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Author ORCID Identifier
Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Economic Theory | Income Distribution | Political Economy
This dissertation consists of three essays on microeconomic analysis of multisectoral linear economies in the field of political economy. The first essay, coauthored with Naoki Yoshihara, studies the condition of the emergence and persistence of exploitation as unequal exchange of labor in an intertemporal model of pre-industrial economies. By providing a precise definition of persistent exploitation as a feature in any finite period and discriminating it from the feature in the limit, we show the existence of reproducible solution in which pure workers are exploited persistently even without any market imperfection.
The second essay studies the effect of technological innovation on income distribution and profitability. To isolate the mechanism of rising organic composition of capital from that of profit-squeeze, I establish the existence of long-run outcome with the same wage-profit ratio by adjusting wages after technical change. I show that any viable capital-using and labor-saving (CU-LS) technical change would bring about a fall in the profit rate if labor share is unaffected, taking into account the complicated movement of relative prices in a multisectoral setting. This result conclusively supports Marx's law of declining rate of profit as an underlying economic force.
In the third essay, I propose a general framework to bridge the gap between the theoretical multisectoral analysis based on non-aggregated physical coefficients and the empirical research using aggregate nominal input-output data. Using this framework I critically evaluate the existing empirical studies on labor value, production prices and the wage-profit frontier, and show that most of existing research relies crucially on the no aggregation assumption. I show that only limited information can be recovered from aggregated data under restrictive conditions. Specifically, I provide an alternative method to test the deviation of actual prices from labor values, a procedure to recovered the uniform rate of profit from aggregated data with solid foundations, and a way to construct a curve that approximates the wage-profit curve in a small neighborhood.
Chen, Weikai, "THREE ESSAYS ON MICROECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY: EXPLOITATION, TECHNICAL CHANGE, AND MULTISECTORAL ANALYSIS" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations. 1929.
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