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Critical Reflections on Rothbard’s Concept of Gross Investment

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Abstract

This paper critiques Rothbard’s ([1962] 2004) concept of gross investment. Rothbard introduced the concept in order to demonstrate his point that it is not consumer spending that primarily drives the economy, like the mainstream Keynesian view maintains, but the capitalists’ spending. In this paper, it is argued that, contrary to Rothbard’s opinion, the amount of gross investment as he defines it does not contain significant information concerning the question as to whether the capital structure of a society can be upheld or not. Instead, it is an arbitrary figure that depends on the length of the different stages of production. This problem has not been recognized by Rothbard because his exposition rests upon the assumption of an equal time-length for all stages. Apparently, he has been led astray by his intention to find arguments against the importance of consumer spending in the determination of output.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduard Braun, 2013. "Critical Reflections on Rothbard’s Concept of Gross Investment," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0010, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal).
  • Handle: RePEc:tuc:tucewp:0010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Young, 2012. "The time structure of production in the US, 2002–2009," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 77-92, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anghelache Constantin & Anghel Madalina-Gabriela, 2017. "Econometric Model For Complex Analyses And Forecast Of The Gross Domestic Product," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1, pages 5-12, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gross Investment; Murray N. Rothbard; Structure of Production;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production

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