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Documento CEDE No.24 2015: Marxist Theory of Land Rent. Original Exposure and Contemporary...

Marxist Theory of Land Rent. Original Exposure and Contemporary Reformulations

Here is presented an English version of the first two chapters of the book of Samuel Jaramillo Hacia una teoría de la renta del suelo urbano (2009) (Towards a theory of Urban Land Rent) that is only published in Spanish. This is justified because the theme developed in these two chapters have greater thematic scope than the book, since it refers to the general category of rent, which has a crucial role in the Marxist interpretation of  value and price formation in capitalism,  and these days it is the subject of several debates. Therefore, it may be interesting not only to those involved in real estate and urban phenomena. The two chapters have autonomy and great consistency as text. Its approach is original and challenging, as shown by the discussions awakened by the Spanish version. With this publication we want to broaden the spectrum of these theses and introduce them to those who do not speak Spanish and are interested in the topic of land property. 

The text has three core themes. In the first chapter a scheme of the original exposure of Marx, which is relatively sparse in his work, is presented. Initially we outline his general notions, and then, the different forms of manifestation of this category: Differential Rent Type I and Type II, Absolute Rent and Monopoly Rent. In the second chapter the main notes and objections that have been made to the original presentation, mainly in Latin American and French literature, are discussed. These objections are examined, their scope is evaluated, and is analyzed what could be the origin of the mismatches identified, when judged that they are justified. A reformulation of the original approach to absorb or overcome these difficulties is proposed. Three cores of discussion are analyzed: the Marx notion of Absolute Rent and its connection to an organic composition of capital in agriculture abnormally low; the presentation of Differential Rent Type II and the relationship with an unequal distribution of agricultural capital; the difference in nature that Marx proposes between Differential  and Absolute Rent and the relationships established between the latter category with the private ownership of land. The chapter concludes with an outline of a general reformulation of the Marxist category of Rent, in order to overcome these criticisms and enhance its potential to interpret the dynamics of price formation and the distribution of value in capitalism. The latter is developed in the light of contemporary discussion of the Marxist theory of value, roughly following the perspective known as "New Approach".

Fecha de publicación: 
Agosto 10, 2015

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