Is Piketty’s ‘Second Law of Capitalism’ fundamental?

Per Krusell, Tony Smith, 1 June 2014

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Over the last several weeks, we have thought quite a bit about the main message in Thomas Piketty’s now world-famous book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty 2014). We have also discussed it at great length with colleagues.

Topics: Poverty and income inequality
Tags: growth, Inequality, saving, savings, wealth

The chartbook of economic inequality

Tony Atkinson, Salvatore Morelli, 26 March 2014

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Inequality – long ignored – is now centre stage in debate about economic policy around the globe. The 2007-2008 collapse of the global financial system and the subsequent economic downturn/debt crises have acted as a catalyst for growing anxiety around the increasing dispersion of incomes within most advanced economies. We are not “all in it together”.

Topics: Poverty and income inequality
Tags: income, inequalities, wealth

The great escape from death and deprivation

Angus Deaton, 20 March 2014

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Nearly 40 years ago, the demographer Samuel Preston (1975) wrote about changing patterns of life expectancy and income around the world. That paper set the agenda for thinking about global health and global wealth.

Topics: Development, Politics and economics
Tags: health, inequalities, wealth

Tax policy in (and for) hard times

Michael Keen, 16 October 2013

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Tax policy, like everything else, has been through tough times since the onset of the crisis. First, tax policy was to stimulate the economy (Heady 2011). Now it is to help consolidate the fiscal position – always with considerable urgency and all in the midst of public anger and disquiet.

Topics: Macroeconomic policy, Taxation
Tags: fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy, global crisis, Inequality, taxation, wealth

Distributional consequences of natural-resource booms: Lessons from Australia

Sambit Bhattacharyya, Jeffrey G. Williamson, 10 August 2013

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Commodity-price shocks have powerful but unequal effects on labour, capital and land. A large literature, often referred to as the ‘Dutch Disease’ literature, documents the effects of commodity booms on factors of production (Corden and Neary 1982). An increase in global commodity demand and a subsequent rise in commodity prices trigger a sharp rise in commodity exports.

Topics: Development, International trade
Tags: Australia, income, Inequality, wealth

Who lives longer?

Josep Pijoan-Mas, Víctor Ríos-Rull, 30 September 2012

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Economists have long been worried about income inequality and its effects on welfare. For instance, workers with a college degree earn on average much more than those who did not complete high school. This disparity translates into large differences in consumption levels and hence welfare (see, for instance, Heathcote et al. 2010).

Topics: Education, Health economics, Poverty and income inequality
Tags: education, health, life expectancy, wealth

Stock market wealth effects in emerging market countries

Heiko Hesse, 16 October 2008

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There are a few channels through which asset price changes affect consumption. For instance, consumption depends on peoples’ expectations of wage income and equity price increases can signal higher income growth.

Topics: Financial markets
Tags: emerging markets, stock markets, wealth

Cultural assimilation, cultural diffusion and the origin of the wealth of nations

Quamrul Ashraf, Oded Galor, 13 September 2007

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At the start of the 2nd millennium CE, civilisations of Asia were arguably well ahead of European societies in both wealth and knowledge. By the 12th century, China employed water-driven machinery to make textiles and coke-based smelting to produce iron, technologies that would not appear in Europe for more than five hundred years.

Topics: Economic history, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: cultural assimilation, cultural diffusion, wealth

The uncertain future of inheritance taxation

Graziella Bertocchi, 15 July 2007

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One of Sarkozy’s electoral promises to the French people during his recent electoral campaign has been a drastic reduction of the inheritance tax. In a country where a wealth tax on large fortunes has been introduced as recently as 1989, this has undoubtedly been perceived as a substantial break with the past.

Topics: Taxation
Tags: inheritance, tax, wealth

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