As yet more reviews pour out on Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the 21st century, and Piketty does video conferences galore online with an assembly of the great and good among mainstream economists, I thought that I might help the followers of my blog by presenting the following reviews that offer the most perceptive analyses that I have seen so far.
and you can find all the data for his tables here:
except the one that really matters, the sources for estimating the r. The search for the r continues (see my previous post, https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/thomas-piketty-and-the-search-for-r/).
One thought: it seems that rising inequality has become both the flagship for opposition to neo-liberal economics and at the same time the explanation for crises under capitalism – although Piketty says nothing about the latter at all in 677 pages.
For my view on inequality and Piketty on inequality, see https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/is-inequality-the-cause-of-capitalist-crises/
The fest continued with a hugely laudatory review from Paul Krugman http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/piketty-day-notes/. Krugman makes some good points about how Piketty has exposed the deniers of rising inequality: “But there’s something else: this analysis isn’t just important, it’s beautiful. Piketty gives us something we didn’t know we needed — a sweeping, elegant integration of growth theory, the factor distribution of income, and the personal distribution of income and wealth. He even (in work linked to but not presented in the book) shows how to derive the power laws that we know govern the distribution of income and wealth at the top, and shows how r-g determines the crucial exponents.” It is precisely because Piketty relies on mainstream noeclassical analysis that he falls well short of Marx in explaining the laws of motion of capitalism. My review will explain why.