[OPE-L:8619] Re: Re: Re: long term centers of gravity?

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sun Mar 16 2003 - 23:31:35 EST

On Fri, 14 Mar 2003 rakeshb@stanford.edu wrote:

> > However, this question of how often center-of-gravity prices 
> change
> > has no
> > bearing on the concept of center-of-gravity prices itself.  
> > Center-of-gravity prices are still prices that change only due to
> > the fundamental cause of productivity change.  If productivity
> > changes
> > fairly frequently, and therefore center-of-gravity prices change
> > fairly
> > frequently, it is still true that center-of-gravity prices are prices
> > that
> > change only due to the fundamental cause of productivity 
> change. 
> No argument here! 
> > More
> > frequent productivity change certainly does NOT mean that there 
> is
> > CAUSE of changes of center-of-gravity prices - because input 
> prices
> > are
> > not equal to output prices, as in the TSS interpretation.

Is there no argument here either?  This is the crucial point.

> > 
> > 4.  I think you misinterpret Carchedi.  You say:
> > 
> > "I am not interested in defending KM's version but rather (major
> > aspects of) Carchedi's which you do not accept though Carchedi
> > has prices of production for the inputs which differ from prices of
> > production for the output for the sole reason that the productivity
> > of
> > labor changes interperiodically."
> > 
> > I am not sure what you mean by "interperiodically"?  Between 
> periods?
> Well of course I mean that the inputs are produced under different 
> productive conditions than the outputs are being produced.  
> Carchedi takes this a reason not to solve the profit rate and prices 
> simultaneously, as Bharadwaj and others recommend.  He does 
> not think it makes sense to have the same prices for inputs and 
> outputs. This is where he differs from you. 

Rakesh, please read again the quote from Carchedi below, and my
paraphrase, which you say you agree with.  Carchedi is saying precisly
that, when there is technological change in a given period, then constant
capital is revalued in that period, so that the value transferred to the
output is the current (i.e. revalued) value of the constant capital; 
i.e. input prices are equal to current output prices.  Carchedi does not
differ from me on this crucial point.  We agree.  

> >  In
> > any case, Carchedi assumes that when productivity changes in 
> the
> > production of an input within a given period, then the value
> > transferred
> > to the price of the output in that period will be the new price of
> > the
> > input, not the old price of the input, as in the TSS
> > interpretation.  Carchedi says:
> > 
> > "The value of A going into the value of B is not the value at which 
> A
> > has
> > been bought at t1, but the value A has at time t2.  If, in this
> > period, A
> > has become either cheaper or more expensive, the value of B 
> will
> > accordingly be either reduced or increased."  (Frontiers of
> > Political
> > Economy, p. 93)
> > 
> > In other words, the value transferred from A to B is revalued in
> > that
> > period as a result of productivity change in the production of A.  I
> > agree
> > with Carchedi.  This is what I have been arguing all along.  And 
> this
> > is
> > different from the TSS interpretation on this crucial point.  
> Yes but how is the rate of profit determined for the firm in which its 
> inputs have been devalued? 

The rate of profit in Marx's concept of prices of production is the
general rate of profit in the economy as a whole, and it is determined by
the ratio of the total surplus-value produced in the current period and
the current value of the total capital invested.  


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