Economía marxista para el Siglo XXI

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The fall of the rate of profit, simulation models and metamorphoses of capitalism

Marx, Profits and Fractal Properties: notes on countertendencies to the fall of the rate of profit, simulation models and metamorphoses of capitalism

Leonardo Costa Ribeiro, Pedro Mendes Loureiro and Eduardo Albuquerque (albuquer@cedeplar.ufmg.br)
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No 518, Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG from Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Abstract: What really matters to understand capitalist dynamics in the long run are the countertendencies to the tendential fall of the rate of profit. For researchers in 2015, with all historical and statistical information on capitalist dynamics (not available to Marx, Schumpeter or Bain), capitalism can be seen as an engine for the creation of countertendencies to the fall of the rate of profit. Since classical political economy (Smith, Ricardo, Mill) and Marx the behavior of the rate of profit is a key subject of investigation, that has been also investigated by Schumpeter, evolutionary economist and modern industrial economics. Contemporary debates on the rate of profit would have three advantages vis-à-vis previous rounds of this long-lasting discussion: 1) the MEGA Project has provided more information Marx’s works; 2) there are data on the long-term behavior of the rate of profit; 3) there are new tools to investigate the logic of capitalism as a complex system – a dialogue with physics is useful for this analysis. This paper combines different approaches and methods: a short review of the history of economic thought, lessons from economic history, data analysis of the movements of the rate of profit and a simulation model to test our understanding of those movements – a model based on two very simple rules, inspired on an interpretation of Marx’s insights about the contradictory interaction between the tendency and the countertendencies to the fall of the rate of profit. These different approaches and methods organize this paper.

Keywords: the rate of profit; Marx; MEGA2 Project; complex systems; metamorphoses of capitalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P16 O33 B51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-pke
Date: 2015-09
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¿Fue muy exitosa la industrialización soviética? Paul Cockshott tercia en esta polémica aplicando matemáticas

FIGURE 2.2. Inferred growth rates as fraction of WHO standard rates. For the period 1928 to 1939 a scaled version of Allen’s graph for personal consumption over the period

FIGURE 2.2. Inferred growth rates as fraction of WHO standard
rates. For the period 1928 to 1939 a scaled version of Allen’s
graph for personal consumption over the period

En 2003 Robert C. Allen Professor de  Historia Economica en la Universidad de  Oxford publicó Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution., Princeton, Princeton University Press donde califica la industrialización soviética de muy exitosa, sólo después de la de Japón. Una conclusión semejante no podría dejar de sucitar muchas críticas en estos tiempos en que la ideología capitalista quiere enterrar toda idea de socialismo.   Una de ellas es: Wheatcroft, “The first 35 years of soviet living standards: Secular growth and conjunctural crises in a time of famines,” Explorations in Economic History, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 24–52, 2009. Wheatcrofts utiliza datos nutricionales de la URSS junto con información sobre la evalución de la estatura de los ciudadanos soviéticos para criticar la conclusión de Allen.  Paul Cockshott muestra las inconsistencias de los datos nutricionales de Wheatcroft y aplica una técnica matemática a los datos de estatura de los soviéticos para apoyar la conclusión de Allen en “Applying  Deconvolution of Russian Adult Heights to Infer Past Nutricional  Levels” un artículo de próxima publicación y del cual ponemos a su disposición un borrador que amablemente nos proporcionó el autor.

 

Mathematical Modelling and Ideology in the Economics Academy: competing explanations of the failings of the modern discipline?

Economic Thought ISSN: 2049-3509
Published by the World Economics Association

Volume 1, Number 1 (2012)

Mathematical Modelling and Ideology in the Economics Academy: competing explanations of the failings of the modern discipline?
Tony Lawson
Abstract

The widespread and long-lived failings of academic economics are due to an over-reliance on largely inappropriate mathematical methods of analysis. This is an assessment I have long maintained. Many heterodox economists, however, appear to hold instead that the central problem is a form of political-economic ideology. Specifically, it is widely contended in heterodox circles that the discipline goes astray just because so many economists are committed to a portrayal of the market economy as a smoothly or efficiently functioning system or some such, a portrayal that, whether sincerely held or otherwise, is inconsistent with the workings of social reality. Here I critically examine the contention that a form of political-economic ideology of this sort is the primary problem and assess its explanatory power. I conclude that the contention does not fare very well. I do not, though, deny that ideology of some sort has a major impact on the output of the modern economics academy. However it is of a different nature to the form typically discussed, and works in somewhat indirect and complex ways. Having raised the question of the impact of ideology I take the opportunity to explore its play in the economics academy more generally.

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“The Value of Simple Models”: Geoff Davies

Real-World Economics Review, issue no. 57
The Value of Simple Models
Geoff Davies (Australian National University, Australia)
Copyright: Geoff Davies, 2011

You may post comments on this paper at
http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/rwer-issue-57-geoff-davies/
Neoclassical economic theory predicts equilibrium, yet the prediction is based on a string of patently absurd assumptions. Furthermore, evidence for instability is pervasive in the behaviour of real economies, implying that real economies are far from equilibrium and their behaviour potentially complex or chaotic. Therefore the neoclassical approach to understanding the behaviour of economies is futile and misleading [1], as many heterodox economists understand.

However the development of better theories seems to be significantly hindered by a feeling that any superseding theory has to be thoroughly quantified before it can be useful, and a feeling that the neoclassical theory has set a benchmark for sophisticated mathematics that must be matched before another theory can be respectable. Less fundamentally there seems to be a common perception that empirical insights can only be gained through elaborate statistical treatments of observations.

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