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Publisher's Summary

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 listenable, 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.

©2016 Robert H. Frank (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not what is advertised

What did you like best about Success and Luck? What did you like least?

The author seems to be a well educated person and has a point

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I feel the book is not as is advertised. The myth of meritocracy is argued in order to pursue the hidden agenda of this book and that is to champion the new idea of Consumption Tax.

Do you think Success and Luck needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No follow up required.

Any additional comments?

Not at all what was expected.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Luck and Meritocracy

This is a smart book talking about luck and meritocracy with fun examples. The only thing that dint make sense is a lot of tax examples which in my opinion makes it hard to understand the concept of luck and does not quite fit well with the books title.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good Book overall

Book showed a lot of good examples were luck and good fortune ultimately helped with the success or good fortune of the individual. The last chapters that dealt with tax policy I did not feel fit with the book.

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  • Eliezer
  • 08-12-16

very eye opening to life and success

it was good to learn but I don't see luck the same way. I see luck to be, the ability to able to the luck in front of you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsteen
  • 01-24-17

An academic look at Luck and Success in Life

I enjoyed listening to this book. I have always been interested in exploring the occurrence of Luck in my life so I enjoy books about Luck. This is a more academic angle on the subject than I had expected but I still found it interesting. I also enjoyed that it was written in a level of language that I had no trouble understanding. A lot of the conclusions were things I would readily agree with. I enjoyed the anecdotes of coincidences and Luck in the author's life and it was interesting to learn about the Progressive Consumption Tax.