[OPE-L:3941] productive and unproductive labour

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 7 Jan 1997 03:58:35 -0800 (PST)

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[Note change in subject line -- from "Givens in Marx's Theory" -- to
better reflect the subject at issue]

Simon, responding to Duncan's #3914, wrote in [OPE-L:3927]:

> I think a more difficult practical issue is working out, to at least a
> reasonable degree of approximation, how much labour is 'productive' of
> value. As far as I can see, at least for the UK, productive labour is not a
> constant proportion over time of total employment (and nor would I expect it
> to be), so that a time series estimate of aggregate productive labour is
> prior to the construction of a time series of the monetary expression of
> value (and obviously then its inverse, the value of money). Different such
> estimates of aggregate productive labour significantly affect the time
> series for the monetary expression of value (and hence the value of money).
> Thus I don't think that this particular practical issue is on a different
> conceptual level. What does anyone else think?

On a practical level, I think these two tasks (the construction of time
series estimates for aggregate productive labour and time series estimates
for the monetary expression of labour) are related as you suggest.

However, it might help to focus the discussion more if you told us what
categories of labour classified as productive (or unproductive) in Marxian
empirical works you find the most problematic and why.

In solidarity, Jerry