Showdown at the HM Corral

By Andrew Kliman

On Duménil and Lévy’s Cherry Picking of the Data

At last month’s Historical Materialism conference, Duménil denied that they cherry picked the data.  I replied. Then we showed what the facts of the matter are.

In these pages and elsewhere, I’ve cited Gérard Duménil and Dominique Lévy’s cherry picking of the data as one reason why they contend that the rate of profit of U.S. corporations experienced an almost complete recovery since the early 1980s. This claim is crucial to their argument that the current economic crisis began as a financial crisis that was not itself rooted in a long-term fall in the rate of profit.

I discussed this issue during a January 15 presentation at the Historical Materialism 2010 NYC Conference last month. Duménil responded vociferously that they did not cherry pick the data. I replied. The following day, members of Marxist-Humanist Initiative distributed an informational flier at the conference that documented the relevant facts. It includes screen shots of the paper in question.

The transcript of the exchange between Duménil and me, and the informational flier, are in a PDF file you can download from the “Crisis Intervention” page of my website. The file is in the “Ethics” section, and it has a “New!” bug next to it.

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