The Impacts of Rent Incomes on Capitalist Accumulation: Towards Coherence

47 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2017

Date Written: November 6, 2017


Although there is no universally recognized definition in the existing literature, the ‘rentiers’ are usually identified as those subjects of an economic system that derive their income from any source different from wage and profit. Therefore, the rent is primarily described as a ‘passive income’ over a property for the use of which the owner can require payments without being directly involved in the entrepreneurial activity. From a contemporary perspective, these ‘properties’ may take the form of various assets such as equities, bonds, securities, monetary deposits and other financial instruments that generate an income from interest (or dividends). Belonging to different theories of income distribution, several authors have tried to integrate different shapes of this notion in their descriptions of the economic systems. Without neglecting a general discussion of the various paradigms to which the principal schools of thought refer to, in each section of this paper we will try to answer three main theoretical questions. First, what are the sources of rents and how are they explained? Second, who are the beneficiaries of this type of income and how they behave within the socioeconomic system? Thirdly, to what extent and in which ways various forms of rent affect the accumulation processes? The aim of this paper is to provide the analysis of the theoretical evolution from the ‘agricultural rent’ to a ‘monetary rent’, and finally to the description of a ‘financial rent’ in the current phase of capitalist development.

Keywords: Rent, Capital Accumulation, Financialization

JEL Classification: B10, B22, E25

Suggested Citation

Tori, Daniele, The Impacts of Rent Incomes on Capitalist Accumulation: Towards Coherence (November 6, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Daniele Tori (Contact Author)

The Open University ( email )

Walton Hall
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK7 6AA
United Kingdom

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