Nobel-Prize-Winner Views Success as Rigged (Except for Nobel Prizes)

(p. 245) . . . , Solow interprets the evidence on intergenerational mobility as showing that the economy is not very meritocratic. (Oddly, he exempts the economics profession. He seems to believe that lack of success is often the result of bad luck or a rigged system, unless you are an economist, in which case it’s your own fault.) Although I noted in my article that those born into extreme poverty face particularly difficult obstacles, I view the rest of the economy as more meritocratic than Solow does. In addition to the Kaplan and Rauh study, I recommend a popular book called The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley and Danko 1996). Written by two marketing professors who extensively surveyed high net worth individuals, the book reports that the typical millionaire is not someone who was born into wealth but rather is someone who has worked hard and lived frugally.

Mankiw, N. Gregory. “Correspondence: Response from N. Gregory Mankiw.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 28, no. 1 (Winter 2014): 244-45.
(Note: ellipsis added; italics in original.)

The Stanley and Danko book that Mankiw praises (and I use in my Economics of Entrepreneurship seminar) is:
Stanley, Thomas J., and William D. Danko. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy. First ed. Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1996.

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