Illustrating crony capitalism’s “golden era”

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The Economist’s crony capitalism index is not perfect. But as we said before a couple of years ago it is a good attempt and it seems to have gotten a bit better.

(From The Economist)

Worldwide, the worth of billionaires in crony industries soared by 385% between 2004 and 2014, to $2 trillion. The Economist’s crony-capitalism index tries to measure the extent of this graft for a number of important countries.

Using data from a list of the world’s billionaires and their worth published by Forbes we label each individual as crony or not based on the source of their wealth. Industries that have a lot of interaction with the state are vulnerable to crony capitalism (a full list of industries is provided in the table below). These activities are often legal but always unfair (Donald Trump, a casino and property tycoon, earns the 104th spot in our individual crony ranking). We aggregate the billionaires by their home country and express the total wealth as percentage of GDP. The results are presented above for 22 economies: the five largest rich ones, the ten biggest for which reliable data are available and a selection of other countries where cronyism is a problem.

Click here for the article and chart.