Pikettyn pääoma suhteessa Marxin pääomaan


Piketty’s Capital related to Marx’s Capital – how to find the fundamental laws of capitalism and inequality?

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty provides an interesting picture of long-run changes in capital accumulation and income inequality. Moreover, these changes are explained by a few fundamental laws of capitalism, which then are utilized in predictions of rapidly increasing income inequalities in the 21st century. These laws can be compared with those presented in Marx’s Capital. Evidently, the two books include very different theories of capitalist development. In Piketty’s book, capital is mainly understood as wealth, although sometimes it also refers to productive capital (based on a neoclassical production function), which is confusing. The basic contradiction between the rate of return (r) and growth rate (g), and the formulation r>g remain largely hypothetical. Thus, while the results of income inequality are important, the theoretical foundations and predictions of increasing gaps prove to be rather problematic.

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