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Michal Kalecki and Rosa Luxemburg on Marx’s schemes of reproduction: two incisive interpreters of capitalism

Listed author(s):
  • Geoffrey Harcourt

    (The University of New South Wales)

  • Peter Kriesler


    (The University of New South Wales)

Both Rosa Luxemburg and Michal Kalecki utilised Marx’s scheme’s or reproduction as the starting point of their analysis of economic dynamics. However, Luxemburg did not realise that they were not meant to serve as models of capitalist growth, but rather to show that the conditions for stable growth were unachievable. Luxemburg was an early proponent of the stagnationist thesis which was popularised by Kalecki, Steindl, Baran and Sweezy. She argued that capitalist economies were doomed to stagnate unless markets outside the capitalist arena could be utilised, although she also acknowledged the importance of government expenditure on armaments. Kalecki, while acknowledging some of the limitations of her analysis, was able to extend it to incorporate the main elements of modern capitalist growth.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, The University of New South Wales in its series Discussion Papers with number 2012-34.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-34
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  1. Desai, Meghnad & Veneziani, Roberto, 2005. "Rosa Luxemburg’s critique of Marx’s schemes of reproduction: a re-evaluation and a possible generalisation," MPRA Paper 30449, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Harris, Donald J, 1975. "The Theory of Economic Growth: A Critique and Reformulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 329-337, May.
  3. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
  4. Sardoni, Claudio, 1981. "Multi-Sectoral Models of Balanced Growth and the Marxian Schemes of Expanded Reproduction," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(37), pages 383-397, December.
  5. Halevi, J. & Kriesler, P., 1995. "Marx or Hicks? Structural Proportions and Crisis: The Transition from the First to the Third Volume of Capital," Papers 95/37, New South Wales - School of Economics.
  6. Peter Kriesler & G. C. Harcourt, 2010. "The Influence of Michal Kalecki on Joan Robinson’s Approach to Economics," Discussion Papers 2010-21, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
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