Income Inequality

Inequality of Opportunity, Inequality of Income and Economic Growth

We posit that the relationship between income inequality and economic growth is mediated by the level of equality of opportunity, which we identify with intergenerational mobility. In economies characterized by intergenerational rigidities, an …

Talent vs Luck: the role of randomness in success and failure

The largely dominant meritocratic paradigm of highly competitive Western cultures is rooted on the belief that success is due mainly, if not exclusively, to personal qualities such as talent, intelligence, skills, efforts or risk taking. Sometimes, …

If You're So Smart Why Aren't You Rich? Turns out it’s just chance.

What factors, then, determine how individuals become wealthy? Could it be that chance plays a bigger role than anybody expected? And how can these factors, whatever they are, be exploited to make the world a better and fairer place? Today we get an answer thanks to the work of Alessandro Pluchino at the University of Catania in Italy and a couple of colleagues. These guys have created a computer model of human talent and the way people use it to exploit opportunities in life.

The American Dream, Quantified at Last

The phrase “American dream” was invented during the Great Depression. It comes from a popular 1931 book by the historian James Truslow Adams, who defined it as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone.” In the decades that followed, the dream became a reality. Thanks to rapid, widely shared economic growth, nearly all children grew up to achieve the most basic definition of a better life — earning more money and enjoying higher living standards than their parents had.