Why Does Inequality Matter? Reflections on the Political Morality of Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century

19 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016 Last revised: 7 Jun 2016

See all articles by Liam Murphy

Liam Murphy

New York University School of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2016

Abstract

In the Conclusion to Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty issues a call for a political and historical economics. Like Marx and the political economists before him, Piketty is interested in how markets work because he is interested in the rights and wrongs of institutional, especially legal, design. His is book is guided by a clear sense that economic inequality, especially inequality of wealth, raises serious prima facie problems of social justice. This essay is a critical investigation into the political morality underlying Capital in the Twenty-First Century that unravels and evaluates the different ways in which economic inequality may or may not matter.

Keywords: inequality, Piketty, social justice

JEL Classification: A13

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Liam B., Why Does Inequality Matter? Reflections on the Political Morality of Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century (May 1, 2016). Tax Law Review, Vol. 68, No. 3, 2015; NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 16-21; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2769759

Liam B. Murphy (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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