Putting Power Back into Growth Theory

Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory


June 2015


Neoclassical growth theory assumes that economic growth is an atomistic process in which changes in distribution play no role. Unfortunately, when this assumption is tested against real-world evidence, it is systematically violated. This paper argues that a reality-based growth theory must reject neoclassical principles in favour of a power-centered approach. Building on Nitzan and Bichler’s Capital as Power hypothesis, I argue that hierarchy formation is an integral part of the growth process. I hypothesize that the role of capital accumulation (through profit) is to facilitate hierarchy formation by legitimizing the authority of capitalists.


distribution, economic growth theory, energy, hierarchy, power


Blair Fix (2015), ‘Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory’, Review of Capital as Power, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 1-37.