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Blend of plutocracy +‎ economy, from Ancient Greek roots πλοῦτος(ploûtos, wealth) + νόμος(nómos, law) (English -nomy).

In occasional use since 19th century, re-coined 2005 by team of Citigroup global strategist Ajay Kapur to describe economies with significant income and wealth inequality,[1] subsequently popularized.[2]


plutonomy ‎(countable and uncountable, plural plutonomies)

  1. An economy that is significantly influenced by the very wealthy.
  2. The study of the production and distribution of wealth.


  • 1866, Frederic Harrison, "Industrial Co-operation", in The Fortnightly Review, vol. III, page 499
    On this side it [Socialism] is a crude compromise between the claims of labour and of capital — the hybrid child of Plutonomy and Communism.

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  1. ^ Plutonomics”, Robert Frank, Wall Street Journal blog The Wealth Report, January 8, 2007:
    ‘Ajay Kapur, global strategist at Citigroup, and his research team came up with the term “Plutonomy” in 2005 to describe a country that is defined by massive income and wealth inequality. According to their definition, the U.S. is a Plutonomy, along with the U.K., Canada and Australia.’
  2. ^ The Economics Of Plutonomy”, Matthew Yglesias, Slate, Moneybox, Nov. 21, 2011