Friday, May 30, 2014

Matt O'Brien — Piketty’s ‘errors’ aren’t mistakes: They’re questions, and he answered them

Thomas Piketty thinks the Financial Times knows nothing of his technical work. 
That's the Cliff Notes version of his 4,400-word response to the criticisms the Financial Times leveled against the data in his best-selling book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." Piketty says that even though he expects people to improve on his work in the future, he still stands by it today, and the mistakes the Financial Times thinks it's found aren't actually mistakes — and that they'd know this if they'd read the appendices he put online.

Now, to recap, these alleged — emphasis here — errors fall into three categories: 1) transcription mistakes, 2) unexplained data tweaks and 3) in the case of Britain, incorrect data. But the problem with these problems, as I pointed out, is that they aren't ones. They're questions. How did Piketty choose which source to use when they told different stories? How did he adjust them? And how much did his big-picture results depend on these decisions? All good questions — but still just questions.

Well, now that Piketty has answered the FT's criticisms, let's go through them one by one.
The Washington Post — WonkBlog
Piketty’s ‘errors’ aren’t mistakes: They’re questions, and he answered them
Matt O'Brien

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Watched John Pilger's 'Utopia' again tonight: a stark reminder that inequality and neoliberalism is not all data sets, 'mistakes' and cerebration.

Neoliberalism and inequality in Australia: