1989 volume 21(4) pages 445 – 462

Cite as:
King R J, 1989, "Capital switching and the role of ground rent: 1 Theoretical problems" Environment and Planning A 21(4) 445 – 462

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Capital switching and the role of ground rent: 1 Theoretical problems

R J King

Received 28 May 1987; in revised form 26 May 1988

Abstract. The flow of both productive and speculative investment into housing relates to the state of capital accumulation in other economic sectors, as hypothesised in the 'circuits of capital' argument, but it also relates to the incentive to 'switch' investment into and out of housing, and therefore to expectations of ground rent and the (changing) social conditions that enable ground rent extraction. This is the first of three papers in which the relationships involved in these processes are explored. A series of theoretical problems arising from the argument are dealt with, principally relating to its seeming economic determinism and to an inappropriately narrow treatment of crisis and social change. In the subsequent papers, in this journal, these various ideas will be used to reflect on housing market and related social change in Melbourne from the 1930s to the 1980s.

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