The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So by Robert H. Frank

By Robert H. Frank

Chosen via enterprise Week as one of many 10 most sensible company books of the 12 months, this article is "a significant contribution to the talk concerning the explanations and results of inequality in America."--The long island occasions publication assessment.

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Extra resources for The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us

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But those candidates who are chosen at this early stage will often be in a much better position to move forward than their near peers who were not chosen. In all such cases a small initial advantage can eventually engender a nearly insurmountable lead. Decision Leverage One measure of the importance of any individual decision is the number of people who are affected by it. " Forthe person in the top position of a large decision-making hierarchy (CEO, ship's captain, Supreme Court justice, and so on), a small difference in the quality of even a single decision can translate into an enormous difference in the value of final output.

Ingenuinely high-stakes arenas, this pressure to hire the best can be all but irresistible: "Imagine yourself a producer in charge of a very, very expensive film," said a top composer connected to a network ofsuccessful producers, a freelancer who had worked with some ofthe biggest people on some of the most expensive films in the seventies. "32 The pressure to "hire a name" is a demand-related source of winner- take-all markets not just in entertainment, but in many other arenas as well. Concentrated Purchasing Power Another important demand-related source of winner-take-all markets stems from the concentration of great wealth in the hands of a few in dividuals.

Moreover, the people most likely todrop out would bethose whose odds of making it into the winner's circle were smallest to begin with. Thus the value of what gets produced in winner-take-all markets would not be much reduced if higher taxes were levied on winners' in comes; more important, whatever reductions did occur would tend to be more than offset by increased output in traditional markets. To the extent that most of society's top earners are participants in winnertake-all markets, it follows that a more progressive tax structure would not reduce but actually increase economic efficiency!

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The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So by Robert H. Frank
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