Piketty’s "Capital in the 21st Century" has been all the rage of late, since the English language translation was released in April with articles hitting the FT, Economist, WSJ, and pretty much every other publication, high and low.
I haven't had the delight of gorging on all the econometric goodness just yet, but I have read a goodly number of reviews, the most technically advanced, while still lay readable, of which is "The return of patrimonial capitalism: Review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st century" by Branko Milanović: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/52384/
I thought the review was better than its pulp counterparts on several points:
- Outlines the algebraic mechanics of Piketty’s models
- Isn't afraid to present a data dive to support key points
- At 20 pages, presents succinct coverage of a mammoth book without being curt.
As an English review of the original French, it's been out for sometime. Recommended for those of us who haven't gotten round to the original just yet. As for me, it'll be my post-thesis-submission treat.
Sad, but true: Given the uncontroversial assumption that there is no political will to slow, let alone reverse, wealth condensation and the further rise of the rentier class, the only personally actionable advice is to 'marry well.' Unfortunately, if you're not 'so endowed' yourself, good luck indeed [source]. In the meantime, I think I'll read up on Rastignac. Gotta love the public domain [source]
PS: Full disclosure, I do have a university background in economics and econometrics, but I really don't think academic training is a prerequisite, just a healthy interest in the dynamics of capitalism.