Matthew effect

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Human rights - sustainability - equality.

The Matthew effect is a pattern in which financial inequality - and many other differences in advantage between people - tend to widen over time.

Those who begin with more advantage become relatively even more advantaged over time.

Similarly, disadvantaged people become increasingly disadvantaged over time.


The Matthew effect is sometimes summarised as "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

The term originates from the quotation in the Gospel of Matthew in the Christian Bible, "... to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."


The Matthew effect is sometimes known as the Matthew principle, or the Matthew effect of accumulated advantage.


See also