Return of Marxian Macro-Dynamics in East Asia: Volume 32

Cover of Return of Marxian Macro-Dynamics in East Asia
Subject:

Table of contents

(16 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xi
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Part I Macro-Dynamics in East Asia

Abstract

This paper discusses labor value and the rate of exploitation in the global economy using international input–output tables. Labor value is defined as the multiplication of the labor coefficient and Leontief inverse. Exploitation means that the amount of labor embodied in the received wage commodity is less than the amount of the labor actually sold. Therefore, the Fundamental Marxian Theorem, which states that the conditions for the existence of profit and those for the existence of exploitation are the same, should be modified to stipulate that the existence of profit requires exploitation in at least one country. In other words, exploitation may not exist in some countries (non-exploitation). In the context of international input–output tables, we introduce the concept of global labor value, which is the vector of embodied labor in various countries. In the empirical study using an international input–output table, we find that (1) there are non-exploitation cases in several countries. (2) During the time period 1995–2009, the rate of exploitation increased in Asian countries, namely China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, whereas the advanced countries other than Asia faced a decreased rate of exploitation.

Abstract

The Japanese economy experienced prosperity during the bubble economy and has suffered from a prolonged recession since the bubble economy collapsed. This paper examines how the interest-bearing debt burden, structural change, and instability of confidence affect dynamic systems. Moreover, it examines these factors in the Japanese economy by applying a recursive vector autoregression analysis. This paper emphasizes the interest-bearing debt burden, the economic structure resulting from the instability of confidence, and the instability of confidence resulting from debt burden play important roles in the instability of the economy. As a result, Japan’s economy was determined to be relatively stable from 1980 to 1996, but was unstable, thereafter.

Abstract

This paper examines policies of Abenomics and explains their ineffectiveness through historical comparisons. In conclusion, Abenomics raises serious concerns about Japanese economy. It offsets the effects of its aggressive monetary expansion by increasing consumption taxes. It has tilted the distribution of income in favor of financial speculation, but the returns have not benefitted the nonfinancial economy. It has enriched investors, corporate profits, and exporters but not Japan’s workers, households, and general economy. It ignores the structural problems. Specifically, its deregulation of labor markets reduced household income by raising the number of nonregular workers. Higher wages in general and providing more workers with stable, well-paid employment are among necessary reforms. It will be difficult to achieve a sustainable economic recovery in Japan without proceeding with these types of policy changes.

Abstract

This paper explores the pattern of technical change in the Korean economy from 1970 to 2013 and investigates its determinants. We use the Classical growth-distribution schedule to show that the labor-saving and capital-using pattern has predominated. For the rationale behind this Marx-biased technical change, we focus on the relationship between technical change and real wage growth via the evolution of labor and capital productivity, and verify the historical direction of technical change against the rise and fall of the working class. Furthermore, we find that the deviation during the post-crisis period from the long-run trend of Marx-biased technical change is not attributable to the vitality of new technological innovations, but rather the reflection of class dynamics over extracting productivity under weaker capital deepening. The results suggest that the recent deterioration of labor share and labor unions in Korea is closely associated with low incentive for technological progress, which contributes to prolonged stagnation.

Abstract

This paper builds homogenous series of the rate of surplus value (RSV) for the Chinese economy over the extended period 1956–2014 with a Marxian approach. It finds that the high profitability that stimulated capital accumulation in the decade before the 2008 crisis had relied on the continuous growth in the RSV. Given that the global crisis and changes in the domestic economy undermine all the conditions maintaining the accumulation model (an expanding external market, a relatively large reserve army of labor, and a low debt-income ratio), the RSV has failed to increase and profitability declined since 2008. Thus, this paper interprets the so-called new normal of the Chinese economy as a stage of declining profitability that results mainly from the stagnant RSV and the rising value composition of capital.

Part II State and Hegemony in East Asia in the Context of Transnational Capitalism

Abstract

As components of society, social classes contain individuals who are carriers of productive relationships. In the era of global capitalism, chains of accumulation are functionally integrating across borders and regions – uniquely altering the formation of productive relationships. How can we understand class relations in the global era, and in the context of regions and countries in Oceania and Asia? How do transnational capitalist-class fractions, new middle strata, and labor undergird globalization? How have state apparatuses and other institutions in this part of the world become entwined with new transnational processes? To begin to consider these questions, this paper provides an overview and summary of studies on transnational class relations and the associated political economic changes occurring across areas of Asia and Oceania.

