Discussion

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One thought on “Discussion

  1. [This comment is on material in the comments-rent page but ended up here. Please carry on the discussion on that comments-rent page. Ed]

    I would defend the category of class monopoly rent. All spatial competition is, as Chmberlain long ago pointed out (cf Losch) monopolistic competition and all locations are unique though, as with branding, some are more unique than others (see my Art of Rent paper). You cannot say landlords do not collude and then suppose later on there is some mysterious “barrier” that allows the extraction of absolute rent. Land and property owners have a reserve price before they release the asset they control. many stores in my neighborhood were forced to close by a rapid rise in rent extractions 2007-12 but many have stayed empty ever since. landlords don’t compete in the same way as in other markets (cf the payments for access to scientific articles in the case of intellectual property rights). The concept of absolute rent does not work. leaving aside the question of transformation etc., the extraction of absolute rent would depend on very low productivity in landed activities and we know that in Marx time agriculture was not industrialized (though Marx hoped it would be one day) and with a low value composition landlords could extract some of the transfer that Marx saw as necessary to equalize rate of profit but much of agriculture is now very high composition (capital intensive) and in urban situations the whole idea does not work which is why marx held that in the urban case monopoly rent would be the appropriate category.

    david harvey

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