The increasing concentration of income and wealth on the national and international level is a topic that has received increased attention both in social science research as well as public policy debates. Even severe crises such as the GFC in 2008 or the current Covid-Pandemic have not led to any trend reversal in this respect. On the contrary, the wealth of the top 1% has continued to rise sharply. Yet, it has been shown, that the huge wealth discrepancy is mainly driven by a small group of High Net Worth (HNW) individuals. While data availability is a well-known and often-lamented problem in wealth studies, due to missing statistical data and information, especially the group of HNW remains largely unexplored. Our case study on networks of super-rich in Austria aims to address this gap and contribute to a deeper understanding of the impact of HNW individuals and their networks on current wealth distributions. Against this background, we first provide an extensive review of the literature on national and international research on HNW individuals. Second, based on the insights from this review, we conduct a study on the networks of HNW individuals in Austria. In doing so, we collect data on HNW individuals from various databases (e.g. Orbis, WieReg) and individual biographical research based on Austria?s top HNW individuals. Methodologically, we follow a two-fold approach: First, we apply social network analysis (SNA) to highlight networks of corporate ownership and (indirect) control and the private personal and institutional social networks of HNW individuals. Second, we conduct multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) to highlight the overall characteristics of the social field of super-rich in Austria.
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