EXTRAORDINARY WEALTH, GLOBALIZATION, AND CORRUPTION

Authors


  • Note: For helpful comments and suggestions, thanks are due to Alison Macintyre, David Savage, and two anonymous referees.

Correspondence to: Benno Torgler, The School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia (benno.torgler@qut.edu.au).

Abstract

The billionaires of the world attract significant attention from the media and the public. Surprisingly, only a limited number of studies have explored empirically the determinants of extraordinary wealth. Using a large dataset we investigate whether globalization and corruption affect extreme wealth accumulation. We find evidence that an increase in globalization increases super-affluence. 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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