IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/1208.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Relative Surplus Value and Expanded Reproduction

Author

Listed:
  • Freeman, Alan

Abstract

In the early part of this century a debate erupted among Russian and German economists. It was started by Rosa Luxemburg’s Accumulation of Capital, which asked the question: how can capitalism reproduce itself? It was continued by many, including Nikolai Bukharin, whose reply, seven years after her death and widely considered definitive, sums up the modern approach to this question. In essence, he asserted an equilibrium growth condition which the equations would have to satisfy in order for capitalism to exist on the basis of Marx’s equations for simple and for expanded reproduction. If one confines oneself to the constant proportions of inputs, it is however impossible to represent the most fundamental phenomenon of capitalism, namely technical change as the driving force of accumulation. The effect of technical progress is not only to increase the output achieved by a given mix of inputs but also to change the mix. The difficulty is hence that we cannot reproduce, within the confines of expansion in constant proportions, one of the most central features of the way capitalism actually accumulates and expands. This article expands and generalises the discussion by combining ‘reproduction’ with Marx’s category of relative surplus value – in essence, the investment of accumulated surplus to raise the productivity of capital. It does so in a temporal, rather than an equilibrium framework and hence does not presuppose a seamless and costless transition from one technology to another, but asks to the contrary how the actual transition takes place. It provides a detailed numerical example which combines technical change with growth, applying the toolbox of analytical constructs which Marx constructed in the early 1860s to study technical change – relative surplus value, the release and tie-up of capital, and moral depreciation – and arrive at a fuller and more general statement of the question.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Alan, 1995. "Relative Surplus Value and Expanded Reproduction," MPRA Paper 1208, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1208
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1208/1/MPRA_paper_1208.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reproduction; von Neumann ray; Profit Rate; Marxist economics; value theory; Okishio Theorem;

    JEL classification:

    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1208. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.