[OPE] replacement cost and historical cost (again)

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Tue Sep 01 2009 - 02:36:48 EDT

In Marxist theory there is only one way in which the value of commodities
can be determined by labourtime, but in fact Marx's concept of SNLT permits
of several modes which could apply, and apply to different classes of
commodities. There is prima facie no reason why the value of all commodities
is determined in exactly the same way by labourtime.

In Cap. Vol. 2, Marx largely abstracts from productivity changes due to
technical change, as Rosa Luxemburg points out in "The Accumulation of

In Vol. 3, it becomes apparent that in the course of the historical
formation of production prices, the determination of values actually
changes. It also becomes apparent that due to the uneven development of
productivity gains in space and time, the identity of total value and total
price, and total surplus value and total profit, is only a theoretical
assumption. The output of mines and farms is determined by value relations
different from those in manufacturing.

So there is a difference between valuations in "incipient markets" and in
"developed markets". The concept of SNLT as replacement cost applies to a
"developed" market system in which the value-form of commodities is fully
developed, such that changes in relative values are more or less

The historical tendency is also reflected in the history of accounting,
which has, across time, shifted from historical cost valuations to current
replacement cost valuations of capital. This is almost entirely explicable
by the fact that current price changes significantly affect profits.


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Received on Tue Sep 1 02:38:40 2009

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