Changing configuration of Philippine capitalism

In: Philippine Political Science Journal
Antoinette R. RaquizaAsian Center, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines

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Much analysis of the Philippine political economy takes place without a precise understanding of the shifting contours of the Philippine capitalist class. Yet, to better understand the country’s pattern of economic development requires a more finely grained portrait of the country’s economic elites. Using Ruth McVey’s definition of capitalism “as a system in which the means of production, in private hands, are employed to create a profit, some of which is reinvested to increase profit-generating capacity” (1992, 8), the paper combines an analysis of sectoral development and the country’s top business groups’ shifting economic interests and investment patterns since the 1980s and argues that over time, domestic capitalism has come to more fully embrace commercial interests. A key factor to this shift is the tremendous growth of overseas workers’ remittances and the new opportunities this has provided in the service sector. This changing pattern, in turn, has given rise to distinct business institutions and practices to facilitate capital accumulation in the Philippines.

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