The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Rate of Exploitation

  • Fabio Petri
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1416

Abstract

According to Karl Marx, the proletariat, i.e. wage labourers, is exploited by the capitalists: behind the apparent freedom and equality of the partners in the wage contract, Marx sees a power inequality which results in the workers being exploited by the capitalists in the same sense in which the serfs were exploited by their feudal landlords, or slaves by their masters. The capitalists are able to compel the workers to produce a surplus product, which they appropriate as profits, not by virtue of any productive contribution of theirs, but simply owing to their superior bargaining position vis-à-vis the workers, deriving from their collective monopoly of the means of production. Much the same (although without using the term ‘exploitation’) had already been said by Adam Smith, who also anticipated Marx on the importance of the repressive state apparatus’s support for the institution of private property.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

Bibliography

  1. Dmitriev, V.K. 1974. Economic essays on value, competition and utility, ed. D.M. Nuti. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Eatwell, J., and M. Milgate (eds.). 1983. Keynes’s economics and the theory of value and distribution. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  3. Garegnani, P. 1984. Value and distribution in the classical economists and Marx. Oxford Economic Papers 36(2): 291–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hunt, E.K., and J.G. Schwartz (eds.). 1972. A critique of economic theory. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  5. Mainwaring, L. 1984. Value and distribution in capitalist economies. An introduction to Sraffian economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Marx, K. 1867–94. Capital, vols. I–III. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1965–6.Google Scholar
  7. Morishima, M. 1974. Marx in the light of modern economic theory. Econometrica 42(4): 611–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Morishima, M., and G. Catephores. 1978. Value, exploitation and growth. London: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  9. Petri, F. 1980. Positive profits without exploitation: A note on the generalized fundamental marxian theorem. Econometrica 48(2): 531–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Sraffa, P. 1960. Production of commodities by means of commodities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Steedman, I. 1975. Positive profits with negative surplus value. Economic Journal 85: 114–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Steedman, I. 1985. Heterogeneous labour, money wages, and Marx’s theory. History of Political Economy 17(4): 551–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Steedman, I., P. Sweezy, et al. 1981. The value controversy. London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  14. von Bortkiewicz, L. 1907. Value and price in the Marxian system. Trans. International Economic Papers, No. 2, 5–60, 1952.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Petri
    • 1
  1. 1.