Title: Capital in the 21st Century

Author: Thomas Piketty


ISBN:                     9780674430006

Extent:                   626p

Format:                  Hardback

Pub date:               June 2014

RRP:                       R 425.00 (incl.VAT)



Sold 80,000 copies in the last 2 months in the US, UK and France. 12,000 e-books sold on Amazon.com

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.

About the Author:

Thomas Piketty is a French economist who works on wealth income and inequality. He is the director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and professor at the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of the best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which continues themes of his long-term research projects on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years. The book argues that when the rate of capital accumulation grows faster than the economy then inequality increases. He proposes a global tax on wealth in order to help address the problem of inequality today.

Critics have alleged that he has a confused notion of capital that is neither Marxist nor neoclassical but financial, and that he lacks a theory of economic growth. His proposals of economic redistribution through tax and transfer have also been criticized for not going far enough in addressing structural problems of inequality.

Published By: Harvard University Press



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