Brotherhood of St Laurence

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

By: Cuestats, Juan Carlos | University of Sheffield. Department of Economics
Contributor(s): Philp, Bruse
Series: Sheffield Economic Research Paper SeriesPublisher: Sheffield, U.K. University of Sheffield. Department of Economics 2011Description: PDFISSN: 1749-8363Other title: Sheffield Economic Research paper series ; no. 2011012Subject(s): Income Distribution Great Britain | Econometrics | Labour Supply | Economic History | Employment Statistics - Great Britain | Economic Conditions | Statistical Analysis | UnemploymentOnline Resources: Electronic copy
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April 2011 Includes Bibliography and appendix INTO AND OUT OF WORK

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.

Economic class and the distribution of income.pdf


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