Massimo Pivetti on Interest Rates and Gross Profit Margins In Recent Experience of Advanced Capitalism

From a paper prepared for the colloquium “What have we learnt on Classical economy since Sraffa?” Paris, October 2014
According to the monetary explanation of distribution, as elaborated over the past 25 years on the basis of a well known suggestion by Sraffa, the normal rate of profit would be arrived at in each sphere of production by adding up two autonomous components: the rate of interest on long-term riskless financial assets, plus a normal rate of profit of enterprise, viewed as a component of normal production costs and reflecting objective (or widely perceived as objective) elements of risk attached to each different productive employment of capital. Since the normal margins for profit, given production techniques, depend on normal profit rates, the same two variables, the rate of interest and the rate of the profit of enterprise, would govern also the course of net normal profit margins in the different production spheres. For any given set of profits of enterprise, the long-term rate of interest would thus act in the economy as the regulator of the ratio of prices to money wages. Once the normal profit of enterprise in each sphere of production is taken as given, in that it is determined separately from both the rate of interest and the rate of profit, attention is focused in this approach on the rate of interest.
Read rest here.


  1. Why are we still taking about profit being the remuneration of risk when the most profitable enterprises are the least risky?! E[Profit]=E[Revenue]-E[Expenses] <=> E[Profit]=np-n(1-p) => 1=np-n(1-p)<=> (1+1/n)^n=(2p)^n


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