Skip to main content

under-consumption, theories of

under-consumption, theories of The notion of under-consumption posits a persistent shortfall in the demand for consumption goods which creates a tendency towards overproduction and stagnation in capitalist economies. It results from the conflict between capitalists' desire to restrain the tendency of real wages to rise and their need to realize surplus value through the sale of commodities. The term has been linked to theories of imperialism and underdevelopment, in that markets in the Third World are sometimes targeted to absorb the excess commodities produced in the First.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"under-consumption, theories of." A Dictionary of Sociology. . 24 Mar. 2019 <>.

"under-consumption, theories of." A Dictionary of Sociology. . (March 24, 2019).

"under-consumption, theories of." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved March 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.