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Extraordinary Wealth, Globalization, and Corruption

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  • Benno Torgler
  • Marco Piatti

Abstract

The billionaires of the world attract significant attention from the media and the public. The popular press is full of books selling formulas on how to become rich. Surprisingly, only a limited number of studies have explored empirically the determinants of extraordinary wealth. Using a large data set we explore whether globalization and corruption affect extreme wealth accumulation. We find evidence that an increase in globalization increases super-richness. In addition, we also find that an increase in corruption leads to an increase in the creation of super fortune. This supports the argument that in kleptocracies large sums are transferred into the hands of a small group of individuals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2009-04.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2009-04

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Keywords: Globalization; Extraordinary Wealth; Corruption; Superstars;

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  1. Tim Hazledine & John Siegfried, 1997. "How did the wealthiest New Zealanders get so rich?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 35-47.
  2. Eric Neumayer, 2004. "The super-rich in global perspective: a quantitative analysis of the Forbes list of billionaires," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 16702, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Kopczuk, Wojciech & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Top Wealth Shares in the United States, 1916-2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 445-87, June.
  4. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  5. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
  6. Levin, Mark & Satarov, Georgy, 2000. "Corruption and institutions in Russia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 113-132, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Goda, 2014. "Global trends in relative and absolute wealth concentrations," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT 010897, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.

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