The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Elites and Economic Outcomes

  • Elise S. Brezis
  • Peter Temin
Reference work entry


Elites are a necessary part of economic activity. It therefore matters how elites are recruited and how they act. History is full of examples of elites that have acted well and also badly. Modern research has examined the training of elites, recruitment schemes and incentives for elites to discover how they can be used to promote, rather than impede, economic growth. The literature has also emphasized the effect of elite interconnection and elite recruitment on social mobility; it has shown that the standardization of elite education over the years may lead to uniformity and the creation of a transnational oligarchy.


Circulation of elites Class Corruption Cultural capital Economic growth Education Elites and economic outcomes Globalization Human capital Inequality Iron law of oligarchy Meritocracy Power elite Social capital Social mobility Symbolic capital Technical change 

JEL Classifications

N8 D3 Z13 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elise S. Brezis
    • 1
  • Peter Temin
    • 1
  1. 1.