Close window
 Research Projects at the MPIfG

"Winner-Take-All" Markets in the Creative Industries

Mark Lutter


 
In winner-take-all markets, the goods and services offered differ only slightly in quality, but their success on the market is extremely disparate. The number of winners is scant compared to the legions of losers. In this market, performance, quality, and talent do not translate proportionately into success - performance and success go their separate ways. An artist earning more than a hundred times the average income does not necessarily have a hundred times more talent. Because the chances of succeeding are so small, the likelihood of earning an above-average income - or of surviving on the market at all - is slim. What motivates the people who decide to venture into these markets? What factors influence their decision to invest? How do winner-take-all markets evolve? This research project aims to answer these questions both theoretically and empirically, focusing primarily on the social forces behind the development of these markets and their participants’ vastly uneven prospects for success. Empirically, the project examines markets in the creative industries, drawing on structural data from the film industry and standardized surveys of artists, musicians, actors, and other creative professionals. Project duration: May 2010 to April 2016.
 
Lutter, Mark, 2012: Anstieg oder Ausgleich? Die multiplikative Wirkung sozialer Ungleichheiten auf dem Arbeitsmarkt für Filmschauspieler. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie 41(6), 435-457.
 
Lutter, Mark. 2013: Strukturen ungleichen Erfolgs: Winner-take-all-Konzentrationen und ihre sozialen Entstehungskontexte auf flexiblen Arbeitsmärkten. In: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 65(4), 597-622.
 
Lutter, Mark, 2013: Is There a Closure Penalty? Cohesive Network Structures, Diversity, and Gender Inequalities in Career Advancement. MPIfG Discussion Paper 13/9, Cologne: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
 
Close window