Hilferding on derivatives

Sotiropoulos, Dimitris (2015). Hilferding on derivatives. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 22(1) pp. 77–96.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09672567.2012.708769


Rudolf Hilferding has always been regarded as a leading Marxist scholar. His theoretical intervention is still considered to be benchmark in Political Economy. Nevertheless, Hilferding's approach to derivatives has been left untouched. The aim of this paper is precisely to fill this gap in the literature. Hilferding realised that the development of the stock exchange was indeed parallel to another important event: the emergence of standardised derivative exchanges; he underlined their economic significance for the organisation of capitalism. In spite of how one appraises the final outcome of his analysis, the intention to incorporate futures markets in his general approach and to analyse them using Marxian theoretical categories is quite exceptional in the long tradition of political economy.

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