[OPE-L:3319] Re: Absolute Surplus Value

Bruce Robert (broberts@usm.maine.edu)
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 08:42:14 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul C's reply (#3305) to Alan's question on Absolute Surplus Value is
basically the one I would give as well. The generation of ASV in Marx as I
read him involves an increase in the length of the workday with a given
daily (real) wage, technology constant.

If you write the price equation in terms of total output (X) in each
sector, as Alan does, then, as Paul notes, the extra work time increases
total output and the revenue from total output (pX), as well as total
physical inputs and the cost of these inputs (pA). But variable capital
remains the same, causing a higher r.

Alternatively, if we write the price equation in per unit terms, the
revenue and constant capital terms are unchanged, but the variable capital
term falls, because the real wage per unit labor performed falls--ASV in
Marx's sense makes workers cheaper.

It's not *that* easy to discover (in Alan's words) "quite a substantial
problem for the
simultaneous interpretation"!


Bruce B. Roberts
Department of Economics
University of Southern Maine
Portland ME 04104-9300
(O) 207-780-5503
(H) 207-772-7047
fax 207-780-5507-------------------------------------------------