Afternoon Must-Read: Mark Thoma: When Piketty Argued for Income Redistribution, He Changed Economics
...has it changed anything within economics?... Piketty has... revive[d] the study of the distribution of wealth without violating the positive and normative distinction that economists hold so dear.... Whether or not Piketty is correct about the fundamental determinants of these distributions remains to be seen, but he deserves much credit.... Another thing Piketty deserves credit for is the revival of the historical, narrative methodology.... In his 1919 presidential address to the American Economic Association, Irving Fisher said, ‘The real scientific study of the distribution of wealth has, we must confess, scarcely begun as yet.’ Nearly a hundred years later that, along with a revival of historical methods and perspective, may finally be changing.