12When the Best and Brightest Are Wrong

Perhaps you have heard of Garrison Keillor’s popular publicradio show, “A Prairie Home Companion.” In each show, he references Lake Wobegon, a mythical town in Minnesota. At the end of each broadcast, he signs off from Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

THE LAKE WOBEGON EFFECT

The so-called Lake Wobegon effect has become increasingly present in schools and businesses, to the extent that many people actually believe that their entire organization is, in fact, above average. Such scholarly publications as The Harvard Law School Forum and the Journal of Financial Economics have reported on the impact of Lake Wobegon thinking. ...

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