The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Gilbert L. Skillman
Reference work entry


This term ‘exploitation’ is used to characterize social relationships in which one party takes advantage of the attributes or position of another. Used normatively, it conveys the stronger sense that the exploiter takes inappropriate or unfair advantage of another’s condition. While the concept has been invoked in a number of economic contexts, it has been treated most extensively in Marxist analysis of class relations in market economies, featuring in particular orthodox, neo-Ricardian, and rational-choice Marxist approaches to the phenomenon. There is ongoing debate concerning both the systemic basis and the normative significance of exploitation.


Capitalism Class Engels, F. Equality of opportunity Exploitation Feudalism Fundamental Marxian theorem Labour power vs. labour Labour theory of value Leontief production processes Marx’s analysis of capitalist production Means of production Neo-Ricardian economics Orthodox Marxist analysis Profit Rational-choice Marxist analysis Roemer, J. Slavery Sraffa, P. Surplus Surplus labour Surplus value Transformation problem 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert L. Skillman
    • 1
  1. 1.