Pocket Piketty

Pocket Piketty

By Jesper Roine


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We all know about the book: it has been hailed as one of the most important documents on how the world economy works, or doesn’t work, and it has been a colossal bestseller since it first appeared in 2014, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century makes a powerful case that wealth, and accumulated wealth, tends to stay where it lands: and with the passage of time just gets bigger…and bigger.

In this handy slim volume, in clear and accessible prose, experienced economist and teacher Jesper Roine explains all things Piketty.


Jesper’s sharp analytical mind, deep social interest, and his own respected research in the eld make him the ideal author of a book like this.

– Magnus Henrekson, professor and managing direc- tor of The Research Institute of Industrial Economics

This book is for people who were interested in Piketty’s analysis of inequality, but found his book too ponderous to finish. That includes me! Roine compresses Piketty’s magnum opus down to 160 digestible pages in a concise, accessible way.

– Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics

A very readable summary of Piketty’s important book, written by a leading expert on inequality data.

– Per Krusell, professor of economics, Stockholm University; chair, Nobel Prize committee, Prize for Economic Sciences

An ideal companion to Piketty. For students and those in need of easier access to Piketty’s work, Roine lays out the story in clear terms while providing very useful historical and economic background.

– David Stasavage, New York University

Provides invaluable support for students interested in Piketty’s landmark work and the debate that it has generated. This book is one that every student reading Capital in the Twenty First Century should use.

– Sara Gorgoni, University of Greenwich


Part I The Underlying Research
Why all the Fuss?
Why this Book?
The Underlying Research
The Distribution of Income Over the Twentieth Century
Top Income Shares Over the Twentieth Century
Four Key Insights
Why Does This Matter?
Technology, Education, and the Possibility of a New Kuznets Curve after 1980?
Part II Summary of Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Structure of the Book
1. Income and Capital
2. The Dynamics of the Capital/Income Ratio
3. The Structure of Inequality
4. Regulating Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Part III Is Thomas Piketty right?