Archive for the ‘Inequality’ Category

Piketty’s Mistakes, What They Mean for the Message of Cap21, and Other Data Thoughts

May 24th, 2014

Industrious data probers at the Financial Times have raised good, tough questions about some of the wealth data in Thomas Piketty’s influential book (specifically, the material in his Chapter 10).  Though we’ll need to wait for a full response from the author to questions they raise, their careful forensics provide a must read by anyone… Read more

Arguing Taxes, Transfers, and Market Outcomes

May 22nd, 2014

Inequality analyst Scott Winship feels “systematically ignored” by “writers and researchers” including myself.  Since he’s a smart and interesting critic in this space, not to mention an old fellow traveler, allow me to correct that. Scott is one of a number of analysts who criticize Thomas Piketty’s work for focusing largely on market incomes, thus… Read more

Putting the Dismal Back in Econ

May 14th, 2014

I’m hearing a fair bit of optimism re the current economy.  Many of the folks with whom I interact on this stuff are feeling better about where things are headed, with unemployment down, households looking pretty deleveraged, job growth at a decent clip, and the weather-beaten data flow improving. As Mark Zandi wrote in his… Read more

Summers Reviews Piketty

May 14th, 2014

Worth a read—generally quite positive and very insightful. As have others, Larry raises objections to the prediction that r (the rate of return on wealth) will remain roughly constant as the amount of capital in the economy grows. Larry’s on solid economic grounds, as per diminishing marginal returns theory: “As capital accumulates, the incremental return… Read more