Economía marxista para el Siglo XXI

Archivo para la Categoría "Tasa de ganancia"

Tasa de ganancia y la Acumulación de Capital en México, 1939-2010

Excelente conferencia sobre Tasa de ganancia y la Acumulación de Capital en México, 1939-2010, Dicha conferencia fue dictada por el catedrático Mtro.José Sandoval Manzano, de la UNAM de México. La conferencia es transmitida desde Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de México, hacia la Universidad.

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 (
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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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Ben Bernanke and the ‘natural’ rate of return

Economic recoveries

Michael Roberts

Today, former head of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke launched his own economics blog through the Brookings Institution (  As Ben put it, “Now that I’m a civilian again, I can once more comment on economic and financial issues without my words being put under the microscope by Fed watchers. I look forward to doing that—periodically, when the spirit moves me—in this blog. I hope to educate, and I hope to learn something as well”.

David Harvey, monomaniacs and the rate of profit

Michael Roberts

David Harvey is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), Director of The Center for Place, Culture and Politics ( and author of numerous books. For over 40 years, he has been one of the world’s most trenchant and critical analysts of capitalist development. And he has developed a global audience for his on-line video lectures on reading Capital, (see Harvey won the 2010 Isaac Deutscher prize for the best Marxist book of the year with The Enigma of Capital (

I have commented on Harvey’s contributions to Marxist economics on various occasions on my blog.

Professor Harvey has always been critical of the view that Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall plays any significant role as a cause of crises under capitalism. In his award winning book, The enigma of capital, he states that “There is, therefore, no single causal theory of crisis formation as many Marxist economists like to assert. There is, for example, no point in trying to cram all of this fluidity and complexity into some unitary theory of, say, a falling rate of profit”.

Recently, Harvey has returned to this point in the presentation of an essay to the University of Izmir, Turkey in October. You can see a You tube screening of that presentation at


“La transitoriedad histórica del capital. La tendencia descendiente de ganancia desde el siglo XIX”










Esteban Ezequiel Maito



El artículo presenta estimaciones de la tasa de ganancia para catorce países en el largo plazo. La rentabilidad muestra una clara tendencia descendente, si bien existen períodos de recuperación parcial, tanto en los países centrales como en los periféricos. El comportamiento de la tasa de ganancia confirma así las previsiones hechas por Marx de su tendencia y la transitoriedad histórica del modo de producción. Finalmente, se realiza una estimación de la tasa de ganancia mundial para las últimas décadas, destacándose también el papel particular de China en la rentabilidad sistémica durante el último decenio.
Palabras clave: Tasa de ganancia – Marx – Modo de producción.


This article presents profit rate estimates in fourteen countries on the long term. Profitability shows a clear downward trend, although there are recovery periods, both in core and peripheral countries. The profit rate trend confirms Marx predictions and the historic transience of capitalist mode of production. Finally, it’s done an estimate of the world profit rate for the last decades, also highlighting the function of China in systemic profitability in recent years.
Keywords: Profit rate – Marx – Mode of production. Leer más en el blog Marxismo Crítico

David Harvey, Piketty y la contradicción central del capitalismo

Michael Roberts
Traducción de Ernesto Rosemberg

David Harvey es un reconocido profesor marxista de Antropología y Geografía en el Centro de Graduados de la Universidad de la Ciudad de Nueva York. Harvey es bastante crítico del libro de Piketty. Reconoce que Piketty proporciona datos de gran importancia sobre la desigualdad de la riqueza y de los ingresos en las principales economías capitalistas desde que el capitalismo se convirtió en el modo dominante de producción y las relaciones sociales desde 1750. ” Lo que Piketty sí muestra estadísticamente (y deberíamos estar en deuda con él y sus colegas por eso) es que el capital ha tendido a lo largo de su historia a producir cada vez mayores niveles de desigualdad. Esto , para muchos de nosotros, no es noticia. Era, además, exactamente la conclusión teórica de Marx en el Tomo I de su ‘El Capital'”.

Pero, como apunta Harvey, Piketty nada dice sobre las crisis recurrentes de producción y de inversión del capitalismo. Piketty “no nos dice por qué la crisis de 2008 se produjo y por qué está tomando tanto tiempo para tantas personas para salir de debajo de la doble carga del desempleo y de millones de casas perdidas en una prolongada ejecución hipotecaria . No ayuda a entender por qué el crecimiento es actualmente tan lento en EE.UU. en comparación con China, y por qué Europa está bloqueada en una política de austeridad y de una economía de estancamiento”.

Michael Heinrich, Marx’s law and crisis theory


May 19, 2013

Michael Roberts

Michael Heinrich is an exponent of what is known as the ‘New German Reading of Marx’, which interprets the theory of value that Marx presents in Capital as a socially specific theory of ‘impersonal social domination’. He is a collaborator on the MEGA edition of Marx and Engel’s complete works and has published several philological studies of Capital. He has also authored a work on Marx’s theory of value, The Science of Value, which is forthcoming in the Historical Materialism book series. And recently he has published An Introduction to all Three Volumes of Capital as his first full-length work to appear in English.

I am not going to do a critique of Heinrich’s views on the theory of value, as this has been done by Guglielmo Carchedi in his book, Behind the Crisis (see chapter 2). But I am moved to respond to a recent article of Heinrich’s in the American Monthly Review, entitled Crisis theory, the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall and Marx’s studies in the 1870s (

In this article, Heinrich makes the following points: 1) Marx’s law is inconsistent because its categories are indeterminate; 2) it is empirically unproven and even unjustifiable on any measure of verification; 3) Engels badly edited Marx’s works to distort his view on the law in Capital Vol 3; 4) Marx himself in his later works of the 1870s began to have doubts about the law as the cause of crises and started to abandon it in favour of some theory that took into account credit, interest rates and the problem of realisation (similar to Keynesian theory); 5) Marx died before he could present these revisions of his crisis theory, so there is no coherent Marxist theory of crisis. (más…)

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