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Capitalism, Unemployment and the Transition to the Contemporary Pattern of Growth

  • Howard Petith
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    A new model of unemployment based on an idea of Marx is presented and used to interpret the development of the British economy from the beginning of capitalism to the present. It is shown that unemployment may be created purposely by capitalists in order to weaken the bargaining position of the workers. This mechanism leads to complex temporal pattern of unemployment and can explain why wages took almost a century and a half to react to the growing capital to labour ratio that characterised early British capitalism.

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    Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 194.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:194
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    1. R.A. Brecher & Z. Chen & E.U. Choudhri, 2000. "Unemployment and Growth in the Long Run: An Efficiency-Wage Model with Optimal Savings," Carleton Economic Papers 00-01, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2002.
    2. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Evolution and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 718-729, May.
    3. Bean, Charles & Pissarides, Christopher, 1993. "Unemployment, consumption and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 837-854, May.
    4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:4:p:1133-1191 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Galor, Oded & Mountford, Andrew, 2002. "Why are a Third of People Indian and Chinese? Trade, Industrialization and Demographic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 3136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Allin Cottrell & William A. Darity, Jr., 1988. "Marx, Malthus, and Wages," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 173-190, Summer.
    7. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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