July 12, 2012

Emerging Economies – Rich And Confident

Pew survey suggests that optimism of the emerging economies could help spur global growth

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Pew Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special for YaleGlobal

In his 1926 short story “The Rich Boy,” American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”

And so they are. Although, today’s very rich are not necessarily Americans or Europeans. They are quite often the citizens of emerging markets. Today Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and Turkey are home to 320 billionaires, according to the 2012 Forbes magazine list of the world’s richest people – many more than the 203 billionaires who carry European passports and just trailing the 425 billionaires residing in the United States.

Tallying the number of super rich is only one way to measure the growing economic and political clout of the emerging markets. A far more telling and representative comparison of both relative and prospective influence and wellbeing involves simply asking people in emerging markets how they feel about their national economies and personal finances, their financial future and job prospects for their children.

As a recent Pew Research Center survey shows, the citizens of emerging markets are more optimistic than those from most developed countries in views about their future and that of their children. And this difference is likely to shape the world economy in the years ahead.

Read the full commentary at YaleGlobal Online