Real GDP: The Flawed Metric at the Heart of Macroeconomics

Blair Fix, Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler The study of economic growth is central to macroeconomics. More than anything else, macroeconomists are concerned with finding policies that encourage growth. And by ‘growth’, they mean the ­growth of real GDP. This measure has become so central to macroeconomics that few economists question its validity. Our intention […]

Continue Reading

Fix, 'Dematerialization Through Services: Evaluating the Evidence'

ABSTRACT Dematerialization through services is a popular proposal for reducing environmental impact. The idea is that by shifting from the production of goods to the provision of services, a society can reduce its material demands. But do societies with a larger service sector actually dematerialize? I test the ‘dematerialization through services’ hypothesis with a focus […]

Continue Reading

Fix, 'The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological and Biophysical Economics'

ABSTRACT This paper discusses the dimension problem in economic aggregation, as it relates to ecological and biophysical economics. The dimension problem consists of a simple dilemma: when we aggregate, the observer must choose the dimension of analysis. The dilemma is that this choice affects the resulting measurement. This means that aggregate measurements are dependent on […]

Continue Reading

Propertization: The Process by which Financial Corporate Power has Risen and Collapsed

Jongchul Kim Abstract Elsewhere I argue that the legal concept of property was created in the image of money in the late Roman Republic. Since then, the division of property and contract has been an underlying structure of Western law. The paper argues that a main way of structuring financial corporate power, especially money market […]

Continue Reading

Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory

Corentin DeBailleul, Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan Abstract In their paper ‘The CasP Project: Past, Present and Future’, Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan invite readers to engage critically with their theoretical framework, known as capital as power (CasP). This call for further research, reactions and critiques is the perfect occasion to raise a few questions […]

Continue Reading

Putting Power Back into Growth Theory

Blair Fix Abstract 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 […]

Continue Reading

Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory

ABSTRACT 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 powercentered approach. Building on Nitzan and […]

Continue Reading

Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective

Neoclassical growth theory is the dominant perspective for explaining economic growth. At its core are four implicit assumptions: 1) economic output can become decoupled from energy consumption; 2) economic distribution is unrelated to growth; 3) large institutions are not important for growth; and 4) labor force structure is not important for growth. Drawing on a […]

Continue Reading

Wal-Mart’s Power Trajectory: A Contribution to the Political Economy of the Firm

Joseph Baines Abstract This article offers a power theory of value analysis of Wal-Mart’s contested expansion in the retail business. More specifically, it draws on, and develops, some aspects of the capital as power framework so as to provide the first clear quantitative explication of the company’s power trajectory to date. After rapid growth in […]

Continue Reading

First Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power

*** The First Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power was sponsored by the York Department of Political Science and the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought. Talks were held at York University, Toronto, Canada and the series ran from October to November 2013 *** Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013 Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Economic Policy […]

Continue Reading

The Rise of a Confident Hollywood: Risk and the Capitalization of Cinema

James McMahon Abstract This paper investigates the historical development of risk in the Hollywood film business. Using opening theatres as a proxy for future expectations, the paper demonstrates how, from 1981 to 2011, Hollywood has improved its ability to predict the financial rankings of its films. More specifically, the Hollywood film business has become better […]

Continue Reading

The Buy-to-Build Indicator: New Estimates for Britain and the United States

Joseph A. Francis Abstract This note presents new long-term estimates of what Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler have named the ‘buy-­to-­build indicator’, which is calculated as the value of mergers and acquisitions as a percentage of gross capital formation. Keywords Britain, buy-to-build indicator, mergers and acquisitions, United States Citation Joseph A. Francis (2013), ‘The Buy-to-Built […]

Continue Reading

Francis’ Buy-to-Build Estimates for Britain and the United States: A Comment

Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan Abstract Comments on Francis’ new estimates of the buy-to-build indicator for the United States and Britain. These estimates offer a welcome correction, modifications and additions to the U.S. numbers that we first presented in 1999 and later updated. Keywords Britain, buy-to-build indicator, merges and acquisitions, United States Citation Shimshon Bichler […]

Continue Reading

The 1%, Exploitation and Wealth

Shimshon Bichler, Jonathan Nitzan and Tim Di Muzio Abstract Tim Di Muzio interviews Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan about how their ‘capital as power’ framework fits with the Occupy Wallstreet movement, the Marxist theory of exploitation, and the origins of wealth. Keywords capital as power, exploitation, Marxism, Occupy Wall Street, power theory of value, the […]

Continue Reading