"The origins of the term are firmly rooted in Pareto's work on the distribution of wealth and the ruling class. But today, the term goes beyond its roots in class and is used to describe actors at various levels of society. A working definition we adopt here is that elites are "a distinct group within a society which enjoys privileged status and exercises decisive control over the organization of society." This does not require that the actor be either wealthy or a member of the ruling class, but it does suggest that they have a measurable impact on development outcomes"
Amsden, DiCaprio (não o ator) e Robinson tem uma definição:
Meu orientador me mandou essa. Se vocês olharem no site, esse texto é parte de uma conferência sobre elites e desenvolvimento ocorrida em Junho na UNU-WIDER em Helsinki.