Research

Below is an overview of my research. I have linked to those papers that have been published online, and uploaded the more complete working papers. Please email me if you want a copy of a work that is not linked to.


Published (or forthcoming) work.

Ryan Langrill and Virgil Storr. "Network Closure, Group Identity and Attitudes toward Merchants." Forthcoming in Culture and Economic Action edited by Virgil Storr and Laura Grube.

Virgil and I argue that the structure of people's social networks systemically influences their group identity: namely, when low-status groups have little connection with high-status groups, the low-status groups will come to celebrate their distinctiveness, while when low-status groups intermingle with high-status groups, there will be pressure to adopt the high-status identity. We apply this to two cities in Tokugawa Japan. Osaka merchants, separated from the aristocratic class, came to celebrate commerce and built a community based on informal contractual trust, while Edo merchants, entangled with the samurai, adopted the values of the samurai. 

Kevin E. Henrickson and Ryan Langrill. "Spatial Econometrics in Non-Spatial Settings" Review of Applied Economics 9 (1-2) 2013.

Kevin Henrickson and I build a spatial econometric model measuring the heterogeneity of human capital among Major League Baseball players. We find that a conception of human capital that relies solely on general or on firm-specific and we provide a way to include task-specific human capital in labor market analysis. 

Ryan Langrill and Virgil Storr. “The Moral Meanings of Markets.” Journal of Markets and Morality, 15 (2) 2012.

In this peer reviewed journal article, Virgil Storr and I explore the effect of market on people's moral sentements. The market is a place of economic calculation, which has both positive and negative effects, but also a social space, which carries with it positive and negative effects. The strongest point in favor of the market is how it transforms people's perception of strangers, from natural competitors for resources to natural allies in economic cooperation. The arguments against the market include that the market provision of resources can encourage people to substitute away from strong ties, weakening a social capital with public good characteristics. 

Langrill, Ryan. "Behavioral economics as interpretive economics. A review of Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, fast and slow". Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2011. 512 pp., index, ISBN 9780374275631, $30.00." The Review of Austrian Economics (2012): 1-4.

In this book review, I suggest that Austrian Economists take seriously the work of behavioral economists. Behavioral economics should not be seen as a challenge to rational choice theory, but rather as an insight to the choosing mind. 

Langrill, Ryan. 2012 “The Evolution of Merchant Moral Thought in Tokugawa Japan.The Journal of Philosophical Economics vol. 5(2): 109-122.

In this invited, peer reviewed, journal article, I explore the philosophy of the merchant class in Osaka Japan as it changes over time. Osaka in the early seventeenth century shared the martial values of the Tokugawa regime, but over the course of the Tokugawa period Osaka merchants generate a distinct culture and philosophy, that has lasting impacts on Japanese governance as it enters modernity. 

Storr, Virgil and Ryan Langrill. “Economic Sociology and Austrian Economics.” In ed. Christopher Coyne (Austrian School of Economics Handbook), Oxford University Press

In this (completed) book chapter, Virgil Storr and I explore the connection between Economic Sociology and Austrian Economics. We argue that there is great opportunity for cross-pollination in both directions, for Austrian economists to include the writings of Sociologists like Mark Granovetter and Richard Swedberg in their canon, and for Economic Sociologists to explore the rich theoretical work in Israel Kirsner, Friedrich Hayek, and Ludwig Mises.