Workers or rentiers


  • Romar Correa formerly University of Mumbai



rent, predatory finance, green investment


We explore the shifting allegiances in the traditional conflict between capital and labor. This shift is created by finance: the distinction between financial and nonfinancial firms has become elusive. Our focus is on the worker who voluntarily or involuntarily transforms into a rentier. We embed the choices of capital and labor in state-space representations of a general macro model: one state equation is the accumulation of wealth, the other is the accumulation of capital. The ‘euthanasia of the rentier’ and the pick of the capital accumulation regime is determined by government choice of the interest rate.


Aubrechtová J., Heinle E., Porcel R.M., Torres B.O., Piloiu A., Queiroz R., Silvonen T and Cruz L.V. (2023), “Enhancing climate resilience of monetary policy implementation in the euro area”, European Central Bank occasional paper, n. 318, Frankfurt am Main: European Central Bank. Available online.

Auvray T., Durand C., Rabinovich J. and Rikap C. (2021), “Corporate financialization’s conservation and transformation: From mark I to mark II”, Review of evolutionary political economy, 2 (3), pp. 431-457.

Bénassy J-P. (2007), Money, Interest, and Policy, Cambridge (MA): The MIT Press.

Chow G.C. (1997), Dynamic Economics, New York: Oxford University press.

Christophers B. (2021), “Class, assets and work in rentier capitalism”, Historical materialism, 29 (2), pp. 3-28.

Dafermos Y. (2021), “Climate change, central banking and financial supervision: Beyond the risk exposure approach”, SOAS department of economics working paper, n. 243, London: SOAS University of London. Available online.

Dafermos Y., Gabor D., Nikolaidi M. and van Lerven F. (2022), An environmental mandate, now what? Alternatives for greening the Bank of England’s corporate bond purchases, SOAS University of London; University of Greenwich; University of the West of England. Available online.

Dosi G., Fanti, L. and Virgillito M.E. (2024), “Attributes and trends of rentified capitalism”, LEM working paper series, n. 1, Pisa: Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies.

The Economist (2023), “The $100 trn prize”, September 9-15, pp. 63-65.

The Economist (2024), “Capital expenditure: The missing investment boom”, January 15, p. 76.

Feygin J. (2021), “The deflationary bloc”, The phenomenal world, January 9.

Foster J.B, Jonna R.J. and Clark B. (2021), “The contagion of capital”, Monthly Review, 72 (8).

Fuller G.W. (2021), “The financialization of rented homes: Continuity and change in housing financialization”, Review of evolutionary political economy, 2 (3), pp. 551-570.

Gabor D. (2021a), “The wall street consensus”, Development and change, 52 (3), pp. 429-459.

Gabor D. (2021b), “The wall street consensus at COP26”, The phenomenal world, November 18.

Heise A. (2023). “A Keynesian-Minskian perspective on the transformation of industrial into financial capitalism”, Journal of evolutionary economics, 33 (4), pp. 963-990.

Hudson M. (2021), “Rent-seeking and asset-price inflation: A total-returns profile of economic polarization in America”, Review of Keynesian Economics, 9 (4), pp. 435-460.

Kiefel M. (2023), “The renters’ constituency”, Phenomenal world, October 14.

Lazonick W. and Hopkins M. (2020), “The $5.3 trillion question behind America’s COVID-19 failure”, Institute for new economic thinking, July 24. Available online.

Lazonick W. and Hopkins M. (2021), “Why the CHIPS are down: Stock buybacks and subsidies in the US semiconductor industry”, Institute for new economic thinking working paper, n. 165, New York City: Institute for new economic thinking. Available online.

Lazonick W. (2023), “The scourge of corporate financialization: Income inequity, employment instability, productive fragility”, Institute for new economic thinking, August 21. Available online.

Mackenzie K. and Sahay T. (2023), “Global boiling”, The polycrisis, August 3. Available online.

Martins N. O. (2021), “The Cambridge economic tradition and the distribution of social surplus”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 45 (2), pp. 225-241.

McGuiness K. (2023), “Supporting the transition to net-zero emissions: The evolving role of central banks”, Bank of Canada staff discussion paper, n. 31, Ottawa: Bank of Canada.

Minsky H.P. (1995), “A positive program for successful capitalism”, Hyman P Minsky Archive, 74. Available online.

Oppenheimer P., Jaisson G., Bell S., Pey Tavin L. and Graziani F. (2022), “The postmodern cycle”, Goldman Sachs/ Global Strategy Paper, n. 56, New York: Goldman Sachs Research.

O’Rourke K. (2019), “Economic history and contemporary challenges to globalization”, The Journal of Economic History, 79 (2), pp. 356-382.

Palma J.G. (2023), “How Latin America sinks into the quicksand of inertia”, Cambridge Working Papers in Economics, n. 2380, Cambridge (UK): University of Cambridge.

Parramore L. (2023), “Climate finance: Where does the money come from and who gets it?”, Institute for new economic thinking, August 7. Available online.

Ranaldi M. and Milanović B. (2020), “Capitalist systems and income inequality”, Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) working paper, n. 803. Luxemburg: Luxemburg Income Study.

Roncaglia A. (2023), “Theories of economic crises”, Institute for new economic thinking, October 24. Available online.

Schwartz H.M. (2021), “Manufacturing stagnation”, Phenomenal World, November 4. Available online.

Szymborska H. and Toporowski J. (2022), “Industrial feudalism and wealth inequalities”, Institute for new economic thinking working paper, n.174, New York City: Institute for new economic thinking. Available online.

Wisman J. D. (2021), “Why we all must work”, American University economics department working paper series, n. 2021-04, October, Washington (DC): American University.




How to Cite

Correa, R. (2024). Workers or rentiers. PSL Quarterly Review, 77(308), 105–119.



Special section: the future of reformed capitalism