bridge players know that.

Bob Cook

Sent from Mail<> for Windows 10

From: H LV <>
Sent: Saturday, March 3, 2018 1:41:35 PM
Subject: [Vo]:​If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just 

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.

The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new 
computer model of wealth creation confirms. Taking that into account can 
maximize return on many kinds of investment.


Talent vs Luck: the role of randomness in success and failure

A. Pluchino. A. E. Biondo, A. Rapisarda
(Submitted on 20 Feb 2018 (v1), last revised 25 Feb 2018 (this version, v2))

The largely dominant meritocratic paradigm of highly competitive Western 
cultures is rooted on the belief that success is due mainly, if not 
exclusively, to personal qualities such as talent, intelligence, skills, 
efforts or risk taking. Sometimes, we are willing to admit that a certain 
degree of luck could also play a role in achieving significant material 
success. But, as a matter of fact, it is rather common to underestimate the 
importance of external forces in individual successful stories. It is very well 
known that intelligence or talent exhibit a Gaussian distribution among the 
population, whereas the distribution of wealth - considered a proxy of success 
- follows typically a power law (Pareto law). Such a discrepancy between a 
Normal distribution of inputs, with a typical scale, and the scale invariant 
distribution of outputs, suggests that some hidden ingredient is at work behind 
the scenes. In this paper, with the help of a very simple agent-based model, we 
suggest that such an ingredient is just randomness. In particular, we show 
that, if it is true that some degree of talent is necessary to be successful in 
life, almost never the most talented people reach the highest peaks of success, 
being overtaken by mediocre but sensibly luckier individuals. As to our 
knowledge, this counterintuitive result - although implicitly suggested between 
the lines in a vast literature - is quantified here for the first time. It 
sheds new light on the effectiveness of assessing merit on the basis of the 
reached level of success and underlines the risks of distributing excessive 
honors or resources to people who, at the end of the day, could have been 
simply luckier than others. With the help of this model, several policy 
hypotheses are also addressed and compared to show the most efficient 
strategies for public funding of research in order to improve meritocracy, 
diversity and innovation.

Reply via email to