winner-take-all society

winner-take-all society

(coined by R. Frank, a society in which, in the name of merit, those who rise to the top obtain an ever-growing share of a societies resources, while those at the bottom receive less. This tendency is fuelled by an increasingly global market for highly skilled scarce labour (see also ECONOMIC RENT).
References in periodicals archive ?
The story can be found in two very successful economics books written for laymen: Robert Frank and Philip Cook's The Winner-Take-All Society and Paul Krugman's Peddling Prosperity, where an entire chapter is devoted to the "economics of QWERTY."
Similarly, to address the kinds of concerns raised in Frank and Cook's Winner-Take-All Society, the inequalities in incomes that arise in these new-technology markets could be removed harmlessly, since inequalities arise only as a matter of luck in the first place.
And--no surprise--the old economic policies that make sense in a textbook world are often singularly ill-suited for a winner-take-all society. Unfortunately, few politicians--in particular, the Republican majority in Congress--understand winner-take-all markets.
Now, our growing understanding of the incentive problems created by a winner-take-all society poses an even more decisive challenge to trickle-down theory.
Cook put it in The Winner-Take-All Society, that "the best performers have somehow gotten 'better' relative to their colleagues." This conclusion - to which Frank and Cook, by the way, do not subscribe - is a natural outgrowth of what's called "human capital theory," which is the idea that a person's wages are determined by his own store of income-producing assets, such as education, intelligence, and drive.
At times, The Winner-Take-All Society has the feeling of an exam paper in an introductory economics course, with the students trying to impress the professor with every fact and concept they'd learned during the year.