Re: [OPE-L] Dynamic model?

From: Anders Ekeland (anders.ekeland@ONLINE.NO)
Date: Tue Mar 13 2007 - 16:36:50 EDT

My work obligations forces me to round of this round of exchange of
opinions with a few brief comments. But I will return with articles
along these lines.

Jurrian on Shaik:
I can follow Shaik here. Prices of production might be an "attractor"
- that is a point that the system tends  to but never reaches, for
example a limit (business) cycle. The problem with Shaiks example is
that capitals do not move, there is not decline/growth of some
branches with high/low org.comp - which means that the Shaik
iterative exercise converges - as Laibman has shown - to the well
known static price vector.

But the fact that a state is never reached is not an argument that it
is not important for modelling. Some in the evolutionary school (like
Stan Metcalfe) tries to get rid of the concept of equilibrium,
replacing it with the notion of "order out of disorder", but
dis-equilibrium can only be defined as "not in equilibrium".

Jurriaan writes:
"we'd be modelling a pattern of economic activity (some kind of
dynamic equilibrium) never realized in real life. What is the point of that?
How does that differ from Arrow-Debreu stories?"

That we have equilibrium forces in our model is no problem as long as
we also have the dis-equilibrium ones - they are the same forces! To
make such models would mean to be very conscious what aspect of
capitalist reality we want to model, but take fore example unequal
exchange. This whole debate is deeply flawed by the use of
unrealistic static concepts/results, equal profit rates etc. But the
fact that profit rates are not equal is not an argument for not
having some equations giving profit rate equal, given that no tech.
change happens - but since tech change is a the core of competition -
the "disrupting" mechanisms have to be modelled too. We must model
the general aspiration towards wage equalization - it is a real force
in society.  No "given" wage, certainly not a wage as "marginal
productivity" - there is a "historical and moral element" which
destroys such ideological myths.

>In reply to Anders:
>Robin Blackburn [snip] ......But this requires a very deep understanding
>of the morality of power and the power of morality, since any system that
>distributes resources according to need, is also vulnerable to terrible
>abuse, and pits the needs of some against the needs of others, with both
>claiming an equal right to have them satisfied. [snip] ... In
>that sense, liberals and socialists are probably not far apart, at least in
>their aspiration.

I fully agree with this. My own research has been on the
skilled/simple/complex/intensified/abstract labour issue. Marx treats
this core problem in scattered paragraphs and long footnotes, but
never treats it properly. My conclusion is close (a bit more radical)
than Mao Itoh (The basic theory... p. 149 - 168) - also inspired by
Rosdolsky's thoughts about the problem.

I am in the process of converting my thesis (in Norwegian) into
English as a series of papers. First will be presented at the
Ass.Het.Econ conf. i Bristol.


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