What is a 'Winner-Takes-All Market'

A winner-takes-all market is a market in which the best performers are able to capture a very large share of the rewards, and the remaining competitors are left with very little. The expansion of winner-takes-all markets widens wealth disparities because a select few are able to capture increasing amounts of income that would otherwise be more widely distributed throughout the population.

BREAKING DOWN 'Winner-Takes-All Market'

Many commentators believe that the prevalence of winner-takes-all markets is expanding as technology lessens the barriers to competition within many fields of commerce. A good example of a winner-takes-all market can be seen in the rise of large multinational firms, such as Wal-Mart. In the past, a wide variety of local stores existed within different geographic regions. Today, however, better transportation, telecommunications and information technology systems have lifted the constraints to competition. Large firms like Wal-Mart are able to effectively manage vast resources in order to gain an advantage over local competitors and capture a large share in almost every market they enter.

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