[OPE-L:5742] Re: Question about NIPA

Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Sat, 22 Nov 1997 18:20:44 -0500 (EST)

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On Mon, 17 Nov 1997, david jacob jurriaan bendien wrote:

> Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 17:27:23 +0100
> From: david jacob jurriaan bendien <Jbendien@globalxs.nl>
> To: "Fred B. Moseley" <fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu>
> Cc: OPE-L <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
> Subject[OPE-L:5742] : Re: Question about NIPA
> I agree entirely with Fred Moseley's comments on Andrew Kliman's question
> about NIPA, but the interesting issue is now whether, in a Marxian account
> of the value product (added value), newly produced but uninstalled capital
> goods should be regarded as part of the value of the annual social product.
> It seems to me that they must be, since during any accounting period there
> will be goods produced which are not "final consumer goods" but "producer
> goods" not installed and used up in the current round of production.
> If it is argued that such capital goods are not an "addition to wealth" in
> the current round of production, is it possible to deduct the value of such
> capital goods using NIPA data, i.e. is it possible to separate out those
> capital goods produced in an accounting period but not installed during
> that period ?
> Without being familiar with NIPA methodology, I would imagine that this is
> not possible from published statistical information. Would it then be
> possible to estimate the quantity involved using information about gross
> fixed capital formation and the value of outputs of those sectors producing
> "Department I" goods (i.e. capital goods, i.e. plant and equipment etc.) ?

Hi David, welcome to OPE-L.

I am not sure that I understand completely what you are getting at,
but I would argue that, from a Marxian perspective, the "product side"
estimates are mostly irrelevant, except as an alternative method to
estimates value added, surplus-value, etc. and as a check of reliability.
The Marxian variables are MONETARY variables, not REAL variables - not
the annual "OUTPUT" and its components. What matters from this perspective
is how much surplus-value is produced, not whether the surplus-value is
used to purchase wage goods or "capital goods". Whether or not the
"capital goods" purchased with surplus-value are installed or not is
irrelevant to the estimation of surplus-value. If these goods were
purchased with surplus-value, then they should be included in the
"expenditure approach" estimates of surplus-value. (I put "capital goods"
in quotations marks because from a Marxian perspective, capital is not
goods, but money (money that makes more money, M - C - M'). "Capital
goods" defines capital in terms of physical goods and is a neoclassical

I would be happy to discuss further.