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  • Author: Robert Warren
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Undocumented immigration has been a significant political issue in recent years, and is likely to remain so throughout and beyond the presidential election year of 2016. One reason for the high and sustained level of interest in undocumented immigration is the widespread belief that the trend in the undocumented population is ever upward. This paper shows that this belief is mistaken and that, in fact, the undocumented population has been decreasing for more than a half a decade. Other findings of the paper that should inform the immigration debate are the growing naturalized citizen populations in almost every US state and the fact that, since 1980, the legally resident foreign-born population from Mexico has grown faster than the undocumented population from Mexico.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, Immigrants
  • Political Geography: Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Philip Korom, Mark Lutter, Jens Beckert
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The social science literature proposes two competing explanatory frameworks for the existence and longevity of super-fortunes: superstar or winner-take-all mechanisms, suggesting an increased dominance of new self-made billionaires; and mechanisms focusing on inherited advantages, suggesting an enduring importance of old family fortunes. Using panel data from the USA’s annual Forbes 400 ranking (1982–2013), this study analyzes factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of remaining listed among the American super-rich. We find initially that the percentages of self-made entrepreneurs among the highest wealth echelons of US society have increased significantly since 1982. Sectors that improved the most are finance (including hedge funds and private equity), new technology and mass retail. The decline of inheritance as a source of wealth and the rise of new tech and finance fortunes suggest low reproduction rates among superrich property owners. Family wealth, however, plays an important role if the longevity of fortunes is considered. While the literature predicts family fortunes to be taxed away, divided among a large number of heirs, or lost through incompetence, we find that scions of inherited great wealth (mostly up to the third generation) are more likely to remain listed in the Forbes 400 roster than self-made entrepreneurs. We conclude that even though entrepreneurship increasingly matters for becoming super-rich, it is first and foremost the ability of rich family dynasties to retain control over corporations and to access sophisticated financial advice that makes fortunes last.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Social Stratification, Landpower
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Stefan Svallfors
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: As Hacker and Pierson (2010) have observed, politics is primarily organization: “organized combat.” To understand the outcomes of politics, we have to look at how it is organized over time: by whom and with what resources? I take Sweden as an example of how politics as organized combat has changed quite dramatically in recent decades. Sweden is often cited as an opposite to the United States among the rich capitalist countries, but it has experienced many encompassing policy changes which have not received the attention they deserve. The paper specifies how Swedish organized politics has changed fundamentally, including the dismantling of corporatist arrangements, changes in the economic policy decision-making framework, increased income inequality, weakened political parties and changes in their social bases, the decline of blue-collar union strength, the growth of the policy professionals category, the increased impact of multilevel politics, and the mediatization of politics. Today’s amorphous, invisible mode of elite-driven policy-making diverges greatly from the old corporatist structures and is accompanied by dramatically increasing inequality. Even in Sweden, the impact of money on politics has become stronger. The paper discusses what this implies for current politics and policy-making in Sweden.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Sweden, United States of America