Re: [OPE-L] Unequal Exchange "without recourse to the notion of 'value'"?

From: Alejandro Valle Baeza (valle@SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX)
Date: Sun Dec 31 2006 - 20:22:36 EST

Jerry Levy wrote:

> > Jerry, Latin-American dependency theory pointed out deteriorating
> exchange
> > terms during 70's. They did not use value concept at all.  I think
> that such
> > approach is misleading because it ignores productivity (without
> value concept
> > there are necessary mistakes).
> Alejandro:
> A theory of unequal exchange must posit, at least as a reference point and
> special case, the condition of equal exchange. For the same reason, a
> theory of dis-equilibrium must posit, at least as a reference point and
> special case,  a condition of equilibrium.  Without such a reference, a
> theory has no way of establishing UE and/or dis-equilibrium.

I agree with you, however ECLA analyzed changes: after some time certain
country needs more merchandises to import a fix amount. It does not mean
that it is necessary more value to obtain a certain amount of value
embodied in imports. It depends on productivity.

> If one  claims that there is unequal exchange then one is also claiming
> that there has not been an exchange of equivalents.  Yet, how do we
> know that there has not been equivalent exchange without a theory of
> value ???

You are right. However Dependency theorist were interested not in
scientific trues but in political measures to improve Latin- American

> A problem with dependency theory was its lack of theoretical rigor,
> imo.  In a sense, it could be seen as a kind of radical institutionalism.
> Yet, without a theory of value it leads one around in circles.   After one
> posits UE then one must explain how and why there is UE for which
> _some_ theory of value is required.  Otherwise, one doesn't have a
> complete theory -- one is simply asserting that "UE happens".
> I think if you scratch dependency theory hard enough then you will
> find some propositions of subjective value theory implicitly assumed.
> Try scratching, for instance, what they have to say about S and D.
> I can't say too much more, though,  at this time about that without
> dusting-off a number of books.

It was clear in non Marxist dependency theorist that they assumed
Neoclassical theory.  Until I recall LA Marxian dependency theorist
(Marini et al) did not analyze UE.



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