Re: [OPE-L] Sraffian surplus vs Marxian surplus

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 28 2006 - 17:37:20 EDT


Ajit writes:

>By the way, Marx was in full agreement with Smith and
>Ricardo on their notion of 'centre of gravitation',
>which is nothing but market's equilibrating mechanism.

Yes Marx certainly thought that prices would gravitate towards the point(s)
where profit rates would be equalized across
most branches. But the pull towards profit rate equalization is not a market
equilibriating mechanism in the sense
of pulling the economy over the long term to stationary state in which in the
input and output prices would be equal. This is just reading today's
economics of counting equations and unknowns back into the classicals and Marx

And the former wrote before the full effects of science-based technological
innovation were understood. Marx had more than an inkling because of his
reading of Ure and Babbage.

Yet even Ricardo recognized: "alterations in the quantity of labour
necessary to produce commodities are a DAILY occurence. Every
improvement in machinery, in tools, in buildings, in raising the raw
material saves labour, and enables us to produce the commodity to
which the improvement is applied with more facility, and consequently
its value alters." (principles, p. 36, Sraffa's ed; my emphasis).


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