Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK), Forum for Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM), Düsseldorf
If Piketty's main theoretical prediction (r>g leads to rising wealth inequality) is taken to its radical conclusion, then 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 which permits such a corner solution of all wealth held by capitalists. However, it also shows 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 determined by the Cambridge equation. More importantly, simulations show that the model conforms to Piketty's empirical findings during a transitional phase of increasing wealth inequality, which characterizes the current state of high-income countries: The wealth share of capitalists rises to over 60%, 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 neutralize this rise in wealth concentration predicted by our model.
Post-Keynesian model wealth saving inequality Piketty simulation