Marx’s theory of the falling rate of profit is not only empirically borne out, but the theory he proposed seems to describe accurately how that happens. Furthermore, the whole process is useful for understanding the history of contemporary capitalism.
The economist Thomas Piketty presents a central argument of his book Capital in the Twenty-First century: if the rate of return to capital generally exceeds an economy's growth rate, this leads to a higher concentration of wealth in the long run. He furthermore shows with historical data how wealth and income inequality increased within the past decades.
How countries achieve long-term GDP growth is up there with the most important topics in economics. As Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas put it “the consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.” Ricardo Hausmann et al take a refreshing approach to this question in their Atlas of Economic Complexity. They argue a country’s growth depends on the complexity of its economy: it must have a diverse economy which produces a wide variety of products, including ones that cannot be produced much elsewhere. The Atlas goes into detail on exactly what complexity means, how it fits the data, and what this implies for development. Below I will offer a summary of their arguments, including some cool data visualisations.
Green Growth has been increasingly discussed as a solution to the socio-ecological crisis. But can economic growth be sustainable at all?
This lecture briefly discusses historic understandings of the limits to infinite economic growth on a finite planet (from John Stuart Mill to Marx). Taking a ecological economics perspective it discusses the metabolism of the economy, the economy as a subsystem of the environment, biophysical limits to growth, and sustainable economic scales.
Beyond Growth is a collection of educational materials offering a reflection on growth. It was created as a joint project of the associations Fairbindung e. V. and Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie, both based in Germany. The page provides learning materials and methods to stimulate thinking about the conditions of our current economy as well as possible alternatives.
In this short video 'Raghuram Rajan’s Dosa Economics Explained', the famous theory of Dr. Raghuram Rajan, ex-governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Dosa Economics, has been explained using a very simple example of Dosa ( a delicacy of India). Here, Dr. Raghuram Rajan tries to explain that low interest rate and low inflation is much better than high interest rate and high inflation.
This article provides a contextual framework for understanding the gendered dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic and its health, social, and economic outcomes. The pandemic has generated massive losses in lives, impacted people’s health, disrupted markets and livelihoods, and created profound reverberations in the home. In 112 countries that reported sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19 cases, men showed an overall higher infection rate than women, and an even higher mortality rate. However, women’s relatively high representation in sectors hardest hit by lockdown orders has translated into larger declines in employment for women than men in numerous countries. Evidence also indicates that stay-at-home orders have increased unpaid care workloads, which have fallen disproportionately to women. Further, domestic violence has increased in frequency and severity across countries. The article concludes that policy response strategies to the crisis by women leaders have contributed to more favorable outcomes compared to outcomes in countries led by men.
Dependency in Central and Eastern Europe - Self-reliance and the need to move beyond economic growth
In this essay, the author takes a critical perspective on the pursuit of growth as the solution for providing for environmental sustainability and economic stability in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Drawing from the framework of dependency theory and presenting brief insights into European core-periphery relations the author then argues for the implementation of an alternative strategy to development that is built around the concept of self-reliance.
In this essay, the principle of capital accumulation, as well as the idea of homo economicus as the basis of the growth model, are located and analyzed from a feminist perspective. The sufficiency approach is presented as an alternative to these two economic logics.
This film looks at the role economic growth has had in bringing about this crisis, and explores alternatives to it, offering a vision of hope for the future and a better life for all within planetary boundaries.
Many economists refer to economic growth as a cake that is supposed to grow for the benefit of all.
Although sometimes used as synonyms, economic growth and economic development refer to different processes. While economic growth refers to an increase in real national income and output (i.e., GDP growth rate), economic development refers to an improvement in the quality of life and living standards (i.e., life expectancy).
Environmental catastrophe looms large over politics: from the young person’s climate march to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, increasing amounts of political space are devoted to the issue. Central to this debate is the question of whether economic growth inevitably leads to environmental issues such as depleted finite resources and increased waste, disruption of natural cycles and ecosystems, and of course climate change. Growth is the focal point of the de-growth and zero-growth movements who charge that despite efficiency gains, increased GDP always results in increased use of energy and emissions. On the other side of the debate, advocates of continued growth (largely mainstream economists) believe that technological progress and policies can ‘decouple’ growth from emissions.
In this essay the authors take a look at how welfare could be provided in a degrowth society.
Exploring Economics, an open-access e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
Within the heterodox field one of the most active topics is related to the theory of economic growth and distribution This is a textbook for advance undergraduate and graduate students Throughout its 18 chapters Classical Neoclassical and post Keynesian models are developed Each chapter contains study problems and suggested readings …
Decoupling debunked: Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability
From the theoretical literature, the authors provide seven reasons to be sceptical about the occurrence of sufficient decoupling in the future. In addition to the extensive summary of the recent literature, 'decoupling debunked' provides a great introduction into the decoupling hypothesis.
This article demonstrates Schumpeter s propagated approach to monetary analysis in macroeconomics so as to provide for a better understanding of the relation between finance and growth Peter Bofinger Lisa Geißendörfer Thomas Haas Fabian Mayer voxEU
In this article, the Harvard Business Review recognizes the arguments of the Degrowth vision and gives examples of businesses that have thrived following its precepts. The authors suggest three strategies that firms should put into action to be at the forefront of this movement. The article also gives a brief overview of what the degrowth is about and its main criticisms.
