Catalogue


Growth, accumulation, and unproductive activity [electronic resource] : an analysis of postwar U.S. economy /
Edward N. Wolff.
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1987.
description
xi, 201 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521251516
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1987.
isbn
0521251516
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
8363937
 
Bibliography: p. 193-195.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1987-05:
Drawing on his own earlier work, and expanding on both Karl Marx and the later contributions of Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy's Monopoly Capital (1966), Wolff attempts to document the impact of unproductive labor on the postwar American economy. ``Unproductive activity,'' along with ``surplus value'' and other such concepts are familiar Marxian themes. Wolff embraces these concepts together with the framework and approach of accounting analysis. To those constructs he introduces an input-output model to derive empirical estimates of the impact of unproductive labor on the rate of capital accumulation, productivity, and economic growth in the postwar US. The trends (a steady drift of the economy's resources into unproductive activities) and the consequences (a retardation in the rates of capital formation and per capital income) are inescapable, given the definitions and growth model applied. The strong ideological overtones will give pause to some readers, and the heady mathematics will dissuade the timid. However, the themes are important, and Wolff offers both an answer and a challenge for those serious about the causes of economic malaise. Upper-division and graduate collections.-A.R. Sanderson, University of Chicago
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Edward Wolff has provided us with an analytical framework which richly describes general social productive and unproductive activity and their consequences for the postwar U.S. economy...Overall, this volume should prove to be a valuable resource to economists pursuing empirical analysis of value categories." Alexander M. Thompson III, Science and Society
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1987
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This book documents the growth of unproductive activity in the United States economy since World War II and its relation to the economic surplus, capital accumulation and economic growth.
Main Description
This book documents the growth of unproductive activity in the United States economy since World War II and its relation to the economic surplus, capital accumulation, and economic growth. Unproductive activities broadly consist of those involved in the circulation process, including wholesaling and retailing, banking and financial services, advertising, legal services, business services, and many (though not all) government activities. The results indicate that the level of unproductive activity in the postwar economy has been a significant factor in the slowdown in the rate of capital accumulation, productivity growth, and the overall growth rate. Here, the villain is shown to be the gradual but persistent shift of resources to unproductive activities. The consequence has been a reduction in new capital formation and productivity growth and an erosion in the rate of growth in per capita living standards. Moreover, the rise in unproductive activity is itself seen to be rooted in the logic of advanced capitalism. The forces of competition, which in the early stages of capitalism lead to rapid technical change and productivity growth, promote nonproductive and even counterproductive activities in its more advanced stages.
Description for Bookstore
Reveals that the high level of unproductivity in the U.S. economy since World War II has been a significant factor in the slowdown of growth in the rate of capital accumulation, productivity growth, and the overall growth rate. Attributes the negative tendency to the gradual but persistent shift of resources to unproductive activities.
Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction
Unproductive activity in a capitalist society
A Marxian accounting framework
A growth model of accumulation and unproductive labor
Rise of unproductive activity in postwar economy
Absorption of labor and capital and rate of surplus value
Absorption of new resources and growth in real income
Conclusions and speculations
Appendix
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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