Surplus-Value And Aggregate Concentration In The Uk Economy, 1987-2009
This paper examines the movements in the Marxian surplus-value rate using a Quantitative Marxist methodology. It examines the relationship between surplus-value and the degree of monopoly power in the UK economy using quarterly data and a proxy for aggregate concentration — the ratio of market capitalisation in FTSE100 firms to market capitalisation in FTSE All Share firms. Two other forces are considered: (i) the size of the “reserve army” of the unemployed; (ii) working class militancy. Our results suggest that increases in the “reserve army” influence the surplus-value rate positively, and that working class militancy is negatively related to changes in the surplus-value rate, indicating that strike action in this period is largely a defensive measure by workers. Finally, our data suggests that rising aggregate concentration (when measured by market capitalisation) exerts a profound, significant and positive effect on the rate of surplus-value.