FT analysis of my book is ‘ridiculous’, says Thomas Piketty

 

Thomas Piketty, the economist whose bestselling book on inequality was criticised by the Financial Times for using erroneous data, turned on his accusers yesterday to declare the newspaper’s analysis of his work “just ridiculous”.

The French economist’s book Capital in the Twenty-first Century took the economic and political world by storm with  its doctrine that wealth inequality is widening globally. His theory has struck a chord around the world amid a widespread feeling on the left that the poorest have suffered worse than the richest from a financial crisis that was created by wealthy elites.

The Financial Times’ economics editor claimed at the weekend that Mr Piketty made mistakes in his 696-page book and altered some figures without explaining why. Chris Giles also accused Mr Piketty of “cherry-picking” his sources.

Mr Piketty, a 43-year-old professor at the Paris School of Economics, has hit back by posting all his data on his website for peer review and declared to the Bloomberg news agency that “there’s no mistake or error” in his work.

The dispute has sent the world of economic academia into a whirl, with professors who had praised the work poring over Mr Piketty’s data over the weekend.

One of the Financial Times’ examples of alleged inaccuracies in Mr Piketty’s work was in his figure for the UK, which suggested that the top 10 per cent of the population holds 71 per cent of national wealth. The Office for National Statistics says the figure is 44 per cent.

Mr Piketty responded that the ONS survey was “based on self-reported data and is very low quality”.

Other economists agreed with Mr Piketty on that score, with Gabriel Zucman, assistant professor at the London School of Economics, declaring: “The FT seems to take that survey as gospel, and I think that’s a mistake.” Survey data can massively underestimate wealth inequality, he added. “In this case, that is exactly what is happening.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'