No. 2016/04: Fix, 'Energy and Institution Size'

Why do institutions grow? Despite nearly a century of scientific effort, there remains little consensus on this topic. This paper offers a new approach that focuses on energy consumption. A systematic relation exists between institution size and energy consumption per capita: as energy consumption increases, institutions become larger. I hypothesize that this relation results from […]

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No. 2016/03: Di Muzio and Dow, "Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West"

This article offers a critique of Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu’s How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism. We argue that while all historiography features a number of silences, shortcomings or omissions, the omissions in How the West Came to Rule lead to a mistaken view of the emergence of capitalism. […]

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No. 2016/02: Cochrane, “Why Diamonds and De Beers?, or The Need for Accumulation Studies”

Working Paper No. 2016/02 D.T. Cochrane, “Why Diamonds and De Beers?, or The Need for Accumulation Studies” I successfully defended my dissertation in December. This served as the introductory presentation for the defence. In it, I explain what I tried to do with the dissertation, the methods I used, and the larger project I hope […]

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No. 2016/01: Debailleul, Bichler and Nitzan, “Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory”

Working Paper No. 2016/01 Corentin Debailleul, Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan, “Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory” This working paper contains an intervention by Corentin Debailleul and an extended reply by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan. The exchange was first posted on the Capital as Power Forum in January 2016. Debailleul’s original questions […]

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No. 2015/04: Bichler and Nitzan, “The CasP Project: Past, Present, Future”

Working Paper No. 2015/04 Shimson Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan, “The CasP Project: Past, Present, Future” The study of capital as power (CasP) began when we were students in the 1980s and has since expanded into a broader project involving a growing number of researchers and new areas of inquiry. This paper provides a bird’s-eye view […]

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No. 2015/03: Bichler and Nitzan, “Capital Accumulation: Fiction and Reality”

Working Paper No. 2015/03 Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan, “Capital Accumulation: Fiction and Reality” What do economists mean when they talk about ‘capital accumulation’? Surprisingly, the answer to this question is anything but clear, and it seems the most unclear in times of turmoil. Consider the recent ‘financial crisis’. The very term already attests to […]

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No. 2015/01: Hager, "Public Debt as Corporate Power"

Working Paper No. 2015/01 Sandy Brian Hager, “Public Debt as Corporate Power” In various writings Karl Marx made references to an ‘aristocracy of finance’ in Western Europe and the United States that dominated ownership of the public debt. Drawing on original research, this paper offers the first comprehensive analysis of the pattern of public debt […]

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No. 2014/05: Fix, "Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory" (Winner of the 2014 RECASP Essay Prize)

Working Paper No. 2014/05 Blair Fix, “Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory” * Winner of the 2014 RECASP Essay Prize * 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 […]

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No. 2014/04: Bichler and Nitzan, "Still About Oil?"

Working Paper No. 2014/04 Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan, “Still About Oil?” During the late 1980s and early 1990s, we identified a new Middle East phenomenon that we called ‘energy conflicts’ and argued that these conflicts were intimately linked with the global processes of capital accumulation. This paper outlines the theoretical framework we have developed over the years […]

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No. 2014/02: Fix, "Rethinking Profit: How Redistribution Drives Growth"

Working Paper No. 2014/02 Blair Fix, “Rethinking Profit: How Redistribution Drives Growth” Using a combination of heterodox economics and biophysical analysis, this paper investigates the relationship between economic distribution and the growth of material throughput. Empirical results show that the growth of “useful work” correlates with redistribution towards pro fit. Furthermore, increases in energy consumption are correlated […]

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The President and the Tech Giants

In an interesting piece for the Financial Times, Christopher Caldwell assesses Obama’s declaration to ‘go it alone’ in light of the ‘obstructionist Republican agenda’ in the US Congress. In a recent State of the Union address, Obama pledged a year of action, one that would see the president push for major policy reforms with or without congressional support. The passing of […]

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No. 2013/01: Bichler and Nitzan, "Can Capitalists Afford Recovery?"

Working Paper No. 2013/01 Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan, “Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Economic Policy When Capital Is Power” Abstract: Economic, financial and social commentators from all directions and persuasion are obsessed with the prospect of recovery. The world remains mired in a deep, prolonged crisis, and the key question seems to be how to […]

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