Re: [OPE-L] a paper on Marx's transformation problem and Ricardo's problem of an invariable measure of value

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Thu Jul 19 2007 - 11:54:10 EDT

> But I think it is simply a wrong
> interpretation to interpret Sraffa's dated labor
> approach to price determination in a growth context.

If you find this particular interpretation of the formula for standard
labour-values unfamiliar then concentrate on the two other
interpretations I mention in the paper.

The standard formula for labour-values is not Sraffa's equation by the
way, it goes as far back at least to Dmitriev, whom he read, but
didn't reference.

To claim that this interpretation is "simply wrong" you should
demonstrate that it cannot consistently translate the system of
mathematical equations into economically meaningful statements. That
would be a critique that might shift my position on the growth
interpretation of the hypothetical process of replacement.

> Marx (and Ricardo as well) measures labor-values in a
> similar manner with 0 power on the rate of profits
> throughout.

If you mean that the standard formula for labour-values is an accurate
translation of some aspects of Marx's and Ricardo's labour-value
accounting then I agree.

> In any case, dated labor approach is
> applicable only in a context when a sector produces
> only one commodity. In the case of multiple production
> (joint-production) the approach is not workable. But
> in joint production cases first of all it is very
> difficult to define labor-value of commodities and
> even if you can do this, you cannot avoid negative
> labor-value for some commodities.

Joint production is irrelevant to this paper, which is a critique of
the formula for standard labour-values in single production.

However, I'm certain that the neo-Ricardian results regarding joint
production and value theory are severely compromised due to the
transfer of the labour-cost accounting error from single production
into the joint production framework.

The appendix contains an analysis of standard vs. nonstandard
labour-values in the context of proportionate growth. I wrote this
especially for you since you challenged me to analyze this case and
claimed that my labour-cost accounting would "break down" in this
context. But you were confusing the issue of a distributed vs.
undistributed surplus with the concept of growth.

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