An Essay on Marxian Economics

By Joan Robinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
DYNAMIC ANALYSIS

THE foregoing argument has left a trail of questions to which neither Marx nor the academic economists, ancient or modern, provide satisfactory answers, and the impression which it gives of the present state of economic knowledge is not encouraging. It has generally been the fate of economic theory to run a losing race against the course of history, and never to have completed the analysis of one phase of economic development before another takes its place. It seems likely enough that the same fate will be fulfilled once more. But, if time allows, the questions ought to be answered.

The outstanding questions may be divided into two groups: those which concern the division of the social product, and those which concern the size of the product. To the first group belongs the question of the profit margin on which, as we have seen, modern theory is highly agnostic, as well as the complex question of the relationship between real and money wages.

These problems are formidable, but they might yield to a combination of field investigation and statistical study. The divorce between theory and realistic investigation, which is a standing reproach to academic economics, has been due in the main to the preoccupation of the theorists with propositions about equilibrium conditions, on which, in the nature of the case, evidence from the real world can throw no light at all. There are already signs that, when the theorists begin to ask answerable questions, the

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An Essay on Marxian Economics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Books by Joan Robinson ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents ix
  • Chapter I - Introduction 1
  • Chapter II - Definitions 6
  • Chapter III - The Labour Theory of Value 10
  • Appendix - Value in a Socialist Economy 23
  • Chapter IV - The Long-Period Theory Of Employment 29
  • Chapter V - The Falling Rate of Profit 35
  • Chapter VI - Effective Demand 43
  • Chapter VII - The Orthodox Theory of Profit 52
  • Chapter VIII - The General Theory Of Employment 63
  • Chapter IX - Imperfect Competition 73
  • Chapter X - Real and Money Wages 82
  • Chapter XI - Dynamic Analysis 92
  • References to "Capital" 96
  • Index 103
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