From Elitist to Sustainable Earnings: Is there a group legitimacy in financial flows?

Aurelie Charles, Suncica Vujic

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper


Elite occupations are characterised by the magnitude of income accumulation which has been particularly exacerbated in the financialisation process. This paper however shows that the cumulative effects on group earnings is a pattern visible across the labour force. The case studies on the US and UK labour force in the financialisation era in effect show that elitist earnings are a group phenomenon for a dominant group, mainly white male or female, at the expense of other racial, ethnic, and gender groups. Learning from such group behaviour on financial accumulation and drawing on Sen’s rules of legitimacy (1981) in market interactions, the discussion then looks at the possibility of “sustainable earning” trends that feed into the financial needs for the green transition. The paper concludes that economic actors should be aware of the group legitimacy to financial flows, but that the group boundaries should be based on ecological-based entitlements rather than social-based entitlements to financial flows.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherGlobal Labor Organization
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameGLO Discussion Paper Series


  • Income
  • Inequality
  • social norms
  • stratification
  • elite


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