Success and Luck

Author: Robert H. Frank
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400880270
Release Date: 2016-04-19
Genre: Business & Economics

From New York Times bestselling author and economics columnist Robert Frank, a compelling book that explains why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in their success, why that hurts everyone, and what we can do about it How important is luck in economic success? No question more reliably divides conservatives from liberals. As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hardworking. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much. In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. In Success and Luck, bestselling author and New York Times economics columnist Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success—and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy. Frank describes how, in a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, chance opportunities and trivial initial advantages often translate into much larger ones—and enormous income differences—over time; how false beliefs about luck persist, despite compelling evidence against them; and how myths about personal success and luck shape individual and political choices in harmful ways. But, Frank argues, we could decrease the inequality driven by sheer luck by adopting simple, unintrusive policies that would free up trillions of dollars each year—more than enough to fix our crumbling infrastructure, expand healthcare coverage, fight global warming, and reduce poverty, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. If this sounds implausible, you'll be surprised to discover that the solution requires only a few, noncontroversial steps. Compellingly readable, Success and Luck shows how a more accurate understanding of the role of chance in life could lead to better, richer, and fairer economies and societies.

Success and Luck

Author: Robert H. Frank
Publisher:
ISBN: 0691167400
Release Date: 2016-04-15
Genre:

How important is luck in economic success? No question more reliably divides conservatives from liberals. As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hardworking. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much. In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. In Success and Luck, bestselling author and New York Times economics columnist Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success--and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy. Frank describes how, in a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, chance opportunities and trivial initial advantages often translate into much larger ones--and enormous income differences--over time; how false beliefs about luck persist, despite compelling evidence against them; and how myths about personal success and luck shape individual and political choices in harmful ways. But, Frank argues, we could decrease the inequality driven by sheer luck by adopting simple, unintrusive policies that would free up trillions of dollars each year--more than enough to fix our crumbling infrastructure, expand healthcare coverage, fight global warming, and reduce poverty, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. If this sounds implausible, you'll be surprised to discover that the solution requires only a few, uncontroversial steps. Compellingly readable, Success and Luck shows how a more accurate understanding of the role of chance in life could lead to better, richer, and fairer economies and societies.

The Meritocracy Myth

Author: Stephen J. McNamee
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 9781442219830
Release Date: 2013-07-18
Genre: Social Science

The Meritocracy Myth challenges the widely held American belief in meritocracy—that people get out of the system what they put into it based on individual merit. The third edition has been revised and streamlined, with fresh examples and updated statistical information throughout. Chapters eight and nine have been combined into a comprehensive chapter about discrimination as a non-merit barrier to upward mobility. The book also features a new section on “The Great Recession.” The Meritocracy Myth examines talent, attitude, work ethic, and character as elements of merit, and evaluates the effect of non-merit factors such as social status, race, heritage, and wealth on meritocracy. A compelling book on an often-overlooked topic, The Meritocracy Myth has become a classroom classic to introduce students to this provocative topic.

Luck

Author: Ed Smith
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9781408830604
Release Date: 2013-04-01
Genre: Fortune

For aspiring cricketer Ed Smith, luck was for other people. Ed believed that the successful cricketer made his own luck by an application of will power, elimination of error, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. But when a freak accident at the crease at Lords prematurely ended Ed Smith's international cricketing career, it changed everything - and prompted him to look anew at his own life through the prism of luck. Tracing the history of the concepts of luck and fortune, destiny and fate, from the ancient Greeks to the present day - in religion, in banking, in politics - Ed Smith argues that the question of luck versus skill is as pertinent today as it ever has been. He challenges us to think again about privilege and opportunity, to re-examine the question of innate ability and of gifts and talents accidentally conferred at birth. Weaving in his personal stories - notably the chance meeting of a beautiful stranger who would become his wife on a train he seemed fated to miss - he puts to us the idea that in life, luck cannot be underestimated: without any means of explaining our differing lots in life, the world without luck is one in which you deserve every ill that befalls you, where envy dominates and averageness is the stifling ideal. Embracing luck leads us to a fresh reappraisal of the nature of success, opportunity and fairness.

The Myth of Meritocracy

Author: James Bloodworth
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 9781785900761
Release Date: 2016-05-19
Genre: Political Science

The best jobs in Britain today are overwhelmingly done by the children of the wealthy. Meanwhile, it is increasingly difficult for bright but poor kids to transcend their circumstances. This state of affairs should not only worry the less well-off. It hurts the middle classes too, who are increasingly locked out of the top professions by those from affluent backgrounds. Hitherto, Labour and Conservative politicians alike have sought to deal with the problem by promoting the idea of 'equality of opportunity'. In politics, social mobility is the only game in town, and old socialist arguments emphasising economic equality are about as fashionable today as mullets and shell suits. Yet genuine equality of opportunity is impossible alongside levels of inequality last seen during the 1930s. In a grossly unequal society, the privileges of the parents unfailingly become the privileges of the children. A vague commitment from our politicians to build a 'meritocracy' is not enough. Nor is it desirable: a perfectly stratified meritocracy, in which everyone knew their station based on 'merit', would be a deeply unpleasant place to live. Any genuine attempt to improve social mobility must start by reducing the gap between rich and poor. PROVOCATIONS is a groundbreaking new series of short polemics composed by some of the most intriguing voices in contemporary culture and edited by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Sharp, intelligent and controversial, Provocations provides insightful contributions to the most vital discussions in society today.

