Table of Contents

Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich

Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich

Edited by Iain Hay and Jonathan V. Beaverstock

Fewer than 100 people own and control more wealth than 50 per cent of the world’s population. The Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich is a unique examination of both the lives and lifestyles of the super-rich, as well as the processes that underpin super-wealth generation and its unequal distribution. Drawing on a multiplicity of international examples, leading experts from across the social sciences offer a landmark multidisciplinary contribution to emerging analyses of the global super-rich and their astonishing wealth. The book’s 22 accessible and coherently organised chapters cover a range of captivating topics from biographies of illicit super-wealth, to tax footprint reduction, to the environmental consequences of super-rich lives and their conspicuous consumption.

Chapter 3: Historical geographies of wealth: opportunities, institutions and accumulation, c. 1800–1930

Alastair Owens and David R. Green

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, geography, economic geography, human geography, urban and regional studies, regional economics, regional studies

Extract

Studies of long-run trends in the distribution of wealth have mainly focused on understanding and seeking to explain patterns of inequality. Since Simon Kuznets (1955) first explored the relationships between inequality and economic growth, a large and important body of research has sought to reconstruct and interpret the historical evidence for an ever-widening range of countries over ever-lengthening periods of time. The most recent addition to the pantheon of studies has been Thomas Piketty’s (2014) influential (and, for some, contentious) book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century – itself the culmination of a range of efforts to quantify both the extent and the sources of economic inequality. Between Kuznets and Piketty exists a very large number of studies of wealth and inequality, far too numerous to consider in detail here. The changing composition of wealth, however, is far less understood than its distribution. Indeed, according to Jesper Roine and Daniel Waldenström (2014, p. 69), ‘when it comes to historical evidence about wealth composition across the wealth distribution, we know almost nothing’.

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