Best-selling author of Capital in the 21st Century Thomas Piketty has turned down France’s top award, the Legion D’Honneur.
The French economist said: “I do not think it is the government’s role to decide who is honorable.”
His book examines income inequality in society and became a surprise hit, topping the bestseller list in the US.
“I have just learned that I was nominated for the Legion D’Honneur. I refuse this nomination because I do not think it is the government’s role to decide who is honorable,” he told the news agency AFP.
“They would do better to concentrate on reviving [economic] growth in France and Europe.”
Capital, a book of almost 600 pages, sold half a million copies and was much-debated, particularly in the US.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman called it “the most important economics book of the year – and maybe of the decade”.
In 2014, cartoonist Jacques Tardi also turned down the Legion D’Honneur.
Others to have refused the award include philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and radiology pioneers Pierre and Marie Curie.
[youtube qF5mACP2zMI 650]