The video is here. I finally got a chance to watch it. Some quick reactions:
1. In order of how interesting the presentations were, the ranking IMO clearly goes Weil > Mankiw > Auerbach. The attention received has been exactly the reverse (assuming we're not counting the attention to hecklers as attention to Mankiw's actual presentation). I want to be clear - I think Auerbach actually had a very nice presentation. It was just mostly dealing with some standard optimal tax theory stuff which I didn't find as interesting.
2. Mankiw made a point that I have been making about Piketty for a while now: r > g is great for the capital share chapters but doesn't give you much on the inequality chapters. Piketty generally did not do a great job connecting up those two big sections of the book. Piketty nods to the point but doesn't do it justice in his response to Mankiw (he acknowledges r > g doesn't matter for income inequality but maintains it's important for wealth inequality).
3. Weil and Makinw have inspired me to write a QJE paper that puts human capital into Piketty's story and leads with the line "This paper takes Thomas Piketty seriously." Now note I'm not saying I'll actually do it - just that they inspired me. This is very much related to a discussion I had with Evan the other day about how Piketty botches his criticism of Goldin and Katz. I don't think he does any better in his response to Weil. On that point...
4. Piketty does a ton of good work and some people don't seem to realize that. And he anticipates a lot of dumb arguments already so most of the things that people think are oh-so-obviously-wrong in Piketty are often not even in Piketty! But he definitely seems slow to react to good arguments and very entrenched in his views.
My “Get in the Vote” Campaign
1 hour ago