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Marx and Schumpeter: A Comparison of their Theories of Development


  • Eric Rahim


This paper challenges Paul Samuelson's claim that the development theories of Marx and Schumpeter have little in common. There are indeed broad similarities between the two theories, arising principally from Schumpeter's use of Marx's method (with some interesting modifications), which he calls the 'economic interpretation of history'. This discussion leads us to ask if we can incorporate into Marx's method some of the insights suggested by Schumpeter's modifications. We show that Marx's method is enriched by the insertion into it of an explicit, although limited, role of the individual (human agency). The paper then turns to the differences between the two theories, concerning the theory of value and the analysis of social classes. We find an unresolved tension in Schumpeter's system of thought, between his attempt to construct a model of a dynamic, evolving economy on Marxian lines (albeit an alternative to Marx's model), and his emphasis on the role of the individual, which he inserts into an essentially static, Walrasian model.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Rahim, 2009. "Marx and Schumpeter: A Comparison of their Theories of Development," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 51-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:21:y:2009:i:1:p:51-83 DOI: 10.1080/09538250802516982

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John King, 1993. "Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis Since Keynes: A Partial History," Working Papers 1993.16, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    2. J. E. King, 1994. "Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis Since Keynes: A Partial History," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 3-31, September.
    3. Kregel, J A, 1976. "Economic Methodology in the Face of Uncertainty: The Modelling Methods of Keynes and the Post-Keynesians," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(342), pages 209-225, June.
    4. H. Vandenborre, 1958. "An Integration Of Employment Economics Within The Keynesian Theory Of Money Flows," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 205-219.
    5. Godley, Wynne, 1999. "Money and Credit in a Keynesian Model of Income Determination," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 393-411, July.
    6. Casarosa, Carlo, 1981. "The Microfoundations of Keynes's Aggregate Supply and Expected Demand Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 188-194, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bögenhold, Dieter & Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Papageorgiou, Theofanis, 2016. "Schumpeter, Veblen and Bourdieu on Institutions and the Formation of Habits," MPRA Paper 74585, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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