Re: [OPE] replacement cost and historical cost (again)

From: Philip Dunn <>
Date: Wed Sep 02 2009 - 00:32:58 EDT

Hi Ian

Plowing my furrow, I do not see this as the issue.

Both historical cost accounting and replacement cost accounting are

The issue is how to compare expenditures at different times in order to
calculate profit.

Simple example of a circulating capital case. At the beginning of the
period, expenditures on MOP are $1000. Sales at the end of the period
are $2000. Wages are $200, paid in advance. Labour value added is 2000 *
(period end value of money)-1000 * (period start value of money).

Let the period end value of money be 0.1 hours per dollar and the period
start 0.15. Labour value added is 50 hours, or $500 at end period
prices. End period profit is $500 - $(200 * 0.15 / 0.1) = $200

On Mon, 2009-08-31 at 12:21 -0700, Ian Wright wrote:
> Quick question, which will help me in some current work. Very much
> appreciate any answers.
> (A) It seems to me that the only concept of (socially necessary)
> labor-value that Marx uses in Capital is replacement cost; that is,
> the SNLT of a commodity is the total labor required given current
> production techniques. So the labor-embodied in a commodity is a
> property of a commodity in the context of the current forces of
> production.
> (B) Some interpreters see another concept of SNLT; that is, the labor
> embodied in a commodity is the labor that *was* expended to make it,
> i.e. historical labor costs. So the labor-embodied in a commodity is a
> property of the commodity, regardless of context.
> Would it be controversial to state that Marx everywhere and always
> meant (A) and not (B)?
> Thanks,
> -Ian.

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Received on Wed Sep 2 00:36:23 2009

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