Re: [OPE-L] Marx's own empirical estimate of c/v

From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Jul 12 2007 - 05:01:42 EDT


Paul, and all,

It must be stressed that Marx's *next* footnote, concerning the calculation that Jurriaan draws our attention to (plus a second example calculation) reads:

'The calculations given in the text are intended merely as illustrations. We have in fact assumed that prices = values. We shall, however, see in Volume 3 that even in the case of average prices the assumption cannot be made in this very simple manner'. [Capital 1, 1976 Penguin edition, p. 329]

Many thanks

Andy

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Zarembka
Sent: 11 July 2007 19:39
To: OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Marx's own empirical estimate of c/v

Thanks, Jurriaan.  I had missed the footnote as to actual data being
relied upon.

Anybody for any other examples anywhere in Marx's works?

Paul Z.

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On Wed, 11 Jul 2007, Jurriaan Bendien wrote:

> From Capital Vol. 1:
> 
> First we will take the case of a spinning mill containing 10,000 mule spindles, spinning No. 32 yarn from American cotton, and producing 1 lb. of yarn weekly per spindle. We assume the waste to be 6%: under these circumstances 10,600 lbs. of cotton are consumed weekly, of which 600 lbs. go to waste. The price of the cotton in April, 1871, was 7 3/4d. per lb.; the raw material therefore costs in round numbers 342. The 10,000 spindles, including preparation-machinery, and motive power, cost, we will assume, 1 per spindle, amounting to a total of 10,000. The wear and tear we put at 10%, or 1,000 yearly = 20 weekly. The rent of the building we suppose to be 300 a year, or 6 a week. Coal consumed (for 100 horse-power indicated, at 4 lbs. of coal per horse-power per hour during 60 hours, and inclusive of that consumed in heating the mill), 11 tons a week at 8s. 6d. a ton, amounts to about 4 1/2 a week: gas, 1 a week, oil, &c., 4 1/2 a week. Total cost of the above auxiliary materials, 10 weekly. Therefore the constant portion of the value of the week's product is 378. Wages amount to 52 a week. The price of the yarn is 12 1/4d. per. lb. which gives for the value of 10,000 lbs. the sum of 510. The surplus-value is therefore in this case 510 - 430 = 80. We put the constant part of the value of the product = 0, as it plays no part in the creation of value. There remains 132 as the weekly value created, which = 52 var. + 80 surpl. The rate of surplus-value is therefore 80/52 = 153 11/13%. In a working-day of 10 hours with average labour the result is: necessary labour = 3 31/33 hours, and surplus-labour = 6 2/33
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch09.htm
> 
> Marx adds in a note: The above data, which may be relied upon, were given me by a Manchester spinner. In England the horse-power of an engine was formerly calculated from the diameter of its cylinder, now the actual horse-power shown by the indicator is taken.
> 
> Jurriaan


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