[OPE-L:5773] RE: Re: Re: heterodox theories of value and Grossman n

From: A.B.Trigg@open.ac.uk
Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 05:58:54 EDT

This horses for courses approach is only one tradition in Post Keynesian
Economics. The likes of Dudley Dillard, Randall Wray and Pasinetti all argue
that Keynes had a labour theory of value, with the assumption that labour is
the only factor of production. In view of other comments on Grossmann and
Mattick, it could equally be charged that 'Marxists have no theory of
monetary production'. Such Grossmanite models treat capitalism like a corn
economy in which this scarce stock of surplus value constraints the system.
It is as if banks had a 100 per cent reserve ratio. It would arguably better
for Marxists to unlearn this strange bastardization of Marx's reproduction
schema and re-learn his monetary insights, which provide the antecedants to
Post Keynesian Economics.

Andrew (Trigg)

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Ajit Sinha [SMTP:ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in]
> Sent:	03 June 2001 22:38
> To:	ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> Subject:	[OPE-L:5768] Re: Re: heterodox theories of value
> Steve Keen wrote: 
> 	 Not that I'd normally offer to speak for P(aul)D(avidson), but the
> essence of the P(ost)K(eynesian) tradition is that there is no theory of
> value. They promote what they call a 'horses for courses' approach that
> whatever methodology applies for a given question is OK. This position has
> been well critiqued (from a neoclassical perspective) by Roger Backhouse,
> asking that if any methodology is OK, why do they object so strongly to
> neoclassical methods?
> _______________________ 
> Steve, I think 'horses for courses' could also be interpreted as accepting
> the Ricardian, and in my estimation Sraffian, position that there is no
> such thing as a 'general theory'. In that case, it is legitimate to pick
> up a theory of a particular problem and take it apart on the ground of
> theoretical incoherence. But I feel that unless a tradition in economic
> theory has a theory of value, it will be hard for it to erect an
> impressive structure. Furthermore, I think that a theory of value is
> essentially about a static problem. There cannot be a dynamic theory of
> value (if we allow technical change through time) simply because you
> cannot have an invariable measuring rod in this context. So one needs to
> think about the nature of a dynamic theory.  Cheers, ajit sinha 
> 	On utility theory and marginalism, these neoclassical concepts are
> almost universally rejected by PKs, though for a wide range of reasons.
> There is currently a discussion on PKT in which several list members have
> expressed amazement that other members of the list believe that
> neoclassical micro is useful. Their incredulous position would be a
> mainstream PK attitude to neoclassical value theory. 
> 	The reality is, as you say, that they are simply avoiding the
> question of a theory of value. However, they have good arguments in favour
> of so doing: "just look at the marxists" is a common refrain (sorry guys,
> but as Jerry pointed out w.r.t. Rakesh resurrecting the TP discussion
> again recently,...), and "just look at the neoclassicals" is another. 
> 	My perspective--which I've drafted in a paper which was rightly
> given a 'revise and resubmit' by the referee (but rejected on the basis of
> that one report by the editor of the journal in question)--is that PK
> theory can be built and richly enhanced by adopting Marx's dialectical
> theory of value. But the fear that 'there lies madness' makes my position
> a uniquely unpopular one there. I will endeavour to make the case more
> elaborately in future papers--I have already done so to some limited
> degree in a paper in Riccardo Bellofiore & Piero Ferri's *The legacy of
> Hyman Minsky*. 
> 	So yes, I take the PK position on a theory of value as bunk, and I
> have said so in print. 
> 	But I also believe that, unencumbered by a flawed theory of value,
> Post Keynesians are more like what Marxism would have evolved into, had it
> not been waylaid by its flawed theory of value and hence by the TP. There
> are other technical flaws too--largely a lack of appreciation of dynamics
> and evolutionary theory. 
> 	Cheers, 
> 	Steve 
> 	At 12:24 AM 6/4/01 Monday, you wrote: 
> 		Re Steve K's [5759]: 
> 			> In other words, like the majority of non-orthodox
> economists, they have long abandoned any explicit reliance on Marx because
> they don't want to be tainted with the brush of the labour theory of
> value. <
> 			Yes, there are political implications of what you
> 			call the LTV that they perhaps are not ready for.
> 			So it has been since the 'marginalist (counter-)
> 			revolution' against the political implications of
> cpe
> 			and the Ricardian socialists.
> 			Yet, what theory of value do these heterodox
> 			economists adhere to? Of course, surplus
> 			approach economists (like Gary and Ajit) have
> 			a theory of value. But, what about the rest of
> 			them?  What, for example, is the 'Post-
> 			Keynesian'   (or Post-Kaleckian) theory of value?
> 			E.g. what theory of value does 'PD' advocate on
> 			PKT?  Have they -- yet -- thoroughly and
> 			completely abandoned the marginalist dogma
> 			including the marginal utility theory of value?
> 			Or do they just sidestep the whole issue (and
> 			thereby one of the fundamental issues of political-
> 			economic theory) by not explicitly putting
> 			forward a theory of value that they advocate (so
> 			that it can then be subject to critique)?   If
> 			that is the case, then perhaps we should view
> 			them as a (a-theoretical) neo-institutionalist
> 			(unprincipled) combination which has a clearer
> 			idea about what they reject than what they accept?
> If so, isn't that just plain ... bunk?
> 			In solidarity, Jerry
> 	Home Page: <http://www.debunking-economics.com/> 
> 	<http://bus.uws.edu.au/steve-keen/> 
> 	<http://www.stevekeen.net/> 
> 	Dr. Steve Keen 
> 	Senior Lecturer 
> 	Economics & Finance 
> 	Campbelltown, Building 11 Room 30, 
> 	School of Economics and Finance 
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> 	Australia 
> 	s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683 
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