In this book, Hans-Jürgen Burchardt and Irene Lungo-Rodríguez lead a transdisciplinary team of experts to advance our understanding of wealth in Latin America.

Combining conceptual discussions with empirical research, they analyze characteristics of wealth, and the implications for inequality. Three thematic sections provide a unique overarching structure to understand the economic, social, political, and cultural complexity of wealth. Questions examined include:

  • What economic, institutional, and structural factors contribute to the excessive accumulation of wealth?
  • What political dynamics promote the concentration of wealth and power?
  • What type of social, political, and economic relations are generated in these contexts of extreme wealth concentration?
  • What socio-cultural processes contribute to legitimizing and reproducing wealth?
  • What are the local, regional, and national socio-ecological effects of these dynamics?

Wealth, Development and Social Inequalities in Latin America provides thought-provoking reading for students and researchers alike who wish to look beyond the Global North for answers on the importance of studying wealth.

chapter |15 pages


Wealth, inequalities, and sustainable development in Latin America

part I|82 pages

Economics of wealth

chapter 2|19 pages

Extractivism, nature, and wealth

Unequal specialization and the modernization of elite rule in Latin America

chapter 3|14 pages

Agrarian capitalism and land ownership

The case of Uruguay

chapter 4|20 pages

Tax systems and concentration of wealth

The problems of the Mexican tax system

part II|59 pages

Politics of wealth

chapter 5|13 pages

Wealth, inequality, and democracy in Latin America

A methodological approach

chapter 6|15 pages

The names of power

How to define Latin American economic elites? 1

chapter 7|15 pages

The wealth defense industry

An exploration of the role of intermediaries in the financial and tax fields in economic concentration 1

chapter 8|14 pages

Elites and development in natural resource-exporting countries

Experiences from Ecuador

part III|72 pages

Culture of wealth

chapter 9|13 pages

Privilege and wealth in Latin America

Bridging culture and political economy

chapter 10|17 pages

Wealth studies, whiteness, and family dynasties in Latin America

Preliminary reflections

chapter 11|21 pages

How does it feel to be a solution?

The relationship between wealth and whiteness in Latin America

chapter 12|19 pages

Object of attraction

The wife, the dowry, and the distribution of wealth in 19th-century Mexico