Re: [OPE-L] different heterodox theories, different empirical results?

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 09:18:57 EDT

> > Of course, we could also conduct empirical research to determine
> > how well different Marxian theories are able to grasp empirical
> > realities and trends in relation to each other.  Alan Freeman
> > wrote a paper in 1999 on that topic, which appears at the above
> > site: < >
> > *Do others agree or disagree with Alan's claims in this paper?
> (at least, it has the same title).  I wouldn't say that this paper
> falls into the category of "empirical research."  It is a
> theoretical excursus from the TSS point of view, illustrated by 4
> graphs showing data from the US economy.  For my part, I'm hard
> pressed to find any explanation of the "four failures" in the paper
> (crises, perhaps, but not the others).


I agree that Freeman's paper should not be viewed as one presenting the
results of empirical research.  Rather, there are claims made about how
TSS value supposedly is a "scientifically superior category" because it
is a non-equilibrium theory of value and hence (by reference to stylized
facts) is better able to express the real non-equilibrium processes of
inequality, unemployment, crisis, and liquidity preference.

A couple of things strike me about this argument:

1) no Marxians, "simultaneists" included, would deny that the 4 "market
failures" are not equilibrium processes.  So, there seems to me to be a
kind of disconnect between what Freeman is claiming non-TSSers believe
and what those non-TSS theories suggest.

2) 'stylized facts' are substituted for empirical research in the paper.
The interesting question here might be whether it is or is not possible
to construct an empirical "test" of different conceptions of value
that people from a variety of perspectives could agree as being
legitimate.  No doubt, a variety of "tests" could be constructed but
I seriously doubt (based on the historical record of scholarly exchanges
among Marxians re value) that all would agree that the specifications of
and methodology of a particular test are valid.

In any event, I doubt that anyone would claim that empirical research
into how different theories of value are able to grasp the 4 "market
failures" would be worthless.  That research, though, would have to
go way beyond simple assertions like --

since inequality, unemployment crisis, and liquidity preferences are
of non-equilibrium processes therefore the category of TSS value is
scientifically superior.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Sep 17 2005 - 00:00:01 EDT