IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Financialization and the rentier income share -- evidence from the USA and Germany

Listed author(s):
  • Petra Duenhaupt

During the past two decades, there has been a shift of significance from the real to the financial sector. In the course of (financial) globalization, measures of liberalization and deregulation have contributed to a strengthening of financial capital. The concept of shareholder value orientation has become more powerful, capital income has increased tremendously, while real wages have stagnated. Most industrial countries have experienced a decline in the share of labor income. Based on a review of empirics and literature, this paper seeks to determine who gained from the fall in the labor share of income in the USA and Germany, respectively. If financialization is indeed responsible for the decline, rentiers should be the beneficiaries. In order to identify the relevant effects, the profit share of the two countries under observation is split between the share of retained earnings and the share of net property income (= rentiers’ income) using a modification of the approach chosen by Epstein and Jayadev (2005). The evidence presented shows that the development of the rentier income share indeed corresponds quite well with the stages of development of financialization in the two different countries: in the US, where the important shift towards financialization occurred in the early 1980s, the rentiers’ share of income shows a corresponding leap upwards exactly at that time and remains on a higher level until the end of the observation period. In Germany, the process of financialization started much later -- in the beginning of the 1990s -- and followed a much more gradual transition, which is perfectly mirrored by the development of income shares: from the 1990s onwards, the rentiers’ income share gradually increased over time.

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: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 465-487

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:465-487
DOI: 10.1080/02692171.2011.595705
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:465-487. 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: (Chris Longhurst)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.