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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler & Marco Piatti, 2009. "Extraordinary Wealth, Globalization, and Corruption," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2009-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Siegfried, John J & Round, David K, 1994. "How Did the Wealthiest Australians Get So Rich?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(2), pages 191-204, June.
    2. Levin, Mark & Satarov, Georgy, 2000. "Corruption and institutions in Russia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 113-132, March.
    3. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2003. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996-2002," Development and Comp Systems 0308001, EconWPA.
    4. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2003. "Government matters III : governance indicators for 1996-2002," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3106, The World Bank.
    5. Tim Hazledine & John Siegfried, 1997. "How did the wealthiest New Zealanders get so rich?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 35-47.
    6. Eric Neumayer, 2004. "The super-rich in global perspective: a quantitative analysis of the Forbes list of billionaires," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(13), pages 793-796.
    7. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
    8. 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 445-487, June.
    9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Hans Franses & Bert Groot, 2016. "Corruption and inequality of wealth amongst the very rich," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1245-1252, May.
    2. Thomas Goda, 2014. "Global trends in relative and absolute wealth concentrations," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010897, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    3. Bosco, Bruno, 2016. "Old and new factors affecting corruption in Europe: Evidence from panel data," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 66-85.
    4. Korom, Philipp & Lutter, Mark & Beckert, Jens, 2015. "The enduring importance of family wealth: Evidence from the Forbes 400, 1982 to 2013," MPIfG Discussion Paper 15/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

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    Keywords

    Globalization; Extraordinary Wealth; Corruption; Superstars;

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