Conventional Economics and the Theories of the Possibility of Crisis

  • Juan Pablo Mateo ToméEmail author


Starting with the distinction between the theory of the necessity of crisis with respect to the idea of crisis as a mere possibility, the author addresses the meaning of crisis in orthodox and most heterodox approaches. Beyond the differences in economic analysis, this chapter argues that these theories have one element in common: the crisis would be the product of certain failures, and therefore it is avoidable. If the crisis is merely a possibility, there can be a capitalism without crisis. Behind this conception, a number of theoretical foundations must be explicit, since they are normally hidden or not properly analyzed. Within this critical approach, the author focuses around the role of economic policy, income distribution and financial capital for the theory of crisis.


Finances Distribution Economic policy Subjectivism Demand Circulation Causality 


  1. Baran P, Sweezy P (1966) Monopoly capital: an essay on the American economic and social order. Monthly Review Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Borio C (2012) The financial cycle and macroeconomics: What have we learnt?.BIS Working Papers 395, Bank for International Settlements.Google Scholar
  3. Cockshott P, Nieto M (2017) Ciber-comunismo. Planificación económica, computadoras y democracia. Trotta, Madrid.Google Scholar
  4. Dobb M (1937) Political economy and capitalism: some essays in economic tradition. Routledge, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Foley D (2010) The political economy of post-crisis global capitalism. Paper prepared for the Economy and Society Conference at the University of Chicago, 3–5 December 2010.Google Scholar
  6. Guerrero D (1997) Historia del pensamiento económico heterodoxo. Trotta, Madrid.Google Scholar
  7. Keynes JM (1936) The general theory of employment, interest, and money. Online edition:
  8. King JE (2013) A brief introduction to Post Keynesian macroeconomics. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 39(4):485–508.Google Scholar
  9. Knoop T (2004) Recessions and depressions: understanding business cycles. Praeger, Westport CT.Google Scholar
  10. Mandel E (1976) El Capital: cien años de controversia en torno a la obra de Karl Marx. Siglo XXI, Madrid.Google Scholar
  11. Mankiw G, Scarth W (2001) Macroeconomics. Worth Publishers, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Mateo JP (2007) La Tasa de ganancia en México, 1970–2003. Análisis de la crisis de rentabilidad a partir de la composición del capital y la distribución del ingreso. Dissertation, Complutense University de Madrid.Google Scholar
  13. Mateo JP (2011). The financialization as a theory of crisis in a historical perspective: nothing new under the sun. Working Paper Series 262, July, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts–Amherst.Google Scholar
  14. Mateo JP (2013) La crisis económica mundial y la acumulación de capital, las finanzas y la distribución del ingreso. Revista de Economía Crítica 15:31–60.Google Scholar
  15. Mateo JP (2018a). Teorías económicas, crisis y la crítica del reformismo. In: Guerrero D, Nieto M (eds) Qué enseña la economía marxista. 200 años de Marx. El Viejo Topo, Barcelona, p 201–232.Google Scholar
  16. Mateo JP (2018b) Ortodoxia disfrazada: una crítica del pensamiento post-keynesiano. Paper presented at the XVI Jornadas de Economía Crítica. 10 de años de ajuste…. ¿hacia dónde? University of León, 20–21 September 2018.Google Scholar
  17. Minsky H (1982) Can ‘it’ happen again? essays on instability and finance. Taylor and Francis, Armonk, NY.Google Scholar
  18. Minsky H (1986) Stabilizing an unstable economy. Yale University Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
  19. Minsky H (1992) The financial instability hypothesis. Working Paper 74, The Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, May.Google Scholar
  20. Nicholas H (2011) Marx’s theory of price and its modern rivals. Palgrave Macmillan, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nicholas H (2014) Problems with post Keynesian price theory. A Marxist perspective. World Review of Political Economy 5(1):78–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Roberts M (2016) The long depression. Haymarket, London.Google Scholar
  23. Sawyer M (1988) Theories of monopoly capitalism. Journal of Economic Surveys 2(1):47–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shaikh A (1990) Valor, acumulación y crisis: ensayos de economía política. Tercer Mundo Editores, Bogotá.Google Scholar
  25. Shaikh A (2016) Capitalism: competition, conflict, crises. Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  26. Sweezy P (1942) The Theory of Capitalist Development. Principles of Marxian Political Economy. Monthly Review Press, New York.Google Scholar
  27. Tapia JA (2018) Investment, profit and crises: theories and evidence. In: Carchedi G, Roberts M (eds) The world in crisis. A global analysis of Marx’s law of profitability. Haymarket, Chicago, p 78–126.Google Scholar
  28. Tsoulfidis L (2010) Competing schools of economic thought. Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  29. Wolff R, Resnick S (2012) Contending economic theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. MIT Press, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  30. Wolfson M, Kotz D (2010) A reconceptualization of social structure of accumulation theory. In: McDonough T, Reich M, Kotz D (eds) Contemporary capitalism and its crises. Social structure of accumulation theory for the 21st century. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 72–90.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ValladolidSegoviaSpain

Personalised recommendations