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At 10:45 01/06/00 +0100, Andrew Brown wrote:
>(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
One has to distinguish between something being real, and something
being recorded. It is true that capitalist book-keeping typically only
records price information. But the existence of these records in
front of us in black and white does not mean that abstract labour
is unreal. It is no more unreal than for example - average retail
price, another abstraction which is not actually recorded.
When a firm is planning a project, abstract labour certainly enters
into the planning process and the records associated with it. Software
projects are typically planned in person months which are only
later converted into money at a particular wage rate. So capitalist
firms have some degree of record keeping associated with abstract
> > 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).
One can also work back from figures for average wages in industrial
sectors and average working hours in each sector to prepare i/o tables
in terms of labour hours.
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