2020/04: McMahon, ‘Reconsidering Systemic Fear and the Stock Market: A Reply to Baines and Hager’

ABSTRACT A recent New Political Economy article by Baines and Hager (2020) critiqued Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan’s capital-as-power (CasP) model of the stock market (Bichler & Nitzan, 2016). Bichler and Nitzan’s model of the stock market seeks to explain how financial crises are tied to the (upper) limits of redistributing income through power. Bichler […]

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Real GDP: The Flawed Metric at the Heart of Macroeconomics

ABSTRACT 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 here is to do just that. […]

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Financial Crisis, Inequality, and Capitalist Diversity: A Critique of the Capital as Power Model of the Stock Market

ABSTRACT The relationship between inequality and financial instability has become a thriving topic of research in heterodox political economy. This article offers the first critical engagement with one framework within this wider literature: the Capital as Power (CasP) model of the stock market developed by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan. Specifically, we extend the CasP […]

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On the Power Theory of Capitalism and Differential Accumulation

*** By Ken Zimmerman This piece was originally posted on the Real-World Economics Review Blog here and here. *** Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan are Israeli political economists. Together they’ve created a thought-provoking power theory of capitalism and theory of differential accumulation. The theory is not “pie-in-the-sky,” but is based in their analysis of the […]

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2019/03: McMahon, 'Selling Hollywood to China'

ABSTRACT From the 1980s to the present, Hollywood’s major distributors have been able to redistribute U.S. theatrical attendance to the advantage of their biggest blockbusters and franchises. At the global scale and during the same period, Hollywood has been leveraging U.S. foreign power to break ground in countries that have historically protected and supported their […]

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Sharp, 'Corporate Urbanization: Between the Future and Survival in Lebanon'

ABSTRACT If you look today at the skyline of downtowns throughout the Middle East and beyond, the joint-stock corporation has transformed the urban landscape. The corporation makes itself present through the proliferation of its urban mega-projects, including skyscrapers, downtown developments and gated communities; retail malls and artificial islands; airports and ports; and highways. Built into […]

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2019/01: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Differential Accumulation versus Veblen’s "Differential Advantage" (Revised and Expanded)'

This paper clarifies a common misrepresentation of our theory of capital as power, or CasP. Many observers tend to box CasP as an ‘institutionalist’ theory, tracing its central process of ‘differential accumulation’ to Thorstein Veblen’s notion of ‘differential advantage’. This view, we argue, betrays a misunderstanding of CasP, Veblen or both. First, we are not […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, 'Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research'

ABSTRACT This essay interweaves two stories—one theoretical and empirical, the other autobiographical. The first story embeds the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the broader political economy of the Middle East and the global accumulation of “capital as power.” The second story narrates the authors’ personal journey to uncover, theorize, and research this enfoldment. The essay explores and […]

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2018 Capital as Power Essay Prize

2018 Capital as Power Essay Prize First Prize $1000 Second Prize $500 Third Prize $300 http://www.recasp.com/essay-prize The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP) announces an annual essay prize on the subject of capital as power.  The best paper will receive a prize of $1000. A prize of $500 will be awarded to the second best contribution, while […]

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2018/08: Bichler & Nitzan, 'CasP's '"Differential Accumulation" versus Veblen's "Differential Advantage"'

This paper clarifies a common misrepresentation of our theory of capital as power, or CasP. Many observers tend to box CasP as an ‘institutionalist’ theory, tracing its central process of ‘differential accumulation’ to Thorstein Veblen’s notion of ‘differential advantage’. This view, we argue, betrays a misunderstanding of CasP, Veblen or both. As we show, CasP’s […]

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

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 funds (MMFs), […]

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McMahon, 'Is Hollywood a Risky Business? A Political Economic Analysis of Risk and Creativity'

ABSTRACT This paper seeks to explain why Hollywood’s dominant firms are narrowing the scope of creativity in the contemporary period (1980–2015). The largest distributors have sought to prevent the art of filmmaking and its related social relations from becoming financial risks in the pursuit of profit. Major filmed entertainment, my term for the six largest […]

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Fix, 'Economics from the Top Down: Does Hierarchy Unify Economic Theory?'

ABSTRACT What is the unit of analysis in economics? The prevailing orthodoxy in mainstream economic theory is that the individual is the ‘ultimate’ unit of analysis. The implicit goal of mainstream economics is to root macro-level social structure in the micro-level actions of individuals. But there is a simple problem with this approach: our knowledge […]

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Fix, 'Hierarchy and the power-law income distribution tail'

ABSTRACT What explains the power-law distribution of top incomes? This paper tests the hypothesis that it is firm hierarchy that creates the power-law income distribution tail. Using the available case-study evidence on firm hierarchy, I create the first large-scale simulation of the hierarchical structure of the US private sector. Although not tuned to do so, […]

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