Home Economy Greg Mankiw’s Weblog: Piketty in Temporary

Greg Mankiw’s Weblog: Piketty in Temporary



I simply learn Thomas Piketty’s newest e book, A Temporary Historical past of Equality. It’s the greatest window into Piketty’s pondering up to now partly as a result of it’s, not like his earlier books, mercifully brief (244 pages, not counting the appendix).

In fact, Piketty’s pondering may be very totally different from mine. Phrases like provide, demand, comparative benefit, and the mutual positive aspects from commerce are virtually completely absent from his e book. As an alternative, we hear lots about political energy and exploitation of the weak by the robust. In Piketty’s worldview, the usual undergraduate textbook in economics is basically a non sequitur. So is Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

This new e book purports to summarize the important thing factors of the huge volumes that Piketty has beforehand written. What I discovered most attention-grabbing, due to this fact, was what was not included. Piketty doesn’t point out “the central contradiction of capitalism,” to make use of the phrase from his e book Capital within the twenty first Century. In that earlier e book, we had been informed that r>g results in an “limitless inegalitarian spiral.” For causes I defined right here, I at all times thought that this declare was absurd.

Why is that this main theme from the sooner e book omitted on this new one? Has Piketty tacitly recanted? It’s exhausting to say.



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