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Thomas Piketty responds to the haters

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Last week, Chris Giles of The Financial Times kicked up a storm in economic circles by claiming that Thomas Piketty had messed up the data in his landmark study Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a historical survey of income inequality in the capitalist world. Giles said Piketty had plucked numbers "out of thin air" and "got his sums wrong," undercutting his central thesis that economic inequality is rising in Europe and the United States.

Now Piketty has responded — and at length.

The gist is that Piketty is standing behind both his data and his conclusions. This comes on top of several economists and commentators suggesting that Giles exaggerated the implications of the errors and discrepancies he found in Piketty's spreadsheets.

So if you were one of the many people who helped send Capital to the top of the bestseller lists, don't send it back to the publisher just yet.