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The root cause of economic growth under capitalism


  • Michael Joffe


Drawing on historical and other empirical evidence, this paper provides a causal explanation of a central question: why sustained per capita growth occurs in capitalist economies--i.e. in what way capitalism differs from 'the market' that gives it this property. It describes an endogenous economic logic that is based on the institutional characteristics of capitalist firms in the non-financial sector, especially the flexibility of the inputs that they can call upon and of the size of the market that they can supply. This perspective naturally generates a realistic theoretical account not only of the source of economic growth, but also of the evolution of market structure, the forces that produce divergence in, for example, profit rates, a starting point for explaining price-setting and a language for describing firms' economic power. It draws on previous traditions, especially those based on the works of Marx and Schumpeter, but differs from them in important respects. Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Joffe, 2011. "The root cause of economic growth under capitalism," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(5), pages 873-896.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:5:p:873-896

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    Cited by:

    1. Kemp-Benedict, Eric, 2013. "Resource Return on Investment under Markup Pricing," MPRA Paper 49154, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:taf:oaefxx:v:5:y:2017:i:1:p:1280983 is not listed on IDEAS

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