[OPE-L:1203] Re: determination of constant capital

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Fri, 23 Feb 1996 08:53:39 -0800

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A brief response to Andrew's points re. simultaneous valuation (his
numerical example).

1. Given a change in the conditions of production as of period t, he's
right that [v(output,end-of-t) - v(input,start-of-t)] on the temporal
system and [v(t) - v(t-1)] on the simultaneous system are not
quantitatively the same. But they are of the same sign, and the former is
the first step towards convergence on the latter. It will take several
periods of unchanged conditions of production for the 'temporal' value to
converge to the new simultaneous value. I'm not sure what hangs on this.

2. On the profit rate calculations: I'm not sure what is 'right' here and
what is consistent with Marx. Clearly, Andrew is right that, in terms of
labour-time historically embodied, the output in his second period (100
qtrs) embodies the same labour-time (80 units) as the 80 qtrs of outlays
on seed corn and wage-corn stored from the last period. By this
accounting the surplus-value is zero. On the other hand, the capitalists
have appropriated a physical surplus product of 20 qtrs, which has a
labour-content of 16 (temporal style) or 12 (reproduction cost), and from
this point of view it looks odd that surplus-value should be reckoned at
zero. I'll have to think about this some more!