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Abstract

This paper reviews the socioeconomic reform policies employed by the China’s party-state between the early 1980s and mid-2000s. Unlike conventional frameworks viewing the reform as an economic development project designed for “national interests” or “ruling elites” personal interests’, this paper interprets the reform as a political attempt of the state made in response to the crisis of dominance over the working class. In the face of the crisis of class dominance expressed as economic and political unrests related to low growth of labor productivity, the state managers of the post-Mao era embarked on the reform as a way of restoring the state’s ability to impose work upon the workers. As is well known, the reform was “market-oriented” with the state relinquishing some of the control over economic managements, and this paper sees it as the state’s strategy of reducing political risks arising from a highly politicized form of class confrontation. By making pressures upon producers look like a purely economic matter arising from private relations, that is, by depoliticizing exploitative social relations of production, the market-oriented reform helped the party-state effectively repress workers without a serious damage to political legitimacy. From this perspective, this paper examines the reform policies in management of labor, firms, and money, and how those policies contributed to the state’s ability to discipline class relations of production in China. This paper, however, does not conclude that the reform as a depoliticization strategy of class dominance was successful and nonproblematic. It is argued that beneath the success of the reform was a growing necessity of crisis; faced with re-burgeoning workers’ struggles, growing problems of overproduction/overaccumulation, and the resultant looming banking system crisis, the party-state came to find it more and more necessary to bring the economic managements back into political ambit with the related political risks also growing.

Abstract

This paper attempts to critically question present IPE approaches and analyses that aim at assessing China’s role within the international political economy. Thus, unlike common theorizations that see the country as being integrated within US hegemony (Panitch and Gindin) or those accounts that claim that we are already witnessing the “terminal crisis” of US hegemony accompanied by a hegemonic transition toward China (Arrighi), the paper will argue that China was able to gain “relative geopolitical autonomy” as a result of the revolutionary processes it went through and eventually assert itself as a contender state, now just in the process of challenging US hegemony. Dissatisfied with existent theorizations of hegemony, I will be drawing on the critical edition of Gramsci’s Quaderni and attempt to offer a new perspective regarding the conceptualization thereof. Thus applying the elaborated framework of analysis to the current situation, I argue that unlike the US’s ability to counter the challenge of its traditional imperial rivals Germany and Japan as they developed under the grip of US hegemony, the country is facing difficulties in countering China’s ascent. However, while maintaining that China does indeed represent a challenge to US hegemony, particularly in East Asia, I will argue that the idea of a “crisis of US hegemony” is premature as China remains distant from fully realizing hegemonic relations, even at the regional level.

Part III Consideration of Aspects for a Marxian Alternative for East Asia

Abstract

This paper examines diverging views on the Chongqing model, the policy experiment led by Bo Xilai from 2007 to 2012 that was famous for its “red songs” and the campaign against organized crime. It has impressed both the supporters of socialist identity of China and the supporters of liberal identity and led to an intense debate concerning China’s path of development. This paper attempts to discuss and clarify to what extent the Chongqing model represented a genuine socialist experiment and the implications of the model for China’s future.

Abstract

Neoliberal globalization is not a process in which capital freely moves around the globe and exploits labor tied to families, communities and nation states. Labor often moves, wants to move and has to move in this process. Labor required by the expanding circuit of capital exists as mobile labor. However, the movement of labor is allowed in a highly selective manner, depending upon the changing needs in the spaces of capital accumulation. Nation states continue to utilize borders to control labor mobility. These borders are boundaries built upon segregation between and discrimination against people of different races, genders, nationalities and residential statuses. Whereas this “bordered global capitalism” certainly made migration more costly, uncomfortable and risky process, it could not stop the increasing flow of migration. In fact, the mobility of labor has always been central to the reproduction of capitalism while the excessive mobility of labor or “escape” of labor often threatens capitalism maintained by borders as an external expression of exclusive citizenship that gives coherence to the otherwise class-divided population. This chapter looks into the ways in which migrant labor, despite all the constraints imposed upon them by borders, struggles to form “citizenship from below” by exercising social movement citizenship and thereby ruptures the fixed notion and institution of citizenship and migrant control regimes. The chapter does so by critically engaging with existing theories of labor migration and citizenship and presenting cases of the struggle of mobile labor in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Part IV Communications on Chapters on Sraffa in RPE

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Index

Pages 303-316
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Cover of Return of Marxian Macro-Dynamics in East Asia
DOI
10.1108/S0161-7230201732
Publication date
2017-08-08
Book series
Research in Political Economy
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-478-1
eISBN
978-1-78714-477-4
Book series ISSN
0161-7230