Sectoral Structure and Change: Insights from Marx

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5 Citations (Scopus)


At the time of Marx’s birth two centuries ago, the Industrial Revolution was well underway, and the economic and social changes which it wrought formed the backdrop to Marx’s own ideas. The advanced economies of the world were then industrialising, yet today most countries are deindustrialising. What light can a Marxist analysis shed on sectoral structure, sectoral specificity and sectoral change in the early 21st century? A Marxist approach is distinctive and valuable in how it approaches these sectoral issues, and the following interrelated aspects are discussed here: classifying activities in the first instance according to position in the circuit of capital rather than by sectors; a non-phenomenological approach to classifying activities; a non-physicalist conception of commodities; underscoring the extent of intra-sectoral heterogeneity; recognising the importance of manufacturing and of industrialisation; and implications for analysing changes in sectoral structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-460
Number of pages18
JournalReview of Political Economy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • Marx
  • heterodox economics
  • sectors
  • structural change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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