The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3


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It should not be supposed, however, that these new departures were altogether a matter of theoretical speculation. Of equal if not greater importance were the changes in the structure and functioning of capitalism which had emerged during the s and s. On the one hand the decline in competition which began in the late nineteenth century proceeded at an accelerated pace—as chronicled in the classic study by Arthur R. Burns, The Decline of Competition: A Study of the Evolution of American Industry —and on the other hand the unprecedented severity of the depression of the s provided dramatic proof of the inadequacy of conventional business cycle theories.

The Keynesian revolution was a partial answer to this challenge, but the renewed upsurge of the advanced capitalist economies during and after the war cut short further development of critical analysis among mainstream economists, and it was left to Marxists to carry on along the lines that had been pioneered by Kalecki before the war. Kalecki spent the war years at the Oxford Institute of Statistics whose director, A. Among the latter was Josef Steindl, a young Austrian economist who came under the influence of Kalecki and followed in his footsteps.

Later on, Steindl recounted the following:.


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On one occasion I talked with Kalecki about the crisis of capitalism. We both, as well as most socialists, took it for granted that capitalism was threatened by a crisis of existence, and we regarded the stagnation of the s as a symptom of such a major crisis.


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  7. But Kalecki found the reasons, given by Marx, why such a crisis should develop, unconvincing; at the same time he did not have an explanation of his own. I still do not know, he said, why there should be a crisis of capitalism, and he added: Could it have anything to do with monopoly? He subsequently suggested to me and to the Institute, before he left England, that I should work on this problem.

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    It was a very Marxian problem, but my methods of dealing with it were Kaleckian. While little noticed by the economics profession at the time of its publication, this book nevertheless provided a crucial link between the experiences, empirical as well as theoretical, of the s, and the development of a relatively rounded theory of monopoly capitalism in the s and s, a process which received renewed impetus from the return of stagnation to American and global capitalism during the s and s.

    As far as form is concerned, the theory remains basically unchanged, and modifications in content are in the direction of putting even greater emphasis on certain tendencies already demonstrated by Marx to be inherent in the accumulation process. This is true of concentration and centralization, and even more spectacularly so of the role of what Marx called the credit system, now grown to monstrous proportions compared to the small beginnings of his day. In addition, and perhaps most important, the new theories seek to demonstrate that monopoly capitalism is more prone than its competitive predecessor to generating unsustainable rates of accumulation, leading to crises, depressions and prolonged periods of stagnation.

    It does this in three ways. This means that the distribution of surplus value is skewed in favor of the larger units of capital which characteristically accumulate a greater proportion of their profits than smaller units of capital, once again making possible a higher rate of accumulation. Translated into the language of Keynesian macro theory, these consequences of monopoly mean that the savings potential of the system is increased, while the opportunities for profitable investment are reduced.

    Other things being equal, therefore the level of income and employment under monopoly capitalism is lower than it would be in a more competitive environment. To convert this insight into a dynamic theory, it is necessary to see monopolization the concentration and centralization of capital as an ongoing historical process. At the beginning of the transition from the competitive to the monopolistic stage, the accumulation process is only minimally affected. But with the passage of time the impact grows and tends sooner or later to become a crucial factor in the functioning of the system.

    This, according to monopoly capitalist theory, accounts for the prolonged stagnation of the s as well as for the return of stagnation in the s and s following the exhaustion of the long boom caused by the Second World War and its multifaceted aftermath effects. Neither mainstream economics nor traditional Marxian theory have been able to offer a satisfactory explanation of the stagnation phenomenon which has loomed increasingly large in the history of the capitalist world during the twentieth century.

    This book is simultaneously a critique of Marx and of neoclassical economics, but it is, above all, a bold attempt to elaborate Ricardo's analysis. It is the origin of the neo-Ricardian school, represented by, in particular, Ian Steedman and Pierangelo Garegnani The central point, in the neo-Ricardian School, is that the LTV is useless, with respect to both the determination of prices of production and exploitation.

    The dual-system approach of Ricardo is abandoned in favour of the price of production system, as the reference to value is deemed irrelevant. Sraffa calculates prices of production directly from a description of technology and distribution. In this framework, he shows that Ricardo's trade-off between wages and the profit rate can be derived formally as a downward sloping relation see the mathematical section below.

    In doing so, they followed distinct routes, but the basic principles underlying these reformulations converge to the same basic framework. This interpretation is inappropriately referred to, in the literature, as the??? New Interpretation???. It is more precise to describe it as the??? It was rapidly adopted by Alain Lipietz First, Marx's equation concerning the??? Net product??? The important idea here is that it is the expenditure of living labour that creates value.

