[OPE-L:3178] IVA and all that

Duncan K. Fole (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 15:33:20 -0700 (PDT)

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I'm away from New York tending to a family emergency over the next week or
so, and while I can monitor the list, it will be hard for me to reply in a
lot of detail to interventions for a while.

I did have just a couple of responses to Andrew and John.

It would help me quite a lot, and, I think, help all of our mutual
understanding, if we could stabilize the discussion around a single
standard model. I propose that we stick with the circulating capital
1-sector model, since that seems to be common ground among the examples,
where a units of output plus l(t) units of labor at the beginning of the
period yield 1 unit of output at the end of the period. I think all of the
methodological points can be made in this context, and the multiplication
of slightly different numerical examples makes it hard to identify exactly
what principles people are putting forward.

Let me also second John's attempt to make a catalogue of the things we seem
to agree about. The other problem in this discussion has been the occasions
when one person attributes another's disagreement to one aspect of the
situation, when the first person actually is focusing on something else.
Unfortunately I seem to have discarded John's post on this inadvertently,
but his effort to list the points of agreement, especially around the
interpretation of the labor theory of value as stipulating that 1 unit of
living labor adds a given value added to the product, was very helpful. I
also think there is no disagreement that a one-shot unanticipated rise in
labor productivity in this model leads to a one-shot fall in the historical
rate of profit realized by capitalists due to the devaluation of their
constant capital.

In constant search of clarity,


Duncan K. Foley
Department of Economics
Barnard College
New York, NY 10027
fax: (212)-854-8947
e-mail: dkf2@columbia.edu