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Über dieses Buch

This book presents an in-depth, novel, and mathematically rigorous treatment of the modern classical theory of value based on the spectral analysis of the price–profit–wage rate system. The classical theory is also subjected to empirical testing to show its logical consistency and explanatory content with respect to observed phenomena and key economic policy issues related to various multiplier processes. In this context, there is an examination of the trajectories of relative prices when the distributive variables change, both theoretically and empirically, using actual input–output data from a number of quite divers

e economies. It is suggested that the actual economies do not behave like the parable of a one-commodity world of the traditional neoclassical theory, which theorizes the relative scarcities of “goods and production factors” as the fundamental determinants of relative prices and their movement. By contrast, the results of the empirical analysis are fully consistent with the modern classical theory, which makes the intersectoral structure of production and the way in which net output is distributed amongst its claimants the fundamental determinants of price magnitudes. At the same time, however, these results indicate that only a few vertically integrated industries (“industry core” or “hyper-basic industries”) are enough to shape the behaviour of the entire economy in the case of a disturbance. This fact is reduced to the skew distribution of the eigenvalues of the matrices of vertically integrated technical coefficients and reveals that, across countries and over time, the effective dimensions of actual economies are surprisingly low.

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Chapter 1. Old and Modern Classical Economics

This introductory chapter outlines the central relationships amongst classical, traditional neoclassical and modern classical theories of value, distribution and capital. It then argues that the state variable representation of linear systems could be conceived of as an approach for revealing the essential properties of a linear system of production of commodities and positive profits by means of commodities and, therefore, determining the extent to which these properties deviate from those predicted by the traditional capital theories.

Theodore Mariolis, Lefteris Tsoulfidis

Chapter 2. Modern Classical Theory of Prices and Outputs

This chapter investigates the relationships amongst long-period relative prices, outputs, interindustry structure of production, income distribution and growth in linear systems. It is particularly pointed out that the functional expressions of those relationships admit lower and upper norm bounds, while their monotonicity could be connected to (i) the degree of deviation from the ‘equal value compositions of capital’ case and (ii) the ‘effective rank’ of the matrix of vertically integrated technical coefficients.

Theodore Mariolis, Lefteris Tsoulfidis

Chapter 3. Values, Prices and Income Distribution in Actual Economies

This chapter estimates the proximities of labour values and production prices to market prices in real-world economies and explores at length the respective relationships amongst production prices, interindustry structure of production and changes in income distribution. The results finally suggest that value-based approximations of actual single-product economies could be considered as accurate enough, and the effective dimensions of those economies appear to be relatively low, that is to say, between two and three.

Theodore Mariolis, Lefteris Tsoulfidis

Chapter 4. Measures of Production Price-Labour Value Deviation and Production Conditions

Empirical studies indicate that the deviations of actual production prices from labour values are not too sensitive to the type of measure used for their evaluation. This chapter attempts to theorize this fact by focusing on the relationships between the ‘traditional’ and the numeraire-free measures of deviation. It also provides an illustration of these relationships using actual input-output data.

Theodore Mariolis, Lefteris Tsoulfidis

Chapter 5. Spectral Decompositions of Single-Product Economies

This chapter follows a recently developed line of research, which focuses on the spectral analysis of the wage-price-profit rate relationships in actual single-product economies. It shows that main aspects of those relationships could be connected to the skew distribution of both the eigenvalues and the singular values of the system matrices. The results finally suggest that there is room for using low-dimensional models as surrogates for actual economies.

Theodore Mariolis, Lefteris Tsoulfidis

Chapter 6. Bródy’s Stability and Disturbances

Bródy’s conjecture regarding the instability of economies is submitted to an empirical test using input-output flow tables of varying size for the US economy, for the benchmark years 1997 and 2002, as well as for the period 1998–2011. The results obtained lend support to the view of increasing instability of the US economy over the period considered. Furthermore, our analysis shows that only a few vertically integrated industries are enough to shape the behaviour of the entire economy in the case of a disturbance. These results may, on the one hand, provide empirical evidence on the speed of convergence of Marxian iterative procedures ‘transforming’ labour values into production prices; on the other hand, they may usefully be contrasted with those derived in a parallel literature on aggregate fluctuations from microeconomic ‘idiosyncratic’ shocks.

Theodore Mariolis, Lefteris Tsoulfidis


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