Re: [OPE-L] why does the debate on the "transformation problem"continue?

From: paul cockshott (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Wed Mar 28 2007 - 04:58:58 EDT

Well that is a similar reason to why I did the empirical comparisons of
Price and value. It was similar time series on rate of profit, value
composition of capital etc that were being objected to by referees.
My feeling here though, is that you only need demonstrate that the error
bars in
Estimating the value quantities from the money quantities are very small,
the transformation debate
Itself tends to waste our times and prevent us discussing new theoretical
and empirical questions.
-------Original Message-------
From: Diego Guerrero
Date: 3/27/2007 21:05:46
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] why does the debate on the "transformation problem
Hi, Paul,
Yes, I did empirical work on this topic and got conclusions similar to
yours. But think of this: ten years earlier I had made empirical work on the
rate of surplus value, rate of profit, value composition of capital, etc. I
sent the work to the Mexican journal El Trimestre Economico and they
rejected it on the basis that I was contradicting myself because I wanted to
defend the labour theory of value by using labour-value categories and
however I was using monetary national account data.
Now, you and Jerry can easily see why we should keep dealing with the TP.
Because we need to find referees that don't hamper our work because they don
understand what we are doing.
Don't you think this is an important reason?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Cockshott" <clyder@GN.APC.ORG>
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2007 11:50 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] why does the debate on the "transformation
> Quoting Jerry Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>:
>> Hence _you_ ask us to consider _your_ position -- for why
>> no 'problem' exists.  Yet, if we were to do that (which, of course,
>> we might very well do)  then we would continue the debate
>> on the TP. And so on it goes.
> I only got involved with the empirical work on prices of production
> versus labour values because reviewers for Capital and Class initially
> refused to publish time series data on the rate of surplus value
> and organic composition of capital. We were told that these were
> value categories that could not be used empirically. Faced with this
> objection
> we  did additional work to show that in Britain prices correlated highly
> with labour values, and that thus one could use price data to
> work out the rate of surplus value.
> My point is that you can forget about tranformation and carry out
> empirical investigations on the basis of Capital vol 1.
> Investigations into the rate of exploitation and the rate of
> profit are the issues of primary interest to me here, particularly
> the ability to use the labour theory of value in a polemical/propagandist
> fashion. To do that you have to be able to say how many hours the
> average worker looses to her employer, how much she would gain by
> the abolition of exploitation etc.
> What Allin and I present is not a theory of the TP, but new empirical
> data which have implications for the context in which that debate
> takes place. As far as I can make out those who have been debating
> interpretations of the TP on ope-l have been debating it without
> empirical investigation.
> I am trying to find out, if they think our empirical data is wrong,
> or do they think that even in the absence of a general rate of profit
> there is
> still a transformation problem
> Paul Cockshott
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