Cambridge Journal of Economics

Published by Oxford University Press (OUP)
Online ISSN: 1464-3545
Print ISSN: 0309-166X
An examination of statistical trends in selected variables for the most aid-favored of the developing countries suggests that GNP has not been responsive to aid. More formal econometric experiments yield a similar conclusion, but do not, however, advance our understanding of the aid-GNP relationship since they are subject to serious shortcomings. Adverse terms of trade, meager returns to investment and low labor productivity are shown to go a long way in accounting for poor GNP performance. Whatever the results of quantitative studies, there is a broader concern that in many developing countries aid does not seem to be laying the basis for self-sustained development. The authors are critical of contemporary aid policy orientations and propose certain shifts of emphasis in the use of aid aimed at initiating a planned and sustainable process of economic growth. Copyright 1994 by Oxford University Press.
The author describes recent trends in mortality and morbidity in the successor states to the former Soviet Union. Separate consideration is given to mortality under late perestroika (1987-1991) and subsequent mortality trends. The author concludes that "the collapse of the USSR and the problems of the successor states have had severe adverse affects not only on macroeconomic indices but also on the mortality and morbidity of the population.... Since the collapse of the USSR, the mortality situation in the successor states has rapidly and significantly worsened. Between 1991 and 1993 the crude death rate in Russia rose by 26%. As a result, by 1993 the life expectancy at birth of Russian men had fallen to about 59, which is about 6 years below the level of 1987.... By 1993, male life expectancy at birth in Russia had fallen below the level of the medium income countries and had probably fallen to a level about that of Indonesia in the second half of the 1980s. Ukraine has also experienced an increase in mortality since the collapse of the USSR. In other successor states, experiencing serious military conflicts, such as Tadjikstan and Armenia, the proportionate increase in mortality was even larger than in Russia."
This basically economic treatise elaborates the thesis that the focal point of women's economic activities is provided by their special role in the reproduction of the labor force. Given that change in sex roles is necessary in order not to perpetuate a division of labor which places women in subordinate positions, this paper attempts to analyze the nature and functions of traditional sex roles and to study the structures that have supported them through generations in an effort to conceptualize the relevant issues and to set up a general framework from which change in social structure relating to women and their economic dependency can proceed. In addition, specific studies of concrete situations observed within and across countries and cultural barriers are used for illustration. The argument, simply stated, which the paper seeks to prove, is that male domination develops around the need to control reproduction in its different aspects; the concept of reproduction used here indicates a dynamic process of change linked with the perpetuation of social systems. It includes social as well as physical reproduction, and its meaning therefore goes beyond that of reproduction of human beings. This concept of reproduction is isolated in discussions of production and the sexual division of labor, including agrarian structures and modes of production; the commercialization and proletarization of agriculture; and the availability of labor resources and development of wage labor markets. The implications of this concept of reproduction in population policy, specifically population control, are not explicitly discussed but are tremendously important.
PIP This article discusses the evolution of Keynes's thinking on population based on an unpublished paper from 1914, "Is the Problem of Population a Pressing and Important One Now?" The paper is reported to have 39 pages, but in fact there are many missing page numbers. Keynes's "Essays in Biography" (1933) follows the basic structure and much of the verbal detail of the first 16 pages of "Population." Chapter 2 of the "Economic Consequences of the Peace" discusses the key ideas of "Population." The passages in "Population" and Chapter 2 were probably the sources of a fierce controversy in 1923-24 between Keynes and W.H. Beveridge over Keynes' neo-Malthusianism. "Population" was the basis for the three themes that were central to Keynes's writing on population. Keynes's framework shifted from a global perspective in "Population" to a progressively narrower focus in the 1930s on England and Wales. Keynes was stronger in his advocacy of birth control in "Population" compared to later writings. Keynes was concerned about the quality of population but disagreed on the methods of achieving this. Keynes argued that 75% of the world was not subject to Malthusian dynamics, and the other 25% had developed technology to relieve population pressure. "Population" sketches out the rudiments of the welfare implications of the great divide between North and South population growth rates. Keynes assumes that overpopulation in the South will be compensated for by the international market without consideration of income deficits. Keynes argues against pronatalism. The 1933 essay shows Keynes shift away from Malthus as population expert to Malthus as political economist. By 1937, Keynes had recanted and was very aware of the uncertainty of the economy. The author believes that it is unfortunate that this 1913-14 manuscript remains unknown and, if known, misunderstood.
