Please join the Economic Policy Institute and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth for a presentation by Thomas Piketty of the findings in his new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. 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.
Piketty’s 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 and Betsey Stevenson, Member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, serving as discussants.
Copies of Capital in the Twenty-First Century will be available for purchase at the event.
Thomas Piketty, author, Capital in the Twenty-First Century; economist, Paris School of Economics
Josh Bivens, Research and Policy Director, Economic Policy Institute
Robert M. Solow, Nobel Laureate; Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Betsey Stevenson, Member, White House Council of Economic Advisers
Heather Boushey, Executive Director and Chief Economist, Washington Center for Equitable Growth