Developing an Elite Index for Comparative Studies: The Schooling of Irish and UK Cabinet Ministers

Document Type

Conference Paper


This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Political science

Publication Details

Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, IL, USA (April 2014).


Elites and their formation have become of increasing public concern and research interest in recent years. The lessons from such research can be made more generalizable if a measure of elite formation could be developed that is comparable across countries. But, the nature of elite formation renders this a complex task. Nevertheless, in this paper, by building upon measures employed in other fields, such as industrial economics, we construct indices that facilitate the comparison of elite formation across countries. We illustrate this through a comparison of the schooling of Irish and British cabinet ministers.