Capital In The Twenty-first Century by Thomas PikettyCapital In The Twenty-first Century by Thomas Pikettysticker-burst

Capital In The Twenty-first Century

byThomas PikettyTranslated byArthur Goldhammer

Hardcover | April 15, 2014

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The main driver of inequality––returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth––is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
Thomas Piketty is Professor at the Paris School of Economics.
Title:Capital In The Twenty-first CenturyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:704 pagesPublished:April 15, 2014Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:067443000X

ISBN - 13:9780674430006

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay A tad bit slow, lots of info.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Essential This is a methodical examination of capital not just in our century, but in the centuries that brought us to this point. Picketty draws on a life's work of painstaking research to perspicuously illuminate trends in inequality of both income and capital distribution over the past three centuries. He also extrapolates to a (rather grim) vision of where we may be heading while offering a few tantalizing ideas on how to avoid our impending economic dystopia. It is tedious in parts, entertaining in others, and informative throughout. At over six hundred pages, it certainly isn't for the faint of heart, nor the scant of attention.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The premisce of this book is flawed The conclusion is based on data collation from 3 sets of data sources, the author changes in different period its source data set, the author has thus far never satisfactorily explained why the changes were done, especially since without this change the conclusion does not hold up.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wasn't a surprise interesting I had higher standards for this book, but not bad overall
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring Pretty boring tbh. It felt like a PHD thesis and was very very hard to complete. He shows the same graph shape 50,000 times. I think i get the point. Interesting Part 1 and Part 4. Part 2 and 3, you could skip without missing much. Kpet getting us excited about things without actually throwing the punch line for a very very long time.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Should be mandatory reading This book is dense in parts and needs time to digest (300 years of economic data of 20 countries) but it is also well-written and anyone can understand it. The review by Eric seems off. The data is the data. Eric may not like what it suggests but Piketty is fairly even-handed in examining it. The data the book relies on is freely available for download from Piketty's site if anyone wants to take issue and crunch the numbers themselves.
Date published: 2016-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flawed? Only on one Capital Asset I read this book with determination, which is what you need to get through it. It is dense, but it offers an insight that previous economists were unwilling to confront: a large fortune properly managed will never be depleted. It also showed that those who are not in the "super managers" class, but have average employment, can anticipate ever diminishing financial security as we depart from the special economic circumstances created by the two world wars. Milton Freeman misread or misrepresented broad economic trends. The following review is a wishful right wing view. This book is a hard read, though.
Date published: 2016-09-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Flawed concanated empirical data. Too many flaws in his study to be worth reading. His use of data splicing from different data sets to fit his narrative is disapointing. It renders his conclusion invalid. Better read milton friedman free to choose.
Date published: 2016-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Always remember, r > g I vacillated between four and five stars, but it was always going to be five. Thomas Piketty's writing is above average for an academic, but not always spellbinding. Which it should be because he has important things to say. This is a seminal book. I do not call it a seminal economic book, because it is about history, and politics, and society, and economics. So it is simply a seminal book. The data series Piketty collects are staggering. they are monumental. Any academic will tell you it's all about sources. And Capital is without peer in this regard. Then, slowly, carefully, patiently, Piketty takes your hand and walks you through his thicket of numbers and graphs and ideas. Every argument is anticipated. Every hypothetical explored. And in the end? Over the long run, and we're talking centuries here, capital is an insidiously powerful force. Wars and disaster shock its system, but capital always wins out in the end. Inequality grows and so, in a democracy, regulation is needed. And despite criticisms levelled at him for his policy conclusions, Piketty proposes sensible, data-based restrictions on runaway capital, all while acknowledging the political impossibility of his suggestions.
Date published: 2014-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Historic A lot can be said of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. A lot already has (in copious reviews and synopses). Allow me to offer my opinion as a reader with an interest in the history of ideas. After all, Piketty argues for Capital’s unique offering of a deeply historical political economic analysis and argument. Capital is an historic work, in achievement, let alone scope. There are several points that demarcate Capital as historic. Firstly, it lucidly explicates academic political economy for a lay audience. Doing so serves to situate a rich and unique analysis of data and arguments for the betterment of discussion on capital/income equality colloquially and professionally. (Not to mention what Piketty calls ‘economic democracy,’ taxation, and the history of macroeconomics.) Furthermore, the data offers a previously unaccounted for insight into subjects otherwise largely neglected in political discourse. And finally, perhaps most contentiously, it provides a solid platform to an otherwise under-argued socio-political movement in contemporary thought. Finally allow me to offer that not only is the book of unparalleled importance for our time but it is exceptionally well written.
