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Thomas Piketty speaker

Thomas Piketty

Paris, France

One of the world's foremost scholars on wealth and income inequality

Author of the best-selling book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" (2013)

Professor of Economics, Paris School of Economics

Professor Thomas Piketty is a French economist who has made his name studying the historical evolution of income and wealth distributions in advanced economies.

Thomas became Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in 2000, a position which he currently holds. In 2006 Thomas became the first head of the Paris School of Economics, which he helped set up. He left after a few months to serve as an economic advisor to Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal during the French presidential campaign. Thomas resumed teaching at the EHESS and Paris School of Economics in 2007, where he is associate chair.

Thomas is perhaps best known for being the New York Times best-selling author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” (2013), which reorients our understanding of economic history and transforms the debate about wealth and inequality. He argues that the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, and that this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future. Because inequality is a global phenomenon, Thomas proposes a worldwide solution: a global tax on wealth combined with higher rates of tax on the largest incomes.

In 2012, Thomas was named as one of the 2012 Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers “for making the graph that occupied Wall Street.” He is a columnist for Libération, and occasionally writes op-eds for Le Monde.

Our Comment

"Thomas's book "Capital" is being acclaimed as the most important work of political economy to be published in decades. In 2013, he won the biennial Yrjö Jahnsson Award, for the economist under age 45 who has "made a contribution in theoretical and applied research that is significant to the study of economics in Europe." As the world's current #1 celebrity economist, he speaks with confidence about how to address the issues of inequality. He is fluent in both English and French."

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