Capital in the Twenty-First Century

by Thomas Piketty

eBooks of the Month The Real World

Capital in the Twenty-First Century Synopsis

Shortlisted for the The Bookseller Book of the Year 2015.

What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality. Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality--the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth--today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. But economic trends are not acts of God. Political action has curbed dangerous inequalities in the past, Piketty says, and may do so again. A work of extraordinary ambition, originality, and rigor, Capital in the Twenty-First Century reorients our understanding of economic history and confronts us with sobering lessons for today.

The Good Book Guide Review

Our redtop newspapers frequently lambast the ‘fat cats’ of commerce and industry who take massive salaries and bonuses while expecting ordinary workers to live on scraps. Whether one accepts this scenario or not, it strikes a chord with many – among them Prof Thomas Piketty. Not that his book is a demolition job of the wealthy. Piketty is more concerned with showing why the imbalance has gathered pace since the 19th century and how it is likely to influence the future. Writing in a way that even the most ardent non-economist can follow, he provides a fascinating review of how cash flow has moulded history.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century Press Reviews

'[An] enormously important book.'-- Doug Henwood Bookforum

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780674430006
Publication date: 18/03/2014
Publisher: The Belknap Press an imprint of Harvard University Press
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780674430006
Publication date: 18th March 2014
Author: Thomas Piketty
Publisher: The Belknap Press an imprint of Harvard University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 640 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, The Real World,
Categories: Economic history, Economic theory & philosophy, Development economics & emerging economies, Political economy, Central government policies, Finance,

About Thomas Piketty

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