mobility in marriage. It is not straightforward to measure the prestige, or status value, of a lineage in the Florentine marriage market, and hence its change over time.41 But social network methods can be used to assess the degree to which a family with a last name was in the core or on the periphery of the Florentine intermarriage network. In particular, the statistical concept of structural cohesion measures the minimum number of links, anywhere in the network, that have to be severed in order to disconnect any particular node (perhaps including its neighbors) from "
- 375: "the rest of the network. For example, a family having a structural-cohesion level of one means that only one (well-chosen) marriage has to be eliminated in order to detach that family from the rest of the Florentine marriage network. Periphery can be defined as the set of nodes in such fragile network positions. To take another example, a family having a structural-cohesion level of four means that a minimum of four (perfectly chosen) marriages must be deleted in order to detach that family, perhaps along with its in-laws, from the rest of the Florentine marriage network. Core can be defined as the set of nodes in such deeply integrated and hard-to-remove network positions. Algorithms were constructed to calculate Florentine families’ structural-cohesion levels (from zero to eight) over time from the marriage data described above.43 Social mobility in this marriage context means movement of a family, through its pattern of marriages with other families, into or out of the core of the city’s marriage network."
- "Using the same thirty-year periodization as in previous figures, figure 6 reports the rates of movement of families into or out of the Florentine marriage-network core over time.44 Two levels of structural cohesion were used as thresholds for measuring movement: core is operationally defined in that figure as a structural-cohesion level of four or more; bi-component is defined there as the weaker structural-cohesion level of only two or more. Movement into or out of the core can be interpreted as movement of families into or out of the Florentine marriage elite. Movement into or out of the bi-component can be interpreted as movement of families into or out of the Florentine marriage market itself."
- fn 42 Moody and White 2003.
- 391: 7. GROWTH AND DECLINE OF FLORENTINE FAMILIES
- What difference did these mobility and marriage dynamics make for the demographic success and failure of Florentine families? Table 5 reports the results of a statistical analysis of family growth and decline, between the various tax censuses at my disposal. ‘‘Family growth/decline’’ is simply the difference in numbers of tax households registered for each family in the successive tax censuses. Since these differences ranged from -13 to +15, normally distributed around zero, ordinary least-squares regression was the statistical method employed. Details of independent-variable construction are reported in the notes to table 5.
- The overall picture is that three factors drove the demographic growth and decline of Florentine families during the Renaissance: wealth, political factional success, and being within the marriage-network core.80 Political
- 393: ... Political participation, in the sense of Priorate membership and social identity of the wife—above and beyond her family’s being in the marriage-network core—were irrelevant to a family’s demographic success. The conjunction of the effect of marriage-core on family growth in table 5 and the effect of family size on marriage endogamy in table 4 implies that there was a positive feedback of demographic success at the heart of the Florentine kinship system: large patrilineages intermarrying, breeding growing patrilineages, who intermarried, etc. To the extent that there was any stable elite at all in the face of widespread economic and political turnover, it was this inner motor of patrilineage that generated it. In addition to marriage core, a family’s average household wealth at the beginning of each period mattered for the subsequent demographic fortune of that family at the end of each period. Simple material ability to support larger numbers of children is perhaps sufficient to account for this statistical effect.81 But probably more subtle mechanisms of dowry and of marriage attractiveness were also involved. Whatever the detailed mechanisms, a positive feedback of wealth thus also existed, alongside patrilineage, namely, wealthy families intermarrying, breeding growing families, who intermarried, etc. Whereas the patrilineage feedback on average was a force for stabilizing old families within the core, the wealth feedback on average was a force for injecting new and growing families into the core, even though its alleged intent was wealthy families closing ranks. Patrilineage and wealth were both forces for social closure (on different dimensions); however, not being correlated, they worked at cross-purposes.
- 392 Table 5. OLS regressions on growth or decline in family size. Family size growth/decline = (Number of family’s tax households in later tax census) – (Number of family’s tax households in early tax census)
========================================================== 1352–79 1379–1403 1403–27 1427–58 1458–80 ---------------------------------------------------------- marriage core .7121* .8160** 1.2561*** .8253*** .5258* *(p<.05) *(p<.01) *(p<.001)
- 394 ... "Other than these three drivers of family growth, the results in table 5 imply a decline in the size of large families: having a large family size, absent renewal from one of the three feedback logics, led to a decline in that family’s size; and magnate, and to lesser extent exmagnate, families declined.
- Demographically successful Florentine families could not passively rest on their laurels if they wanted to survive.86 They needed actively to participate in one or more of the three positive-feedback logics of patrilineage-plus-marriage-core, of wealth, or of victorious political faction in order to maintain their demographic strength in the face of entropy.
- 404 Political turmoil was crucial not only for the definition of winning political faction, but also for the maintenance of low correlation among Florence’s three status dimensions. With political stability, one can expect that the dimensions of economic wealth and political power will become more aligned. In the case of republican Florence, however, periodic political crises induced sharp lurches in the composition of winning political factions, and thereby in the marriage-network core. Such crises were not entirely the exogenous shocks they appear to be, because these political crises may have been in part induced by social fluidity in the first place.
Padgett, John. 2008. Organizational Invention and Elite Transformation: The Birth of Partnership Systems in Renaissance Florence. AJS Volume 111 Number 5 (March 2006): 1463–1568.
Padgett, John. 2006. Organizational Genesis in Florentine History: Four Multiple-Network Mechanisms Conference on [Emerging Social Organization].
- "The politicized networks of marriage, partnership systems and clientelism knit together a ‘structurally cohesive’ (Moody and White '2003') oligarchy at the core of Florentine multiple networks."
- There are four general system-wide processes of organizational genesis that I
have discovered in my analysis of Florentine history. Namely,
- -- extension and differentiation
- -- fusion and hybridity
- -- transposition and refunctionality
- -- multivocality and robust action.
Robust Action and the Rise of the Medici
Padgett, John F., and Christopher K. Ansell. Robust Action and the Rise of the Medici, 1400–1434. American Journal of Sociology 98 (1993):1259–1319.
The Emergence of Large, Unitary Merchant-Banks in Dugento Tuscany
The Emergence of Large, Unitary Merchant-Banks in Dugento Tuscany. John F. Padgett University of Chicago, Santa Fe Institute, and Università di Trento first draft: January 2009 forthcoming in John Padgett and Woody Powell, The Emergence of Organizations and Markets