Italy has unusually low fertility by Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development standards, accompanied by unusually low female participation in paid work. This paper addresses the issue of the empirical relationship between fertility, female participation in the labor market and wages with these Italian "peculiarities" as a backcloth. A trivariate model of participation, fertility and wages has been constructed and estimated using three pooled cross-sections of Italian micro data, allowing for the identification of cohort effects. This model follows a "purist" approach: the participation and fertility decisions, as well as the wage equation, are modeled as completely joint. The cohort effects turn out to be significant: the point estimates do not appear to confirm actual trends, which are negative for fertility and positive for participation. The female wage is the most important variable influencing the propensity to have children and the propensity to participate in the labor market, casting doubt on suggestions that observed trends are the products of shifts in women's "tastes".
Pre-Famine Ireland is a byword for market failure and path dependence. Production of flax yarn and linen cloth was highly regulated and coordinated by the market rather than by firms. Contemporary political economists suggested that these institutional features provided evidence of organisational inefficiency. The historical evidence suggests that they were a rational response to transaction and production costs. The Irish case provides a test of the hypotheses that firms emerge to reduce the cost of market transactions. It suggests that institutions other than the firm can modify transaction costs, coordination of production can affect both transaction and production costs, and that agents choose between market and firm coordination given technology and factor prices. Finally, centralisation of production was driven by technology. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.
General value theory has become a nonagenda item for orthodox economics. Determination of exchange value is the only value questio n asked; value theory is synonymous with price theory. Bounded by representative classical works of David Ricardo and Gerard Debreu, this involved a process wherein the inclusive real value base of classical political economy is replaced by reductionis t abstract value. The thesis is grounded on three "classical" value questions: the determinants, the measure, and the source(s) of value. It is developed in discussion of classical real value; the "half-way house" of neoclassicism; and post-neoclassical closure of the abstract, equilibrium-based value system. Copyright 1988 by Oxford University Press.
This paper analyzes the historical interaction of immigration, racism and labor markets in Australia. In particular, it seeks to explain how a trade union movement which played a significant part in the exclusion of Asian immigrants gradually came to renounce racist sentiments and accept large scale Asian immigration even at a time of widespread unemployment. It is argued that while racism is often seen as self-perpetuating, the ratios between Australian unions and Asian workers have been historically contingent upon the interaction of socioeconomic forces, including the nature of the economy and trade, the linking of racism with nationalistic sentiment, the shifting balance of class forces, the impact of immigration on patterns of labor market segmentation, and the nature of labor market regulation. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.
This paper documents and analyzes the geographical distribution of excess female mortality in certain age groups in early nineteenth-century England. Female mortality disadvantages in late childhood, youth and mid-life were not mechanically linked to the changing opportunities for women and girls to participate in the economy. Two differently hostile environments are identified. The first was dangerous to women and girls as weaker and ill-fed dependents. The second was hostile because it involved labor for which women were biologically and culturally unfitted and demanded that they combine this with the heavy duties of nineteenth-century motherhood and housework. Dependence sometimes had its benefits and productive labor sometimes its costs. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.
In the period of the first spread and consolidation of mathematical economics there was impotant debate on Walras's theory of exchange involving Edgeworth, Walras and Bortkievicz directly, and Marshall indirectly. The dispute may be traced back to issues involving the role of abstract reasoning and the use of mathematics in economics. The discussion reveals the clash of different methodological requirements: on the one hand, there is Walras's requirement of rigour and simplicity allowed by the reduction of economics to mathematical treatment; on the other hand, there is Edgeworth's requirement of greater realism in the model.
This paper presents time series on South African tertiary education. The data series presented cover inputs and outputs for the university, technical training and teacher training systems. Modern growth theory has emphasised the importance of human capital, though empirical studies have attempted to isolate human capital impacts through single aggregate measures that capture only a quantity of human capital dimension. While data analysis in the present study is exploratory in nature, we show that strong quality differentials exist both within and between different parts of the tertiary education system. The methodological implication for growth studies is that fully accounting for both the quantity and quality of human capital in aggregate human capital measures thus faces significant measurement difficulties. The data also establish that discrimination in the South African tertiary education was not simply a question of underresourcing of Black institutions. Quality of output was low, but attaining it was frequently very expensive. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.
