Bichler and Nitzan, ‘Unbridgeable: why political economists cannot accept capital as power’

ABSTRACT The theory of capital as power (CasP) is radically different from conventional political economy. In the conventional view, mainstream as well as heterodox, capital is seen a ‘real’ economic entity engaged in the production of goods and services, and capitalism is thought of as a mode of production and consumption. Finance in this approach […]

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Lucas, ‘Risking the earth, parts 1 and 2’

ABSTRACT This two-part paper details the arguments and evidence that have been marshalled by both climate scientists and social scientists to critique the current procedures and methodologies deployed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to represent the risks of anthropogenic forcing and a […]

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Baines and Hager, ‘Commodity Traders in a Storm: Financialization, Corporate Power and Ecological Crisis’

ABSTRACT Commodity trading firms occupy a central position in global supply chains and their activities have been associated with financial instability, social upheaval and manifold forms of ecological devastation. This paper examines these companies in the context of debates regarding corporate financialization. We find that since the 2003–2011 commodity boom, trading firms have become less […]

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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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Baines and Hager, ‘The Great Debt Divergence and its Implications for the Covid-19 Crisis: Mapping Corporate Leverage as Power’

ABSTRACT The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified longstanding concerns about mounting levels of corporate debt in the United States. This article places the current conjuncture in its historical context, analysing corporate indebtedness against the backdrop of increasing corporate concentration. Theorising leverage as a form of power, we find that the leverage of large non-financial firms increased […]

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Di Muzio and Robbins: ‘Capitalismo de deuda’

ABSTRACT Capitalismo de deuda es un esfuerzo por descifrar cómo la tecnología de la deuda se ha convertido en uno de los mayores obstáculos para las aspiraciones democráticas y racionales de la sociedad moderna. Richard Robbins y Tim Di Muzio muestran que la deuda, entendida como una tecnología de poder, es un engranaje insertado en […]

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Fix, ‘How the Rich Are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income Size and Class’

ABSTRACT This paper investigates a new approach to understanding personal and functional income distribution. I propose that hierarchical power — the command of subordinates in a hierarchy — is what distinguishes the rich from the poor and capitalists from workers. Specifically, I hypothesize that individual income increases with hierarchical power, as does the share of […]

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Kvachev, ‘Unflat Ontology: Essay on the Poverty of Democratic Materialism’

ABSTRACT The paper is dedicated to the problem of flat ontology in philosophy and its relation to the practice in economy. The author argues that flat economy is based on a marginal utility theory of value and presents hierarchical value chains with concentration of power-capital as if they were flat and all the actors involved […]

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Hager and Baines, ‘The Tax Advantage of Big Business’

ABSTRACT Corporate concentration in the United States has been on the rise in recent years, sparking a heated debate about its causes, consequences, and potential remedies. In this study, we examine a facet of public policy that has been largely neglected in current debates about concentration: corporate taxation. As part of our analysis we develop […]

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Bichler and Nitzan, ‘Making America Great Again’

ABSTRACT Trump has promised to Make America Great Again. As a self-proclaimed expert on everything of import, he knows exactly how to increase domestic investment and consumption, boost exports, reduce the country’s trade deficit, expand employment and bolster wages. And as America’s leader-and-policymaker-in-chief, he has taken the necessary steps to achieve every one of these […]

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Fix, 'An Evolutionary Theory of Resource Distribution'

ABSTRACT This paper explores how the evolution of human sociality can help us understand how we distribute resources. Using ideas from sociobiology, I argue that resource distribution is marked by a tension between two levels of natural selection. At the group level, selfless behavior is advantageous. But at the individual level, selfish behavior is advantageous. […]

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Fix, 'Personal Income and Hierarchical Power'

ABSTRACT This article examines the relation between personal income and hierarchical power. In the context of a firm hierarchy, I define hierarchical power as the number of subordinates under an individual’s control. Using the available case-study evidence, I find that relative income within firms scales strongly with hierarchical power. I also find that hierarchical power […]

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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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Baines and Hager, ‘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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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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