- Taylor Spears
- School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
- Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- taylor.spears [at] ed.ac.uk
- Research Interests
- Social Studies of Finance, Sociology of Knowledge, Sociology of technology, Derivatives Markets, Economic Sociology
Engineering Value, Engineering Risk: What Derivatives Quants Know and What Their Models Do
My current research focuses on the sociological and technological dynamics that shape the development of financial models and valuation practices, particularly in the OTC derivatives markets.
My PhD thesis examines the ‘evaluation culture’ of derivatives ‘quants’ working in the over-the-counter markets for interest rate derivatives tied to Libor. Drawing on data from interviews with quants, financial mathematicians, and economists conducted primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States, combined with fieldwork at derivatives ‘quant’ conferences and an extensive set of technical sources, my thesis explores the historical development and contemporary patterning of modelling practices that are used within derivatives dealer banks to price and hedge Libor-based interest rate derivatives. Moreover, my thesis uses the historical development of interest-rate modelling techniques, beginning in the late 1970s, as a lens through which to understand the establishment, differentiation and separation of this ‘derivatives quant’ evaluation culture as a body of knowledge and practice distinct from financial economics.
Research Fellow - Sociology of Financial Modelling, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
'The Formula That Killed Wall Street?' The Gaussian Copula and Modelling Practices in Investment Banking. Donald MacKenzie and Taylor Spears, Social Studies of Science (Forthcoming)
A device for being able to book P&L: The Organizational Embedding of the Gaussian Copula, Donald MacKenzie and Taylor Spears, Social Studies of Science (Forthcoming)
“Do entrepreneurs really learn? Or do they just tell us that they do?” Frankish, J., Roberts, R.G., Coad, A., Spears, T.C., Storey, D.J. (2012) Industrial and Corporate Change 22(1), pp. 73-106. doi: 10.1093/icc/dts016