David Champernowne, who died in August 2000 aged 88, was not directly associated with the Cambridge Journal of Economics, but his major contributions belong to and serve to extend the approach to economics which the journal wishes to preserve and advance. This short obituary article records the journal's appreciation of his life and work. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.
This note argues that recent interest in the 1920–21 depression in the USA as a historical precedent for austerity is inappropriate. Most of the austerity measures preceded the depression, which had already begun receding by the time Warren Harding implemented the relatively modest spending and tax cuts that are cited by modern proponents of austerity. The evidence suggests that the 1920–21 depression was the result of a variety of supply constraints, rather than a deficiency of effective demand, and is therefore a poor test of the efficacy of Keynesian fiscal policy.
Conventional and Marxian rates of profit, UK, 1920-38 (1920 5 100)
Profit rate comparisons, UK, 1920-38 (indexes: 1920 5 100)
The UK rate of profit rose considerably over the inter-war period and hence this period was one of significant recovery for capital, albeit with some volatility. Several decompositions of the profit rate are explored in pursuit of proximate determinants of the rising profit rate. A Marxian decomposition shows that the 1920s were characterised by a rising rate of surplus-value and a falling composition of capital; and the 1930s by a constant rate of surplus-value and a falling composition of capital. A decomposition into the product of profit share and capital productivity shows that the profit share in the first half of the 1920s was driven upwards by the excess of productivity growth over real wage rate growth, but thereafter fluctuated inversely with fluctuations in the unproductive wage share; the predominant positive impact on the profit rate was rising capital productivity. This was due to rising labour productivity with constant capital intensity in the 1920s, and rising labour productivity with falling capital intensity in the 1930s. Some implications for both Marxian theory and historical interpretation are considered.
Erik Lindahl's approach to macroeconomics focused on the non-neutrality of monetary policy (in the short and the long run) and on the denial of the existence of natural rates of interest and unemployment. From the 1920s until his death in 1960, Lindahl advocated the use of norms for monetary policy to fight inflation and deflation precisely because he would not rely on the market system's return to natural rates. Making use of hitherto unexplored material, this paper analyses the development of Lindahl's thinking about price level changes, investment and employment from the 1920s to the 1950s. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.
The paper reconstructs Sraffa's assessment of utility-based and individualistic explanations of demand in Marshallian economics in the light of some fresh evidence provided by Sraffa's unpublished manuscripts of the 1920s. It is shown that Sraffa criticised the standard Marshallian explanation of individual consumption choices, emphasised the independent measurement requirement in explanation, lacked enthusiasm for the heuristic potentialities of the "subjective method" in economic theorising and strove for an analysis of the phenomena of interdependence in the sphere of production as well as in the sphere of consumption. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.
Keynes's lectures to the Geneva School of International Studies provide substance to the intellectual linkages between the Cambridge don and economists working in international economic agencies during the inter-war period. Keynes was keenly sought after as a policy adviser; as the notes to these lectures indicate, he provided his audience with theoretical insights into the pressing issues of the day--reparations and the transfer problem, the economic foundations of the Dawes and Young Plans, and proposals for an international bank. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.
Protection is a controversial policy issue. Examination of the performance of the British economy in the interwar period shows that the introduction of a tariff on manufactures in 1932 had a favorable macroeconomic impact. The resulting improvement in the competitiveness of domestic industry induced a fall in import penetration and generated import substitution. This increased wages and profits in the newly-protected industries, which expanded the level of demand in the economy. While protection cannot account for all the characteristics of economic revival in the 1930s, it was a major source of recovery that has been previously underemphasized. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.
Elasticity of substitution was introduced into economics during the early 1930s. It was discovered independently by Hicks in The Theory of Wages and by Joan Robinson in The Economics of Imperfect Competition, and then was the centre of a polemic involving Kahn and Sraffa, among others. The debate focused on imperfect competition and capital-theoretical issues. Some elements of the 1950s and 1960s capital theory controversy, such as the idea of capital as a Giffen good or the difficulties of measuring capital, were already discussed at this early stage. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.