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    Marx regards the value of a commodity as equal to the value transferred by the inputs consumed and the new value created by labour during the period. But the two perspectives are equivalent: The price form of the value created by the total productive labour expended during a period of time is the price of the net product of the period. As is well known, the price of this net product is equal to total income, wages plus profits.

    The PNP-UPP LTV interpretation argues that, when Marx in the first quotation above points to the fact that the cost-prices of commodities used as inputs to production must be adjusted to reflect the change to prices of production, the correct formulation would have been to exclude them from the first Marxian equation, which would then read??? Since values are expressed in labour time, while prices of production are expressed in terms of money, this equation implicitly defines an equivalence between value-creating labour time and money, the monetary expression of value or labour time MELT , which is the ratio of the price of net product value added measured in money to the productive labour time expended.

    The MELT expresses quantitatively as a ratio of the price of the net product to the living labour expended what Marx calls the??? The wage, as in Marx's calculation, is regarded as unallocated purchasing power giving workers the potential to buy a fraction of the net product. This is the way capitalists look at wage payments, since the individual capitalist has no interest in how workers actually spend their wages. Individual workers can allocate this purchasing power among the commodities they jointly produced or even save some of it , in whatever proportions they choose.

    This can be described as the unallocated purchasing power UPP approach to exploitation. With this definition of surplus-value, the Marxian second equation immediately holds as an identity. Following Marx's procedure in his calculation, represented in the simplified example introduced earlier, it is impossible to assume that workers can buy the same bundle of commodities before and after the redistribution of surplus-value, since the purchasing power they receive will be spent at different prices.

    Consequently, the wage must be changed to keep the bundle of workers??? The UPP approach to exploitation conserves the rate of exploitation, or, more rigorously, measures the value of labour power as the value whose price form is the price of the commodities workers can buy: an unallocated purchasing power on any commodities. The rate of surplus-value, as in Marx's calculation, is unchanged.

    A single-system approach and exploitation in any set of prices A key aspect of the PNP-UPP LTV interpretation is that value is present in the theory of exploitation, as a social substance extracted in one place in the economy firm, industry , and realized in another. But there is no logical anteriority in the value system, compared to the price system. This interpretation is a single-system approach to the LTV. This property has important analytical consequences. There is only one economy, one system, not two.

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    Keynes, John Maynard (1883–1946)

    There is no??? The theory of exploitation is not dependent on the prevalence of any particular set of prices. The consideration of prices of production is not central to Marx's argument concerning exploitation, only an example that illustrates a much more general conclusion. Prices of production are just one case in which such a demonstration must be made, which Marx focused on because of the importance of this particular set of prices in competitive capitalism, as centres of gravitation of market prices.

    The specific property expressed in the equality of the profit rate among industries cannot play any role in the theory of exploitation. Prices may deviate from prices of production because of gravitation; the amounts of surplus-value realized in each industry may also differ from what is implied by the prevalence of uniform profit rates because of the existence of non-reproducible resources and their rents; counteracting factors, such as monopoly, may also prevent equalization of profit rates.

    These deviations, inherent to capitalism, and also mentioned in Marx's analysis, do not invalidate his theory of value and exploitation. An ongoing debate The shift of perspective to single-system interpretations of Marx's labour theory of value has led to further debate in this vein. Fred Moseley proposes to apply the reasoning of the SS-LTV approach not just to variable capital, but to constant capital as well. Moseley argues for retaining the original form of the Marxian equations by defining the total value of a commodity as the labour-time equivalent of the price of constant capital plus the living labour expended in adding value.

    Moseley argues that Marx's comments in the quotations above are unnecessary because Marx's tables themselves express his underlying understanding of the labour theory of value. TSS interpretation of the labour theory of value. This interpretation sets the transformation problem in a temporal context, defining the value of commodities as the sum of the labour time equivalent of constant capital calculated using a monetary expression of labour time and the living labour expended in the current period in production. By construction, this interpretation makes the first Marxian equation hold for the total product, while the second Marxian equation holds when the monetary expression of labour time is appropriately defined as in the SS-LTV.

    It is, however, clear in Marx's analysis that the value of a commodity is not determined by the actual amount of labour its production required in the past, but by the labour time it requires under present prevailing conditions:??? On a higher level of social productivity, all available capital appears, for this reason, to be the result of a relatively short period of reproduction, instead of a long process of accumulation of capital.

