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Circuits of Capital

  • By: Matthew T. Huber
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Developed by Karl Marx in the second volume of Capital, the “circuits of capital” approach represents a multifaceted way to understand the cyclical and self-expanding process of capitalist value circulation. Since each circuit is envisioned as a particular moment within a larger process, economic geographers have found it useful in situating local geographies in a wider context.

The circulation process is divided into three main circuits. The first circuit of money-capital (see Figure 1) represents succinctly the goal of any capitalist—starting with money and ending with more. Since most industrial production processes require substantial money-capital to purchase the commodities labor power and means of production (L + MP) before production takes place, the circuit money-capital can be envisioned as the various types of financial and ...

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