Robert Frank: How Inequality Harms the Wealthy

October 10, 2018 | 4:00-5:30pm | Building for Environmental Research and Teaching (BERT), Room 130, 85 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02912.

Robert H. Frank is the author of Choosing the Right Pond, The Winner Take All Society (with Philip Cook), Luxury Fever, and most recently Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy. In Success and Luck, 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. Frank argues that we could decrease the inequality driven by sheer luck by adopting simple, unobtrusive 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.