Jonathan Wai, Talent IdentificationProgram,DukeUniversity
David Lincoln, Wealth-X
Accepted 4 November 2015
The extent to which people in the right tail of wealth are highly educated and cognitively able was examined in a sample of 18,245 ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals with net worth’s of USD $30 million plus. How education and ability related to religion, ethnicity, political affiliation, relationship status, country, industry, leadership, gender, net worth, giving, and network power was assessed. And whether gender, religion, ethnicity, or network power differences existed in the right tail of wealth was examined. Overall, these people were highly educated and cognitively able, and smarter (more educated) people were wealthier, gave more, and had more powerful social networks (but when controlling for multiple confounds the association between education/ ability and wealth was found to be quite small). Females were underrepresented, and female CEOs needed to be more select to reach the top of a company. Males and billionaires gave the most, but females and UHNW individuals gave more of what they had. U.S. Blacks and self-made females had the highest network power. U.S. Blacks and Caucasians were similarly educated and cognitively able. Democrats had a higher education and cognitive ability level than Republicans. Married people dominated and were the most educated and cognitively able, but least likely to have inherited their money and give. The finance, banking, investment, and internet sectors dominated. Jewish individuals were overrepresented by a factor of about 234. Today, the typical UHNW individual profile includes U.S. married (Christian and Jewish) men who are largely Chairman and CEO, Republican, and earned their money in finance, banking and investments. This study provides evidence for the clustering of brains, wealth and power, and suggests that elite education may matter in the trajectory of developing expertise in wealth and power generation.
The jaw-dropping sentence “Jewish individuals were overrepresented by a factor of about 234″ among individuals with a net worth of $30 million or higher is relative to the whole world’s population, where Jews make up roughly 1/500th of the world, not the U.S. population where they make up roughly 1/50th.
A very large fraction of the database of individuals with net worths of at least $30 million in this list of 18,245 are unidentified as to religion (10,365 globally). Among religions, identified Christians (including Catholics but not the 25 Mormons) are #1 globally at 1753 individuals around the world, identified Jews are #2 at 1690 individuals, and Muslims are #3 at 1302. Hindus are 4th at 401 and Buddhists 5th at 142.
In the U.S. subset, unknowns are most prevalent at 4,680. Among identified religions, Jews are #1 at 1278, followed by Christians (including Catholics) at 1196, with Hindus at 55 and Muslims at 51.