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

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Thu Aug 16 2007 - 07:58:41 EDT

--- Ian Wright <wrighti@ACM.ORG> wrote:

> > But Ian, it is well known (at least since Adam
> Smith)
> > that when the rate of profits is equal to zero,
> i.e.,
> > when all the income goes to labor then prices of
> > production are identical with labor values. This
> is
> > what you get when you put rate of profits equal to
> > zero in the dated labor equation. Cheers, ajit
> sinha
> Do you know when the standard *formula* for
> labour-values was first
> presented in the economic literature?
I don't know what you mean by the standard *formula*.
There is no mathematical formula in Adam Smith or
Ricardo. Adam Smith's example of beaver and deer
exchange in that rude state of civilization is well
know. Of course, Malthus did not believe in this
proposition--he maintained that value was determined
by demand and supply forces and cost of production was
subordinate to it in every circumstances. Say also
believed that it was demand and utility that regulated
value. But both of them are more Smithean in
opposition to Ricardo. Ricardo also did not maintain
that relative labor content of commodities determined
their relative values--this is a general
misunderstanding of Ricardo (my own reading of
Ricardo's theory which is different from Sraffa's will
be presented in my book). Same goes with Marx. Among
the early economists it was McCulloch and to some
extent James Mill who held, what now a days is known
as 'labor theory of value'. Ricardo told McCulloch
that he did not agree with such a proposition and
interestingly Marx had a poor opinion of McCulloch. So
I do not know who people are defending when they are
supposedly defending the 'labor theory of value'.
Cheers, ajit sinha

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