[OPE-L:3012] The "Scorecard"

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Fri, 13 Sep 1996 10:05:16 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

Ted (ope-l 3008): "what do you think about Andrew's 'scorecard' (in the
response to Laibman paper) comparing the results of the TSS interpretation
with the standard and simultaneist interpretations of some of Marx's key

Jerry (ope-l 3009): "Huh?

"I must have missed Andrew's 'scorecard' (or, at least, I don't remember it).
When did the SSSers agree to let Andrew keep score? Did David L challenge
Andrew's score?

"I must say that the very idea of a 'scorecard' on this issue sounds a bit odd
to me because of its obvious analogy to sports and games."

Jerry's confusion is understandable. I have not posted the "scorecard" on
ope-l, but only presented it in papers at the 1996 EEA (in response to
Laibman) and the 1996 CSE. "Scorecard" is a shorthand term for a table that
presents an *empirical test* of the adequacy of different interpretations of
Marx's value theory in _Capital_, as interpretations. It measures the extent
to which they negate or replicate some theoretical results of the original.
It will become clear presently why I've begun to call it a "scorecard."

The purpose of subjecting interpretations to a systematic empirical test is to
get beyond the chronic indeterminacy to which other methods, such as citation
of passages taken in isolation and subjective appeal, have led.

David Laibman did not challenge the "score," i.e., the results of the
empirical test, nor has anyone done so, to my knowledge.

I'm afraid the table will be almost unreadable over e-mail, so I am altering
the format to make it clearer. Each entry contains the following, in order:
theoretical statement, Marx's result concerning it, and the results of the
following interpretations concerning it: standard, SSS, TSS, also in order.
A "Yes" means that Marx, or the interpretation, concurs with the statement, a
"No" means he or it does not.

For instance, in item 1., "profit rate = s/(c+v); Yes; No; Yes; Yes" means
that "the profit rate equals s/(c+v)" *is* Marx's theoretical result, that the
standard interpretation reaches a contrary result, that the SSS interpretation
concludes that the profit rate equals s/(c+v), and that the TSS interpretation
concludes that the profit rate equals s/(c+v).

Explanatory notes are indicated thus: (a)
with explanations appearing at the bottom of the table. I have taken the
liberty of making a minor correction to one note as originally presented.

The "standard" interpretation is that of Bortkiewicz, Morishima, etc. It
interprets Marx's values and production prices as 2 separate systems, in each
of which the values (prices) of inputs and of outputs are simultaneously
determined. SSS is what I call the simultaneous single-system interpretation,
and TSS the temporal single-system interpretation.

It is important to note, as I did in my papers which presented the table, that
it "compares the implications of models, not the views of their proponents,
who may be unaware of or reject some of the implications of their models."

The "scorecard" or table:


Equalities and Inequalities
1. profit rate = s/(c+v); Yes; No; Yes; Yes
2. total price = total value; Yes; No(a); Yes; Yes
3. total profit = total surplus-value; Yes; No(a); Yes; Yes
4. values always >= 0; Yes; No(b); Yes; Yes
5. surplus-value always > 0 if profit > 0; Yes; No(b); Yes; Yes

Relations of Determination
6. mechanization itself can reduce profit rate(c); Yes; No; No; Yes
7. only technology and real wage affect profit rate(c); No; Yes; Yes; No
8. distribution of profit affects profit rate(d); No; Yes; Yes; No
9. profit rate affected by "basic" industries only(c); No; Yes; Yes; No
10. real wage affects unit values; No; No; Yes; No
11. duration and intensity of labor affect unit values; No; No; Yes; No

Marx's Results
Replicated Negated

Standard 2 9
SSS 5 6
TSS 11 0

Notes: (a) unless postulated; (b) given additivity of value; (c) refers to
functional determination of uniform profit rate; (d) ) refers to functional
determination of profit rate.

(end of table)

I. The standard, two-system interpretation fails to replicate any of Marx's
results, above, concerning equalities and inequalities, while both
single-system interpretations replicate all 5. Hence, to replicate Marx's
equalities and inequalities, the single-system interpretation is required.
II. The *only* mathematical difference between the SSS and the TSS
interpretations concerns how values and production prices of inputs, and of
outputs, are determined. In the SSS interpretation, they are determined
simultaneously; in the TSS interpretation, the input magnitudes are determined
before the output magnitudes. The SSS interpretation negates all 6 of Marx's
results, above, concerning relations of determination, while the TSS
interpretation replicates all 6. Hence, to replicate Marx's relations of
determination, temporal valuation is required.
III. The above test shows clearly that the "internal inconsistencies"
attributed to Marx's value theory are not present in his theory per se.
Rather, there are "external inconsistencies" between the original and certain
interpretations of it.
IV. The above empirical test gives very strong support IMO to the following
interpretive claims: values and prices in Marx's theory constitute a single
system; determination in Marx's value theory is temporal.

Andrew Kliman