Interesting paper. "A system is said to be meritocratic if the compensation and power available to individuals is determined by their abilities and merits. A system is topocratic if the compensation and power available to an individual is determined primarily by her position in a network." Different structures create networks that are either meritocratic or topocratic. This paper introduces "a model that is perfectly meritocratic for fully connected networks but that becomes topocratic for sparse networks-like the ones in society." In particular, "the model predicts that meritocracy increases in societies that become better connected." This (to me) has implications for public policy (and education policy) - for example, open acccess (by implication) increases meritocracy.
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