Blog

Public vs Private Interests in Cancer Research

July 25, 2014
Aspirin1

Harvard Medical School researchers Michelle Holmes and Wendy Chen wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about research they published in 2010 that found aspirin may be an effective treatment for breast cancer patients. The op-ed was not just calling attention to these results. Rather, it was a complaint that the research needed to … Read More

Central banking and the governance of the price architecture

July 16, 2014
If the Bank of England sets a negative interest rate, it could encourage lending.

With the Bank of England signalling an impending interest rate rise, monetary policy has returned to centre stage.  Since 2008 we have lived through a period of extremely unorthodox monetary policy characterised by unprecedentedly low interest rates. This era of ‘cheap money’ may now be about to end and a return to ‘normality’ (interest rates … Read More

The Story of Machines vs. Labour

July 8, 2014
2891273174_c1de49e8ae_o

The replacement of labour by machines has brought many improvements in social well-being. New machines have made a wide variety jobs safer and less physically debilitating. Yet, the process is far from decisively good, with many attendant ills. Consider the mechanization of fishing boats. Fishing is a dangerous activity and having fewer workers on the … Read More

Go to Blog

Publications

Wal-Mart’s Power Trajectory: A Contribution to the Political Economy of the Firm

March 16, 2014
walmart_protest

This article offers a power theory of value analysis of Wal-Mart’s contested expansion in the retail business. More specifically, it 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 … Read More

No Way Out: Crime, Punishment and the Capitalization of Power

January 14, 2014
prison

The United States is often hailed as the world’s largest ‘free market’. But this ‘free market’ is also the world’s largest penal colony. It holds over seven million adults – roughly five per cent of the labour force – in jail, in prison, on parole and on probation. Is this an anomaly, or does the … Read More

The Capitalist Mode of Power: Critical Engagements with the Power Theory of Value

August 26, 2013
Benjamin-Franklin-U.S.-$100-bill

This edited volume offers the first critical engagement with one of the most provocative and controversial theories in political economy: the thesis that capital can be theorized as power and that capital is finance and only finance. The book also includes a detailed introduction to this novel thesis first put forward by Nitzan and Bichler … Read More

Go to Publications

Working Papers

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

July 16, 2014
writing

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

No. 2014/02: Fix, “Rethinking Profit: How Redistribution Drives Growth”

April 7, 2014
writing

Working Paper No. 2014/02 Blair Fix, “Rethinking Profit: How Redistribution Drives Growth” Using a combination of heterodox economics and biophysical analysis, this paper investigates the relationship between economic distribution and the growth of material throughput. Empirical results show that the growth of “useful work” correlates with redistribution towards pro fit. Furthermore, increases in energy consumption are correlated … Read More

No. 2014/01: McMahon, “Capitalist Power, Distribution and the Order of Cinema”

March 18, 2014
writing

Working Paper No. 2014/01 James McMahon, “Capitalist Power, Distribution and the Order of Cinema” In this paper, the structure of Hollywood film distribution will be analyzed through the lens of risk. In both its technical and conceptual senses, risk is relevant to the study of Hollywood’s dominant firms. In the interest of lowering risk, the business … Read More

Go to Working Papers

Critical Mass Forum

Political Economy • Re: Quantifying Arrighi

July 25, 2014

dtcochrane wrote:How is energy consumption measured?The idea of substituting fossil fuels for labour power came up on my recent blog post and your subsequent ...

Political Economy • Re: Quantifying Arrighi

July 24, 2014

A couple of comments:(1) Energy consumption might not be a good proxy for industrial production because much energy is expended in other sectors. For ...

Political Economy • Re: Quantifying Arrighi

July 24, 2014

This graph shows primary energy consumption: the main categories are fossil fuels, biomass, hydro, nuclear, and renewable.Human labor would be a form ...

Go to Critical Mass Forum