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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Harcourt & Peter Kriesler, 2012. "Michal Kalecki and Rosa Luxemburg on Marx’s schemes of reproduction: two incisive interpreters of capitalism," Discussion Papers 2012-34, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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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    Cited by:

    1. Yashin, Pete, 2016. "Кризис И Рост Неравенства. Оптимальный Путь Экономического Роста
      [The crisis and increasing inequality. The best equilibrium growth path]
      ," MPRA Paper 73544, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    reproduction schema; Marxian economics; economic growth; economic cycles; effective demand; imperialism;

    JEL classification:

    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • 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
    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian

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