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Redistribution and persistent exploitation in an accumulation economy with decreasing marginal impatience

Gilbert L. Skillman

Review of Social Economy, 2019, vol. 77, issue 2, 184-207

Abstract: A variant of John Roemer’s accumulation economy is studied in which agents have identical payoff functions characterized by decreasing marginal impatience (DMI), such that time discount rates are decreasing in individual wealth levels. The implications of DMI for the existence and persistence of positive rates of profit and exploitation in the presence of capital accumulation, as well as for the dynamic redistribution of wealth, are derived. It is demonstrated that with DMI, differential ownership of productive assets is sufficient to ensure ongoing capital scarcity, and thus persistently positive rates of return and exploitation, as well as eventual redistribution of productive assets to the wealthiest agents.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2018.1562199

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Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:77:y:2019:i:2:p:184-207