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A Unified Marxist Approach to Accumulation and Crisis in Capitalist Economies

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  • Deepankar Basu

    () (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts - Amherst)

Abstract

An economic crisis in capitalism is a deep and prolonged interruption of the economy-wide circuit of capital. Crises emerge from within the logic of capitalism’s operation, and are manifestations of the inherently contradictory process of capital accumulation. The Marxist tradition conceptualizes two types of crisis tendencies in capitalism : a crisis of deficient surplus value and a crisis of excess surplus value. Two mechanisms that become important in crises of deficient surplus value are the rising organic composition of capital and the profit squeeze; two mechanisms that are salient in crisis of excess surplus value are problems of insufficient aggregate demand and increased financial fragility. This paper offers a synthetic and synoptic account of the Marxist literature on capitalist economic crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Deepankar Basu, 2017. "A Unified Marxist Approach to Accumulation and Crisis in Capitalist Economies," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2017-21, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2017-21
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    File URL: http://www.umass.edu/economics/publications/2017-21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Foley, Duncan K., 1982. "Realization and accumulation in a Marxian model of the circuit of capital," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 300-319, December.
    2. David Kiefer & Codrina Rada, 2015. "Profit maximising goes global: the race to the bottom," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(5), pages 1333-1350.
    3. Nelson H. Barbosa-Filho & Lance Taylor, 2006. "Distributive And Demand Cycles In The Us Economy-A Structuralist Goodwin Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 389-411, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capitalism; crisis; rising organic composition; profit squeeze; underconsumption; financial fragility;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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