The Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship presents:
Wealthy Elites' Policy Preferences and Economic Inequality: The Case of Technology Entrepreneurs
David Broockman (Stanford University)
You can learn more about Professor Broockman by clicking here.
If wealthy businesspeople reliably support policies in their material self-interest, they can be expected to use their tremendous political influence to exacerbate inequality. We argue business elites in an industry can share distinctive values and predispositions which can override their self-interest. We demonstrate our argument with technology entrepreneurs, business elites with increasing wealth and political influence but who overwhelmingly support Democrats. To understand this puzzle, we conducted original surveys of elite technology entrepreneurs, elite partisan donors, and the public. We show that technology entrepreneurs’ predispositions to- ward racial tolerance, non-authoritarianism, and cosmopolitanism align them with Democrats in supporting liberal redistributive, social, and globalistic policies. However, they generally oppose regulation—but also for reasons that extend beyond self-interest alone. Our findings provide a rare window into a wealthy elite’s views that is both theoretically rich and politically relevant, providing nuance to expectations about the interplay between economic and political inequality.
For more information on the CSDC speaker series, please visit: http://csdc-cecd.ca/events/csdc-speaker-series/
This series is sponsored by the Inter-university Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship which is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).