Monday, 31 March 2014

Capital in the 21st Century (Piketty)

Nat O'Connor: Thomas Piketty, Associate Chair in the Paris School of Economics, has produced a seminal analysis of the past, present and potential future direction of the global economy, with a stark warning that income and wealth inequality in the 21st Century may return to 19th Century levels.

Capital in the 21st Century is published by Harvard University Press and weighs in at 696 pages in the English translation. The book provides detailed empirical evidence of the rise in inequality between the top one per cent and everyone else, but goes much further by providing a novel and challenging analysis of the future direction of capitalism.

Thomas Piketty will be giving a keynote address at the TASC-FEPS annual conference in Dublin on 20th June 2014.

There is a review of the book in the Irish Times by Paul Sweeney.

There is no shortage of other reviews to be found online:
- Thomas Piketty's own article in the Financial Times
- An article on inheritance by Robin Harding in the Financial Times
- A blog post with charts from John Cassidy in The New Yorker, and a longer article from the same magazine.
- Posts in The Economist magazine (here and here)
- Various links on Irish Economy
- A long review is given by Branko Milanovic of the World Bank here.
- A "wonkish" note on the book by Paul Krugman here.

Piketty (and colleagues) have brought the issue of economic inequality centre stage as one of the most pressing issues to be addressed in any model for the future direction of the global economy. The solid empirial evidence underpinning Piketty's analysis is just as relevant for Ireland as everywhere else, and its policy implications are far-reaching.

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