[OPE-L:3442] Zero rate of profit

Alan Freeman (A.Freeman@greenwich.ac.uk)
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 00:53:07 -0700 (PDT)

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>Does the rate of profit decline to zero?
>Duncan has raised this as a criticism of dynamic theory. I
>don't know about other dynamic theorists but for my part I
>don't think it declines for all time. I think it oscillates
>with the business cycle.

The question I'm asking is hypothetical. Suppose we confronted a 1 sector
circulating capital economy undergoing a constant rate of labor-augmenting
technical progress (or a close approximation thereto), would we expect to
see the money rate of profit on historical costs go to zero? I wouldn't.

I like hypothetical questions. My response is that I think
I would but I'm not sure. It would be useful to discuss this.
Just to check: by 'labour-augmenting' you mean that the
quantity of living labour involved in producing a unit of
output, declines secularly?

So, if X(t) is the total output in use values and L(t) is
total living labour, then L/X declines monotonically? Or if
this decline is constant, could we say L/X=l(0)b^t where b<1
and l(0) = L(0)/X(0)?