If you are an extra actor in Hengdian, you have to play both a soldier rolling in the mud and a load-bearing coolie. At noon, you will eat the cheapest boxed lunch of the crew, and your daily income is about 200 yuan. If you are a big star with a caravan, life assistant and special meals, the income of acting in a movie is tens of millions, and the average daily income is hundreds of thousands of yuan.
Why is everyone's job similar in nature, but the income is so disparity?
University of Chicago economist Sherwin Rosen proposed the concept of "superstar economy" in the 1980s. He believes that the huge income of stars is not an unpredictable phenomenon in social activities, but the result of predictable economic forces.
Stars earn huge incomes first because of their scarcity. The reason why a celebrity becomes a celebrity will have some characteristics that others cannot replace, such as the flying speed of the sports star Liu Xiang, and the comic actor Shen Teng standing with a sense of humor that makes people laugh. Robert Solo, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1987, is a well-known baseball enthusiast. When a reporter asked him whether the Nobel Prize money he won was less than the money earned by the Red Sox pitcher Clemens in a season, and whether he felt distressed about it, Solow said disapprovingly: “There are There are many excellent economists, but Clemens has only one.”
Secondly, technological changes have opened up new ways for “superstars”. American economist Mankiw proposed in the book "Principles of Economics" that the phenomenon of "superstars" occurs in a market with two characteristics: one is that every customer in the market wants to enjoy the goods provided by the best producer; The second is a new technology that makes it possible for the best producer to provide each customer with goods at a low cost.
Pele, as the greatest player in history, two years after his stunning appearance at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, his annual salary for Santos is US$150,000, which is equivalent to the current US$1.1 million. This income can only be considered moderate today, far behind Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar, who have an annual income of tens of millions of euros. This is not because Pele's skills are not as good as others, but in that era, not so many people have the opportunity to appreciate his skills. The total population of Brazil in 1958 was 70 million, but there were only 350,000 TV sets. The world's first radio communication satellite "Telstar (Telstar 1)" was launched in 1962, and it did not catch up with Pele's first World Cup performance. Today's World Cup can be radiated to every corner of the world through TV and the Internet, adding up all the matches, it is equivalent to having hundreds of millions of pairs of eyes watching the same match.
The same is true in the performing arts market. After the birth of the new technology of film, Chaplin, the first global super movie star, filmed 12 comedies for Essana Film Company and received a salary of 670,000 US dollars. This was already a sky-high remuneration at the time, but it was also much less than the $25 million paid for Tom Hanks's performance in "The Da Vinci Code" and the $20 million paid for Brad Pitt's "Smiths". This is because in the Chaplin era, movies were still in the silent stage and the audience was limited. With the development of movie technology (3D technology, digital technology, multi-hall theater, etc.), the market for movies has become larger.
The new technology has brought another result, namely "winner takes all". Someone who is slightly "good" can easily win the whole cake, leaving others with nothing. Bolt's 100m speed was a few tenths of a second faster than the second place, but all the sponsors rushed to spend a lot of money on him, but no one paid attention to the silver and bronze medalists. Similarly, people would rather spend 50 yuan to buy Lang Lang's piano CD than 30 yuan to buy a piece of the same piece played by an unknown pianist, although the difference is indistinguishable by ordinary people's ears.
However, the unrestricted growth of the income of "superstars" will also bring about social problems such as the disparity between the rich and the poor. Therefore, it is necessary for the state to restrict the high income of the stars through means such as "salary limit orders" and adjust the stars through taxation methods. The sky-high income. A fairer way of social wealth distribution can make our society more harmonious.