Thesis

Economics of the newspaper industry : a Marxian analysis

The thesis applies Marxist economic precepts to the function of the newspaper industry, thereby explaining the industry's economic growth and daily operation. Topics from employment to chain ownership are considered and analyzed in terms of their role in the economic process, and relations between such topics are examined. The theory is divided into sub-theories including: the theory of value, the theory of labor, the theory of capital accumulation and concentration, and economies of scale. The thesis explains the premise of each sub-theory and applies it to the industry, using statistics drawn from sources such as government surveys and the industry itself. The production of value is described and the various components of constant and variable capital within the newspaper sector are identified. The use of technology to expand surplus labor is examined in both historic and current forms, and the degree to which surplus labor has been extracted industry wide is detailed using government production figures. The effect of this process on the work force also is discussed, showing a positive relationship between the theory -- which predicts technological displacement – and reality in the newspaper business. The thesis explains how technology is used to promote capital accumulation in the industry and provides statistics to demonstrate the extent of newspaper growth from the mid 19th century to modern times. (See more in text.)

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