[OPE-L:1002] Re: Reply to SImon

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Thu, 8 Feb 1996 05:40:33 -0800

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I concur wholeheartedly with Simon on this point. In the same vein, let me
take one more look at v = pA + L (although I understand Michael's
frustration, I don't really think this is "8th decimal place" stuff -- it
concerns one's interpretation of the theory that most commentators, both
sympathetic and hostile, have taken to be central to Marx's project).

Alan is right thus far: There is no formal dimensional incompatibility,
provided prices are expressed in labour-hours; but my objection is that
there is a deep theoretical incompatibility, of levels of abstraction if
you like. L is a vector of real, honest-to-goodness labour-times, but p,
though expressed in the same units, is a concoction. It is the actual
market price vector -- warts (i.e. monopoly elements, rents,
supply-demand divergences) and all -- multipled by a conversion factor
equal to the total hours worked in the economy divided by money stock
times velocity of circulation (that's right, isn't it?). On no stretch
can the resulting magnitudes be equated with the labour-times socially
necessary to produce the various inputs, and hence they are
not at par with the 'L' elements to which they are added.

Allin Cottrell
Department of Economics
Wake Forest University