Philanthropy among the elite class in the United States and the United Kingdom does more to create goodwill for the super-wealthy than to alleviate social ills for the poor, according to a new meta-analysis.
A group of U.K. researchers reviewed 263 journal articles, books and studies on elite philanthropy to better understand the role it plays in this new age of inequality.
"But entrepreneurship has enabled philanthropy for centuries so it's important to understand how the philanthropic sector supports the economic sector.".
Elite philanthropy, the study argues, is transactional, as there are also material benefits in addition to the cultural capital.
Universities and colleges such as Harvard and Oxford, which already boast large endowments, are by far the largest beneficiaries of elite philanthropy.
The researchers present four types of elite philanthropy that are distinguished by a focus in either developed or developing countries.
"But we're looking at this systematically and on that level, a lot of improvements can be made.". »