[OPE-L:3815] Re: Organic composition of capital negatively

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 11 Dec 1996 06:39:01 -0800 (PST)

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:3814]:

> Yes these results are restricted, and it would be interesting
> to extend them to more years and more countries. However
> it it hard to see how the random fluctuation of market prices
> can have resulted in the systematic tendancy for capitals
> of high organic composition to have lower rates of profit
> unless the mean around which they are fluctuating is their
> values.

Although there are frequently significant barriers to entry and exit and,
relatedly, a significant percentage of capital invested takes the form of
[inherently relatively immobile] stocks of constant fixed capital in
most firms and branches of production ...

... if there are branches of production with significantly lower rates of
profit, wouldn't we anticipate investment of money capital in those
branches with a higher rate of profit and disinvestment in those branches
of production with a lower rate of profit? ... and wouldn't this tend,
_over time_ (how much time?), to at least cause the scattering of rates of
profit to diminish (if not actually equalize)?

Of course, an alternative hypothesis might be the theorization of a "dual
economy", as has been done by the social structure of accumulation (SSA)
school. That theory predicts higher rates of profit for the primary
[core; oligopolistic] sector and that prediction _seems_ to be refuted by
your data from the UK. Yet, there is also some empirical evidence in
support of the proposition that profit rates are *higher* for large firms
in highly concentrated branches of production. See, for example, Joseph
Bowring's _Competition in a Dual Economy_ (Princeton, Princeton
University Press, 1986). How are these two sets of results to be

In solidarity, Jerry