IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tri/wpaper/1706.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Marx and Ricardo on Machinery: A Critical Note

Author

Listed:
  • Miguel D. Ramirez

    () (Department of Economics, Trinity College)

Abstract

This paper critically discusses the important and relevant—not to mention controversial— views of Ricardo and Marx on the impact of machinery on labor productivity, the organization of production, and the wages and employment prospects of the working class during the capitalism of their day. First, the paper turns to Ricardo’s assessment of the introduction of machinery and its likely effects on the laborer and the rate of profit and accumulation—one which went through a substantial revision (and reversal) between the first and third editions of his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Then we discuss Marx’s own critical analysis of the historical development of machinery and its impact on the labor process, the so-called “compensation principle,” and how the rising organic composition of capital ostensibly generates a “redundant or surplus-population”during the course of capitalism development. We highlight Marx’s intellectual debt to Ricardo (and John Barton) insofar as his theory of technological unemployment is concerned. Lastly, the paper summarizes the views of Ricardo and Marx and offers some concluding remarks.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel D. Ramirez, 2017. "Marx and Ricardo on Machinery: A Critical Note," Working Papers 1706, Trinity College, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:tri:wpaper:1706
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://internet2.trincoll.edu/repec/WorkingPapers2017/WP17-06.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Miguel D. Ramirez, 2012. "Is the Falling Rate of Profit the Driving Force Behind Globalization?," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 91-102.
    2. Heinz Kurz, 2010. "Technical progress, capital accumulation and income distribution in Classical economics: Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1183-1222.
    3. Brewer,Anthony, 1984. "A Guide to Marx's 'Capital'," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521276764, May.
    4. Miguel D. Ramírez, 2014. "Credit, The Turnover of Capital, and the Law of the Falling Rate of Profit: A Critical Note," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 61-68.
    5. Fred Moseley, 1997. "The Rate of Profit and the Future of Capitalism," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 23-41, December.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2017. "Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 23285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    : Capital; compensation principle; fixed vs. circulating capital; gross vs. net income; machinery; rate of surplus-value (profit); Say’s Law of Markets; surplus-population; time of production; turnover of capital;

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:tri:wpaper:1706. 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: (Joshua Stillwagon). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edtrius.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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.