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Exploitation and the class struggle

  • Juan Carlos Cuestas
  • Bruce Philp

This paper contributes to our understanding of the determinants and dynamics of Marxian exploitation using quarterly UK data, 1955-2008. Initially a simple model is introduced for the purpose of defining exploitation and its component parts, before elaborating on theoretical issues which are important in estimating the rate of exploitation. In the empirical analysis we seek to explain the effect of class struggle, for the UK economy, using quarterly data. Attention is paid to three forces which are traditionally seen as drivers of power in the class struggle: (i) political party; (ii) the size of the “reserve army” of the unemployed; (iii) working class militancy. Our results suggest a positive impact of unemployment on the rate of exploitation, and that growing working class militancy tends to diminish the rate. Changes in political party affect the rate of exploitation in a counter-intuitive way, with a positive short-run relationship between the rate and movements to left-wing government.

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File URL: http://www.ntu.ac.uk/research/document_uploads/96194.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division in its series Working Papers with number 2010/2.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbs:wpaper:2010/2
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ntu.ac.uk/nbs

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  1. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2003. "Aggregate Demand, Conflict, and Capacity in the Inflationary Process," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_391, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. Ron Smith & Gylfi Zoega, 2009. "Keynes, investment, unemployment and expectations," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 427-444.
  3. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  4. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
  5. Roemer, John E, 1980. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Marxian Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 505-30, March.
  6. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2007. "Class and Exploitation in General Convex Cone Economies," Discussion Paper Series a489, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  7. Veneziani, Roberto, 2007. "Exploitation and time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 189-207, January.
  8. Gouverneur, Jacques, 1990. "Productive Labour, Price/Value Ratio and Rate of Surplus Value: Theoretical Viewpoints and Empirical Evidence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27, March.
  9. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  10. Henrik Hansen & Søren Johansen, 1999. "Some tests for parameter constancy in cointegrated VAR-models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 306-333.
  11. Roemer, John E, 1982. "Exploitation, Alternatives and Socialism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 87-107, March.
  12. John E Roemer, 2008. "Socialism vs Social Democracy as Income-Equalizing Institutions," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(1), pages 14-26, Winter.
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