[OPE-L:3662] Re: Monetary expression of value

Duncan K. Fole (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 19:25:06 -0800 (PST)

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In reply to Andrew's [OPE-L:3652]:

>I did not understand a couple of comments Duncan made in ope-l 3649:
>"The TSS definition of the mev does not appear to be consistent with the
>conservation of living labor time in the value added realized on the market.
>As a corollary, it does not seem to be generally consistent with the
>quantitative equivalence of surplus value realized on the market with unpaid
>labor time."
>"I think it is a mathematical theorem that any definition of the mev which
>conserves living labor time in value added and unpaid labor time in surplus
>value will be equivalent to the New Interpretation definition."
>What does "conservation of living labor time in the value added realized on
>the market" mean? Why isn't the temporal conception of the MEV consistent
>with this? Doesn't this all depend on what one means by "value added"? What
>does "realization on the market" have to do with the issue? Aren't you
>concerned with the value *produced*?

What I meant was that when you multiply the living labor time in the period
by the MEV you get the value added. What I mean by value added is the value
of the net product, since it is the net product for which the expenditure
of living labor is responsible, as I understand the labor theory of value.
By "realized on the market" I mean the result of the actual sales of output
for money (because I'm still struggling to find an unambiguous way to refer
to the actual real-world results of production and exchange in terms of
money prices.) I take the value produced measured in labor time to be the
living labor expended.

The temporal conception of the MEV, as you described it in terms of the
iterative solution of difference equations, will not always satisfy this
condition in every period.
>"What exact content does the TSS interpretation give to the assumption of a
>quantitative equivalence between value produced and labor time?"
>What do you mean by "exact content"? Are you asking for a textual
>justification, a theoretical justification, an equation?

I guess I mean empirical content, or operational content. This assumption
plays a key role in the generation of TSS examples, so I'd like to be as
clear as possible just what you mean by it. The problem is that to me it
means that the MEV in each period is the ratio of the money value added (in
the conventional definition) to the living labor time, whereas you have
written down an equation for determining the MEV that leads to different
results. Or, to put it another way, when I read your examples, it seems to
me that they do not satisfy the assumption that there is a quantitative
equivalence between value produced and labor time, despite the fact that
this assumption is adopted as a foundation of the examples.


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