Unproductive Activities and the Rate of Surplus Value in Korea

A fourth article for a forthcoming Special Issue on Marxism in Asia, guest edited by Rick Westra, has been published.

Unproductive Activities and the Rate of Surplus Value at the Industry Level in Korea, 1995–2015” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2019.1651884) is by Dong-Min Rieu of the Department of Economics, Chungnam National University, South Korea and Hyun Woong Park of the Department of Economics, Denison University, Granville, USA.

The abstract for the paper states:

In order to explain how the Korean economy underwent structural change through the two crises of 1997–1998 and 2008 within the context of globalisation, this article focuses on class analysis and inter-sectoral value transfer by estimating the sectoral rates of exploitation along with the sectoral monetary expressions of labour time. Our data indicate the possibility that the expansion of unproductive activities, accompanied by intensification of exploitation within the unproductive sectors, might not have overtaken capital accumulation in Korea during 1995–2015. It can also be concluded that the condition for manufacturing’s capital accumulation steadily improved since the 1997–1998 crisis but started to deteriorate after 2011. Our value-theoretic analysis provides a foundation for understanding the context of the regime change, which may plausibly characterise the Korean economy in the last couple of decades.

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