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Accumulation (of lat. accumulare = accumulate) is in the classical school of capitalists by saving and investment of the increase in value realized on the market advanced extension of the capital.

The term is attributed to Karl Marx, who lets itself be affected thereby also of the accumulator invented about at the same time to have is. Marx understands thereby accumulation in a double sense: on side ever more capitals in the hands of the capitalists, on the other side of the workers ever more miseries. Straight this holds however capitalism at running, since the hired hands must sell their worker to the capitalists too for the capital favorable conditions, similarly as in the case of a battery an electric current flows, if the two Gegenpole are interconnected.

The accumulation can itself on the material property, to which, thus to the constant capital refer capital stick, in addition, on the occupation, as a part of the increase in value is used for it, more worker to employ. To be able to employ accumulated in this case variable capital, if a part of the increase in value is used to increase total wages all the more worker. It is in addition remarkable that the whole increase in value does not serve the accumulation, but a part of the increase in value is spent as Revenue "unproductively" for example for the consumption of the capitalists.

While overallally economic the capital accumulation is limited by the increase in value, the individual capital can accumulate also more rapidly, by uniting with other capitals, fused, other capitals takes over or buys up. It comes thus to a capital centralization, which results from the fact that in the capitalistic competition the large enterprises defeat the small by the advantages of the mass production and their average size constantly does not so only grow, but the number of enterprises becomes ever smaller beyond that. The credit is with the buying up of enterprises an important instrument. (Bare of the enterprises, if thus ever more capitals in the hands of the individual capitalist concentrates, is designated of Marx as Kapitalkonzentration, in contrast to the capital centralization, in which this growth is accelerated beyond that through sips of other capitals.)

In the marxism, when understood collapse theory, the end of the accumulation is regarded as systems-inherent and at the same time as end of the capitalistic production way (or discussed, see law of the tendentious case of the profit rate).

See also:

Harrod Domar ModellGoldene rule of the accumulation


  • Henryk Grossmann: The accumulation and collapse law of the capitalistic system. (At the same time a crisis theory). Leipzig: C.L. deer field, 1929. (Writings of the institute for social research at the University of Frankfurt A.M. Bd. I. Hrsg. of Carl green mountain.) [reproduction: Frankfurt A.M.: Publishing house new criticism, 1967 and 1970. ISBN 3-8015-0065-9]
  • Pink Luxembourg: The accumulation of the capital - a contribution for the economic explanation of the imperialism. Berlin 1923.
  • Joan Robinson: The accumulation of the capital, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3548028624
  • Ernest almond: Introduction to the marxism, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-929008-04-1

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Karl Marx, the capital, volume I, MEW 23: The general law of the capitalistic accumulation

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