John F. Padgett (Ph.D., Michigan, 1978) is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Currently he conducts research in the related areas of organizational invention and of state and market co-evolution, mostly in the context of Renaissance Florence but also through agent-based modeling. In the past, Padgett has published in the topics of organization theory, social network analysis, federal budgeting, plea bargaining, and stochastic processes. A short biography of John Padgett is available in The Bulletin of the Santa Fe Institute.
For the past twenty years, I have been constructing from primary archival sources a very large relational database about social-network evolution over the two hundred years, 1300-1500, in Renaissance Florence. This unprecedented data set contains information on about 60,000 persons: 10,000+ marriages, 14,000+ loans, 3,000+ business partnerships/firms, 40,000+ tax records, 12,000+ political-office elections, and other matters. Renaissance Florence was the arena for many history-altering organizational and technical inventions, in numerous domains, which Padgett studies primarily through tracing empirically and through modeling the catalytic co-evolution of multiple, cross-cutting social networks over time.