The Social Circuitry of High Finance: Universities and Intimate Ties Among Economic Elites, by Charlie Eaton and Albina Gibadullina, CSHE 11.20 (September 2020)


Financiers have regained preeminence among economic elites, accruing growing shares of income and wealth. Yet network analyses have shown a decline in the bank-based interlocks between corporate boards that were once thought to foster financier power and elite cohesion. We ask if social organizations parallel to the economy provide a circuitry that connects financiers to other elites, despite growing complexity and fragmentation in finance. We develop and test hypotheses that apply the theory to elite university social ties using original data on degree holding among the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans and on the financial affiliations of all trustees on the boards of 60 top ranked U.S. universities.

Albina Gibadullina
Publication date: 
September 24, 2020
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)