Over the long haul U.S. military spending, 1946-79, came at the sacrifice of non-durable consumption expenditures, not investment expenditures. This conclusion is based on an examination of trends in the GNP shares of consumption, investment, government and net exports expenditures, 1889-1979. As U.S. defense expenditures moved to new secular heights in the late 1940s and 1950s, the component of U.S. national expenditure sacrificed was private, non-durable, consumption expenditures. When defense spending fell on trend in the 1960s and 1970s, public consumption expenditures rose. The mild negative correlation between military expenditures in the U.S. found by previous research appears to have been based on very brief crowding-out and crowding-in effects of the federal government's budgets in the first and last years of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.
USSR state grain balances, 1945-48 (million tons) a 1945 b 1946 1947 1948
State grain reserves, 1945-51 (million tons) Total a of which, stored by Ministry of Procurements
This paper presents an analysis of the economics of the 1947 Soviet famine, using data from recently declassified archives. It is argued that the best estimate that can currently be given of the number of excess deaths in the range 1.0-1.5 million. The demographic loss was greater. During the famine, surplus stocks in the hands of the state seem to have been sufficient to have fed all those who died of starvation. The famine was a FAD2 (preventable food availability decline) famine, which occurred because a drought caused a bad harvest and hence reduced food availability, but, had the priorities of the government been different, there might have been no famine (or a much smaller one) despite the drought. The selection of victims can be understood in terms of the entitlement approach. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.
Capital stock estimates are used extensively in many areas of economic research, in spite of both theoretical and practical difficulties with respect to their use, estimation and meaning. The lack of comparable capital stock estimates in Latin America has hindered analysis of economic development in the region and comparisons with other developed and developing countries. Standardised gross and net fixed capital stock estimates for the 1950-94 period are presented for seven Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela. The methodology employed is the "perpetual inventory method" which estimates capital stocks as a weighted sum of past investment flows. Several methodological issues are discussed, especially depreciation and service life estimation. Capital stocks have been disaggregated in machinery and equipment, non-residential and residential structures with services lives of 15, 40 and 50 years respectively. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.
PIP The available evidence concerning the growth of female labor force participation in the United Kingdom since World War II is reviewed. The authors first discuss changing concepts, methods, and results in British censuses from 1951 to 1981. They then reconstruct female labor force trends to take into account the biases identified. They propose a series of economic activity and employee rates for females aged 20-59 and for the proportion of part-time female employees.
Between 1956 and 1985, the employment of registered nurses (RNs) relative to other nursing personnel rose despite constant relative wages among RNs, licensed practical nurses, and nurses' aides. Over this thirty-year period, hospital management proclaimed chronic shortages of RNs. Economists have used monopsonistic models to explain the persistence of these shortages. As an alternative to the monopsonistic model, this paper presents an institutional argument for why hospital management sought to maintain relative wages among classes of nursing personnel while at the same time successfully raising the relative use of RNs through a variety of nonwage inducements and manipulations of RN supply. (c) 1995 Academic Press, Inc. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.
In the decomposition of the US macroeconomic pre-tax rate of profit as the product of profit share and capital productivity, this paper considers the role of capital productivity over the period 1964–2001. The primary finding is that prior to 1982 capital productivity fell because capital deepening proceeded faster than labour productivity growth, whereas from 1982 to 1997 the opposite occured. If, prior to 1982, the US economy was characterised by Marx-biased technical progress, what requires explanation is why labour productivity continued to grow after 1982 in the absence of sufficient capital deepening. The paper explores various hypotheses, contrasts neoclassical and classical notions of technical change, and investigates the robustness of its results to the productive–unproductive distinction and to accounting for changes in capacity utilisation.
Productive workers and their wages. ST estimates to SM estimates, 1964-2001.
Productive and unproductive divisions by SIC
Ratios of productive to total labour, SM and ST estimates, 1964-2001.
Services sector productive labour in 1988
Services sector productive wages in 1988
This paper examines the methodology of Shaikh and Tonak (Measuring the Wealth of Nations, 1994) underlying their calculation of estimates of productive labour in the US economy from 1964 to 2001. The focus is not on the results but on the methods that generate them. The paper finds that the compromises made by Shaikh and Tonak because of data unavailability are unreliable, and that better approximations are possible. On this latter basis, the Shaikh and Tonak methodology can be used to provide the labour and wage estimates needed for empirical investigations in the surplus-based tradition.
