Thomas Piketty in part-time role at LSE inequality institute

The best-selling economist Thomas Piketty has been appointed to a part-time position at the London School of Economics to teach and collaborate on work on inequality.

The author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, named the Financial Times and McKinsey business book of the year in 2014, will spend four days a year teaching at the new International Inequalities Institute at the LSE.

The institute is aiming to bring together work on inequality from many different academic disciplines and generate more publicity for the LSE's research in the area.

Professor Mike Savage, co-director of the institute, said Prof Piketty would "pack his formal teaching commitments into four very long days at the LSE" and also continue to collaborate with researchers in London.

The position would be additional to his main jobs as professor at the Paris School of Economics and at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales. The part-time visiting position carries the title centennial professor.

Prof Savage said it was a paid position, adding he was not privy to the salary Prof Piketty would receive.

In a statement, Prof Savage said: "Thomas Piketty has revolutionised our understanding of inequality through demonstrating how fundamental historical shifts towards escalating capital accumulation disproportionately enhance those who are already wealthy."

He added: "This is a fantastic opportunity to establish the [institute] and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him."

Prof Piketty said he was "thrilled" at his appointment.

"Rising inequalities is one of the great challenges of our time, which we desperately need to address. We have a unique opportunity at the LSE to create a truly dynamic and exciting interdisciplinary centre which will make a real difference to our understanding of the causes and consequences of inequality."

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