Mouré, ‘No Shortage of Profit: Technological Change, Chip ‘Shortages’, and Capital Accumulation in the Semiconductor Business’

Abstract Rapid technological change is often touted as a fundamental reality of capitalist societies. It is also often presented as concrete evidence for the supposed progressive improvement of material well-being that characterises the capitalist system of social order. Since its emergence in the mid-20th century, semiconductor technology in many ways exemplifies this reality. Yet the […]

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Patent troll IP is more powerful than Apple’s

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow I was 12 years into my Locus Magazine column when I published the piece I’m most proud of, “IP,” from September 2020. It came after an epiphany, one that has profoundly shaped the way I talk and think about the issues I campaign on. https://locusmag.com/2020/09/cory-doctorow-ip/ That revelation was about […]

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Di Liberto, ‘Hype: The Capitalist Degree of Induced Participation’

Hype The Capitalist Degree of Induced Participation YURI DI LIBERTO April 2022 Abstract Power is usually considered as either a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ construct, as in the power to force action versus the power to forbid it. This paper explores a hybridized approach to power based on the idea of ‘induced participation’. Building on Bichler […]

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New Briefing – Drilling Down: UK Oil and Gas Financial Performance

Originally published at sbhager.com Sandy Brian Hager Joseph Baines and I have a new briefing with Common Wealth examining the financial performance of UK oil and gas producers and energy suppliers. Some of the key findings include: The two UK-headquartered supermajors – BP and Royal Dutch Shell – have remained profitable over the past decade, […]

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2022/01: McMahon, ‘Star power and risk: A political economic study of casting trends in Hollywood’

Abstract This paper builds an empirical and theoretical model to analyze how the financial goal of risk reduction changed the insides of Hollywood’s star system. For the moviegoer looking at Hollywood cinema from the outside, the function of the star system has remained the same since the 1920s: to have recognizable actors attract large audiences […]

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Fix, ‘Redistributing Income Through Hierarchy’

Abstract Although the determinants of income are complex, the results are surprisingly uniform. To a first approximation, top incomes follow a power-law distribution, and the redistribution of income corresponds to a change in the power-law exponent. Given the messiness of the struggle for resources, why is the outcome so simple? This paper explores the idea […]

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Making culture rational … with power

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon A survey of academic writing on the business of culture will show that authors seldomly restrain themselves from making predictions or giving recommendations to the hypothetical economic actor. This offering of future-oriented arguments to an audience should not be surprising. The disciplines of economics, business, management studies […]

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Deconstructing Econospeak

Originally published at Economics from the Top Down Blair Fix It’s been 20 years, but I still remember the feeling. It was a mix of curiosity and unease. I was curious because I was learning something new. But I was uneasy because something didn’t sit right. The place was Edmonton, Alberta, circa the year 2000. […]

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The ideology of economics

Originally published at pluralistic.net Cory Doctorow Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” advanced a simple, data-supported hypothesis: that markets left to their own will cause capital to grow faster than the economy as a whole, so over time, the rich always get richer. https://boingboing.net/2014/06/24/thomas-pikettys-capital-in-t.html He’s followed up Capital with the 1000-page “Capital and Ideology” […]

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Fix, ‘Economic Development and the Death of the Free Market’

Abstract According to neoclassical economics, the most efficient way to organize human activity is to use the free market. By stoking self interest, the theory claims, individuals can benefit society. This idea, however, conflicts with the evolutionary theory of multilevel selection, which proposes that rather than stoke individual self interest, successful groups must suppress it. […]

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Howard et al., ‘Protein Industry Convergence and Its Implications for Resilient and Equitable Food Systems’

Abstract Recent years have seen the convergence of industries that focus on higher protein foods, such as meat processing firms expanding into plant-based substitutes and/or cellular meat production, and fisheries firms expanding into aquaculture. A driving force behind these changes is dominant firms seeking to increase their power relative to close competitors, including by extending […]

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Baines & 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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