Book
The Role of Elites in Economic Development

Elites have a disproportionate impact on development outcomes. While a country's endowments constitute the deep determinates of growth, the trajectory they follow is shaped by the actions of elites.

But what factors affect whether elites use their influence for individual gain or national welfare? To what extent do they see poverty as a problem? And are their actions today constrained by institutions and norms established in the past?

This book looks at case studies from South Africa to China to seek a better understanding of the dynamics behind how elites decide to engage with economic development. Approaches include economic modelling, social surveys, theoretical analysis, and programme evaluation. These different methods explore the relationship between elites and development outcomes from five angles: the participation and reaction of elites to institutional creation and change, how economic changes affect elite formation and circulation, elite perceptions of national welfare, the extent to which state capacity is part of elite self-identity, and how elites interact with non-elites.

Table of contents
  1. 1. Introduction: The Role of Elites in Economic Development
    Alisa DiCaprio
  2. Part I: Theoretical Considerations
    2. Elites and Property Rights
    Alice H. Amsden
    More Working Paper | Elites and Property Rights
  3. Part I: Theoretical Considerations
    3. Elites and Institutional Persistence
    James Robinson
    More Working Paper | Elites and Institutional Persistence
  4. Part II: The Formation and Circulation of Elites
    4. The International Circulation of Elites: Knowledge, Entrepreneurial, and Political
    Andrés Solimano and Diego Bernardo Avanzini
    More Working Paper | The International Circulation of Elites
  5. Part II: The Formation and Circulation of Elites
    5. Fruit of the Vine?: An Augmented Endowments-Inequality Hypothesis and the Rise of an Elite in the Cape Colony
    Johan Fourie and Dieter von Fintel
    More Working Paper | The Fruit of the Vine? An Augmented Endowments-Inequality Hypothesis and the Rise of an Elite in the Cape Colony
  6. Part II: The Formation and Circulation of Elites
    6. Two for the Price of One?: The Contribution to Development of the New Female Elites
    Alison Wolf
    More Working Paper | Two for the Price of One? The Contribution to Development of the New Female Elites
  7. Part II: The Formation and Circulation of Elites
    7. New Light on China's Rural Elites
    Björn Gustafsson and Sai Ding
    More Working Paper | New Light on China’s Rural Elites
  8. Part III: The Preferences of Elites
    8. Poverty in the Eyes of Brazilian Elites
    Elisa P. Reis
    More Working Paper | Poverty in the Eyes of Brazilian Elites
  9. Part III: The Preferences of Elites
    9. Mutual Interdependence between Elites and the Poor
    Chipiliro Kalebe-Nyamongo
    More Working Paper | Mutual Interdependence between Elites and the Poor
  10. Part III: The Preferences of Elites
    10. Why Are the Elite in China Motivated and Able to Promote Growth?
    Xiaowei Zang
    More Working Paper | Why Are the Elite in China Motivated to Promote Growth?
  11. Part IV: Elites and State Capacity
    11. The Simple Analytics of Elite Behaviour under Limited State Capacity
    François Bourguignon and Thierry Verdier
    More Working Paper | The Simple Analytics of Elite Behaviour Under Limited State Capacity
  12. Part IV: Elites and State Capacity
    12. Is it Possible to Reform a Customs Administration?: The Role of the Customs Elite on the Reform Process in Cameroon
    Thomas Cantens
    More Working Paper | Is it Possible to Reform a Customs Administration?
  13. Part IV: Elites and State Capacity
    13. Rekindling Governments from Within: Getting Public Sector Elite Officials to Support Government Reform in Brazil
    Monica F. Pinhanez
    More Working Paper | Rekindling Governments from Within
  14. Part V: Grassroots Responses to Elites
    14. Tackling Elite Capture by the 'Counter-elite' and 'Co-opt-elite' Approaches in Bangladesh and Ghana
    Sam Wong
    More Working Paper | Elite Capture or Capture Elites? Lessons from the 'Counter-elite' and 'Co-opt-elite' Approaches in Bangladesh and Ghana
  15. Part V: Grassroots Responses to Elites
    15. Understanding the Dynamics of Elite Behaviour in a Development Context
    Alice H. Amsden and Alisa DiCaprio
Show all