Still More on the Piketty Wars

Responding to Piketty's response (linked here) to the charges raised by the Financial Times, Chris Giles notes that there remain concerns with Piketty's presentation: There are a few things on which we agree. First, the source data on wealth inequality is poor. I have written that it is “sketchy” and Prof Piketty says it is “much …

Understanding Paul Krugman on Thomas Piketty

Gentle readers, whenever Paul Krugman issues a defense of Thomas Piketty regarding the charges against the latter, by all means, be sure to read that defense. Be sure to consider its merits seriously. Be sure to closely and carefully examine the data Krugman might present in defense of his point and if Krugman actually makes a …

The Tragedy of Thomas Piketty

The latest Pikettian response to Giles's and Giugliano's assertions regarding the quality of Piketty's data and research is to accuse Giles and Giugliano of being "dishonest." (Hat tip in comments here.) I suppose this means that Piketty's is employing a classic I-am-rubber-and-you-are-glue-whatever-you-say-bounces-off-me-and-sticks-back-to-you defense, but there is little substance to the accusation; at best, Piketty can assert (without …

What the Piketty Errors Mean

Remember the Reinhart/Rogoff spreadsheet error? In the event that you do not, here is a summary. Those who follow debates between economists will recall that the spreadsheet error led to all kinds of excorations of Reinhart and Rogoff on the part of liberal economists, who claimed that Reinhart and Rogoff were responsible for austerity policies …

Facts Are Stubborn Things . . . As Thomas Piketty Is Beginning to Find Out

I have bought Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and while I have posted many an item that takes issue with the books claims and conclusions concerning wealth inequality, I do plan on reading Piketty; his book has made quite the intellectual and cultural impact, and although I know what his basic arguments are, …

The French Critique Piketty

So report Tyler Cowen and Veronique de Rugy: . . . some other French economists have taken the lead in challenging Mr. Piketty’s empirical claims. One recent paper by four economists at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris challenges Mr. Piketty’s view that inequality has increased because the return to capital has been greater than general growth in the …

More Critiques of Piketty

Ryan Decker points out that Piketty's "criticisms of mathematical economics (32, 574) are not surprising given that he relies so heavily on assumptions and mechanisms that would be highly vulnerable to criticism if they were forced into the transparency of a formal model." And the following from Garrett Jones is certainly worth reading: Market-oriented economies that learn to …

Paul Krugman Remains as Arrogant and Epistemically Closed as Ever

Don't believe me? Read this, in which he reviews Thomas Piketty's new book and says the following: So what’s a conservative, fearing that this diagnosis might be used to justify higher taxes on the wealthy, to do? He could try to refute Mr. Piketty in a substantive way, but, so far, I’ve seen no sign …