Document Type


Publication Date





This paper briefly outlines the idea and development of the economic surplus concept at the macroeconomic level as opposed to the one in microeconomics often labeled as a Marshallian surplus. The notion of a residual amount of output or income over and above what is necessary for a society’s consumption (education, housing, food, clothing, health care, transportation, and other necessities of life) that can be used either for further consumption by an elite class, used for reinvestment in productive activities, and/or wasted on unproductive efforts is one that has been and continues to be taught and used in heterodox and neo-Marxian economics. The relevancy of the economic surplus view to modern and recent US economic growth is examined especially in light of new ways that have been created to apply the economic surplus concept. Applications using the Baran Ratio and long wave cycles theory are demonstrated, and it appears that the Baran Ratio is a useful concept to help predict long wave movements that are based on the economic surplus. The monopoly capital view of overaccumulation as a cause of long-term stagnation is somewhat supported in the long wave analysis, and this result hints at the prospect of dramatic political changes over the next few years if the US and global economies are at the end of a current cycle or at the beginning of a new one.



Included in

Economics Commons