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Profit rates and assets-price inflation in the Spanish economy

Juan Pablo Mateo Tomé and Maximiliano Francisco Nieto Fernández

Revista Galega de Economía, 2021, vol. 30, issue 4, 1-21

Abstract: The paper provides an in-depth analysis of profitability in Spain between 1995 and 2014, showing that behind the asset-price inflation of the growth period and its corresponding macroeconomic imbalances, an underlying problem of capital valorization can be found. For this purpose, a study of various measures of profitability is carried out based on the concept of productive labor and highlighting the role of finance (interest rates and indebtedness). The evolution of the profit rate in previous years is also shown , together with a comparison with countries in the Eurozone, both in the most advanced areas and in the periphery. The paper reveals the large extent of the underlying profitability crisis, with a huge fall of profit rates from the late sixties, during the period of the housing boom, and throughout the subsequent recession. In addition, this drop in profitability stands out in relation to other economies of the European periphery. Hence, the study puts the rate of profit at the center of the debate on the Great Recession in Spain, despite its absence in much of the economic literature.

Keywords: Profit rates; Interest rate; Fictitious capital; Spain; Eurozone (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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