by Arjun Jayadev and Samuel Bowles. Reading for Tuesday, 17 July.
Published: Thursday, July 12, 2007
We explore the economic importance of the private and public exercise of power in the execution of contracts and defense of property rights. We define power and represent it in a model of growth in a modern capitalist economy, borrowing themes from the classical economists (unproductive labor, profit-driven investment), Marx (the labor disciplining effect of unemployment), and the contemporary theory of incomplete contracts (the role of monitoring and enforcement rents).We use this model to identify the resources devoted to the exercise of power, which we term guard labor as we measure these in labor units. Data from the
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