unequal exchange
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2021 ◽  
pp. 1-47
Guglielmo Carchedi ◽  
Michael Roberts

Abstract This work focuses exclusively on the modern economic aspects of imperialism. We define it as a persistent and long-term net appropriation of surplus value by the high-technology imperialist countries from the low-technology dominated countries. This process is placed within the secular tendential fall in profitability, not only in the imperialist countries but also in the dominated ones. We identify four channels through which surplus value flows to the imperialist countries: currency seigniorage; income flows from capital investments; unequal exchange through trade; and changes in exchange rates. We pay particular attention to the theorisation and quantification of international UE and of exchange-rate movements. Concerning UE, we extend Marx’s transformation procedure to the international setting. We use two variables in the analysis of UE: the organic composition of capital and the rate of exploitation, and we measure which of these two variables is more important in contributing to UE transfers. We research a time span longer than in any previous study. We also introduce the distinction between narrow and broad unequal exchange according to whether two countries are assumed to trade only with each other or also with the rest of the world. As for the analysis of the exchange rates as a channel for appropriation of international surplus value, we reject conventional approaches because they are rooted in equilibrium theory. We find very strong empirical evidence that exchange rates tend towards the point at which the productivities are equalised. This is only a tendency because this equalisation is inherently incompatible with the nature of imperialism. Finally, given its topicality, we apply our analysis to the relation between the US and China and find that China is not an imperialist country according to our definition and data.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-39
Mariano Féliz

Abstract The debate on the decline of the terms of trade in dependent countries was never fully integrated into the Marxist theory of dependency. The attempt to articulate it through the category of unequal exchange was not particularly systematic. This paper seeks to recover those debates and will attempt to account for the relevant articulations in the light of a present revitalisation of studies in the field of Marxist dependency theory. To this end, we will recover the classical discussions around unequal exchange in order to discuss their points of contact with the Marxist theory of dependency and some contemporary debates around the transfer of value and the super-exploitation of labour and nature.

2021 ◽  
pp. 0094582X2110479
Jaime Osorio

A recent proposal for updating of the Marxist theory of dependency requires abandoning the categories of superexploitation and unequal exchange and the theory of dependent capitalism. Examination of the limitations of this proposal highlights the misconceptions regarding these categories and the importance of recognizing dependent capitalism as a form of capitalism for an understanding of the state of the revolution in Latin America and the exceptional conditions that have made it possible for some economies to overcome underdevelopment. Una propuesta reciente de renovación de la teoría marxista de la dependencia reclama abandonar las categorías superexplotación e intercambio desigual y la de capitalismo dependiente. Un examen de las limitaciones de esta propuesta destaca a los errores en la comprensión de esas categorías así como la relevancia de capitalismo dependiente como una forma de capitalismo para comprender la actualidad de la revolución en América Latina y las condiciones de excepción que han hecho posible superar el subdesarrollo por algunas economías.

Forests ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (4) ◽  
pp. 431
Virginia Rodríguez García ◽  
Nicola Caravaggio ◽  
Frédéric Gaspart ◽  
Patrick Meyfroidt

Forest dynamics are changing at a local and global level, with multiple social and environmental implications. The current literature points to different theories and hypotheses to explain these forest dynamics. In this paper, we formalized some of those theories, the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), the forest transition and the ecologically unequal exchange, into hypotheses tested with a panel dataset covering 111 countries during the period the period 1992–2015. Considering the nature of our data, we relied on cointegration techniques to assess both long- and short-run dynamics in forest change, avoiding possible spurious results. Moreover, we attempted to disentangle direct and indirect effects of our independent variables to uncover the mechanisms that underly forest change dynamics. The results show that there is a long-run dynamic equilibrium relationship between forest cover area, economic development, agricultural area and rural population density. Furthermore, our results confirmed an EKC for high-income countries and post-forest transition countries, while low- and middle-income economies are experiencing different paths. We showed the importance of government quality as a positive feedback mechanism for previous periods of deforestation when tested for all countries together as well as for pre-transition and middle-income economies. Moreover, in low-income economies, economic development affects forest mainly indirectly through the agricultural area.

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