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THE ECONOMICS OF THE PROFIT RATE

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THE ECONOMICS OF THE PROFIT RATE

Competition, Crises and Historical Tendencies in Capitalism

9781852787608 Edward Elgar Publishing
Gérard Duménil, Director of Research, CNRS, LAREA-CEDRA, University of Paris X-Nanterre and Dominique Lévy, PSE-CNRS, France
Publication Date: 1993 ISBN: 978 1 85278 760 8 Extent: 416 pp
The Economics of the Profit Rate presents a broad synthesis of recent work and builds on classical theory, using the tools of modern economics, to suggest alternative approaches to conventional microeconomics and macroeconomics. In sharp contrast to the general equilibrium theory, the emphasis is placed on dynamics and the reaction of individual agents to disequilibrium. This impressive book includes an assessment of the history of the US economy in which theoretical and empirical analyses are consistently combined.

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In this important book, Gérard Duménil and Dominique Lévy assess the impact of the profit rate on modern economies, its role in the allocation of resources among industries, its influence on business fluctuations, and its relation to accumulation, technological change and wages.

The Economics of the Profit Rate presents a broad synthesis of recent work and builds on classical theory, using the tools of modern economics, to suggest alternative approaches to conventional microeconomics and macroeconomics. In sharp contrast to the general equilibrium theory, the emphasis is placed on dynamics and the reaction of individual agents to disequilibrium. This impressive book includes an assessment of the history of the US economy in which theoretical and empirical analyses are consistently combined.
Critical Acclaim
‘This treatise should be read by Sraffian, post Keynesian, Kaleckian, Marxian, and even Walrasian economists interested in deeper theory and more extensive empirical work.’
– James Devine, Review of Radical Political Economics

‘The work of Duménil and Lévy is quite original and will. . . . provoke lively debate among microeconomists on equilibrium behaviour, macroeconomists on business cycles fluctuations, and economic historians on their analysis of “long waves” in capitalism.’
– Edward N. Wolff, Journal of Economic Literature

‘In this pathbreaking work of theory and empirics covering roughly 125 years of US history, Duménil and Lévy elaborate Marx’s vision of a capitalist economy regulated at the microeconomic, macroeconomic and historical levels by the profitability of business enterprise.’
– Thomas R. Michl, Science and Society

‘. . . the theoretical rehabilitation of the profit rate is of utmost importance, and this book pleads convincingly for a basic cause’.
– C. Bidard, Journal of Economics

‘In this very important and very interesting book Duménil and Lévy summarize the results of their theoretical and empirical contribution of the last ten years on the dynamics of capitalist economies. . . I was impressed by the clarity and rigor of the chapters on “gravitation” of market prices around the prices of production or, to follow more closely their approach, the tendency towards an equalization of the profit rates among industries, resulting from capital mobility.’
– Angelo Reati, EAEPE Newsletter

‘The present volume presents an important review and synthesis of these collaborations, and will be of great interest to economists working in related fields and to graduate library collections. . . . Duménil and Lévy have moved “out of the mainstream” along a broad front, and The Economics of the Profit Rate shows how considerable their progress has been.’
– Don Goldstein, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization
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