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Stefan Ederer, Miriam Rehm
Making sense of Piketty's "fundamental laws" in a Post-Keynesian framework
Piketty's main theoretical prediction is that a small elite will own all wealth if capitalism is left to its own devices. We formulate and calibrate a Post-Keynesian model with an endogenous distribution of wealth between workers and capitalists. The model permits Piketty's corner solution of all wealth held by capitalists; however, it also shows that interior solutions with a stable, non-zero wealth share of workers, a stable wealth-to-income ratio, and a stable and positive gap between the profit and the growth rate are determined by the Cambridge equation. Furthermore, simulations show that the model conforms to Piketty's empirical findings in a transitional phase, in which the wealth share of capitalists rises to over 60 percent, the wealth-to-income ratio increases, and income inequality rises. Finally, we show that the introduction of a wealth tax as suggested by Piketty could neutralise the rise in wealth concentration.
JEL-Codes:C63, D31, E12, E21
Keywords:TP_Nachhaltigkeit_Nachhaltigkeit Post-Keynesian, model, wealth, saving, inequality, Piketty, simulation
Research group:Macroeconomics and European Economic Policy