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French economist and author Thomas Piketty has signed the letter to the Guardian that accuses the chancellor of gimmickry. Photograph: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

In a letter to the Guardian, coordinated by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, 77 of the best-known academic economists, including French economist Thomas Piketty and Cambridge professor Ha-Joon Chang, said the chancellor was turning a blind eye to the complexities of a 21st-century economy that demanded governments remain flexible and responsive to changing global events.

Piketty, who rose to prominence last year after his book Capital became a bestseller, signed the letter alongside eminent economics professors from many of Britain’s top universities.

Other signatories of the letter include former Bank of England monetary policy committee member David Blanchflower, Diane Elson, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Essex and chair of UK Women’s Budget Group alongside professors of economics from Oxford, Leeds and London universities.

In a swipe at what they said was a “risky experiment with the economy in order to score political points”, they argued Osborne was guilty of adopting a gimmick designed to outmanoeuvre his opponents.

Source: Academics attack George Osborne budget surplus proposal | Business | The Guardian

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