[OPE-L:513] value-creating power

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 08:26:59 -0800

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Dear Ope-lers,
due to personal things, I haven't been able to follow up the list proceeding.
I still find myself 5-6 days later.

Steve introduced Hilferding's view on skilled labour[454] with which
he seems in agreement. I have not read the original but am much interested.
That reminds me of the old discussion about education when I was a student
The hypothesis that education adds value-creating power to the educated worker
may explain the motivation of total capital to build the modern public education.
Also it would suggest education workers are productive in general.

This is my interpretation of the matter:
In a very simple case such as that an employed worker is sent by the management
to an external training institute where his skill is to be improved, this
training is a commodity. The value of this commodity is the value of education
labor there plus transfers of value of the means of education production.
Let this value to be <We>.
If the educated worker works (or is expected to work) n years in average and her/his
skill (value-creating power) is m multiplied, yearly value created by her/his labor
before (let this to be <Wp>) would become <m*Wp>.
For capital, the education of the worker adds suplus value of (m-1)*Wp for n years
if the worker is paid the same wage. The present value of the change would be
Wx = SIGMA ((m-1)*Wp/(1+r)**t) (r=discount rate)
(t=1 to n)
When this amount Wx exceeds We, the management would utilize the training.
This can be applied also to any kind of education in capitalist society.
Though I employed the assumption that the management purchases the training in
the case above, also in the case that an employed pays for the education, a smilar
thing must happen. The difference is only that the employed would be paid more wage
of the amount equal to We. (Or if she/he is paid more than wage of unskilled labor plus
cost of the education, can we say that she/he get some transfer from capitalists?)

The equation of Wx above seems (to behave) like price of ficticious capital. Is it
really Human capital? The equation also suggests capital's enthusiasm of longer
working years of life for skilled labor.

In the case above, we can assume there's no transfer of value between capitalists. But
I think it is not unlikely that capitalists would distribute the amount of 'added surplus
from education' through price deviation from the value of education (in the sence of
Capital III). Or the difference of Wx and We would cause a rise in price of the education
that would form a transfer of value from the demand side to the supply side of the education.

in ope-l solidarity,

Iwao Kitamura
a member of theoretical study group
Socialist Association (Japan)
E-mail : ikita@st.rim.or.jp
personal web: http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~ikita/