Monopoly Capital and Capitalist Inefficiency

38 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2016

See all articles by Thomas E. Lambert

Thomas E. Lambert

University of Louisville

Edward Kwon

Northern Kentucky University

Date Written: February 20, 2016


This paper examines the arguments and assertions of Baran’s and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order (1966) by assessing the degree of economic efficiency or inefficiency in how surplus value and economic surplus were created by 16 major capitalist economies during the 2000s using data envelopment analysis (DEA). After assigning a score to the degree of economic efficiency/inefficiency for each country, one can then assess which factors influence the degree of efficiency/inefficiency. This paper finds empirical support for many of the arguments put forth by the authors, Baran and Sweezy, as well as others regarding the inefficiency of the use of some forms of economic activity to help absorb economic surplus and to create surplus value.

Keywords: data envelopment analysis, Marxian economics, neoclassical economics, over production, over investment, stagnation thesis, surplus value, under consumption, x-inefficiency

JEL Classification: B24, B51

Suggested Citation

Lambert, Thomas E. and Kwon, Edward, Monopoly Capital and Capitalist Inefficiency (February 20, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas E. Lambert (Contact Author)

University of Louisville ( email )

Economics Dept.
Louisville, KY 40292

Edward Kwon

Northern Kentucky University ( email )

Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

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