In this essay, Professor Robert Pollin explores the short falls of the degrowth perspective in handling the impending environmental collapse as well as elaborates on the efficacies of a green new deal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching implications across the African continent. This discussion brings to light the role of African think tanks, such as the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) in rethinking the continent’s development models, especially, in light of the unprecedented crisis.
Based on a paper by Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis Decoupling refers to the separation of economic value creation material extraction and pollution. Ecological limits pose a challenge to growth-led development and the low historical and predicted rate of decoupling suggests that long-term sustainable growth-led development is impossible.
A concise introduction to Marx's Labour Theory of Value, the three ratios and the falling rate of profit hypothesis.
John K. Galbraith recounts episodes in the history of money such as the creation of the bank of Amsterdam, John Law's fraudulent Bank Royal, the inception of the Bank of England and of the Federal Reserve to illustrate concepts such as money creation by commercial banks, the bank rate, open market operations or the money supply in general. The emotions, myths and struggles surrounding money are addressed and explained in a clear and consistent manner.
Eckhard Hein criticises the mainstream's view of secular stagnation as the result of a negative real equilibrium interest rate. Arguing in a Keynesian spirit with particular reference to Steindl, secular stagnation is considered to be a result of shift in the functional income distribution, and oligopolistic organisation of industries, leading to excess capacity and reluctance to invest. This acts as a drag on effective demand and results in secular stagnation. Distributional policies and public investment can, however, overcome stagnation its tendencies.
The European economic crisis from 2007 onwards in the context of a global crisis of over-production of capital - a Marxian monetary theory of value interpretation
This paper attempts to clarify how the European economic crisis from 2007 onwards can be understood from the perspective of a Marxian monetary theory of value that emphasizes intrinsic, structural flaws regarding capitalist reproduction. Chapter two provides an empirical description of the European economic crisis, which to some extent already reflects the structural theoretical framework presented in chapter three. Regarding the theoretical framework Michael Heinrich's interpretation of 'the' Marxian monetary theory of value will be presented. Heinrich identifies connections between production and realization, between profit and interest rate as well as between industrial and fictitious capital, which represent contradictory tendencies for which capitalism does not have simple balancing processes. In the context of a discussion of 'structural logical aspects' of Marx's Critique of the Political Economy, explanatory deficits of Heinrich's approach are analyzed. In the following, it is argued that Fred Moseley's view of these 'structural logical aspects' allows empirical 'applications' of Marxian monetary theories of value. It is concluded that a Marxian monetary theory of value, with the characteristics of expansive capital accumulation and its limitations, facilitates a structural analysis of the European economic crisis from 2007 onwards. In this line of argument, expansive production patterns are expressed, among other things, in global restructuring processes, while consumption limitations are mitigated by expansive financial markets and shifts in ex-port destinations.
In a challenge to conventional views on modern monetary and fiscal policy, this book presents a coherent analysis of how money is created, how it functions in global exchange rate regimes, and how the mystification of the nature of money has constrained governments, and prevented states from acting in the public interest.
Nature and communities in the global south is being overwhelmed at a shocking rate. In many places this is due to ventures such as large-scale open-pit mining, oil extraction in tropical areas, and the spread of monocultures. These and other such forms of natural resource appropriation are usually known as extractivisms.
Since the 1980s, the financial sector and its role have increased significantly. This development is often referred to as financialization. Authors working in the heterodox tradition have raised the question whether the changing role of finance manifests a new era in the history of capitalism. The present article first provides some general discussion on the term financialization and presents some stylized facts which highlight the rise of finance. Then, it proceeds by briefly reviewing the main arguments in the Marxian framework that proposedly lead to crisis. Next, two schools of thought in the Marxian tradition are reviewed which consider financialization as the latest stage of capitalism. They highlight the contradictions imposed by financialization that disrupt the growth process and also stress the fragilities imposed by the new growth regime. The two approaches introduced here are the Social Structure of Accumulation Theory and Monthly Review School. The subsequent part proceeds with the Post-Keynesian theory, first introducing potential destabilizing factors before discussing financialization and the finance-led growth regime. The last section provides a comparative summary. While the basic narrative in all approaches considered here is quite similar, major differences stem from the relationship between neoliberalism and financialization and, moreover, from the question of whether financialization can be considered cause or effect.
What influence do changes in tax policy or state decisions on expenditure have on economic growth? For decades, this question has been controversially debated.
The notion that the demand and supply side are independent is a key feature of textbook undergraduate economics and of modern macroeconomic models. Economic output is thought to be constrained by the productive capabilities of the economy - the ‘supply-side' - through technology, demographics and capital investment. In the short run a boost in demand may increase GDP and employment due to frictions such as sticky wages, but over the long-term successive rises in demand without corresponding improvements on the supply side can only create inflation as the economy reaches capacity. In this post I will explore the alternative idea of demand-led growth, where an increase in demand can translate into long-run supply side gains. This theory is most commonly associated with post-Keynesian economics, though it has been increasingly recognised in the mainstream literature.