Interview with Thomas Piketty, Author of Capital in the 21st Century
Jean Merckaert and Jean Vettraino
Thomas Piketty is an economist. He is director of studies at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris and a professor at the Paris School of Economics. His research focuses on economic inequalities. His most recent book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century,1 has generated lively debate in the United States and Europe.
In Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty shows that the rich get richer more quickly than the rest of society, in an almost mechanical fashion. In his view, the main driver of inequality is the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth. He makes the case for a progressive taxation – including income tax, inheritance taxation and a yearly tax on capital. Is this possible at a national level? Is it realistic in an era of tax havens? Would it be enough to reduce inequalities?