Capital in the Twenty-First Century

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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... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Capital in the Twenty-First Century from the world's leading experts.

Bill Gates CEO/MicrosoftCapital sparked a fantastic global discussion this year about inequality. Piketty kindly spent an hour discussing his work with me before I finished my review. As I told him, although I have concerns about some of his secondary points and policy prescriptions, I agree with his most important conclusions: inequality is a growing problem and that governments should play a role in reducing it. I admire his work and hope it draws in more smart people to study the causes of, and cures for, inequality. (Source)

Satya Nadella CEO/MicrosoftRecommends this book

George Monbiot Piketty explains the economic crisis that we face in ways that also explain the political crisis. He does this by talking about the rise of what he calls ‘patrimonial capital’: wealth arising from inheritance, rent, and interest payments which greatly outweighs any wealth arising from hard work and enterprise. (Source)

David Heinemeier Hansson This is the book that was catapulted by its conclusion: r > g. That the rate of return on capital is greater than the growth rate of the economy. Which means that capital, and the people who own it, will end up with a larger and larger share of all wealth and income in the economy as time goes on. It’s a dense dive into the historical data on wealth, income, and economic growth from the optic of inequality. It’s fascinating to realize just how little economic growth there was before the industrial revolution (<0.1% at times). Centuries would pass where societies got almost no more productive,... (Source)

Lucas Morales Depending on your interest and goals, if you are like me and always looking for the trends in the big picture then I highly recommend being an active contrarian reader. Read what no one else is reading. Your goal is to think outside the box. To look at the world and ask “why hasn’t this been solved?” And that gives you a roadmap as to what opportunities may exist for your entrepreneurial efforts. So to that, here’s a snapshot, in no particular order, of what might help you push your intellectual boundaries: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah 23 Things They... (Source)

Peter Temin He ends up with an argument that, if you want to try to change things now, taxing income has very little effect. (Source)

John Quiggin When Piketty gets into the data, you really see that the metaphor is peeling an onion: the top 10% has done better than the other 90% but the top 10% of them, the 1%, has done much better again. The professional classes have held their own but not really gained much, and within that 1%, the top 0.1% has done really well and so on and so forth until you get to the 26 people who own more than the bottom three billion. (Source)

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