Best Selling Books by Thomas Piketty

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Income Inequality in France 1901-98

release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century

release date: Jan 01, 2018
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Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century
A landmark in contemporary social science, this pioneering work by Thomas Piketty explains the facts and dynamics of income inequality in France in the twentieth century. On its publication in French in 2001, it helped launch the international program led by Piketty and others to explore the grand patterns and causes of global inequality--research that has since transformed public debate. Appearing here in English for the first time, this stunning achievement will take its place alongside Capital in the Twenty-First Century as a modern classic of economic analysis. Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century is essential in part because of Piketty's unprecedented efforts to uncover, untangle, and present in clear form data about patterns in tax and inheritance in France dating back to 1900. But it is also an exceptional work of analysis, tracking and explaining with Piketty's characteristically lucid prose the effects of political conflict, war, and social change on the economic pressures and public policies that determined the lives of millions. A work of unusual intellectual power and ambition, Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century is vital reading for anyone concerned with the economic, political, and social history of France, and it is central to ongoing debates about social justice, inequality, taxation, and the evolution of capitalism around the world.--

How to Democratize Europe

release date: Jan 01, 2019
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How to Democratize Europe
The European Union has long suffered from a lack of democratic accountability. In the past decade, the problem has become particularly acute in the economic management of the Eurozone, the 19 countries of the E.U. that use the Euro (nine members don't). At present, the central institution for management of the Eurozone is the Eurogroup, an informal body led by national finance ministers who report neither to the European Parliament nor to national parliaments but coordinate their activities with the Troika, that is, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Council. Critics accuse the Eurogroup both of lack of transparency and of consistently putting the interests of the rich northwest ahead of the interests of poorer and smaller nations in the east and south. In How to Democratize Europe, four distinguished French scholars describe the diverse problems of the Eurozone and propose a treaty that would establish a parliament for economic policy consisting of selected members of national parliaments. Various contributors then respond to the proposal with support, criticism, or ideas for alternatives.--

Attitudes Toward Income Inequality in France

release date: Jan 01, 1999
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Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics

Global Inequality Dynamics

release date: Jan 01, 2017
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Global Inequality Dynamics
This paper presents new findings on global inequality dynamics from the World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world), with particular emphasis on the contrast between the trends observed in the United States, China, France, and the United Kingdom. We observe rising top income and wealth shares in nearly all countries in recent decades. But the magnitude of the increase varies substantially, thereby suggesting that different country-specific policies and institutions matter considerably. Long-run wealth inequality dynamics appear to be highly unstable. We stress the need for more democratic transparency on income and wealth dynamics and better access to administrative and financial data.

Income and Wealth Concentration in Switzerland Over the 20th Century

release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Voting as Communicating

release date: Jan 01, 1995
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Measuring Top Incomes and Inequality in the Middle East

Measuring Top Incomes and Inequality in the Middle East
This paper discusses the data limitations associated with the measurement of top incomes and inequality in the Middle East, with special emphasis to the case of Egypt. It has been noted that high inequality might have contributed to the Arab spring revolt movement. Some studies have argued however that measured inequality in Middle East countries is not particularly large by international standards, and that popular discontent mostly reflects the perceived level of inequality, and the perceived (un)fairness of the distribution. In this paper we review the evidence and present new estimates. We come with two main conclusions. First, data sources at the national level are insufficient to derive reliable estimates of top income shares in a country like Egypt(or in other Middle East countries). One would need reliable fiscal sources in order to make a precise comparison with other emerging or developed countries. Unfortunately, such sources are lacking in most of the region. Next, and irrespective of these uncertainties on within-country inequalities, there is no doubt that income inequality is extremely large at the level of the Middle East taken as whole-simply because regional inequality in per capita GNP is particularly large. According to our benchmark estimates, the share of total Middle East income accruing to the top 10% income receivers is currently 55% (vs.48% in the United States,36% in Western Europe, and 54% in South Africa). Under plausible assumptions, the top 10% income share could be well over 60%, and the top 1% share might exceed 25% (vs. 20% in the United States,11% in Western Europe, and 17% in South Africa). Popular discontent might reflect the fact that perceptions about inequality and the (un)fairness of the distribution are determined by regional (and/or global) inequality, and not only on national inequality.

Distributional National Accounts

release date: Jan 01, 2016
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Distributional National Accounts
This paper combines tax, survey, and national accounts data to estimate the distribution of national income in the United States since 1913. Our distributional national accounts capture 100% of national income, allowing us to compute growth rates for each quantile of the income distribution consistent with macroeconomic growth. We estimate the distribution of both pre-tax and post-tax income, making it possible to provide a comprehensive view of how government redistribution affects inequality. Average pre-tax national income per adult has increased 60% since 1980, but we find that it has stagnated for the bottom 50% of the distribution at about $16,000 a year. The pre-tax income of the middle class -- adults between the median and the 90th percentile -- has grown 40% since 1980, faster than what tax and survey data suggest, due in particular to the rise of tax-exempt fringe benefits. Income has boomed at the top: in 1980, top 1% adults earned on average 27 times more than bottom 50% adults, while they earn 81 times more today. The upsurge of top incomes was first a labor income phenomenon but has mostly been a capital income phenomenon since 2000. The government has offset only a small fraction of the increase in inequality. The reduction of the gender gap in earnings has mitigated the increase in inequality among adults. The share of women, however, falls steeply as one moves up the labor income distribution, and is only 11% in the top 0.1% today.
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