[OPE-L:1201] determination of constant capital

Costas Lapavitsas (CL5@soas.ac.uk)
Fri, 23 Feb 1996 02:57:40 -0800

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Andrew wrote,

> Theorem: changes in labor-time requirements do not lead to changes in
> the rate(s) of profit if values are simultaneously determined.
> Proof: hold constant all outputs and all physical outlays (including
> outlays to hire labor-power). Then the "value" rate of profit for
> any firm, industry, etc. will change if and only if relative values
> change. Let the vector of unit living labor requirements change from
> L to kL, where k is a scalar. The vector of simultaneously determined
> values thus changes from v = L{(I-A)} to kL{(I-A)} = kv (because A is
> constant). Hence, relative values remain unchanged. Hence, all
> "value" rates of profit remain unchanged. Q.E.D.

I was under the impression that v is the necessary part of the
working day for which the capitalist has to pay an equivalent. If L
rises (ie, people work longer, or harder, or more of them work)
shouldn't that appear as higher value for the (unchanged) output? And
if neither the real commodity wage, nor v change, does this not mean
that the capitalist is appropriating more value per unit output? What
can the meaning of unchanged 'value' rate of profit be in Andrew's