[OPE-L:2034] Re: Actually existing capitalism

Gilbert Skillman (gskillman@wesleyan.edu)
Mon, 29 Apr 1996 09:53:43 -0700

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In response to the following,

> >2nd point of information: The literature on interindustry wage
> >differentials alone indicates that there is dramatic variance in the
> >correspondence between wages and the value of labor power. Are these
> >factored into the above-indicated correlations?

Paul writes:

> The problem here is to determine whether inter industry wage differentials
> should be considered
> a) deviations in the price of labour power from its value
> b) variations between the value of different categories of labour power
> c) indicators of the different value creating powers of labour
> in different branches of production

That's a good point. The earlier question was based on my belief
that interindustry wage differentials reflect departures from
Walrasian conditions due to bargaining power or labor extraction
considerations. This interpretation is corroborated most recently,
for example, by Blanchflower, Oswald, and Sanfey, Quarterly J of Econ
Feb. 96, who find significant rent-sharing across sectors in the US
labor market, controlling for worker characteristics, industry fixed
effects, and unionism. There are several other studies indicating that
wage differentials reflect rent-sharing at least in part.

Question: I don't see how (c) is necessarily reflected in
divergences of wage from the value of labor power.

In solidarity, Gil