Blog

Stock Buybacks vs Greenfield Investment

December 10, 2014

In his November 29, 2013 piece, ‘Low Capex, High Market Cap: A New High for Corporate Sabotage?’, Edward Lam lends support to CasP’s sabotage thesis by showing how firms with relatively low ‘greenfield’ investment outperform those with relatively high ‘greenfield’ investment. A recent FT article, titled “Money Well Spent?” (Tom Braithwaite, Nicole Bullock and Michael … Read More

The Rise and Fall of Debate in Economics

December 10, 2014

 New data illustrate the extent to which economists have stopped discussing each other’s work. Once upon a time, economists regularly used to publicly criticise each other’s work in academic journals. But not any more. In Figure 1 I have illustrated the degree to which economists have stopped debating. The data have been culled from Jstor, the online database of … Read More

The Oil Price: Differential Accumulation and Punishing One’s Rivals

November 27, 2014
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According to some forecasters the price of oil might hit $75 a barrel soon. Goldman Sachs has even predicted a $70 barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) in 2015. If the price does drop this low it will be a dramatic change from the recent status quo; a relatively stable, higher price of over 90 … Read More

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Publications

The 1% and the Rest of Us: A Political Economy of Dominant Ownership

January 24, 2015
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One of the major accomplishments of the Occupy movement has been to draw global attention to the massive disparity of income, wealth, and privilege concentrated in one percent of the world’s population.  In The 1% and the Rest of Us, Tim Di Muzio offers the first empirical and theoretical study of the culture, politics, built … Read More

Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective

December 29, 2014
biophysics

Neoclassical growth theory is the dominant perspective for explaining economic growth. At its core are four implicit assumptions: 1) economic output can become decoupled from energy consumption; 2) economic distribution is unrelated to growth; 3) large institutions are not important for growth; and 4) labor force structure is not important for growth. Drawing on a … Read More

Encumbered Behemoth: Wal-Mart, Differential Accumulation and International Retail Restructuring

December 3, 2014
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This chapter draws on, and develops, some aspects of the capital as power framework so as to provide the first clear quantitative explication of the company’s power trajectory to date. After rapid growth in the first four decades of its existence, the power of Wal-Mart appears to be flat-lining relative to dominant capital as a … Read More

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Working Papers

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

January 6, 2015
demonocracy-federal_reserve_money_printing-wall_street_manipulation

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 … Read More

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

November 27, 2014
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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 … Read More

No. 2014/03: Baines, “The Ethanol Boom and the Restructuring of the Food Regime”

July 16, 2014
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Working Paper No. 2014/03 Joseph Baines, “The Ethanol Boom and the Restructuring of the Food Regime” [A shorter version of this paper is forthcoming at The Journal of Peasant Studies] The agrofuel boom has brought about some of the most significant transformations in the world food system in recent decades. A rich and diverse body … Read More

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Critical Mass Forum

Community • Re: Job Opportunities

January 17, 2015

Two Positions in Virginia Dear Colleague:I am pleased to announce that EMU is searching for two new members of the faculty – one for the graduate program ...

Community • Re: Job Opportunities

January 17, 2015

Two Positions in California My department currently has two full-time openings. We are seeking a sociologist, rank open, for the San Diego area, and ...

Political Economy • Re: Changes in the Incentive for "Breadth"

January 12, 2015

Some methodological clarifications based on suggestions from Jonathan:1. Data is for Compustat firms with headquarters in the US. 2. Each point represents ...

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