[OPE-L] question on the interpretation of labour values

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2007 - 18:48:27 EST

Hello all,

I wonder if anyone on the list can help me. I'm puzzling over the
causal interpretation of the definition of labour values in linear
production theory.

A standard interpretation is that labour values represent the total
direct and indirect labour-time required to produce unit commodities.
This is a replacement cost interpretation. The process of vertical
integration reduces all the physical costs of producing unit
commodities to labour alone.

On the face of it, this interpretation seems reasonable. Yet there is
no time period during which unit commodities are produced from labour
alone. Commodities are always produced by means of labour and other
commodities. So I do not think this interpretation can be causal.

Are there other interpretations of the meaning of labour values that
make more sense in the context of linear production theory?

Thanks for any help,

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