a family tree chart with a real tree in the background

Some of the world's most elite business families, like Italy's Berlusconi, France's Dassault, Chile's Matte, and South Korea's Lee, are also political powerhouses. Why is this the case?

A new explorative study by Barcelona School of Economics Affiliated Professor Marcelo Ortiz (UPF, BSE, and UPF-BSM) and co-authors Patricio Duran (University of Richmond) and Michael Carney (Concordia University) shows how elite business families blend social status with political ambition, reshaping both the political and business landscape.

In their research, the team takes a close look at Chile's elite business families from 1989 to 2020 and finds that an inner circle representing the interests of the business class emerges to facilitate the coordination between a concentrated political power and a dispersed business community.

What do families in the inner circle have in common? As it turns out, it's not just the money. Social traits like national origins and religious affiliations play a key role in political involvement, challenging the usual economic explanations.

The team's findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Entrepreneurship and Practice under the title, "More than money: Political participation by elite business families."

Read a pre-print on ResearchGate

Other recent updates

portrait of Robin Hogarth

In memoriam: Robin Hogarth (1942-2024)

Barcelona School of Economics Emeritus Research Professor Robin Hogarth (ICREA-UPF and BSE) has passed away at the age of 81....

A woman presents research from a stage with spotlights in front of a diverse audience

Let's shine a spotlight on research by women at BSE!

February 11 is the United Nations' International Day for Women and Girls in Science. For Women in Science Day...

portrait of Robert Solow

In memoriam: Robert M. Solow (1924-2023)

The Barcelona School of Economics community mourns the loss of Robert M. Solow, Emeritus Professor at MIT, Nobel Laureate, and...

portraits of job market candidates

PhD Job Market Candidates in the BSE Research Community 2023-24

Read all about this year's job market candidates in the UAB-IDEA and UPF PhD programs, both organized jointly with the...

BSE Focus