Lead author Gallman died in 1998, but Rhode, at the urging of Claudia Goldin of the National Bureau of Economic Research (nber) and Harvard University, was able to put together this book from Gallman’s published works and research files, supplemented by discussions with many prominent economist historians and Gallman’s longtime assistant at the University of North Carolina. The result is a mash-up of economic history and history of economic thought that would have made a valuable contribution if published twenty years ago. Its bibliography, for example, is great, but only for sources published before the start of the third millennium.

Despite its title’s play on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, Mass., 2013), the book does not systematically address issues of wealth or income disparities. It does, however, point to the importance of considering population age structure when assessing changing levels of inequality. In addition, Rhode...

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