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    A mathematical setting The use of numerical examples to work out the quantitative implications of theoretical ideas is now outdated. The most common framework in the contemporary literature on the transformation problem is a pure circulating-capital model with a single technique in each sector, in which basic properties of solutions and interpretations can be elegantly and compactly expressed.

    A single homogeneous labour input works with stocks of an arbitrary but finite number of produced commodities available at the beginning of a production period.

    One unit of each commodity is produced by a single technique of production. This framework is consistent with the example in the first table above but not with Marx's tables since the circulating capital model does not include fixed capital, while Marx's examples do. Techniques of production. The number of goods is n, also the number of techniques. A technology consisting of the set of all available techniques is described by collecting corresponding inputs into a matrix A, and the labour input scalars into a row vector l???.

    The inputs required with this pattern of production can compactly be written in matrix notation as Ax, while the total labour required is l??? The determination of values. The value,?? The vector of values of commodities,????? A x, is equal to the total labour time expended:????? It is the sum of variable capital wages paid , and total surplus-value. We denote?? The example of the table. Each element in the table upper-case notation refers to industries, that is the product of unit variables lower-case notation by levels of operation industries are marked by the subscript j, while vectors have no subscript.

    Below we will use the notation, Pj, for the price of the output of industry j, pj for the price of one unit of commodity j, and p??? Values of commodities:?? Profits in each industry are:?? By construction, total profits are equal to total surplus-value. For the price of one unit of commodity j, one has: As is obvious, the two equations Sum of values?? The determination of prices of production. In the above calculation, Marx simply transfers the values of inputs to the price of production system instead of estimating them at their prices of production.

    Since the accounting units in which prices and the wage are expressed are arbitrary, it is possible without loss of generality to add one further equation normalizing prices, such as p??? In the treatment of the transformation problem the most intuitive normalization is to express prices in labour time units. These prices are often called??? The price of the net product p???

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    This is equivalent to saying that the num?? Using this num?? The historical transformation controversy. The dual-system critique is based on comparing the aggregates sum of values to sum of prices, and sum of surplus-values with sum of prices under the assumption of a given real wage as a bundle, d, of commodities. Substituting p??? In general this means that workers will not be able to buy the same bundle of commodities at prices of production. The rate of surplus-values is:?? Information and collective action in community monitoring of schools: Field and lab experimental evidence from Uganda with Abigail Barr, Frederick Mugisha, and Pieter Serneels.

    Community-based monitoring of public services provides a possible solution to accountability problems when state oversight is limited. However, the mechanisms through which such policies can be effective are not well understood. Are community-monitoring interventions successful because they improve information alone, or do they also need to overcome collective action problems? We investigate this question by implementing a combined field and lab experiment in Ugandan primary schools, which randomly assigns schools and their Management Committees SMCs either to standard community-based monitoring, to a participatory variation that addresses coordination problems, or to a control group.

    We find substantial impacts of the participatory treatment on pupil test scores as well as pupil and teacher absenteeism, while the standard treatment has small and insignificant effects, and we develop a test using randomization inference to show that differences in these outcomes between treated groups are statistically significant.

    Combining this evidence with SMC member behavior in laboratory games, we find evidence that improved collective action explains these differences. The results have implications for the design of community-based monitoring policies, and help to explain their variable effectiveness across contexts. Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability with Abigail Barr. Using a specially designed lab-type experiment conducted in the field, we compare the willingness of head teachers, centrally appointed public servants, and community representatives to hold Ugandan primary school teachers to account.

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    We find no difference in the willingness of centrally appointed public servants and community representatives. However, head teachers are significantly less willing to punish teachers whose performance falls 20 to 40 percent below a generally accepted benchmark. In addition, head teachers are twice as likely to punish teachers who 'over-perform', a behaviour akin to punishing rate-busters.

    Dictator games in the lab and in nature: External validity tested and investigated in Ugandan primary schools with Abigail Barr. This paper tests the external validity of a simple Dictator Game as a laboratory analogue for a naturally occurring policy-relevant decision-making context.

    Guided by a simple theoretical model, we find that the correlation can be improved by allowing for a variations in behavioural reference points across teachers and schools and b the positive effect of some School Management Committees on teacher attendance. International Growth Centre policy paper no.

    IRWA-1, July Empirical Development Economics. Dual economies with David Vines , in Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, Publications Can public rankings improve school performance?

    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3 The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition: Volume 3

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