This thesis aims to study from a broad perspective the recent wave of capitalist development driven by the neoliberal revolution that occurred after the 1980s. In each stage of capitalist development, according to Marxian analysis, the search for profits drives the process of capital accumulation and the evolution of the economy. Therefore, an analysis of the accumulation patterns in capitalism requires a deep understanding of profit. In a dynamic perspective, the search for profits shapes technological competition of firms and industries to develop innovative breakthroughs aiming to gain “Schumpeterian profits”. This turbulent and uneven process of technological competition determines long-run economic growth (Pianta, 2020). Therefore, this work tries to understand the relationships between profit, technological development, and economic change by looking at how capital accumulation and innovation proceeds, shaping longrun economic growth. The first chapter explores the relationship between finance, profits, and capital accumulation, focusing on the financialization of the economy that occurred since the 1980s. I review the recent literature about the financialization process in which profits accrue primarily throughout financial deals and speculative transactions. The rise of financial profits as a leading economic activity has major implications for the economic system. I examine the drivers of these dynamics, including the long-term cycles of capitalist development, in which phases of material accumulation alters periods driven by financial expansion. Some stylized evidence about the recent financialization is provided, showing the expansion of financial actors’ activities, the increasing involvement of non-financial corporations in financial investments, the multiple ways households are drawn into financial deals, and the long-term boom of financial assets. These developments change the dominant accumulation patterns by moving resources from material and technological activities to financial deals. The rise of finance changes the nature of capital accumulation, leading to important transformations in capitalism itself. The second chapter focus on the relationship between profit search, capital accumulation, and technological development across industries in six major European countries. Profit growth in this model is linked to two different innovation strategies and to different orientations of investments pursuing alternatively technological or cost competitiveness. Profits are driven by two alternative cumulative and self-reinforcing patterns. The first is based on the introduction of product innovations. The second is fed by capital investments, productivity gains, and wage reduction. The empirical evidence confirms the coexistence of different technological and accumulation regimes in both manufacturing and services. In high-tech sectors, profits are linked to the introduction of product innovation and on the complementarity between capital accumulation and disembodied technological change. Conversely, in low-tech industries, profits and investment growth are linked to introducing process and labor-saving innovations. The third chapter This paper contributes to the literature of evolutionary economic geography and innovation studies by analyzing the trends of population, technological and economic changes in Italian metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2018. The rise of the population in a few metropolitan zones shrinks the demography of the peripheries. The growth of income concentrates in large cities along with the decline of old manufacturing centers. 8 High-profit corporate services cluster in few places, enlarging the disparities in wealth and opportunities. Moreover, innovation activities gather in a few urban zones, expanding geographical structural imbalances. Two are the roots of this stage of development. First, knowledge-intensive services such as Finance and ICT benefit from agglomeration externalities and concentrate in large metropolitan cities (Balland et al., 2020, Diodato et al., 2019, Sassen, 2018 ). Second, innovation activities take place in a few metropolitan hubs where the accumulation of capital, researchers, and firms creates an especially innovative environment (Crescenzi et al., 2019). These two developments created a new spatial order featured by a few rich urban agglomerations –"superstars cities"-, and declining territories –"places that do not matter" (Rodríguez-Pose, 2018), overlooked by the world economy. The work finds geographical polarisation across Italian Metropolitan Areas concerning GDP per capita and value-added growth, as well as for the sectoral composition of metropolitan economies, focusing on three key economic sectors: Financial and Insurance Services, ICT services, and the manufacturing industry. Likewise, we witness evidence of the concentration of innovation activity in a few metropolitan cities. Indeed, the development of one global city and a few middle-sized metropolitan areas coexists with the decline of old manufacturing territories. These results suggest a structural divergent growth path among Italian metropolitan zones, increasing the country's geographical imbalances. We performed a factor and cluster analysis to grasp the evolution of Italian metropolitan areas between 2000-2018 according to economic, sectoral, and technological variables. We witness a process of polarisation fed by the growing relevance of the metropolitan area of Milan, where the advancements in ICT and Financial industries concentrate, while the other metropolitan zones achieved very barely improvements. These developments augment the gap across metropolitan economies. Moreover, cluster analysis results indicate no substantial modification in the group formed between the two periods, mirroring the absence of a process of convergence among the Italian metropolitan economies. Instead, we found that cluster score differences enlarged in 2018, suggesting a growing polarisation across metropolitan economies in terms of technological and economic trajectories of these cycles of accumulation.

Simone, G. (2022). Three essays on profits, technology, and economic change.

