Piketty's Capital

Justin Wolfers posted a slideshow regarding Thomas Piketty's Capital yesterday. Wolfers has been an interesting character to watch on Piketty, especially after his excessive praise of Larry Summers' abortive and error-riddled effort at critiquing it. Perhaps not surprisingly, Wolfers'...
06/17/2014
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Earlier, I explained the way that Piketty's "r > g" (the rate of return on capital is greater than the rate of the growth in national income) is mediated through savings rates, or s. Many commentators have behaved as if they scored some point against Piketty to point out that not all capital...
05/29/2014
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Larry Summers wrote a piece about Thomas Piketty's new book. He gets things very wrong. What follows is a run down. 1. Wealth-to-Income Ratio To start, Summers gets Piketty's explanation of the determinants of the wealth-to-income ratio wrong, but then much later in the piece, he gets it right. It'...
05/15/2014
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In his reactions to Thomas Piketty's book, Greg Mankiw has been fond of name-dropping libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick. Most recently, in a joint interview with Piketty on NPR, Mankiw brought up Nozick when the two were discussing the topic of inheritance and intergenerational wealth...
04/30/2014
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If you've read any of the reviews of Piketty's book, including the reviews of it from the many who have not read it, you are probably familiar now with "r > g". Many of the reviews do an iffy job of explaining what that means though, and so you may not however fully understand what is going on...
04/28/2014
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In "Capital," Piketty tracks as far back as he can the history of wealth inequality, which is also described as the history of inequality in the ownership of capital. In order to embark upon such a project, one must provide a definition of wealth and capital, which turns out to be a contentious...
04/22/2014
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Shortly after Piketty's book released, Dean Baker criticized it at the Huffington Post. In his criticism, Baker seems primarily perturbed at the fact that Piketty did not pay any mind to the slate of institutional reforms Baker has been pushing for many years now, most notably in his books "...
03/30/2014
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One interesting tidbit of Piketty's Capital is his rather sober accounting of the causes of cross-national economic growth differences and growth differences over time. He writes amused at the extent to which Americans seemed to think in the 1980s that the higher growth rates of...
03/28/2014
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Over at The Week, I have a piece outlining Piketty’s proposal for how to reduce the soaring pay of top corporate executives. Piketty thinks we should install a top marginal tax rate of 70 to 80 percent for very high incomes, e.g. those over $1 million. This is covered in the book,...
03/20/2014
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Previously, I wrote on Piketty's point that wealth and income inequality is not about age because such inequalities exist at fairly equivalent magnitudes in every age group. Here, I draw upon Piketty's discussion of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), university endowments, and wealth taxes to propose...
03/19/2014
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