The main driver of inequality—returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth—is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
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An introduction to Thomas Piketty’s monumental work US Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman described Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century as “perhaps the most important book of the last decade”. It has sparked major international debates, dominated bestseller lists and generated a level of enthusiasm—as well as intense criticism—in a way no other recent economic or sociological work has. Piketty has been described as a new Karl Marx and placed in the same league as the economist John Maynard Keynes. The ‘rock star economist’s’ (Financial Times) underlying thesis: inequality under capitalism has reached dramatic proportions in the last few decades and continues to grow—and not by coincidence. Thus, a small elite becomes simultaneously richer and richer and more and more powerful. Given the sensational reception of the not-so-easily digested 800-page study that spans back to the eighteenth century, the question as to where the hype around Piketty’s book comes from deserves to be asked. What is correct in it? What are the criticisms of it? And what should we make of it—both of the book itself and of the criticism it has received? This book lays out the argument of Piketty’s monumental work in a compact and understandable format, while also investigating the controversies that this book has caused. In addition, the two authors demonstrate the limits, contradictions and errors of the so-called ‘Piketty revolution’.
Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the 21st Century has already attracted more serious attention than any economics book published in the last seventy-five years. This collection of 17 essays by some of the world's most prominent economists explores Piketty's book at depth and from various vantage points. Here is what economists around the world are already saying about this book. "Marx's Capital is strong on theory but, it detractors allege, weak on data. In a dialectic worthy of Hegel himself, the critics assembled here argue that Piketty's Capital stands opposite to Marx's, as strong on data but weak on theory. This combination--plus its exquisite timing--explains it critical acclaim. The juxtaposition of economic stagnation and obscene inequality in the aftermath of the financial crisis made it impossible for mainstream economists to continue ignoring inequality, let alone applauding it as they have done for so long. Piketty made it possible for them to acknowledge it without abandoning their comforting but false mainstream theories of capitalism. These authors in this volume applaud Piketty for his contribution to empirical knowledge, but reject his views on how this inequality came about. The true Capital for the 21st century is still yet to be written." - Steve Keen, Kingston University, London "Neoclassical economics spawned a utopian belief in capitalism with unregulated market forces. Thomas Piketty's empirical analysis has dealt a fatal blow to that belief by highlighting the recent huge redistributions of income and wealth to the ultra-rich. This raises a fundamental question for people around the world: How do we achieve a better world through economic policies? This global collection addresses that question and explores theoretical explanations for Piketty's empirical findings." - Ping Chen, Fudan University and Peking University, China "Are the theoretical explanations proposed by Thomas Piketty of the rising inequalities valid? What is the meaning of his first and second "laws" of capitalism? This book is indispensable for anyone seeking answers to these questions." - Andre Orlean, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris "By examining Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century from different angles, the 18 contributors to this invaluable book add enormously to our understanding of inequality and of policy options for reducing it. They point to the lack of a distinction between rentier income and earned income, to the severe limits of marginal productivity theory that Piketty employs and to the utopian nature of Piketty's only suggested remedy. - Norbert Haering, Economics Editor, Handelsblatt, Germany "Piketty's book Capital in the Twentieth Century served the cause of drawing the world's attention to inequality under capitalism in the long haul, based on a fresh and innovative look at new evidence. This book serves that cause even better by focusing on the inadequacies of Piketty's analysis of the processes and mechanisms leading to that inequality, and, therefore, on what needs to be done to address it." - C. P. Chandrasekhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi "Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century was the publishing sensation of 2104, focussing the world's attention on the huge and continuing growth in inequality that poses a serious economic, political and social threat to us all. In this important new book, 18 economists from Europe, North America and Asia offer sympathetic but critical appraisals of Piketty's theoretical framework, his empirical analysis and his radical policy proposals. This is not the last word on Piketty - whatever could be? - but it is indispensable reading for everyone who is interested in one of the most important challenges of our time." - John King, La Trobe University, Australia
Condensed into a detailed analysis and a selection of continent-wide datasets, this revised edition of World Population & Human Capital in the Twenty-First Century addresses the role of educational attainment in global population trends and models. Presenting the full chapter text of the original edition alongside a concise selection of data, it summarizes past trends in fertility, mortality, migration, and education, and examines relevant theories to identify key determining factors. Deriving from a global survey of hundreds of experts and five expert meetings on as many continents, World Population & Human Capital in the Twenty-First Century: An Overview emphasizes alternative trends in human capital, new ways of studying ageing and the quantification of alternative population, and education pathways in the context of global sustainable development. It is an ideal companion to the county specific online Wittgenstein Centre Data Explorer.
Are Thomas Piketty’s analyses of inequality on target? Where should researchers go from here in exploring the ideas he pushed to the forefront of global conversation? In After Piketty, a cast of economists and other social scientists tackle these questions in dialogue with Piketty, in what is sure to be a much-debated book in its own right.
The epic successor to one of the most important books of the century: at once a retelling of global history, a scathing critique of contemporary politics, and a bold proposal for a new and fairer economic system. Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system. Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity. Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.
Succinct, accessible, and authoritative, Thomas Piketty’s The Economics of Inequality is the ideal place to start for those who want to understand the fundamental issues at the heart of one the most pressing concerns in contemporary economics and politics. This work now appears in English for the first time.
Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has enjoyed great success and provides a new theory about wealth and inequality. However, there have been major criticisms of his work. Anti-Piketty: Capital for the 21st Century collects key criticisms from 20 specialists—economists, historians, and tax experts—who provide rigorous arguments against Piketty's work while examining the notions of inequality, growth, wealth, and capital.
This volume of essays builds upon renewed interest in the long-run global development of wealth and inequality stimulated by the publication in 2014 of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It brings together an international team of leading economic historians and economists to provide a comprehensive overview of global developments in the theory, practice, and policy of inequality, and its place in the modern world order. The contributors take stock of the key concepts involved - capital, wealth and income, inequality, economic development, financialization - and evaluate the evidence for historical trends in existing national statistical data sources. To the developed economies upon which Piketty drew are added contributions covering Latin America, Africa, India, and Japan, providing a global perspective upon a global phenomenon. The book seeks to provide readers with a deeper awareness and understanding of the significance of equality and inequality in economic development, the varying pace of economic change around the world, and the manner in which this process of change affects the distribution of wealth and inequality in diverse economies. The collection marks an important step in the process of developing Piketty's analytical framework and empirical material, overcoming its limitations and helping to cement a lasting place for inequality in the agenda of growth theory.
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been hailed as a masterpiece, making a powerful case that wealth inequality is not an accident, but rather an inherent feature of capitalism. But how many of us who bought or borrowed the book have read more than a fraction of its 700+ pages? And how many of Piketty’s groundbreaking ideas have gone unappreciated, all for want of intellectual stamina? In this handy volume, Jesper Roine – whose own work was relied upon by Piketty – explains in clear and accessible prose the key concepts behind, and controversies surrounding, Piketty’s landmark work.