(OPE-L) Preobrazhensky's multiplier

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri Oct 17 2003 - 14:42:34 EDT

Rakesh wrote:

> At any rate, it does not seem that Preobrazhensky had a
> quantitatively worked out theory of the multiplier as did Kahn, but in
> his review of this book, James Galbraith did argue (if I remember
> correctly) that Preobrazhensky seemed to have anticipated many
> important ideas, e.g. imperfect competition.

One could equally as well claim that Marx anticipated the theory
of imperfect competition in his analysis of the centralization
and concentration of capital that occurs in the process of the
accumulation of capital.  While Marx's perspective on competition
wasn't quite the same as Robinson's or Chamberlin's,  all three
did reject the so-called "perfect competition" model.  Also, I think
that other Marxists after Marx who were contemporaries of 
Preobrazhensky (e.g. Bukharin, Luxemburg, Kautsky, Lenin, etc.)
all likewise rejected the concept of perfect competition. "Economists"
came to reject perfect competition later.

> I think the idea of a foreign trade multiplier is a bit static in the
> sense that the real importance of widening the market is not as a
> vent for a pre-existing surplus but in the dynamic economies of scale
> which it allows and thus the boost to profitability which it
> provides. Foreign trade is important not so much for the purpose of
> securing realization and ensuring a higher employment equilibrium but
> for boosting profitability.

"Securing realization" and increasing economies of scale are, though, related
to each other in a dynamic context.  Don't you think that decisions about
scale (which imply decisions about the utilization of constant fixed capital
and the structure of the labor process, e.g. the extent to which there
is an advance in the division of labor and specialization) and thereby
decisions about the quantity of commodities produced is related to
capitalist expectations regarding sales (and with that, the actualization 
of surplus value)?  Granted -- capitalist expectations _ex ante_ regarding 
the market and profitability may not be realized in the manner anticipated 
_ex post_,  but it is certainly part of the dynamic process.

Maybe you agree with all of the above ... or maybe not.  I'm not sure.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Oct 18 2003 - 00:00:00 EDT