Choosing the right pond

Author: Robert H. Frank
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: UOM:39015066439582
Release Date: 1985
Genre: Business & Economics

Examines people's concerns with economic status, discusses tax programs, wages, trade unions, local hierarchies, poverty, and safety regulations, and looks at the ethical role of money

The Tyranny of the Meritocracy

Author: Lani Guinier
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 9780807078129
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Education

"Standing on the foundations of America's promise of equal opportunity, our universities purport to "serve as engines of social mobility" and "practitioners of democracy." But as acclaimed scholar and pioneering civil rights advocate Lani Guinier argues, the merit systems that dictate the admissions practices of these institutions are functioning to select and privilege elite individuals rather than create learning communities geared to advance democratic societies. Having studied and taught at schools such as Harvard University, Yale Law School, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Guinier has spent years examining the experiences of ethnic minorities at the nation's top institutions of higher education, and here she lays bare the practices that impede the stated missions of these schools. Guinier argues for reformation, not only of the very premises of admissions practices but of the shape of higher education itself, and she offers many examples of new collaborative initiatives that prepare students for engaged citizenship in our increasingly multicultural society."--Publisher information.

The Economics of Poverty

Author: Martin Ravallion
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190212773
Release Date: 2016-01-07
Genre:

While there is no denying that the world has made huge progress against absolute poverty over the last 200 years, until recent times the bulk of that progress had been made in wealthy countries only. The good news is that we have seen greater progress against poverty in the developing world in recent times-indeed, a faster pace of progress against extreme poverty than the rich world saw over a period of 100 years or more of economic development. However, continuing progress is far from assured. High and rising inequality has stalled progress against poverty in many countries. We are seeing generally rising relative poverty in the rich world as a whole over recent decades. And even in the developing world, there has been less progress in reaching the poorest, who risk being left behind, and a great many people in the emerging middle class remain highly vulnerable to falling back into poverty. The Economics of Poverty strives to support well-informed efforts to put in place effective policies to assure continuing success in reducing poverty in all its dimensions. The book reviews critically the past and present debates on the central policy issues of economic development everywhere. How much poverty is there? Why does poverty exist? What can be done to eliminate poverty? Martin Ravallion provides an accessible new synthesis of current knowledge on these issues. It does not assume that readers know economics already. Those new to economics get a lot of help along the way in understanding its concepts and methods. Economics lives though its relevance to real world problems, and here the problem of global poverty is both the central focus and a vehicle for learning.

Richistan

Author: Robert Frank
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780307409263
Release Date: 2008-06-03
Genre: Business & Economics

The rich have always been different from you and me, but this revealing and funny journey through “Richistan” entertainingly shows that they are more different than ever. Richistanis have 400-foot-yachts, 30,000-square-foot homes, house staffs of more than 100, and their own “arborists.” They’re also different from Old Money, and have torn down blue-blood institutions to build their own shining empire. Richistan is like the best travel writing, full of colorful and interesting stories providing insights into exotic locales. Robert Frank has been loitering on the docks of yacht marinas, pestering his way into charity balls, and schmoozing with real estate agents selling mega-houses to capture the story of the twenty-first century’s nouveau riche: House-training the rich. People with new wealth have to be taught how to act like, well, proper rich people. Just in the nick of time, there’s been a boom in the number of newly trained butlers—“household managers”—who will serve just the right cabernet when a Richistani’s new buddies from Palm Beach stop by. “My boat is bigger than your boat.” Only in Richistan would a 100-foot-boat be considered a dinghy. Personal pleasure craft have started to rival navy destroyers in size and speed. Richistan is also a place where friends make fun of those misers who buy the new girlfriend a mere Mercedes SLK. “You want my money? Prove that you’re helping the needy!” Richistanis are not only consuming like crazy, they’re also shaking up the establishment’s bureaucratic, slow-moving charity network, making lean, results-oriented philanthropy an important new driving force. Move over, Christian Coalition. Richistanis are more Democratic than Republican, “fed up and not going to take it anymore,” and willing to spend millions to get progressive-oriented politicians elected. “My name is Mike and I’m rich.” Think that money is the answer? Think again as Robert Frank explores the emotional complexities of wealth. And, as Robert Frank reveals, there is not one Richistan but three: Lower, Middle, and Upper, each of which has its own levels and distinctions of wealth —the haves and the have-mores. The influence of Richistan and the Richistanis extends well beyond the almost ten million households that make up its population, as the nonstop quest for status and an insatiable demand for luxury goods reshapes the entire American economy. From the Hardcover edition.

