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Marx's Analysis of the Falling Rate of Profit in the First Version of Volume III of Capital

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  • Howard Petith

Abstract

The paper provides a description and analysis of the Hodgskin section of Theories of Surplus Value and the general law section of the first version of Volume III of Capital. It then considers Part III of Volume III, the evolution of Marx's thought and various interpretations of his theory in the light of this analysis. It is suggested that Marx thought that the rate of profit must fall and even in the 1870s hoped to be able to provide a demonstration of this. However the main conclusions are: 1. Marx's major attempt to show that the rate of profit must fall occurred in the general law section. 2. Part III does not contain a demonstration that the rate of profit must fall. 3. Marx was never able to demonstrate that the rate of profit must fall and he was aware of this.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard Petith, 2003. "Marx's Analysis of the Falling Rate of Profit in the First Version of Volume III of Capital," Working Papers 25, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:25
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    File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/25.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shaikh, Anwar, 1978. "Political Economy and Capitalism: Notes on Dobb's Theory of Crisis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 233-251, June.
    2. Okishio, Nobuo, 1977. "Notes on Technical Progress and Capitalist Society," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 93-100, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marx; falling rate; profit;

    JEL classification:

    • P10 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - General
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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