The Economics of Inequality

The Economics of Inequality

Book - 2015
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Thomas Piketty--whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century pushed inequality to the forefront of public debate--wrote The Economics of Inequality as an introduction to the conceptual and factual background necessary for interpreting changes in economic inequality over time. This concise text has established itself as an indispensable guide for students and general readers in France, where it has been regularly updated and revised. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer, The Economics of Inequality now appears in English for the first time.

Piketty begins by explaining how inequality evolves and how economists measure it. In subsequent chapters, he explores variances in income and ownership of capital and the variety of policies used to reduce these gaps. Along the way, with characteristic clarity and precision, he introduces key ideas about the relationship between labor and capital, the effects of different systems of taxation, the distinction between "historical" and "political" time, the impact of education and technological change, the nature of capital markets, the role of unions, and apparent tensions between the pursuit of efficiency and the pursuit of fairness.

Succinct, accessible, and authoritative, this is the ideal place to start for those who want to understand the fundamental issues at the heart of one of the most pressing concerns in contemporary economics and politics.

Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts :, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,, 2015
ISBN: 9780674504806
Branch Call Number: 339.22 PIK
Characteristics: 142 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Jan 28, 2017

Although there are numerous charts of data in the first third of the book (well, long essay), most of the book is written and argued with words (there is only one graph in the second half of the book). The work was written before his big book (Capital in the 21st Century), but some of the main objects of study are the same: labour and its income distributions, and capital and its distributions, what their balances or imbalances are, what the causes of those differences (and the distributions) are, and compares OECD countries and some of their policies, such as payroll taxes.

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