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Original Article

Ekonomik Yaklasim. 2015; 26(Special): 15-41

Evaluating Piketty in the Pursuit of Economic Thought

Gülenay Baş Dinar.

Cited by 0 Articles

In this study, Piketty’s thoughts about the capitalist system and his relationship with economists who have an important place in the history of economic thought will be evaluated. Piketty has mentioned about many economists in his book and has based his study upon the theoretical structure of the past. However, when examined in relation to these theories, it is seen clearly that he did not examine these theories throughly. Due to his ideolojical orientation, methodological choice and theoretical confusion, Piketty could not be able to achieve a holistic capitalism theory. In terms of scope and depth of his theoretical debates, it is not possible to compare the analysis of Piketty neither with the analyses of the classical economists, Marx or institutional economists nor with Keynes who aimed to save the capitalism as himself. Although he critizes neoclassical economics, Piketty has used many neoclassical concepts and tools, particularly the capital, so that he can not go much beyond the analytical limits of the neoclassical analysis. Staying within the boundaries of the neoclassical orthodoxy, therefore, Piketty has discussed some reform proposals which will save the capitalism. The reason why Piketty’s book has got that attention is the need of a paradigm shift in the field of both the economic theory and economic policy. In this sense, it is hoped that Piketty would be an agent of such a paradigm shift in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. In this paper, it is asserted that it is hard to be accepted that Piketty could lead the needed paradigm shift in both the political and theoretical sense.

Key words: Piketty, Classical Economics, Neoclassical Economics, Marx, Keynes, Institutional Economics. JEL Classification: B10, B20, B41.

Article Language: EnglishTurkish

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