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