Economic Elites

  • Michael Hartmann


The economic elite has been seen by some researchers as the most dominant of the sectoral elites while being vigorously rejected as such by others. Nonetheless, there is a general consensus that the economic elite is one of the central elites. Four types of economic elite formation can be identified: the French type, the Japanese type, the British/US type and the German type. They differ with regard to the importance of elite universities and the extent of cross-sectoral mobility. However, a transnational or global business elite is difficult to discern and many researchers deny that such an elite exists. Research has shown, for example, that of the CEOs of the 1000 biggest companies of the world, only one in eight is a foreigner and three out of four have never stayed abroad for more than six months. Connections between economic and explicitly political elites clearly differ from country to country.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hartmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University of DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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