1. Piketty has changed our views and debates on inequality, for ever - New data (not surveys !) - Assets (Capital, vermogen), not “just” income inequality - Long historical views and tendencies
2. Economists (+ other social scientists) have let us down on inequality Famous in economic history - The big Trade-Off (Okun) - Kuznets curves - But now attention > for consequences: growth (IMF, OECD….) + Wilkinson (WRR)
Kuznets would have been surprised (Robert Fogel NBER 2013)
3. Piketty wants - and practices - pluralism in economics - Real-life problems - More history (re Summers) -Many theories and criticism -It works in practice, but in theory ?
Is Piketty right ? My take – but please READ it yourself ! Wrong question (in 700 words ?) He has a lot right, and many things we don’t know yet But he has – strong argument – history on his side (+ data no longer – FT – challenged) R > G … maybe, time will tell. “According to standard model ?” And most importantly: Piketty has put questions on the agenda that will NOT disappear