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Degree of monopoly and class struggle: political aspects of Kalecki's pricing and distribution theory


  • Fernando M. Rugitsky

    (New School of Social Research)


The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of class struggle in Michal Kalecki's writings. First, his inclusion of trade unions' strength as one of the determining elements of the degree of monopoly is examined, taking into consideration Abba Lerner's formulation of the latter and its development by Kalecki. Then, the limits of this understanding of class struggle are pointed out from the standpoint of Karl Marx's conceptual distinction between labor and labor-power. Finally, a reinterpretation of Kalecki's ‘Political aspects of full employment’ is provided, indicating the broader conception of class struggle implicit in this work and its usefulness to a better understanding of capital–labor conflicts in contemporary capitalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando M. Rugitsky, 2013. "Degree of monopoly and class struggle: political aspects of Kalecki's pricing and distribution theory," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 1(4), pages 447—464-4, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:rokejn:v:1:y:2013:i:4:p447-464

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eckhard Hein & Artur Tarassow, 2010. "Distribution, aggregate demand and productivity growth: theory and empirical results for six OECD countries based on a post-Kaleckian model," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 727-754.
    2. Jessop, Bob, 1977. "Recent Theories of the Capitalist State," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(4), pages 353-373, December.
    3. Shaikh, Anwar, 1980. "Marxian Competition versus Perfect Competition: Further Comments on the So-Called Choice of Technique," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 75-83, March.
    4. Eckhard Hein & Lena Vogel, 2008. "Distribution and growth reconsidered: empirical results for six OECD countries," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 479-511, May.
    5. Engelbert Stockhammer & Robert Stehrer, 2011. "Goodwin or Kalecki in Demand? Functional Income Distribution and Aggregate Demand in the Short Run," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 43(4), pages 506-522, December.
    6. Peter Kriesler, 1988. "Kalecki’s Pricing Theory Revisited," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 108-130, September.
    7. Michalis Nikiforos & Duncan K. Foley, 2012. "Distribution And Capacity Utilization: Conceptual Issues And Empirical Evidence," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 200-229, February.
    8. A. Asimakopulos, 1975. "A Kaleckian Theory of Income Distribution," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 8(3), pages 313-333, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Rugitsky, 2017. "The rise and fall of the Brazilian economy (2004-2015): the economic antimiracle," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2017_29, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    2. Galanis, Giorgos & Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2016. "Growth, Exploitation and Class Inequalities," Discussion Paper Series 636, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. Dögüs, Ilhan, 2017. "Rising wage dispersion between white-collar and blue-collar workers and market concentration: The case of the USA, 1966-2011," Discussion Papers 62, University of Hamburg, Centre for Economic and Sociological Studies (CESS/ZÖSS).
    4. Greg Hannsgen & Tai Young-Taft, 2015. "Inside Money in a Kaldor-Kalecki-Steindl Fiscal Policy Model: The Unit of Account, Inflation, Leverage, and Financial Fragility," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_839, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Greg Hannsgen, 2014. "Fiscal Policy, Chartal Money, Mark-up Dynamics and Unemployment Insurance in a Model of Growth and Distribution," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 487-523, July.

    More about this item


    class struggle; degree of monopoly; mark-up pricing; income distribution; Kalecki; Marx;

    JEL classification:

    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General


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