[OPE-L:3306] RE: accumulation of capital revisited

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Mon, 7 Oct 1996 06:55:23 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

A reply to Jerry's ope-l 3297:

Jerry: "If one accepts Paul Z's definition, then accumulation of capital
when s is converted into increasing c + v."

I accept this as accumulation of capital from the value side; there is also a
use-value side, expended reproduction, and the pattern of accumulation of
use-value and value doesn't always correspond.

Jerry: "This presents a couple of significant theoretical problems for the
under consideration:"

There is no model under consideration. There is an example which people are
studying in order to help clarify certain issues, even though no one thinks it
represents an actual or possible reality.

Jerry: "(1) If v is assumed to equal 0, then accumulation can not happen
since v
at time t + 1 would have to be *greater* than at time t. Yet, this can not
happen by assumption -- so accumulation is impossible by assumption."

Not as I understand "Paul Z's" definition (which is also Marx's). If
increasing c + v means that the sum of c and v in period t+1 exceeds the sum
of c and v at time t, there can be accumulation even with a fall in v, as long
as it is offset by a larger rise in c.

"(2) Unless we are to allow v to be *less than* 0 at time t + 1, why would
capitalists introduce labor-saving innovations at time t?"

Given v = 0, a technical change will be viable in Okishio's sense if the ratio
of corn input to corn output falls - what John and folks generally call
capital-saving tech. change. It may also be labor-saving. For instance,
assume 4 bu. of corn and 100 hours of living labor yield 5 bu. corn at time t,
but 6 bu. of corn at time t+1. In a one-sector example with v = 0, the
simultaneist profit rate will rise from 25% to 50%.

My example, however, follows Duncan in assuming that the input/output ratio is
constant, not falling. This implies that the example doesn't refute the
Okishio theorem, since it violates one of the theorem's assumptions. That's
okay, because it is now generally agreed that the TSS interpretation can get
results dramatically opposed to those of Okishio and the surplus approach for
reasons that have nothing to do with the particular assumptions employed in
the example, so it is these underlying differences that are being examined at
the moment, not the theorem.

Andrew Kliman