[OPE-L:4486] [BRUCE] Re: value and productivity in "A Contribution..."

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 13:05:49 -0800 (PST)

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In #4468, Andrew makes some very broad generalizations about "the whole
concept of net product." I find those claims really questionable, and
maybe at a later date we can pursue them. At the moment though, I'm more
interested in the specific point that motivated my earlier post. Andrew

>So, no, my example doesn't indicate a failure of the TSS interpretation to
>replicate Marx's own value theory. Just as the meaning of "value added"
>differs in simultaneism and successivism, so does the meaning of

Andrew, before I'll be satisfied on the issue of "replication" I need a bit
more precision. And let's stick to the example in your paper, rather than
create a new one. OK, there's more than one way to define/conceive
"productivity." But what exactly is yours (or, as you'd probably rather
say, Marx's as seen through TSS eyes)? What is the rate of productivity
growth in the example in the paper? I ask, because 25 0s not just the
rate of growth of the ratio of net output to living labor (the measure you
reject as ideologically simultaneist), it is also the growth rate of the
ratio of *gross* output to living labor. The latter certainly strikes me
as a common and legitimate way of defining productivity--certainly not one
that is particularly "simultaneist" (Alejandro had no apparent problem with
25% as the productivity growth rate in the example).

As near as I can tell, if you accept that the rate of growth of
productivity is 25%, then you have a replication problem with respect to
the quotes from Marx and the interpretation of them that you present in the
paper. Or, to put the same point another way, given what you appear to be
saying about Marx on productivity and value, the only way I can see your
TSS calculation of value as being consistent with those statements is is
you *define* "productivity" as being equal (or proportional) to the inverse
of *your* unit values. If so, then I guess you have achieved consistency
and replicated Marx on your own terms, but only by means of a definition
that excludes the normal usage of everyone not already in the TSS circle.

So please tell me whether in the example productivity (as you conceive it)
is or is not rising by 250er period. If it is, perhaps you can address
the issue of replication. But if it isn't, then I'd like to hear an
explanation of why your alternative definition of productivity is one we
should adopt. (And since I suspect that you're going to have to come up
with a growth rate for productivity that accelerates from one period to the
next in this example, I'd be especially interested in hearing a
justification of that, in light of these numbers!)


Bruce B. Roberts
Department of Economics
University of Southern Maine
Portland ME 04104-9300
(O) 207-780-5503
(H) 207-772-7047
fax 207-780-5507-------------------------------------------------