Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us” as Want to Read:
The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Disney chairman Michael Eisner topped the 1993 Business Week chart of America's highest-paid executives, his $203 million in earnings roughly 10,000 times that of the lowest paid Disney employee.During the last two decades, the top one percent of U.S. earners captured more than 40 percent of the country's total earnings growth, one of the largest shifts any society has end ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Penguin Books (first published 1995)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Winner-Take-All Society, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Winner-Take-All Society

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  18 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-affairs
Robert Frank and Philip J. Cook have written a most interesting book that explains why the salary of a typical American executive today is 120 times that of the average manufacturing worker when it was 35 times that in 1974; why "the incomes of the top 1 percent more than doubled in real terms between 1979 and 1989, a period during which the median income was roughly stable and in which the bottom 20 percent saw their income actually fall by 10 percent."

The authors reject the arguments that the
Doc Opp
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Oppenlander
I hesitate to call something "important." Like many adjectives in our sensationalized media-circus of a world, I think that the word "important" has been overused. However, I don't think I can get away without using that term here. This book really draws attention to some concepts that we should all be aware of and that we should all probably still be talking about, even though the book first came out in 1995.

I found this title on a list of "best business books" provided to me by a colleague. Bu
Scott Ford
Feb 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
What's the adage: Go with the number two guy, 'cause he'll work harder than number one. The authors do good work in discussing weaknesses in a unregulated economy.
Jonathan Williams
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
While I found the topic interesting and informative, the content structure was heavily flawed and seemed to have no reasonable organization. Structure aside, Philip J. Cook and Robert H. Frank effectively described winner-take-all markets and how they are formed.

My biggest takeaway is that industries that favor comparative achievement (similar to an incumbent in a political party) prize the top earns very heavily despite the talented efforts of the many. A classic example is commonly found duri
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even a fair amount of examples used in this book are too old, (like John Elway and Micheal Jordan), the book is full of insights.
Dec 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book explores the age old prisoner's dilemma in many fields and how, if left unchecked, could lead to lose-lose situation. Relative performance vs absolute performance is the key.

however it's still very hard to change, given the inertia and payoff (from an individual perspective). I thought what could be discussed more is what an individual could possibly do in order to break away from this syndrome. And hopefully the effort will somehow snowball into noticeable change that can benefit soc
Edwin Seno
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: John Seno
The authors have given an interesting outlook to winner-take-all markets that I've always thought reflected the intrinsic functioning of the human civilization. I am a firm believer in capitalism and free markets so initially, I adversely found the book 'Marxist' in nature. But as I read it, I opened up to the remedies offered for a more equitable society. I at times found the illustrations very out-dated but I understand the book was published in 1995. Anyway, a very good read for anyone with a ...more
Jul 27, 2011 marked it as to-read
Standard economic theory tells us that free markets will efficiently balance supply and demand. But what if "supply" or "demand" are relative to the behavior of others in the market? Then the market outcome which is 'optimal' for each individual may not be optimal for scoiety as a whole. This book shows how, with a wide variety of examples.
Ian Simon
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Changed my thinking substantially. This book contains a criminally underacknowledged argument for why the winner-take-all dynamic is bad. Essentially, the winner-take-all segment of the economy (say, American Idol) steals resources from the non-winner-take-all segment (say, pizzerias).
Cyrus Carter
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very good and reasoned account of why we let the top people rake in such ludicrous amounts. Time to change ourselves a bit, perhaps?
John Hoag
Apr 27, 2009 rated it liked it
A belated thank-you to Ed Rosenberg for recommending this
Mar 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Too lengthy and not straight to the point. The whole book can be cramped into an article from which I could get the author's idea way faster than going through all these pages.
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book 5 times. Although the thesis isn't new, its application to contemporary phenomena is illuminative.
Sean Chick
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the only books to address this issue in the 1990s. Now it is hot button issue. I wish it was better written but otherwise I liked it.
Fred R
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting idea, and all the it gets stretched pretty thin. More evidence and less speculation would have helped.
Stanley Lee
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Informative statistics. Applicable for 2014 even though it's published in 1995.
rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2011
Rafał Derda
rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2015
rated it it was ok
May 22, 2018
Carlos Castillo
rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2017
rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2012
Alan Cook
rated it it was amazing
Feb 23, 2015
Harald Blikø
rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2015
Taylor Kirk
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2011
rated it it was ok
Nov 05, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism
  • Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (For Dummies Health & Fitness)
  • Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s
  • Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams
  • Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff
  • Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World
  • Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans
  • Oh No She Didn't: The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them
  • The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too
  • When Corporations Rule the World
  • The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy
  • Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture
  • The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics
  • A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity
  • The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics
  • Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility
  • The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life
  • How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump
See similar books…
Robert H. Frank is the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and a Professor of Economics at Cornell University's S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management. He contributes to the "Economic View" column, which appears every fifth Sunday in The New York Times.