Doesn’t real estate capital really contribute to inequality?

By Guillaume Allègre and Xavier Timbeau

In a response to Capital in the twenty-first century, Odran Bonnet, Pierre-Henri Bono, Guillaume Chapelle and Etienne Wasmer (2014) attempt to show that the book’s conclusions regarding an explosion in wealth inequality are “not plausible”. The authors point out an inconsistency in Thomas Piketty’s thesis: the model of capital accumulation is implicitly a model of the accumulation of productive capital, which is inconsistent with the decision to include real estate capital at its market value in measuring capital. If valued correctly, the ratio of capital to income would have remained stable in France, Britain, the United States and Canada, which contradicts the thesis of Piketty’s work. Continue reading “Doesn’t real estate capital really contribute to inequality?”

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The critique of capital in the 21st century: in search of the macroeconomic foundations of inequalities

By Guillaume Allègre and Xavier Timbeau

In his book Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty offers a critical analysis of the dynamics of capital accumulation. The book is at the level of its very high ambitions: it addresses a crucial issue, it draws on a very substantial statistical effort that sheds new light on the dynamics of distribution, and it advances public policy proposals. Thomas Piketty combines the approach of the great classical authors (Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Walras) with impressive empirical work that was inaccessible to his illustrious predecessors. Continue reading “The critique of capital in the 21st century: in search of the macroeconomic foundations of inequalities”

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In honour of Robert Castel

Hélène Périvier, Bruno Palier, Bernard Gazier

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Robert Castel. He left his mark on French sociology and on the social sciences more generally with his analysis of wage society and the way it’s changing. Continue reading “In honour of Robert Castel”

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The middle class: baseless fears or genuine hardship?

By Louis Chauvel

The term “middle class” is one of those social science concepts that provoke controversy due to its complex definition and dynamics and the political debate it generates. The fact that it is surrounded by sharp controversy should not therefore come as a big surprise. In a note by the OFCE – where a multifaceted definition of the middle class is proposed [1] – we review several dimensions of the social malaise afflicting this social group, which is often considered to be relatively privileged, in an effort to understand the actual situation. Continue reading “The middle class: baseless fears or genuine hardship?”

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Women’s Day

On the occasion of 8 March, we would like to remind our readers that, together with Sciences-Po, the OFCE has developed the specialist Research Programme for Teaching and Knowledge on Gender Issues (PRESAGE).

A number of posts on this blog have taken up the subject of occupational equality between men and women.

 

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