[OPE-L:4552] Re: Duncan's vintages

John Erns (ernst@pipeline.com)
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 16:25:49 -0800 (PST)

[ show plain text ]


Not so fast. Responding to Alan's question, you state (see below)
that "if the entire branch enjoys doubled productivity, then the
answer is easy: the value is the same." Why? Are we to say that
competition will automatically lower the social value to the
individual value? Why? It seems to me that we cannot simply
assert that this fall takes place once the new technique is
adopted by all in the industry; rather, we have to show the how's
and why's. I see no reason why the individual value created in
the industry cannot differ from the social value even after the
new more productive technique is used by all.


At 03:04 PM 3/26/97 -0800, you wrote:
>I am having some trouble with this system. I may have sent an earlier
>message. If a single firm rather than a branch has the productivity
>doubled, then the question is difficult. I have never seen a
>satisfactory analysis of value with a hetergenous group of firms.
>If the entire branch enjoys doubled productivity, then the answer is
>easy: the value is the same.
>Alan Freeman wrote:
>> I think Michael's posts [4532, 4542] let us approach the
>> issue in a very direct manner which gets right to the heart
>> of the problem.
>> Let me ask this question. Suppose in February, the
>> workers in a given branch of production make twice as
>> many goods as in January, having worked the same number
>> of hours in each month. Suppose this results from changes in
>> technology which, for the sake of simplicity, we will assume
>> have not changed the cost structure of the firm (that is, the
>> organic composition does not change).
>> So the workers, to put it simply, make twice as many things
>> in the same time, for the same money.
>> Has the value they add to the (aggregate) product doubled?
>> Alan
>Michael Perelman
>Economics Department
>California State University
>Chico, CA 95929
>Tel. 916-898-5321
>E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu