Over the last 50 years (the period of neoliberalism) the national wealth of the United States reached unprecedented levels. Despite this dramatic increase in national wealth, an increasing amount of American wealth has found its way into the hands of a smaller percentage of the population. Indicative of this inequality, the number of individuals that have achieved a net worth of $1 billion (billionaires) has increased at a higher rate than any other time in American history. Descriptive evidence and analysis of macroeconomics from scholarly literature and journalism attributes this dramatic increase in billionaire wealth to certain comprehensive and interrelated institutional mechanisms (or drivers). Although these drivers and their components contribute to our understanding of billionaire proliferation at the macroeconomic level, there is no analysis at the lower, meso-economic (or sector) level. The purpose of this article is to fill this gap by 1) identifying the sectors where billionaire wealth is most concentrated, 2) creating a sectoral analysis framework to analyze why billionaire wealth is concentrated in these sectors, 3) fully examining the characteristics associated with sectoral wealth that are responsible for billionaire wealth and 4) analyzing which institutional drivers may have most contributed to billionaire wealth at the economic sector level. The result of this sector analysis is a deeper understanding as to which institutional drivers are most responsible for billionaire proliferation during the neoliberal period.
"The Institutional Drivers Contributing to Billionaire Wealth at the Sector Level,"
Class, Race and Corporate Power: Vol. 11:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/classracecorporatepower/vol11/iss1/3