Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Profit rate dynamics, income distribution, structural and technical change in Denmark, Finland and Italy


Author Info

  • Vaona, Andrea


Under less restrictive assumptions than in previous contributions, this paper highlights various patterns of profit rate dynamics that are common to the countries under scrutiny. Without a substantial re-distribution of income in favour of profits, the profit rate declines. When labour productivity is weak the profits/wages ratio declines leading to a decline in the profit rate, also due to capital deepening. Developments in the capital-labour ratio tend to increase the organic composition of capital while those in the ratio between the capital price deflator and the average wage tend to decrease it. Falls in the profit rate took place in countries with a weak technological change with episodes of Marxian bias. Employment shifted from low to high capital intensity sectors, from low to high organic composition industries and from low to high productivity sectors. Rising strength of labour and realization failures tend to have a greater role than rising organic composition in cyclical profit rate dynamics. Over the cycle, the first mechanism is also the first one to show up, while the others tend to follow it. Theoretical and policy implications are offered.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 247-268

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:247-268

Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Related research

Keywords: Profits Wages Labour productivity Organic composition of capital Capital intensity;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Dumenil, Gerard & Levy, Dominique, 1990. "Post Depression Trends in the Economic Rate of Return for U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 406-13, August.
  2. Burnside, Craig, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts: A comment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 513-532, May.
  3. Moseley, Fred, 1985. "The Rate of Surplus Value in the Postwar U.S. Economy: A Critique of Weisskopf's Estimates," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 57-79, March.
  4. Edward N. Wolff, 2003. "What's behind the rise in profitability in the US in the 1980s and 1990s?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 479-499, July.
  5. Hahnel, Robin & Sherman, Howard, 1982. "The Rate of Profit over the Business Cycle," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 185-94, June.
  6. Shaikh, Anwar, 1978. "Political Economy and Capitalism: Notes on Dobb's Theory of Crisis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 233-51, June.
  7. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
  8. C. John McDermott & Eswar Prasad & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1999. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries - Some Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 99/35, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Michl, Thomas R, 1991. "Wage-Profit Curves in U.S. Manufacturing," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 271-86, September.
  10. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521522717, November.
  11. Canova, Fabio, 1993. "Detrending and Business Cycle Facts," CEPR Discussion Papers 782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Ravn, Morten O. & Uhlig, Harald, 2001. "On Adjusting the HP-Filter for the Frequency of Observations," CEPR Discussion Papers 2858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts: A user's guide," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 533-540, May.
  14. Weisskopf, Thomas E, 1979. "Marxian Crisis Theory and the Rate of Profit in the Postwar U.S. Economy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 341-78, December.
  15. Dumenil, G & Glick, Mark & Rangel, J, 1987. "The Rate of Profit in the United States," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 331-59, December.
  16. Michel-Stéphane Dupertuis & Ajit Sinha, 2009. "A Sraffian critique of the classical notion of centre of gravitation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(6), pages 1065-1087, November.
  17. Rudy Fichtenbaum, 1988. "'Business Cycles,' Turnover and the Rate of Profit: An Empirical Test of Marxian Crisis Theory," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 221-228, Jul-Sep.
  18. Weisskopf, Thomas E, 1985. "The Rate of Surplus Value in the Postwar U.S. Economy: A Response to Moseley's Critique," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 81-84, March.
  19. Henley, Andrew, 1987. "Labour's Shares and Profitability Crisis in the U.S.: Recent Experience and Post-war Trends," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 315-30, December.
  20. Shaikh,Anwar M. & Tonak,E. Ahmet, 1997. "Measuring the Wealth of Nations," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521564793, November.
  21. Papadimitriou, Dimitri, 1990. "The political economy of Greece : An empirical analysis of Marxian economics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 181-199, October.
  22. Poterba, James M., 1998. "The rate of return to corporate capital and factor shares: new estimates using revised national income accounts and capital stock data," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 211-246, June.
  23. Andrea Vaona, 2011. "An empirical investigation into the gravitation and convergence of industry return rates in OECD countries," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 465-502.
  24. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  25. Dumenil, Gerard & Glick, Mark & Levy, Dominique, 1993. "The Rise of the Rate of Profit During World War II," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 315-20, May.
  26. Marquetti, Adalmir A., 2003. "Analyzing historical and regional patterns of technical change from a classical-Marxian perspective," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 191-200, October.
  27. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Magnani, Natalia & Vaona, Andrea, 2013. "Regional spillover effects of renewable energy generation in Italy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 663-671.
  2. Andrea Vaona, 2012. "Price-price deviations are highly persistent - extended version," Working Papers 08/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  3. Alice Tescari & Andrea Vaona, 2012. "Gender employment disparities, financialization and profitability dynamics on the eve of Italy's long crisis," Working Papers 22/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:247-268. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.