Three essays on profits, technology, and economic change

Simone,Giuseppe
2022

Abstract

This thesis aims to study from a broad perspective the recent wave of capitalist development driven by the neoliberal revolution that occurred after the 1980s. In each stage of capitalist development, according to Marxian analysis, the search for profits drives the process of capital accumulation and the evolution of the economy. Therefore, an analysis of the accumulation patterns in capitalism requires a deep understanding of profit. In a dynamic perspective, the search for profits shapes technological competition of firms and industries to develop innovative breakthroughs aiming to gain “Schumpeterian profits”. This turbulent and uneven process of technological competition determines long-run economic growth (Pianta, 2020). Therefore, this work tries to understand the relationships between profit, technological development, and economic change by looking at how capital accumulation and innovation proceeds, shaping longrun economic growth. The first chapter explores the relationship between finance, profits, and capital accumulation, focusing on the financialization of the economy that occurred since the 1980s. I review the recent literature about the financialization process in which profits accrue primarily throughout financial deals and speculative transactions. The rise of financial profits as a leading economic activity has major implications for the economic system. I examine the drivers of these dynamics, including the long-term cycles of capitalist development, in which phases of material accumulation alters periods driven by financial expansion. Some stylized evidence about the recent financialization is provided, showing the expansion of financial actors’ activities, the increasing involvement of non-financial corporations in financial investments, the multiple ways households are drawn into financial deals, and the long-term boom of financial assets. These developments change the dominant accumulation patterns by moving resources from material and technological activities to financial deals. The rise of finance changes the nature of capital accumulation, leading to important transformations in capitalism itself. The second chapter focus on the relationship between profit search, capital accumulation, and technological development across industries in six major European countries. Profit growth in this model is linked to two different innovation strategies and to different orientations of investments pursuing alternatively technological or cost competitiveness. Profits are driven by two alternative cumulative and self-reinforcing patterns. The first is based on the introduction of product innovations. The second is fed by capital investments, productivity gains, and wage reduction. The empirical evidence confirms the coexistence of different technological and accumulation regimes in both manufacturing and services. In high-tech sectors, profits are linked to the introduction of product innovation and on the complementarity between capital accumulation and disembodied technological change. Conversely, in low-tech industries, profits and investment growth are linked to introducing process and labor-saving innovations. The third chapter This paper contributes to the literature of evolutionary economic geography and innovation studies by analyzing the trends of population, technological and economic changes in Italian metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2018. The rise of the population in a few metropolitan zones shrinks the demography of the peripheries. The growth of income concentrates in large cities along with the decline of old manufacturing centers. 8 High-profit corporate services cluster in few places, enlarging the disparities in wealth and opportunities. Moreover, innovation activities gather in a few urban zones, expanding geographical structural imbalances. Two are the roots of this stage of development. First, knowledge-intensive services such as Finance and ICT benefit from agglomeration externalities and concentrate in large metropolitan cities (Balland et al., 2020, Diodato et al., 2019, Sassen, 2018 ). Second, innovation activities take place in a few metropolitan hubs where the accumulation of capital, researchers, and firms creates an especially innovative environment (Crescenzi et al., 2019). These two developments created a new spatial order featured by a few rich urban agglomerations –"superstars cities"-, and declining territories –"places that do not matter" (Rodríguez-Pose, 2018), overlooked by the world economy. The work finds geographical polarisation across Italian Metropolitan Areas concerning GDP per capita and value-added growth, as well as for the sectoral composition of metropolitan economies, focusing on three key economic sectors: Financial and Insurance Services, ICT services, and the manufacturing industry. Likewise, we witness evidence of the concentration of innovation activity in a few metropolitan cities. Indeed, the development of one global city and a few middle-sized metropolitan areas coexists with the decline of old manufacturing territories. These results suggest a structural divergent growth path among Italian metropolitan zones, increasing the country's geographical imbalances. We performed a factor and cluster analysis to grasp the evolution of Italian metropolitan areas between 2000-2018 according to economic, sectoral, and technological variables. We witness a process of polarisation fed by the growing relevance of the metropolitan area of Milan, where the advancements in ICT and Financial industries concentrate, while the other metropolitan zones achieved very barely improvements. These developments augment the gap across metropolitan economies. Moreover, cluster analysis results indicate no substantial modification in the group formed between the two periods, mirroring the absence of a process of convergence among the Italian metropolitan economies. Instead, we found that cluster score differences enlarged in 2018, suggesting a growing polarisation across metropolitan economies in terms of technological and economic trajectories of these cycles of accumulation.
Simone, G. (2022). Three essays on profits, technology, and economic change.
Simone, Giuseppe
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/1212994