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The Matthew Principle of Accumulated Advantage and How the Poor Get Poorerby@williammeller
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The Matthew Principle of Accumulated Advantage and How the Poor Get Poorer

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The Matthew Effect or Matthew Principle of accumulated advantage, is sometimes summarized by the adage "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" The concept is applicable to matters of fame or status, but may also be applied literally to cumulative advantage of economic capital. The term was coined by sociologist Robert K. Merton and his wife, Harriet Zuckerman, in 1968 and takes its name from the Parable of the Talents in the biblical Gospel of Matthew. The Matthew effect may be explained by preferential attachment whereby individuals probabilistically accrue a total reward in proportion to their existing degree.
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