Events

Thomas Piketty on Wealth, Income and Inequality

Date: April 15, 2014

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Please join the Economic Policy Institute and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth for a presentation by Thomas Piketty—economist from the Paris School of Economics and ground-breaking researcher on income inequality—of the findings in his new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. His presentation will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Heather Boushey, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, with Josh Bivens, Research and Policy Director of the Economic Policy Institute, Robert M. Solow, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Betsey Stevenson, Member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, serving as discussants.

When: 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM (EDT)

Where: 
1333 H St NW
Suite 300, East Tower
Washington, DC 20005

Piketty examines data from more than twenty countries spanning in some cases as far back as the 18th century to assess the dynamics of income and wealth distribution, with a particular focus on the role of capital ownership as a driver of long-run trends in income inequality. He argues that when the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of economic growth, as it has for most of history, then rising income inequality becomes inevitable. He says that if this rising inequality is allowed to continue unchecked, the results could be deep political and social disruption.

While Piketty notes that inequality has different dimensions across countries, he concludes with a recommendation: significantly increase the progressivity of both income and wealth taxation. Given the extraordinarily globalized market for capital, he further argues that the reach of such taxes must be global as well.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century, already a best seller, is an invaluable contribution to how we understand inequality and its possible consequences.

The book, which has already focused the attention of economists like no other work in recent decades, will be available for purchase at the event. We very much hope you can join us. This event is free to the public.

RSVP here