Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has enjoyed great success, both among academics and the general public. Its influence on politics also cannot be denied. His book provided something people had waited for – a new scientific theory about wealth and inequality. However, there were major criticisms of not only the vision, the empirical and historical work, and the theory but also of the political recommendations of Thomas Piketty. Anti-Piketty: Capital for the 21st Century collects those essential criticisms from twenty specialistseconomists, historians and tax expertswho provide scientific and rigorous arguments against Piketty’s central theses. These researchers, who come from many countries and many backgrounds, examine the notions of inequality, growth, wealth and capital that Piketty treated in his book. They show in new ways how inequality did not explode, the rich are not rentiers but rather entrepreneurs who take risks and create millions of jobs, that wealth can not indefinitely grow faster than economic growth, and that radical taxation does not solve problems but aggravates them.
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About the Author
Emmanuel Martin is the director of the Institute for Economic Studies-Europe, an educational think tank based in Paris. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Aix-en-Provence in France. Dr Martin has moderated and lectured in seminars for the Institute for Economic Studies, the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, and the Atlas Network in various countries, and he has been widely published on various topics from French politics and economics to African issues in various newspapers and magazines across the globe.
Jean-Philippe Delsol is a tax lawyer, doctor of law, and president of the Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal Issues (IREF). He regularly publishes articles in the French economic press. He is the author of Pourquoi Je Vais Quitter la France (Tatamis, 2013) and, with Nicolas Lecaussin, À Quoi Servent les Riches (JC Lattès, 2012, “What’s the Use of the Rich”).
Nicolas Lecaussin is director of the Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal Issues (IREF), a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), founder of Entrepreneur Junior, and author of multiple books.
Table of Contents
Jean-Philippe Delsol and Emmanuel Martin
Part 1. An Apocalyptic Vision
Section 1. No Declining Inequality?
1. The Great Process of Equalization of Conditions by Jean-Philippe Delsol
2. Longevity, Education, and the Huge New Worldwide Increases in Equality by Nicholas Eberstadt
Section 2. An Anti-Rich Bias
3. Where Are the “Super Rich” of 1987? by Juan Ramón Rallo
4. Piketty on Management and Wealth by Henri Lepage
5. The Sociology of Piketty’s Anti-Rich Stance by Nicolas Lecaussin
Section 3. No Capital for the Poor?
6. Piketty Gets It Wrong by Michael Tanner
7. Thomas Piketty’s Great Contradiction by Juan Ramón Rallo
8. Piketty and Emerging Markets by Álvaro Vargas Llosa
Part 2. Criticizing the Empirical Strength of Capital in the 21st Century
Section 4. On Capital and Incomes: Questionable Data, Regrettable Omissions
9. Piketty’s Numbers Don’t Add Up by Martin Feldstein
10. The Rich, and Everyone Else, Get Richer by Richard Burkhauser
11. Is Housing Capital? by Henri Lepage
12. How to Inflate the Return of Capital by Jean-Philippe Delsol
Section 5. Forging Statistics, Historical Inconsistencies
13. The Financial Times vs. Piketty by Chris Giles
14. Piketty Is Misleading about the Swedish Case by Malin Sahlén and Salim Furth
15. Challenging the Empirical Contribution of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century by Phillip W. Magness and Robert P. Murphy
Part 3. Theory and Policy
Section 6. The Dangers of the Historicist Method
16. The Rise and Decline of the General Laws of Capitalism by Daron Acemoğlu and James A. Robinson
17. Get Real: A Review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century by Donald J. Boudreaux
Section 7. What Can We Conclude From
18. Capital, Returns, and Risk: A Critique of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century by Randall Holcombe
19. Piketty’s World Formula by Hans-Werner Sinn
20. A Controversial Assumption by Henri Lepage
21. An Infinite Growth of Large Fortunes? The Limits of Mathematics by Jean-Philippe Delsol
Section 8. Taxation: Consequences of Piketty’s Policies and Alternative Reforms.
22. Piketty’s Plan for Equality Would Reduce Personal Freedom and Undermine Growth by James A. Dorn
23. Tax Reform: Not the Piketty Way by Jean-Philippe Delsol and Nicolas Lecaus