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Economic class and the distribution of income: A time series analysis of the UK economy, 1955-2010

Cuestas, J.C. and Philp, B. (2011) Economic class and the distribution of income: A time series analysis of the UK economy, 1955-2010. Working Paper. Department of Economics, University of Sheffield ISSN 1749-8368

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Abstract

This paper contributes to our understanding of the determinants and dynamics of a Marxian surplus-value rate using quarterly UK data, 1955-2010, and the Johansen (1988, 1991) cointegration and vector error correction model (VECM). A conceptual model is introduced to define surplus-value and its component parts, before elaborating on theoretical issues which are important in estimating the rate. In the empirical analysis we seek to explain distributive conflict, paying attention to three forces which are traditionally seen as drivers of power in distributional struggle: (i) political party; (ii) the size of the "reserve army" of the unemployed; (iii) working class militancy. Our results suggest a positive impact of unemployment on the rate of surplus-value, and that falling working class militancy tends to raise the rate. Political party also affects the rate of surplus-value with a negative impact on the rate emanating from movement to left-wing government. This analysis demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Marxian economics in providing an alternative, robust and significant explanation of distribution in the post-war UK economy.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: The Sheffield Economics Research Paper (SERP) series offers a forum for the research output of the academic staff and research students of the Department of Economics, University of Sheffield. Papers are reviewed for quality and presentation by a departmental editor. However, the contents and opinions expressed remain the responsibility of the authors. All papers may be downloaded free on the understanding that the contents are preliminary and therefore permission from the author(s) should be sought before they are referenced.
Keywords: income distribution, political party, heterodox economics
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Economics (Sheffield) > Sheffield Economics Research Papers Series
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2011 16:18
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:32
Published Version: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/yea...
Status: Published
Publisher: Department of Economics, University of Sheffield
Identification Number: Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series 2011012
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43086

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