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Entrepreneurs and wage-earners: a monetary approach


  • Jean Cartelier


The purpose of the paper is to offer a logical genesis of the differenciation of agents in two classes: capitalist entrepreneurs and wage-earners. The model presented here does not follow the Classical (or Marxian) tradition (where the two opposed classes are the straight consequence of the concentration of the means of production in the hands of a limited fraction of people). It does not follow mainstream economists either (no difference according to general competitive equilibrium or a difference taken as given in labour economics in general). Models belonging to those traditions fail to reproduce a major stylised fact: wage-earners cannot be distinguished from entrepreneurs when they are in the market for commodities but they radically differ in the'market for labour'or in production (wage-earners do not produce for their own account but for that of entrepreneurs who get pro ts, not wages). Modern tentatives to deal with the differenciation of agents (Matsuyama for instance) explain it by a progrssive differenciation of the level of wealth up to a threshold which makes some agents able to accumulate and others not. We propose a different view based on the process of issuance of money. If a fraction of agents have not a direct access to that process they cannot act in the market for their own account. The alternatives they have are limited to autarky or to work for the account of those who have additional alternatives due to their direct access to money (to be independent producers or entrepreneurs hiring wage-earners). The model makes explicit the necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of an E-equilibrium in which co-exist heterogeneous agents (entrepreneurs and wage-earners) starting from a population homogeneous except for bank rationing. These reasonable conditions are: an efficient monetary system, a sufficient gap between productivity of production in mass compared to other types and a possibility to induce wage-earners to work signifi cantly more than they would as free producers. A non-Marxian notion of exploitation is suggested to conclude.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Cartelier, 2014. "Entrepreneurs and wage-earners: a monetary approach," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-19, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
  • Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2014-19

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean Cartelier & Claude Jessua, 1996. "Chômage involontaire d'équilibre et asymétrie entre salariés et non-salariés : la loi de Walras restreinte," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 47(3), pages 655-666.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1799 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jean-François Jacques & Antoine Rebeyrol, 2010. "Primitive Accumulation, Growth And The Genesis Of Social Classes," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 540-557, July.
    4. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2006. "The 2005 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture: Emergent Class Structure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 327-360, May.
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    1. repec:wea:econth:v:6:y:2017:i:2:p:27 is not listed on IDEAS

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    entrepreneurs; wage-earners.;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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