quarta-feira, 1 de abril de 2015

Mais Piketty

Picking Piketty Apart

The superstar French economist tortures the data to fit his narrative


Thomas Piketty, the “rock star” French economist who dominated the news in late 2014, is trying to backpedal on the claims that made him famous. While he sticks with his core arguments about the nature of inequality, his new article in the American Economic Review has been widely interpreted as a tempering of the bolder claims in his bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century about the causes and consequences of economic inequality.
This is an interesting tack for Piketty. It appears to concede a level of nuance that is often missing from his book, which frequently slips into sweeping narratives of history, oversimplified theoretical assumptions, and aggressive political prescriptions premised on their acceptance.
The centerpiece of Piketty’s inequality argument is a sweeping historical narrative of the 20th century, ostensibly rooted in data. Piketty contends that wealth inequality peaked during the Gilded Age conditions of the turn of the 20th century. This was the original version of the capital-hoarding rentier society that is predicted by his theory, in which the returns on capital are said to outpace the rate of economic growth, or the famous r > g formulation.
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