[OPE-L:3759] Rational expectations Marxism

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Tue Sep 05 2000 - 18:20:53 EDT

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In #3756 you say:

> I refer to the idea that you can predict the extent of ** moral **
> depreciation
> as "rational expectations Marxism." And yet without that predictive
> ability, assigning precise values is impossible. (emphasis added)
But in your 1999 CJE article you wrote:

"If a tool is to be used over a fixed period of time with a known pattern of
intensity, we can develop a rule to measure the rate at which the labour
embodied in the tool is deposited in the flow of commodities. To argue for
the realism of such conditions is tantamount to proposing some sort of
'rational Marxian expectations'."

I (and a colleague not on the list) have taken this to be a criticism of the
idea that **physical** depreciation can be predicted.

Have I misunderstood something, or have you changed your view?

Incidentally, surely the use of physical depreciation schedules (being based
on past empirical experience) is analogous to "adaptive expectations", not
"rational" ones?

By "rational" I here mean the kind that rational expectations theorists
regard as rational; I seem to remember that Tobin demonstrated that in a
truly Keynesian world adaptive expectations are the rational ones (in the
sense of being self-validating, which is the one used by the real rational
expectations school)?


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