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On 31 May 2000, at 14:48, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
> So Andrew, please excuse me for asking this question once again: are you
> saying that value is an intrinsic quantitative aspect or property the
> commodity possesses before it is measured in price terms. It is common
> sense to us that we can say something is long in such a qualitative
> formula before we replace it with a quantitative formula, say the length
> of x in cm equals y. But in the case of value, Marx does suggest that the
> qualitative formula can only follow or coincide with the quantitative one.
> That is, only after (or as) we determine the value of x in prices is $a.bc
> can we say that x had (or has) become a value.
A crucial question. I should like to think about it a precise answer
and get back to you.
(Ajit's point regarding quantitative aspects doesn't rest on the
precise answer: abstract labour time is still a distinct quantity from
price even though it is only through price that abstract labour gains
> Of course our problem of measuring values is hardly helped by the
> quantitization in prices of values. Prices and data based on them do not
> directly allow us to measure values. But quantitative marxists are
> obviously making heroic efforts.
I would have thought estimates of value can be greatly helped by
price data: one approach to measuring value is through modifying
national accounts (greatly) according to the notion of value (eg.
distinguishing unproductive and productive labour).
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