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From: Duccio Cavalieri <d.cavalieri@unifi.it>
Date: Wed Sep 02 2009 - 04:34:40 EDT

Hi Jan,

    the problem of the measurement of capital value by Marx, that you posed, is interesting in se - for it is the central one in the theory of capital and investment - as well as with specific reference to Marx.

   Generally speaking, there are three ways to afford it. Capital can be valued: i) at its present replacement cost, at current prices, influenced by current income distribution (Wicksell); ii) at its historical cost ('antecedent labour', provided that it is known and well defined), plus cumulated interests on it (a retrospective computation, the 'perpetual inventory' method used by statisticians and by E.F. Denison); iii) as a stock of productive value capacity, that is at its capacity to create a future income stream, reckoned at unknown future market prices and properly discounted (a perspective method, used by Marshall, Walras and Fisher). In my opinion, Marx correctly chose to use the first method.

   Now, if you agree, the point seems to me to be a somewhat restricted one. Did Marx use current social prices (SNLT) or current market prices? And is replacement cost a simple and univocally defined entity? And is Marx's SNLT definition used in the 1st volume of Capital the same as that used in the 3rd volume?

   With best regards.


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Received on Wed Sep 2 04:39:29 2009

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