Corporate Elite Networks and Social Inequalities Around the World

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Julian CARDENAS, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany
The number of billionaires and the wealth concentration on the 0.1 % of the population has increased in the last years. At the same time, the number of poor people and inequalities has augmented in most of the developed and emerging economies. Wealth concentration is one of the causal conditions of the augment of poverty and inequalities. However, I introduce another possible causal condition: corporate elite networks. Previous research has indicated that cohesiveness of corporate elite networks increase social closure and facilitate collective action for policy lobbying, and consequently corporate networks might reduce opportunities of mobility and elite circulation. The present research study: 1) cohesiveness of corporate elite networks in 17 economies on basis of network analysis of interlocking directorates among the largest corporations, and 2) measures the impact of business elite networks on social inequalities using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). Results show that, under certain conditions, the cohesiveness of corporate elite networks has influence on the reduction of social inequalities. Finally, I evaluate the relationship between corporate elites and social inequalities.