[OPE-L:5289] Re: Re: Re: Re: how is SNLT measured?

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@msn.com)
Date: Thu Mar 29 2001 - 10:29:42 EST

Re Allin's [5287-8]:

> One can actually _measure_ the divergences
> only  under restrictive  conditions, but that's
> not a major problem.  On a reasonable
> definition of SNLT, the average divergence of
> actual hours from SNLT  across the entire
> economy has to be zero.

Putting aside the questions of skills and
productive labor,  the last sentence is correct ...
tautologically.  It is tautologically correct,
however,   *only*   if  "the entire economy" is
understood as  "the entire world capitalist
economy" rather than the entire economy of
an individual capitalist nation. It is not the case
for an individual nation precisely because of
*international* variations in the intensity of

> But then the labours going
> into a particular product can be considered a
> (large) sample from a
> population with a mean (divergence) of zero.

And how does one determine the extent of
the divergence for a particular product within
the context of the international capitalist

In practice, I think that most Marxian empirical
work has taken place under the assumption of
"intensity-adjusted" labor hours. In practice,
though, I think this is simply assuming away the problem of variations in
the intensity of labor internationally rather than making a real
adjustment.  If that is the case, then what has
been measured with NIPA data by Marxians
is not SNLT and is not a measurement of

> If the sample can be
> considered random, from a statistical point of
> view, then there must
> be a strong expectation that the divergences
> roughly cancel.  My
> contention is that the many and varied labours
> that go into producing
> any given product can reasonably be thought of
> as a random sample of
> social labours, absent any specific reason to
> believe otherwise.

I think I have already offered reasons to believe

In solidarity, Jerry

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