Re: [OPE-L] Marx on the equalisation of rates of surplus value

From: paul cockshott (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Tue Mar 20 2007 - 09:23:53 EDT

I don't get what you're saying, Jurriaan: since Marx's transformation
depends on a uniform s/v--you seem to be agreeing with Solow--it
cannot be carried out in boom periods when there is greater variance
in wage rates which implies a greater variance in rates of surplus
value across branches?!  So are you saying that the Marx's theory of
price and value could only in periods of bust? What's the point of
And I agreed in a follow up post (you don't mention it) that Marx
believed that there was a real tendency towards uniformity of s/v,
but all your quote says is that Marx thought s/v would tend towards
uniformity, not that it would ever be uniform. So for purposes of
calculation convenience he just assumes that it's uniform in his
transformation calculations. That it's never in fact that does not
undermine the logic of his transformation.
This whole line of criticism remains trivial as far as I can see.
If what tends to be equalised is the ratio profit/wages then this is far
from trivial, since it prevents the transformation from happening.
Obviously we are not talking complete equalisation but degrees of dispersion

But it is an interesting empirical fact that the dispersion of s/v is
actually narrower than the dispersion of s/(c+v) for both the USA and the UK
( taking s/v to be profit/wages )
For any given distribution of c/v a narrower s/v implies a wider s/(c+v),
which of course undermines the need for a transformation from values to
prices of production. It is very significant that Marx identifies a
mechanism for the equalisation of s/v, since this will tend to prevent
transformation to prices of production happening.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Mar 31 2007 - 01:00:12 EDT