Alya Guseva

Alya Guseva

Alya Guseva

Associate Professor

PhD, University of California, San Diego (2002)

Sociology 269 | 617.358.0639 |

Curriculum Vitae


I am an economic sociologist with interests in the market formation, particularly the development of new financial and consumer markets in emerging economies of Eastern and Central Europe. My dissertation research on Russia’s emerging credit card market culminated in the publication of Into the Red: The Birth of the Credit Card Market in Postcommunist Russia(Stanford University Press, 2008). Another book on this subject (together with Akos Rona-Tas from the University of California, San Diego) entitled Plastic Money: Constructing Markets for Credit Cards in Eight Postcommunist Countries is a comparative-historical analysis of developing credit card markets in Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, China and Vietnam. It is scheduled to be published in 2013 with Stanford University Press. The project was supported by the American National Science Foundation, and in addition to the book, resulted in several articles on law and finance, inequality and credit, technological standards and the state.

My interest and expertise in the postcommunist transitional region led to a project on money management strategies in Russian household (together with Dilyara Ibragimova from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics). We are investigating the relationship between household characteristics and the choice of a money management strategy, as well as the extent to which money management is indicative of control over money and power distribution between spouses.

I am starting a new project on the cultural and economic underpinnings of global commercial surrogacy with a focus on Ukraine. I want to investigate what is being sold in this market: is it services (“rent-a-womb”), goods (gametes or babies) or life styles (motherhood or parenthood)? How is the price of this product determined? How do market actors (prospective parents, surrogates and medical professionals) communicate ideas about the meaning of surrogacy? And how do they negotiate their relations and identities?

Alya Guseva is Chair of Economic Sociology Section of the ASA. If you are interested in learning more about economic sociology, please check out the recent issues of Section newsletter: Fall 2015 and Spring 2016.


Rona-Tas, A. and A. Guseva. 2014. Plastic Money: Constructing Markets for Credit Cards in Eight Postcommunist Countries. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Rona-Tas, A. and A. Guseva. 2013. “Legal Regulation in the East and Central European Credit Card Markets.”  Journal of Comparative Economics 41: 420–435.

Guseva, A. 2012. Karty v Ruki: Zarozhdenie Rynka Bankovskix Kart v Postsovetskoy Rossii. Moscow: Higher School of Economics (Russian translation of Into the Red).

Guseva, A. 2010. “Uncertainty and Complementarity, Coercion and Control in the Development of the Russian Credit Card Market.” Genesis (special issue ed. by Gilles Laferte) 79:74-96 (in French).

Guseva, A. 2008. Into the Red: The Birth of the Credit Card Market in Postcommunist Russia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Guseva, A. 2007. “Friends and Foes: Informal Networks in the Soviet Union.” East European Quarterly 41(3):323-347.

Guseva, A. 2005. “Building New Markets: A Comparison between Russian and American Credit Card Markets.” Socio-Economic Review 3:437-466.

Buerkle, K. and A. Guseva. 2002. “What Do you Know, Who Do You Know? School as a Site for the Production of Social Capital and its Effects on Income Attainment in Poland and the Czech Republic.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 61(3):657-680.

Guseva, A. and A. Rona-Tas. 2001. “Uncertainty, Risk and Trust: Russian and American Credit Card Markets Compared.” American Sociological Review 66 (5):623-646.