Fix, ‘The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological and Biophysical Economics’

January 4, 2019

ABSTRACT This paper discusses the dimension problem in economic aggregation, as it relates to ecological and biophysical economics. The dimension problem consists of a simple dilemma: when we aggregate, the observer must choose the dimension of analysis. The dilemma is that this choice affects the resulting measurement. This means that aggregate measurements are dependent on … Read More

Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research’

December 4, 2018

ABSTRACT This essay interweaves two stories—one theoretical and empirical, the other autobiographical. The first story embeds the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the broader political economy of the Middle East and the global accumulation of “capital as power.” The second story narrates the authors’ personal journey to uncover, theorize, and research this enfoldment. The essay explores and … Read More

Kim, ‘Propertization: The Process by which Financial Corporate Power has Risen and Collapsed’

September 19, 2018

ABSTRACT Elsewhere I argue that the legal concept of property was created in the image of money in the late Roman Republic. Since then, the division of property and contract has been an underlying structure of Western law. The paper argues that a main way of structuring financial corporate power, especially money market funds (MMFs), … Read More

Fix, ‘Economics from the Top Down: Does Hierarchy Unify Economic Theory?’

August 17, 2018

ABSTRACT What is the unit of analysis in economics? The prevailing orthodoxy in mainstream economic theory is that the individual is the ‘ultimate’ unit of analysis. The implicit goal of mainstream economics is to root macro-level social structure in the micro-level actions of individuals. But there is a simple problem with this approach: our knowledge … Read More

Fix, ‘The Trouble With Human Capital Theory’

January 4, 2019

ABSTRACT Human capital theory is the dominant approach for understanding personal income distribution. According to this theory, individual income is the result of ‘human capital’. The idea is that human capital makes people more productive, which leads to higher income. But is this really the case? This paper takes a critical look at human capital … Read More

Bichler & Nitzan, ‘With Their Back to the Future: Will Past Earnings Trigger the Next Crisis?’

September 25, 2018

ABSTRACT As these lines are being written (April 2018), the The U.S. stock market is again in turmoil. After a two-year bull run in which share prices soared by nearly 50 per cent, the market is suddenly dropping. Since the beginning of 2018, it lost nearly 10 per cent of its value, threatening investors with … Read More

McMahon, ‘Is Hollywood a Risky Business? A Political Economic Analysis of Risk and Creativity’

September 19, 2018

ABSTRACT This paper seeks to explain why Hollywood’s dominant firms are narrowing the scope of creativity in the contemporary period (1980–2015). The largest distributors have sought to prevent the art of filmmaking and its related social relations from becoming financial risks in the pursuit of profit. Major filmed entertainment, my term for the six largest … Read More

Fix, ‘Hierarchy and the power-law income distribution tail’

July 20, 2018

ABSTRACT What explains the power-law distribution of top incomes? This paper tests the hypothesis that it is firm hierarchy that creates the power-law income distribution tail. Using the available case-study evidence on firm hierarchy, I create the first large-scale simulation of the hierarchical structure of the US private sector. Although not tuned to do so, … Read More