An Open Letter

TO: Thomas Piketty FROM: Pejman Yousefzadeh RE: Incurring Paul Krugman's Contempt Dear Professor Piketty: Congratulations on successfully positioning yourself so that you may be looked down upon by Paul Krugman until the end of time itself. Your ability to cause Professor Krugman to consider you to be less intellectually developed than your average paramecium--and make no mistake; …

Inherited Wealth and Societal Benefits

Contrary to popular belief, inherited wealth can be very good for the economy as a whole, as Greg Mankiw points out: From a policy perspective, we need to consider not only the direct effects on the family but also the indirect effects on the broader economy. Rising income inequality over the past several decades has …

Inequality in Iran

This is what happens when a government is not only massively totalitarian, but also corrupt beyond belief: The nouveaux riches in Tehran drive Porsches, Ferraris and Maseratis and live in multimillion-dollar luxury apartments replete with walk-in closets, Bosch appliances and computerized shower systems. I was stunned when I caught a glimpse of what Iran’s megarich can afford …

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 …