classical distribution theories

Massimo Pivetti
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
Alternate versions available: 1987 Edition
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Classical distribution theories distinguish between that part of the annual product which is necessary for its reproduction (including necessary subsistence for workers and replacement of the means of production) and the remainder (the ‘surplus’), and seek to explain the size of the surplus and its distribution among classes. They do not view the real wage rate and the rate of profit as determined by the relative scarcity of labour and capital; rather, one of the two distributive variables is explained independently from both the social product and the other distributive variable, and the other is determined as a residual.
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How to cite this article

Pivetti, Massimo. "classical distribution theories." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 19 January 2018 <> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0243

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