[OPE-L:3514] RE: Productive and Unproductive Labour

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 01:22:57 -0700 (PDT)

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>A reply to Simon's ope-l 3506, which I found very interesting.
>Simon: "Consider the l vector in the standard value equations. This refers to
>'value-creating labour-power hired'."
>I don't think this is the case. In Marx's theory, labor-power does not
>produce value. Labor does. IMO, the l vector indicates the amounts of
>productive (value-creating) *labor* extracted per unit of output. We have, in
>money terms, elx = V + S, where e (dimensions: money unit/labor-time)
>indicates the monetary expression of value. V is the money wage bill paid to
>workers who perform productive labor: V = w(lpp)x, where w is the money wage
>per-unit of labor-power (assume it is scalar for simplicity), and lpp is a
>vector (for simplicity) of productive labor-power hired per unit of output.
>Note that lpp can only be known ex post. It is not purely a labor market
>relation *or* a technological relation. It depends on the amounts of
>labor-power hired and the amounts of outputs produced. There is no necessary
>relation between these amounts. The relation depends on the degree of
>exploitation in production.

It depends upon how you construct the i/o matrix. If, it is constructed on
a per industry basis, then the intsensity of labour is irrelevant
and the labour power and labour vectors can be used indistinguishably.

This is because wat counts as simple labour is labour of average intensity
and skill, which can only be meaninfully defined within the context of a
single industry. If on the other hand the input output table is
constructed on a per firm basis then the intensity of labour is very relevant,
since the firms with the more intense labour will tend to have a higher physical
productivity and higher profits.
Paul Cockshott