26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Commentary from a Chicago school follower,
This review is from: The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us (Paperback)
This book is very well written, presenting an argument questioning some of the assumptions that the neo-classical economists make regarding human behavior. While I formerly thought that the outcome of a free market is always socially optimal, I cannot resist the conclusion after reading Frank that some regulations are necessary to divert us from our tendency to engage in arms races for relative status into other more productive activities. The book presents a sound argument for why popular culture has degraded so, and why some people make grossly large incomes, explaining each not on sociological grounds, but rather in terms of the increasing scope and competitiveness of markets. It is not technical in style, so even an Econ B.A. like myself can understand it in its totality (or anyone else, for that matter). The book promises in the beginning to demonstrate who there is not necessary a trade off between equity and efficiency, and in the end, it delivers. More than anything, if you look at the salary of an NBA player and question, "Is his jumpshot really worth $50 million/year? Are we paying him for something that is socially valuable?" then this book is for you. Frank's answer to that question is NO, and that incomes like those induce people to make erroneous career choices (like students who opt for playing hoops over studying math). The result of the free market then, is wasted talent that could have been useful in another application. MIZZOU ECON RULES!