Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sun Apr 01 2007 - 19:08:36 EDT

> On Sat, 31 Mar 2007, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
>> Fred wrote:
>> "Furthermore, Marx emphasis in these pages is that prices of
>> production change IF AND ONLY IF the values of commodities
>> change, either in final goods industries, or in industries that
>> produce means of production. You seem to have in mind a
>> situation in which prices of production change from period to
>> period, because input prices are not equal to output prices,
>> even though the values of commodities remain the same."
>> Well when does value change if not between the production and
>> realization of the inputs and the production and realization of
>> the outputs? This is question Guisanni has put forth. I put it
>> to Allin. What is the answer?
> I suspect (though I do not know) that Fred would agree with the
> following answer.  At any rate it's mine, and I take it to be
> Marx's:
> The value of a commodity changes when and only when there is an
> alteration in the labour time that is socially necessary for its
> production.
> If technology is changing _continuously_ this could indeed occur
> "between the production of the inputs and the production of the
> outputs",

When else would the value of commodities be changing if not as you have
specified? And if not continuously then often do you think the respective
values of commodities are changing? Given that the Uno School thinks the
propserity phase of the business cycle is one of capital widening, it
would seem that it holds to the belief that values are fixed, more or
less, for the phase of the business cycle--Sekine is for example a most
severe critic of Alan Freeman.  Yet even if technology is fixed--and it
certainly is not-- on going advanes in organization would however work to
depress unit values even in the prosperity phase.

but (to reiterate what I said in an earlier post) it is
> a very big stretch to attribute this sort of dynamic analysis to
> Marx.

Surely less of a stretch than to make him an equilibrium economist in the
neo classical sense!

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