[OPE-L:6147] Re: falling profits

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Sat Nov 03 2001 - 12:13:08 EST

In [6145] Fred wrote (in part):

> That means that the decline in the profit rate since 1997 must have been
> due mainly to  continuing increases in the composition of capital and in
> the ratio of unproductive labor to productive labor.  I have not updated
> my estimates of these variables after 1994, but this discussion makes me
> want to do that asap (hopefully in January).

Which led Antonio to ask in [6146]:

> This seems too simple to ask, so perhaps i'm missing something, but
> wouldn't a third possibility be a problem of realization?

Which leads me to ask another 'simple' question: what would be an
accepted method for empirically determining the cause for the decline
in the rate of profit where there are a number of variables at work each
of which _can_ cause a change in the rate of profit? A simple (perhaps
overly-simple) answer might be to ask: 'what came first?' E.g. did the
realization problem occur before or after the decline in the rate of profit?
However, if there isn't that kind of a simple 'time line' and the two or
more events happen at the same time, how can we empirically determine
causation and/or association?

In solidarity, Jerry

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