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The Two-Stage Decline in U.S. Nonfinancial Corporate Profitability, 1948-1986


  • Thomas R. Michl

    (Department of Economics, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY.)


The decline in the rate of return on nonfinancial corporate capital from 1948-1986 can be usefully divided into two distinct periods. From 1948-1972, a decline in the profit share accounts for most of the decline in the profit rate. From 1972-86, the profit share rose, and a decline in capital productivity accounts for the continued decline in the profit rate. Regression analysis of the trend structure and a decomposition of the factors accounting for the profit rate are used to support this thesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas R. Michl, 1988. "The Two-Stage Decline in U.S. Nonfinancial Corporate Profitability, 1948-1986," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 1-22, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:20:y:1988:i:4:p:1-22

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    Cited by:

    1. Deepankar Basu & Ying Chen & Jong-seok Oh, 2013. "Class struggle and economic fluctuations: VAR analysis of the post-war US economy," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(5), pages 575-596, September.
    2. Deepankar Basu & Ramaa Vasudevan, 2013. "Technology, distribution and the rate of profit in the US economy: understanding the current crisis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(1), pages 57-89.
    3. Basu, Deepankar & Das, Debarshi, 2015. "Profitability in India’s Organized Manufacturing Sector: The Role of Technology, Distribution, and Demand," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2015-04, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    4. Basu, Deepankar, 2015. "A Selective Review of Recent Quantitative Empirical Research in Marxist Political Economy," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2015-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    5. Adem Y. Elveren & Sara Hsu, 2016. "Military Expenditures and Profit Rates: Evidence from OECD Countries," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 551-577, July.
    6. Edward N. Wolff, 2000. "What's Behind the Recent Rise in Profitablity?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_297, Levy Economics Institute.

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