Date published: 2014-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Brief Summary and Review *A full executive summary of this book is available on Chapter's here: The main argument: The unequal distribution of wealth in the developed world has become a significant issue in recent years. Indeed, the data indicate that in the past 30 years the incomes of the wealthiest have surged into the stratosphere (and the higher up in the income hierarchy one is, the greater the increase has been), while the incomes of the large majority have stagnated. This has led to a level of inequality in wealth in the developed world not seen since the eve of the Great Depression. This much is without dispute. Where there is dispute is in trying to explain just why the rise in inequality has taken place (and whether, and to what degree, it will continue in the future); and, even more importantly, whether it is justified. These questions are not merely academic, for the way in which we answer them informs public debate as well as policy measures—and also influences more violent reactions. Indeed, we need look no further than the recent Occupy Movement to see that the issue of increasing inequality is not only pressing, but potentially incendiary. Given the import and the polarizing nature of the issue of inequality, it is all the more crucial that we begin by way of shedding as much light on the situation as possible. This is the impetus behind Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. One of Piketty’s main concerns in the book is to put the issue of inequality in its broader historical context. Specifically, the author traces how inequality has evolved from the agrarian societies of the 18th and early 19th centuries; through the Industrial Revolution and up to the First World War; throughout the interwar years; and into the second half of the twentieth century (and up to the first part of the twenty-first). With this broad historical context we are able to see much more clearly the causes of inequality. As we might expect, what we find is that inequality is influenced by a host of societal factors—including economic, political, social and cultural factors. However, what we also find is that inequality is influenced by a broader set of factors associated with how capital works in capitalist societies (and market economies more generally). Specifically, we find that capital (and the wealth it generates) tends to accumulate faster than the rate of economic growth in capitalist societies. What this means is that capital tends to become an increasingly prevalent and influential factor in these societies (at least up to a point). What’s more, wealth not only tends to accumulate, but to become more and more concentrated at the top (mainly because those with more capital are able to earn a higher rate of return on their capital investments). For these reasons, capitalism on its own tends to produce a relatively high degree of inequality. The natural tendency of capital to accumulate and to become ever more concentrated largely explains the high degree of inequality that was witnessed in the developed world in the early part of the twentieth century. This inequality was largely dashed, however, in the interwar years. The reason for this is that the major events of the first half of the twentieth century (including the two world wars, and the Great Depression) thwarted capital’s natural tendency to accumulate, and also destroyed large stocks of wealth. The end result was that by the time World War II was over, inequality in the developed world had reached an all-time low. After the Second World War, the natural tendency of capital to accumulate resumed. However, various political and economic measures (including progressive taxation, rent control, increasing minimum wages, and expanded social programs) worked to redistribute this growing capital, thus preventing inequality from growing as quickly as it would have otherwise. In the 1980s, though, the developed countries did an about-face, and began eliminating many of the measures that had prevented inequality from rising according to its natural tendency. The consequence was that inequality reasserted itself in a major way, such that it is nearly as extreme today as it was on the run up to the Great Depression. Furthermore, the historical evidence indicates that capital will likely continue to accumulate and become ever more concentrated, such that we will witness an even greater level of inequality moving forward. As far as justifying the growing inequality that we are currently seeing, Piketty raises serious doubts as to whether it may rightly be considered fair. What’s more, as inequality continues to grow, it is increasingly likely that large parts of the population will also come to see it as unfair and unjustified—thereby increasing the likelihood of political opposition. For Piketty, the best and fairest solution to these problems would be to steepen the progressive taxation applied to the wealthiest individuals. The problem, though, is that in a world of financial globalization (where there is a high degree of competition for capital—as witnessed by tax havens), it is extremely difficult to apply the appropriate tax scheme without the cooperation and coordinated efforts of the international community—and this is simply not something that is easy to achieve. The alternative, however, is much more troubling for it is likely that it will involve reverting to protectionism and nationalism—and this is really in no one’s interest. This book is an absolute tour-de-force. The broad time-frame that Piketty explores, and the enormous body of data that he brings together, makes this study extremely comprehensive (no one will even think of accusing Piketty of cherry picking the data). Also, the reader is struck by how dispassionately Piketty analyzes the evidence he brings to the table. Indeed, while the author does have a position on inequality, one never receives the impression that this is corrupting his analysis (I consider myself to be a pragmatist politically, and often find that writers on both the left and the right massage the truth, but that was never the case here). Finally, it should be said that the book is very long, and just as dense, with the author often delving into extreme detail, so be prepared for a challenge. A must read for anyone with a serious interest in economics. A full executive summary of the book is available on Chapter's here:
Date published: 2014-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from informativ and provocativ The Israeli minister for economy recommended the book on i24 and he is absolutely right, everybody who is interested in our future must read it
Date published: 2014-04-07