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      Explaining Levels of Inequality in OECD Nations by Using Rates of Surplus Value and Profit to Wage Ratios

      research-article
      World Review of Political Economy
      Pluto Journals
      Marxian economics, inequality, surplus value
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            Abstract

            Two important concepts in the Marxist and Neo-Marxist literature are surplus value (S/V) and the profit to wage (P-W) ratio. It has always been understood that these variables are related to the levels of unemployment/underemployment, poverty, and inequality within a society, but there have been no explicit and empirical attempts to link these variables together. This article demonstrates that the variables S/V and P-W are good predictors of the level of inequality within the economies of OECD nations over the last few decades.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.13169
            worlrevipoliecon
            World Review of Political Economy
            Pluto Journals
            2042891X
            20428928
            Fall 2012
            : 3
            : 3
            : 313-326
            Article
            worlrevipoliecon.3.3.0313
            10.13169/worlrevipoliecon.3.3.0313
            569c9e6a-ec20-4ee8-b16b-9121366a5b2b
            Copyright 2012 World Association for Political Economy

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Categories
            Articles

            Political economics
            Marxian economics,inequality,surplus value

            Notes

            1. An appendix is attached which shows that they are not the same statistically. Perhaps this is because S/V and P-W do not include income redistribution payments from government entities, but this is an area beyond the scope of this article. See Appendix B.

            2. There were a lot of data values for Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, for example, but for some variables, such as value added numbers for certain industries, which are used to calculate surplus value, no data could be found from OECD or other international sources. Unfortunately, because of this, OECD members from Asia, Mexico, and some European OECD members examined by LIS are not included in the analysis. Historically, no African or South American nations have been studied by LIS. Finally, to avoid inconsistencies, pre-reunification Germany data was not used.

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