(OPE-L) Re: measurement of abstract labour

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 11:02:04 EDT

Hi again Paul C.

> It is possible that there still subsist some systematic differences
> in intensity between sectors. If one had some independent means of
> determining these then one could test to see if the intensities of
> labour, when added as an additional explanatory variable, increased
> the correlation between prices and values that one got without
> the correction for intensity. This would be an interesting question
> since it would provide a means of empirically testing Marx's hypothesis
> that more intense labour adds more value.
> In principle one could do the test if one had the opportunity to get
> good work-study records of the working day in different industries.
> I think there is a good PhD thesis in such an investigation.

The data exists but is proprietary and diffuse. In the US,  corporations
will not even share this data with unions so I think it is unlikely that
they would be willing to share it with graduate students.  I agree,
though, that it would be a worthwhile thesis if there were some way
of getting around this data dissemination problem.  Perhaps there is
some cross-industry and cross-regional data published in professional
'scientific management' journals?

In solidarity, Jerry

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