Max Sprenger on Thomas Piketty

Thomas PikettyThomas Piketty was born in 1971 and grew up in Clichy, in the suburbs of Paris. He is a French economist and professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and Paris School of Economics. He specialized in economic inequalities.

Piketty entered the École Normal Supérieur at 18 years old. At only 22 he obtained his PhD from EHESS. This thesis about wealth redistribution won him the French Economics Association’s award for the best thesis in 1993.

In 2015 he refuses his Knight of the Legion of Honor nomination because he refuses because « It shouldn’t be the role of a government to say who is honorable »

Piketty Capital bok coverAfter teaching at MIT for several years, Piketty came back to France and published a book in 2001 called “Les hauts revenus en France au XXe siècle. Inequality is a very important topic in France. This book is often said being a reference on the question of inequality. It brings paramount information about a century of inequality. The book demonstrates that contrary to popular belief, inequality in income has stayed the same during the entire 20th century. A huge scale inequality in income, predicted by Karl Marx has been avoided because of the widespread of knowledge

The topic of inequality has become an interpretative reading grid of France’s general history.

Economic inequality refers to how economic metrics are distributed among individuals in a group, such as a population. Those economic metrics are consumption, wealth and income. Inequality in national income around the world can be measured by Gini coefficient

Thomas Piketty is also engaged politically. In 2005, Dominique de Villepin, then prime minister gave him the opportunity to open the Paris School of Economics which would be the direct competitor of the prestigious London School of Economics. Piketty was also the advisor of Ségolène Royal during the presidential elections of 2007.


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Submittal in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the IMBA Seminar onSustainable Development, Economy and Democracy of the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris, March 2015.

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