[OPE-L:1063] Re: does price affect value

S.Mohun (S.Mohun@qmw.ac.uk)
Thu, 15 Feb 1996 03:22:34 -0800

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Andrew writes (in 1059) that

> when we speak of value not equalling price, we are talking about
> a *quantitative* difference, a different distribution of value. Thus,
> for an individual firm, we may have a difference between its "value"
> (value produced) and "price" (value received) rates of profit. Since this
> is purely a quantitative difference, it has nothing to do with how value
> is expressed. Thus, BOTH values and prices in this sense can be measured
> in labor-time and in money terms.

Simon asks:
1. Why 'measure' values in money terms? Their measure is SNLT. Of course, in
exchange, values are expressed in terms of a monetary equivalent, which
allows a quantitative measure in terms of money; but this measure is in
terms of equivalent. Hence the possibility of a quantitative divergence
between value in terms of SNLT and value in terms of its monetary
equivalent. Equal and unequal exchange again, but I won't go in to that.
2. Why 'measure' prices in terms of labour-time? It is not an obvious thing
to do, and it is not in my understanding how Marx defines price.
3. (Further on in 1059) What is being deduced from what? Is it the case that
maintaining Marx's 2 aggregate equalities entails your definition of value?
Or that your definition of value entails Marx's 2 aggregate equalities? My
wholly unworthy suspicion is that the argument is predicated on the former,
but that it is being dressed up as the latter. Obviously I haven't
understood something.

Allin writes in 1062
'Andrew's interpretation allows us to trash the Bortkiewicz critique, but
the cost is too high'

Simon remarks
There is a much more robust way to 'trash the Bortkiewicz critique' which is
(arguably anyway!) closer to both spirit and letter of Marx, and that is to
rethink the LTV in terms of value added rather than gross value, as Gerard
Dumenil and Duncan Foley originally suggested some 15 years ago or so, and
Duncan has repeated in 1036.

Simon Mohun,
Dept of Economics,
Queen Mary and Westfield College,
Mile End Road,
London E1 4NS,
Telephone: 0171-975-5089
Fax: 0181-983-3580