This is a very important book and the video here is one of the best discussing Capital in the 21st Century.–kas
Apr 28, 2014 – The radical economist’s book Capital in the Twenty-First century has angered the right with its powerful argument about wealth, democracy and …
Sep 21, 2014 – Thomas Piketty is a French economist whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century has swept American discourse. Four experts – Brad DeLong, …
Capital in the twenty-first century / Thomas Piketty ; translated by Arthur Goldhammer. … This book is based on fifteen years of research (1998–2013) devoted …
French economist Thomas Piketty caused a sensation in early 2014 with his bookon a simple, brutal formula …
Mar 26, 2014 – In this week’s magazine, I’ve got a lengthy piece about “Capital in the Twenty-first Century,” a new book about rising inequality by Thomas
A very brief summary of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”
It is the economics book that took the world by storm. Capital in the Twenty-First Century, written by the French economist Thomas Piketty, was published in French in 2013 and in English in March 2014. The English version quickly became an unlikely bestseller, and it prompted a broad and energetic debate on the book’s subject: the outlook for global inequality. Some reckon it heralds or may itself cause a pronounced shift in the focus of economic policy, toward distributional questions. The Economist hailed Professor Piketty as “the modern Marx” (Karl, that is). But what is his book all about?
Capital draws on more than a decade of research by Piketty and a handful of other economists, detailing historical changes in the concentration of income and wealth. This pile of data allows Piketty to sketch out the evolution of inequality since the beginning of the industrial revolution. In the 18th and 19th centuries western European society was highly unequal. Private wealth dwarfed national income and was concentrated in the hands of the rich families who sat atop a relatively rigid class structure. This system persisted even as industrialisation slowly contributed to rising wages for workers. Only the chaos of the first and second world wars and the Depression disrupted this pattern. High taxes, inflation, bankruptcies and the growth of sprawling welfare states caused wealth to shrink dramatically, and ushered in a period in which both income and wealth were distributed in relatively egalitarian fashion. But the shocks of the early 20th century have faded and wealth is now reasserting itself. On many measures, Piketty reckons, the importance of wealth in modern economies is approaching levels last seen before the first world war.
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From this history, Piketty derives a grand theory of capital and inequality. As a general rule wealth grows faster than economic output, he explains, a concept he captures in the expression r > g (where r is the rate of return to wealth and g is the economic growth rate). Other things being equal, faster economic growth will diminish the importance of wealth in a society, whereas slower growth will increase it (and demographic change that slows global growth will make capital more dominant). But there are no natural forces pushing against the steady concentration of wealth. Only a burst of rapid growth (from technological progress or rising population) or government intervention can be counted on to keep economies from returning to the “patrimonial capitalism” that worried Karl Marx. Piketty closes the book by recommending that governments step in now, by adopting a global tax on wealth, to prevent soaring inequality contributing to economic or political instability down the road.
The book has unsurprisingly attracted plenty of criticism. Some wonder whether Piketty is right to think that the future will look like the past. Theory argues that it should become ever harder to earn a good return on wealth the more there is of it. And today’s super-rich (think of Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg) mostly come by their wealth through work, rather than via inheritance. Others argue that Piketty’s policy recommendations are more ideologically than economically driven and could do more harm than good. But many of the sceptics nonetheless have kind words for the book’s contributions, in terms of data and analysis. Whether or not Professor Piketty succeeds in changing policy, he will have influenced the way thousands of readers and plenty of economists think about these issues.
“Capital” is a great piece of scholarship, but a poor guide to policy (May 2014)
Why did the French version of “Capital” not make the same splash? (April 2014)
Revisiting an old argument about the impact of capitalism (January 2014)
Update: This blog post has been amended to remove the news peg.
Apr 22, 2014 – (I call down a painful pox on publishers who put the footnotes at the end of the bookinstead of the bottom of the page where they belong, thus …
However, I took from Piketty’s book that macro principles of inequality have to be ….. One of the core ideas of …
I’ve been hearing a lot of discussion about the book Capital in the Twenty-First Century by ThomasPickety Here’s a description.
Capital Red Guard pickets West Side detachments Command General Order No. … We guarantee the condition of every book as it’s described on the Abebooks …
Mar 16, 2015 – Last year Thomas Pickety’s book, Capital In the 21st Century, became a bestseller. Basically the book explained that income inequality and …
Philip Arestis react to “Capital in the 21st century” by Th. Pickety … co-wrote a blog article on the recent book “Capital in the 21st Century” by Thomas Piketty.
Sep 24, 2014 – He focuses on the return to capital that accrues to investors and ignores the …. DoesPickety’s book and philosophy call for any radical steps to …
Nov 2, 2016 – KSh 2500: Brand new, hard-covered Economics classic, Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Pickety. … Ad is not active – find similar ads in Books, CDs & DVDs in Kisumu CBD.