EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

What makes the US Profit Rate Fall?

Alan Freeman ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Since world war II there have been two quite distinct phases of world growth. In about 1965, a long slowdown set in which has still not ended. Robert Brenner (2002, 2003) has re-ignited the debate about its causes, claiming that nothing in either present or past economic theory explains it. He argues for a ‘third explanation’, alternative both to the profit-share hypothesis which dominates today, and the rising output-capital ratio account associated with Marx and Kalecki. Empirically, the evidence overwhelmingly shows the output-capital ratio is a dominant cause of postwar movements in the US profit rate; thus what Brenner maintains is theoretically impossible, is empirically true. The paper dissects this contradiction which, if economics proceeded scientifically, would lead to a radical critique of its own paradigm, but has instead led it to suppress and ignore the only coherent alternative. The paper shows Brenner’s rejection of the Marx-Kalecki framework arises because his theoretical paradigm, adapted uncritically from his critics, cannot allow for the effect of falling prices on capital stocks. His own ‘third explanation’ is incompatible with this same framework and can be sustained only by understanding it as the mechanism behind, or ultimate cause of, the movement of the output-capital ratio in price terms.

Keywords: crisis; inequality; Brenner; Value; profit rate; long waves; world systems; TSSI; temporalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B51 E32 O30 B4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pke
Date: 2009-03-17
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/14147/1/MPRA_paper_14147.pdf original version (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:14147

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Joachim Winter ().

 
Page updated 2018-09-05
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14147