The Global Accumulation of Capital and the Classic International Division of Labour: Ground-Rent and ‘Resource Rich’ Countries

Gaston Caligaris


The paper provides fresh insight into the ‘old’ international division of labour and especially into the countries whose longstanding historical role has been to produce ground‐rent‐bearing, primary commodities. Building upon the notion of capital accumulation as being global in content and national in form, the paper challenges the dominant perspective that explains the specific characteristics of those countries as the result of domestic politics, foreign influence and domination, or unequal exchange. The paper instead advances an original approach based on the recognition that ground‐rent is essentially constituted by the surplus‐value resulting from the valorisation of industrial capitals abroad and which flows into the countries supplying the raw materials. Empirical evidence from the case of Argentina will be used to illustrate the core argument.

Classic International Division of Labout - Resource Rich Countries - Argentina - Ground-rent