Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The sources of profits and their sustainability: A survey of basic theoretical issues

Skouras, Thanos (2013): The sources of profits and their sustainability: A survey of basic theoretical issues.

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Abstract

The volume of profits in an economy is a magnitude, which is out of sight of orthodox macroeconomics textbooks and effectively ignored by neoclassical economics. In contrast, Kalecki's approach brings to the forefront the sources of profits and makes possible their further analysis. The sources of profits are examined one by one and their impacts, as well as the inter-relations among them are studied in some detail. The sustainability of the profits' sources tends to have inevitable limits, which are discussed and elucidated. On the basis of these limits, two phases in the operation of the sources may be distinguished. The beneficial phase is transformed into a pathological one, as the limits are approached. Consequently, profits may be distinguished according to the source from which they flow, as well as the phase in which they arise. Taking into account both source and phase, a terminology is proposed to highlight the distinctive character of the different kinds of profits.

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