The EcologistContesta-TerreEconomics and Politics by Paul Krugman - The Conscience of a LiberalWell, it’s Piketty day at the Times, with David Brooks and yours truly even having more or less matching headlines. And David’s take reminds me of something I’ve been meaning to do: explain one important point in Piketty that even economist readers have, it seems, tended to miss. In his critique David says of Piketty, He predicts that family fortunes will concentrate, though big ones in the past have tended to dissipate and families like the Gateses give a lot away. So, two points. Second, Piketty predicts a high concentration of wealth, but not concentration without limit. Here’s how I think of it. In this case there will be an equilibrium distribution of family fortunes, comprising families that have accumulated wealth for three generations, a smaller number who have accumulated for four generations (smaller because some fortunes get squandered), a still smaller number who have accumulated for five generations, and so on.
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