The Darwin Economy

Author: Robert H. Frank
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691156682
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Business & Economics

Argues that ecologist Charles Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than economist Adam Smith's theories ever did.

The Economic Naturalist

Author: Robert H. Frank
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9781541673830
Release Date: 2018-07-03
Genre: Business & Economics

Why do the keypads on drive-up cash machines have Braille dots? Why are round-trip fares from Orlando to Kansas City higher than those from Kansas City to Orlando? For decades, Robert Frank has been asking his economics students to pose and answer questions like these as a way of learning how economic principles operate in the real world-which they do everywhere, all the time. Once you learn to think like an economist, all kinds of puzzling observations start to make sense. Drive-up ATM keypads have Braille dots because it's cheaper to make the same machine for both drive-up and walk-up locations. Travelers from Kansas City to Orlando pay less because they are usually price-sensitive tourists with many choices of destination, whereas travelers originating from Orlando typically choose Kansas City for specific family or business reasons. The Economic Naturalist employs basic economic principles to answer scores of intriguing questions from everyday life, and, along the way, introduces key ideas such as the cost-benefit principle, the “no cash on the table” principle, and the law of one price. This is as delightful and painless a way to learn fundamental economics as there is.

The Curse of Cash

Author: Kenneth S. Rogoff
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400888726
Release Date: 2017-06-27
Genre: Business & Economics

From the New York Times bestselling author of This Time Is Different, "a fascinating and important book" (Ben Bernanke) about phasing out most paper money to fight crime and tax evasion—and to battle financial crises by tapping the power of negative interest rates The world is drowning in cash—and it's making us poorer and less safe. Kenneth Rogoff, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Is Different, makes a persuasive and fascinating case for an idea that until recently would have seemed outlandish: getting rid of most paper money. Even as people in advanced economies are using less paper money, there is more cash in circulation—a record $1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills. And the United States is hardly exceptional. So what is all that cash being used for? The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy. As Rogoff shows, paper money can also cripple monetary policy. In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, central banks have been unable to stimulate growth and inflation by cutting interest rates significantly below zero for fear that it would drive investors to abandon treasury bills and stockpile cash. This constraint has paralyzed monetary policy in virtually every advanced economy, and is likely to be a recurring problem in the future. The Curse of Cash offers a plan for phasing out most paper money—while leaving small-denomination bills and coins in circulation indefinitely—and addresses the issues the transition will pose, ranging from fears about privacy and price stability to the need to provide subsidized debit cards for the poor. While phasing out the bulk of paper money will hardly solve the world’s problems, it would be a significant step toward addressing a surprising number of very big ones. Provocative, engaging, and backed by compelling original arguments and evidence, The Curse of Cash is certain to spark widespread debate.

The Seventh Sense

Author: Joshua Cooper Ramo
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316285049
Release Date: 2016-05-17
Genre: Social Science

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER Winner of the getAbstract 17th International Book Award "The Seventh Sense is a concept every businessman, diplomat, or student should aspire to master--a powerful idea, backed by stories and figures that will be impossible to forget." -- Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci Endless terror. Refugee waves. An unfixable global economy. Surprising election results. New billion-dollar fortunes. Miracle medical advances. What if they were all connected? What if you could understand why? The Seventh Sense is the story of what all of today's successful figures see and feel: the forces that are invisible to most of us but explain everything from explosive technological change to uneasy political ripples. The secret to power now is understanding our new age of networks. Not merely the Internet, but also webs of trade, finance, and even DNA. Based on his years of advising generals, CEOs, and politicians, Ramo takes us into the opaque heart of our world's rapidly connected systems and teaches us what the losers are not yet seeing--and what the victors of this age already know.

The Philosophy of Luck

Author: Duncan Pritchard
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781119030577
Release Date: 2015-06-02
Genre: Philosophy

"First published as Metaphilosophy volume 45, nos. 4-5 (October 2014), except for 'Luck as risk and the lack of control account of luck,' first published in Metaphilosophy volume 46, no. 2 (January 2015)"--Title page vers

How to Get Lucky

Author: Max Gunther
Publisher: Harriman House Limited
ISBN: 9780857190437
Release Date: 2010-07-29
Genre: Business & Economics

Max Gunther's lost classic brought back into print. Most people imagine that you're born lucky or you get lucky. Max Gunther shows you how you get lucky. The fact is that some people really are luckier than others and not by accident. Lucky people arrange their lives in characteristic patterns. They tend to position themselves in the path of onrushing luck; they tend to go where events are moving fastest and where they can find their lucky break. Lucky people take risks but not silly ones. They stick with a cause, a job, or a partner, but not when all hope is lost. In short, they move with life, not against it. This book gives you thirteen different techniques by which you can discover and take advantage of life's good breaks, while minimising the effects of its bad ones.