Robert Waldmann: Hoynes, Schanzenbach, and Almond with Convincing Evidence That Food Stamps--SNAP--Really Do Work: Monday Focus
(Late) Tuesday Focus: Responses to Ezra Klein's Worries About Over Focus on Inequality, and Ezra Klein's Response...

Tomas Piketty: Inequality and Capitalism in the Long Run

The English-language translation (by Arthur Goldhammer) of Tomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is coming out in March. And he gave a talk on it in Helsinki.

The hawk-eyed Cardiff Garcia writes:

Piketty previews Piketty | FT Alphaville: A hat tip to reader @zapatique for sending us to Thomas Picketty’s recent lecture, which previews the forthcoming English-language edition of his new book...

And the esteemed and eminent Kevin Drum writes:

New French Book Will Become Important When It's In English: Tyler Cowen says today that "The forthcoming Thomas Piketty book will be very important." That "will be" is sort of interesting. You see, the name of the book is Le capital au xxie siècle, and it was published three months ago. But no one is talking about it. Presumably, it will become very important—and very talked about—only next March, when Capital in the 21st Century hits the shelves.

I don't have any grand point to make. It's just interesting that fluent French is now so rarely spoken among American academics that an important French book can't even get the time of day until its English translation comes out. It makes sense that widespread conversation would have to wait, since you can't very well have that until lots of people have read the book, but you'd think there would be at least a few reviews out there along with a bit of discussion. But if there has been, I've missed it.

Well, you would need somebody who is:

  1. interested in communicating with a mass audience among les Anglo-Saxons;
  2. tooled-up to evaluate and discuss a work of macroeconomic history;
  3. tooled-up and evaluate a work in the ongoing inequality debate; and
  4. who at least reads something written in Französisch Sprache...

Why is everybody all of a sudden looking at me?

I would plead that my speed at reading things written in Französisch Sprache is at best one-tenth of my speed reading things written in Anglo-Saxon dialect, save for the fact that I have a ms. of the English version of the book sitting at my left hand. And I would plead that I had thought that the proper time was March/April--I know Tomas plans to be in North America for an extended trip in April. But now Cardiff has cried "havoc!", and (at least a large part of) the powerpoint for the book talk is loose on the internet...

So IJ will put it at the top of the pile. And the Powerpoint is well worth looking at...