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Capitalism, Unemployment and the Transition to the Contemporary Pattern of Growth

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  • Howard Petith
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    Abstract

    A new model of unemployment based on an idea of Marx is presented and used to interpret the development of the British economy from the beginning of capitalism to the present. It is shown that unemployment may be created purposely by capitalists in order to weaken the bargaining position of the workers. This mechanism leads to complex temporal pattern of unemployment and can explain why wages took almost a century and a half to react to the growing capital to labour ratio that characterised early British capitalism.

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    File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/194.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 194.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:194

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    Related research

    Keywords: Capitalism; Marx; Great Britain; unemployment;

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    1. Galor, Oded & Mountford, Andrew, 2002. "Why are a Third of People Indian and Chinese? Trade, Industrialization and Demographic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Allin Cottrell & William A. Darity, Jr., 1988. "Marx, Malthus, and Wages," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, Duke University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 173-190, Summer.
    3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    4. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    5. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Evolution and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 718-729, May.
    6. Booth,Alison L., 1994. "The Economics of the Trade Union," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521464673.
    7. Richard A. Breche & Zhiqi Chen & Ehsan U. Choudhri, 2002. "Unemployment and Growth in the Long Run: An Efficiency-Wage Model with Optimal Savings," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 875-894, August.
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