‘Secular Stagnation’ and the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall in Marx’s Critique of Political Economy

  • Joachim Bischoff
  • Stephan Krüger
  • Christoph Lieber
Part of the Luxemburg International Studies in Political Economy book series (LISPE)


The spectre of ‘secular stagnation’ still haunts the world economy today. Marx’s theory of capital accumulation and his law of the long-term tendency of the rate of profit to fall provide explanations for this development, feared by economists, politicians, bankers and businessmen alike. It is important (1) to analyse and explain correctly the primary tendencies of the falling rate of profit (the law itself, determined by the rate of surplus value and the organic composition of capital advanced) together with its counteracting causes, and (2) to attribute the long-term, in other words intercyclical, fall of the profit rate to certain historical regimes of capital accumulation in the developed capitalist countries and the world market. Both aspects allow us to develop a diagnosis of the specific historical situation in which the capitalist mode of production currently finds itself. For the post-war period, theoretical analyses are illustrated with the development of the rate of surplus value and the profit rate in the German economy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Bischoff
    • 1
  • Stephan Krüger
    • 1
  • Christoph Lieber
    • 1
  1. 1.VSA, SozialismusBerlin/HamburgGermany

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