Thomas Piketty, the economist famed for his revelations on income inequality and dubbed the “modern Marx,” will appear Thursday at a daylong symposium and public talk at UC San Diego.

Thomas Piketty. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

All sessions are “sold out,” according to the eventbrite site.

The Helen Edison Lecture Series is hosting the bestselling author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.”

His public talk will explore the causes of income inequality and what the increased concentration of wealth means for the economy and society. In the past, he’s urged a progressive global tax on wealth.

“Income inequality is not just a catch phrase,” said Mary Walshok, dean of UC San Diego Extension, which is sponsoring the evening talk. “It is a real issue that Americans across the political spectrum acknowledge. The question now is: How do we address it?”

The talk by Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, “should inform how we as a region think about this issue moving forward,” Walshok said.

Peter Gourevitch, founding dean of UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy and distinguished professor emeritus of political science, said: “He has become world famous for raising it with his book, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to meet him here in person, to hear his thoughts, and to hear a variety of experts discuss the various issues his research raises.”

Earlier this month, Piketty delivered the 13th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Piketty, 44, has written about the historic trajectory of income inequality and the implications of this increasing economic disparity on society.

“His work has earned him comparisons to such influential economists as Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx, and Esquire deemed his book the most important work of the twenty-first century,” UCSD said in a news release.

Piketty’s evening talk is preceded by a daylong symposium with scholars from UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, Caltech and Harvard.

The schedule of events:

  • The Causes of Inequality: Political, Social and Economic, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Multipurpose Room, Student Services Center, UC San Diego
  • Inside Inequality: The Making of the Book with Piketty and his Collaborators, noon to 2 p.m. at the Multipurpose Room, Student Services Center, UC San Diego
  • The Consequences of Inequality: Why Does it Matter and How, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Multipurpose Room, Student Services Center, UC San Diego
  • Lecture and Book Signing, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mandeville Auditorium, UC San Diego

The Piketty Symposium is co-sponsored by UC San Diego Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research; UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and its Center on Global Transformation; the UC San Diego departments of Economics, Sociology and Political Science; and with the support of UC San Diego Extension and the Helen Edison Lecture Series.

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