I do not disparage Rowling when I say talent is not the explanation for her monetary success. Homer, Shakespeare and Tolkien all earned much less. Why? Consider Homer, he told great stories but could earn no more in a night than say 50 people might pay for an evening's entertainment. Shakespeare did a little better. The Globe theater could hold 3000 and unlike Homer, Shakespeare didn't have to be at the theater to earn. Shakespeare's words were leveraged.(Source: Marginal Revolution)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Explaining Income Inequality Through Harry Potter
Economist Alex Tabarrok argues that the way to explain why incomes are becoming less equal in the world and in the United States is to look at why some writers, like JK Rowling are making tons of money. Basically, it comes down to the fact that everyone is staying about the same, while a few top-earners are making a lot more than they used to because they have larger global markets than they used to. So Tabarrok's explanation is not that the poor are getting poorer, but rather, the richest few are pulling away from the pack.