IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Changes in the Recruitment and Education of the Power Elites in Twentieth Century Western Democracies


  • Elise s. Brezis

    () (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University)

  • François Crouzet


The aim of this paper is to examine the evolution of recruitment of elites and to investigate the nature of the links between recruitment and training of elites and economic development. We show that there was a key shift at the turn of the nineteenth century in the way the Western world trained its elites, with a second shift taking place after World War II, when meritocracy became the basis for recruitment of elites. Although meritocratic selection should result in the best being chosen, we show that meritocratic recruitment leads to class stratification and auto-recruitment. We analyze whether stratification resulting from meritocratic selection is optimal for the development of a country, and show that it is dependent on the type of technological changes occurring in the country.

Suggested Citation

  • Elise s. Brezis & François Crouzet, 2002. "Changes in the Recruitment and Education of the Power Elites in Twentieth Century Western Democracies," Working Papers 2002-15, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2002-15

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Working paper
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2008. "Involuntary Integration in Public Education, Fertility and Human Capital," Working Papers 2008-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Otte, Thomas, 2005. "Das französische Hochschulsystem als "Sortiereinrichtung" für Humankapital," Discussion Papers 235, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.

    More about this item


    elite; auto-recruitment; training; education; meritocracy; stratification; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2002-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Department of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.