Specifying the labour theory of value in a way that distinguishes both productive from unproductive labour, and production workers from supervisory workers, this paper considers distributive shares in the US economy between 1964 and 2001. Trends in productive and unproductive labour are explored in full-time equivalents, hours and money. After 1979, there was a large shift of money value (not matched by a shift in either hours or employment) from the wages paid to productive labour to those paid to supervisory labour. Since the wage share in money value added of non-supervisory labour in unproductive sectors was approximately constant, the 1980s and 1990s also saw the profits share squeezed by the rising wage share of supervisory workers. Some implications of this are explored in the construction of a class rather than a factor approach to distributive shares. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.
Although the official goals with regard to price formation have become increasingly market-oriented in Hungary, the price system itself has retained a bureaucratic character. After the transfer of tasks from the branch ministries, the behavior of the Price Office is characterized by a mixture of branch-defending indulgence and unhesitating strictness. The capture theory of regulation may provide some explanation, but not a complete one. Comprehensive bureaucratic control is reinforced at least as much by other factors: it goes with a soft budget constraint and requires a monopolistic market structure, which in turn increase the need for intervention. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.
This paper provides a more accurate picture of the changes that have taken place in the r elative pay of public and private sector employees than has hitherto been revealed. Changes in effective hourly rates of pay which abstra ct from changes in both the age and occupation composition of the wor kforce are used as the basis against which movements in the public/p rivate sector pay differential are assessed. Copyright 1987 by Oxford University Press.
This paper investigates the empirical regularities and differences in the relationship between technology and growth across 20 OECD countries from 1970 to 1990. While the broad association between GDP per capita and technology indicators is confirmed, the relationships change over time and a variety of national patterns is found. Most countries have mainly relied upon one on the two 'engines of growth' offered by technology: either disembodied innovative activity (proxied by R&D intensity) or technology embodied in investment (proxied by capital formation per employee). However, with decreasing scope for catching up, growth appears stronger where it is sustained by a more balanced use of the two 'engines of growth.' (c) 1995 Academic Press, Inc. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.
Employment growth in manufacturing is limited by output growth in this sector, but the elasticity of employment with respect to output has varied widely in different regions and economies. This paper focuses attention on the idea that a major determinant of employment elasticity is the way the fruits of output growth are divided between employment growth and wage growth. But before we are able to determine the quantitative dimension of the trade-off, we have to allow for two other factors which affect the size of the cake available to labour in real terms. These are: (i) the elasticity of the wage bill with respect to output, which determines the trend in the share of labour; and (ii) the price effect, depending partly on the rate of inflation and partly on the movements of producer prices relative to consumer prices. A simple decomposition procedure is outlined in the paper which allows us to quantify the relative importance of these factors, and hence give a clearer idea of the labour market outcome leaning to one or other of the two interests, employment growth and real wage growth. The empirical analysis for different regions of the world is carried out on time series data for the manufacturing sector collected by UNIDO from the national surveys of member countries for the decades of the 1970s and the 1980s. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.
The dual relationship between the growth of total factor productivity and the growth of the price differential between inputs and outputs is used to decompose productivity changes since 1973. The decline in total factor productivity, 1973-79, is best explained by the dual increase in the average output-price/input-price differential resulting from the squeeze in profit rates. In 1979-86, the average increase in total factor productivity was not significantly different from zero: there was no Thatcher productivity miracle. Growth of output is determined primarily by growth of inputs and not by general increases in efficiency. (c) 1996 Academic Press Limited Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.
This paper uses nine years of panel data on 170 rural households in southern India to calculate intertemporal measures of poverty. These include measures of (1) expected poverty that identify households likely to remain poor on average during any year; (2) innate poverty that identify households that are poor owning to deep-rooted characteristics that cannot easily be changed in the short run; and (3) persistent poverty that identify households whose incomes fall below a fixed poverty line over a number of years. The poverty rates estimated for the sample with the three measures are 61 percent, 48 percent, and 22 percent, respectively. (c) 1993 Academic Press, Inc. Copyright 1993 by Oxford University Press.
This study replicates findings that sectoral prices and values are highly correlated cross-sectionally, and that deviations between them are small. Yet after controlling for variations in industry size that produce 'spurious correlation', I find no reliable evidence that relative values have any influence upon relative prices. The smallness of price--value deviations thus does not result from such an influence; it is shown instead to result from a lack of dispersion in the data. Values turn out to be no better predictors of prices than any other random variable with the same probability distribution. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.
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