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: Mon Aug 20 2007 - 14:29:29 EDT

> I now see what you are saying.

I'm glad of that.

> On the second point I am unconvinced for the reasons I put forward in
> our discussion on it a year or so ago.

Yes, I understand that you do not think that the standard definition
of labour-value commits an accounting error. But we can put this more
contentious issue aside for now.

The existence of a nonstandard definition of labour-value poses a
problem however. There are now *two* definitions of labour-value.
Which one to choose? Is one wrong, right, or are both simply answers
to different questions?

The nonstandard definition is easy to formulate, entails no
contradictions, dissolves the transformation problem, and sustains
Marx's identification of surplus-value and profit, even in the
infamous special case of equilibrium or simultaneous determination.
Steedman's famous objections to the logical possibility of a LTV --
inconsistency and redundancy -- do not apply. Furthermore, the
nonstandard definition is consistent with your empirical results on
the correlation between standard labour-values and prices (see section
8.1 and footnote 18).

So, methodologically, how do we proceed to understand the differences
between the two definitions? How do we choose between them? I try to
answer these questions in my paper. But there is much more to do,
especially in understanding the differences between the two approaches
in the context of dynamics.

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