Re: [OPE] No rise is s/v? Kliman's empirical work on the falling rate of profit

From: Philip Dunn <>
Date: Sat Oct 17 2009 - 09:21:57 EDT

Hi Paul

It well known that measurements of s/v are sensitive to the
classification of sectors as unproductive or productive. If
unproductive sectors are forming an increasing fraction of the economy
then the measured s/v will increase over time because the "profits" of
unproductive sectors are deemed to have come from the surplus value of
productive sectors.

If 100% of the economy is taken as productive you don't get this odd

It is a matter of taste, I guess. De gustibus.

On Fri, 2009-10-16 at 09:23 -0400, Paul Zarembka wrote:
> Some of us have received from Andrew Kliman a link to his draft
> "Persistent Fall in Profitability", i.e.,
> Working with US data since 1947, he concludes: "the rate of
> surplus-value remained roughly constant over the entire course
> of each period taken as a whole, the rate of surplus-value had
> only a very minor influence on the rate of profit over longer
> spans of time". However, Andrew has no recognition whatsoever
> of unproductive labor (actually, he doesn't even mention it in
> his 105 pp. first draft). I don't recall having seen other
> work by Kliman which discusses Marx's productive versus
> unproductive labor, although I would presume he has taken a
> position on it somewhere since it hardly seems possible to
> ignore the discussion.
> Those who have worked with US data and included unproductive
> labor find that the rate of surplus value is indeed rising
> considerably. My paper for the Marx gala conference in Amherst
> lays out these works (Wolff, Moseley, Shaik and Tonak) but I
> have yet to include Mohun's 2005 Cambridge Journal article
> correcting Shaikh and Tonak. (From a lecture I just heard from
> Tonak in Kocaeli University in Turkey, I understand him to
> accept Mohun'w work as an improvement.) Mohun's work reports
> from 1964 to 2001 a rise in s/v from ~2 to ~3 - a 50% increase
> - with the conceptual distinction between productive and
> unproductive labor incorporated. Mohun's result makes sense
> of the stability of real wages in that period for the US while
> the production of relative surplus value continues.
> Any thoughts on this matter? Paul Zarembka

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Received on Sat Oct 17 09:30:11 2009

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