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Marxian debates on the falling rate of profit

Author

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  • Freeman, Alan

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the discussion among marxists about the rate of profit. This is done by the method of symptomatic reading, hence in a different way from what has become standard. Beginning from the fact that Marx and his critics draw diametrically opposite conclusions from the same premises – continuously rising productivity as a defining element of accumulation – I enquire into the presuppositions and necessary conclusions of the two opposed interpretations in order to lay bare the logical world-view which underlies them. I show that the opposed conclusions which are drawn by scholars from the two main paradigms arise not from errors of logic but from their opposed value concepts. My aim is, without presupposing which is right, to investigate what each concept actually is. This paper is non-mathematical but contains many numerical examples and a detailed textual exigesis. It is a good starting point for the new student of temporal approaches to value and their difference from the simultaneist (equilibrium) standpoint. It contains a more or less complete non-mathematical exposition of the temporal calculation of the profit rate, and demonstrates that the simultaneist approach leads to the creation of value without labour.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Alan, 2000. "Marxian debates on the falling rate of profit," MPRA Paper 2588, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2588
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2588/1/MPRA_paper_2588.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Freeman, Alan, 2015. "The Course of the Profit Rate," MPRA Paper 61973, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value; TSSI; temporalism; rate of profit; Marx; MELT; Okishio;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • B24 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist; Scraffian
    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General

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