Friday, May 23, 2014

Financial Times: We’ve found some, ahem, “serious inconsistencies” in Thomas Piketty’s numbers

Thomas Piketty ‘Cherry Picked’ Data In His Book Critiquing Capitalism - Daily Caller

Celebrated author and liberal darling Thomas Piketty may have skewed data about Western inequality in his latest bestseller.

According to an investigation conducted by the Financial Times economics editor Chris Giles, Piketty’s newest book about the growing inequality in Western world, “Capital in the 21st Century,” is chock-full of serious factual errors.

Giles wrote in an FT article on Friday that the arguments in Piketty’s 571-page critique of capitalism were undermined by “mistakes and unexplained entries in his spreadsheets.”

He explained that due to the misinformation presented in the book, there is little weight behind Piketty’s argument on economic inequality.

Piketty got very obviously picky and choosey with a whole lot of the data points he used to construct his arguments, and the Financial Times just did their own investigation into the exact math he employed. The results? - HotAir

Prof Piketty, 43, provides detailed sourcing for his estimates of wealth inequality in Europe and the US over the past 200 years. In his spreadsheets, however, there are transcription errors from the original sources and incorrect formulas. It also appears that some of the data are cherry-picked or constructed without an original source.

For example, once the FT cleaned up and simplified the data, the European numbers do not show any tendency towards rising wealth inequality after 1970.