Persistent Inequalities: Wage Disparity under Capitalist Competition

Persistent Inequalities: Wage Disparity under Capitalist Competition

by Howard Botwinick

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608460199
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication date: 12/11/2018
Series: Historical Materialism Series , #152
Pages: 375
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Howard Botwinick, Ph.D. (1985) New School for Social Research, is Associate Professor of Economics at SUNY Cortland. He has been active in several unions and was a founding member of the U.S. Labor Party in the 1990s.

Table of Contents

New Preface (2017 Edition)
Preface and Acknowledgements (1993 Edition)
List of Figures
List of Tables

1 Introduction
 Breaking the Impasse
 Toward a Theoretical Alternative
 Implications for the Analysis of Discrimination
 On Heterogeneous Labour
 Comparing Our Results to Orthodox and Radical Economics
 Solving Some Anomalies
 Outline of the Argument

2 Continuing Attempts to Square the Circle (Or, Competitive Theory Confronts Differential Wage Rates)
 Early Neoclassical Wage Theory
 The Theory of Perfect Competition: Abstraction as Idealisation
 The Inevitable Schism between Theory and Practice
 The Theory of Imperfect Competition – Godsend or Albatross?
 Postwar Institutionalists: An Initial Attempt at Alternative Theory
 The Ascent of Human Capital Theory
 The Real World Strikes Back
 The New Institutionalists: The Dual Economy and Dual Labour Markets
 Labour Market Segmentation and Monopoly Capital
 The Initial Response to Segmentation Theory
 The Second Wave of Segmentation Arguments
 The Continuing Search for a Radical Alternative
 Efficiency Wage Theory: The Latest Attempt to Square the Circle

3 Capitalist Accumulation and the Aggregate Labour Market
 Marx versus Neoclassical Economics
 The Special Commodity Labour Power
 Primitive Accumulation and the ‘Doubly Free’ Labourer
 The Unique Logic of Labour Supply
 Capitalist Accumulation and the Reserve Army of Labour
 Marx’s Reserve Army within the Modern Period
 On the Necessity of Worker Resistance
 Capitalist Accumulation and the Limits to Rising Wage Rates
 Empirical Evidence for Limits to Rising Wage Rates

4 Wage Differentials and the Aggregate Labour Market
 Capitalism’s Active and Reserve Armies: Differentiation and ‘Segmentation’ in Their Most Basic Forms
 The Role of Workers in the Segmentation Process
 A Dynamic Analysis of Labour Mobility and Wage Differentiation Under Conditions of Permanent Underemployment
 Uneven Technical Change, Competition, and the Reserve Army: A Brief Glimpse of Marx’s Theory of Wage Differentials
 On the Incompleteness of Marx’s Work

5 Capitalist Competition and Differential Profit Rates
 Competition within Industries
 Competition between Industries
 Marx’s Concept of Regulating Capitals
 Empirical Evidence of Monopoly
 Chapter Summary
 Appendix to Chapter 5

6 Capitalist Competition and Differential Wage Rates (I): The Analysis of Regulating Capitals
 Overview of the Dynamic Adjustment to Changing Wage Rates
 Deriving Determinate Limits to Rising Wage Rates
 Limit One: The Immediate Profitability of Regulating Capitals
 Limit Two: The Unit Costs of Subdominant Capitals
 Further Implications for Inter- and Intraindustry Wage Patterns
 Limit Three: The Differential Costs of Obstructing Wage Increases
 Analysing the Effects of Uneven Worker Organisation
 A Final Note on Workers’ Power and the Costs of Obstruction
 The General Laws of Capitalist Accumulation

7 Capitalist Competition and Differential Wage Rates (II): Non-regulating Capitals and Differential Profit Rates
 The Case of Less Efficient Capitals
 Short-Term Effects of Rising Wage Rates
 The Case of More Efficient Capitals
 Implications of the Dynamic Equalisation of Profit Rates

Conclusion
 Capitalist Competition and Differential Wage Rates: Abundant Possibilities for Sustained Inequality
 Capitalist Accumulation and the Aggregate Labour Market: Further Sources of Wage Variation
 Comparing Our Results to Neoclassical Economics
 Comparing Our Results to Radical Economics
 Implications for Empirical Research
 Implications for the Contemporary Labour Movement

Afterword: The Past 20 Years Have Not Been Pretty
 Where Do We Go from Here? Lessons from the 1930s
 But Hasn’t Accelerated Globalisation Made the Old CIO Strategies Obsolete?
 Given the Dismal State of the Left, How Can We Get There from Here? A Final Lesson from the 1930s

References
Index

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