[OPEL:6158] L] Re: Quantifying value

JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 09:49:22 -0500

Jurriaan wrote earlier today:

"But for social accounting purposes we do need a rigorous set of
defining criteria".

I've got what may be considered by some to be a naive question:

(which, btw, I am directing to all, not just Jurriaan)

* Why can't the empirical research proceed as follows --

-- develop *two* (or more) sets of defining criteria which
can be used with the same data?

I.e. develop two separate algorithms that (in this case) reflect
two distinct understandings of productive and unproductive labour
and then run both algorithms together on a computer?

I admit to not being a computer whiz, but this sounds like a pretty
straight-forward task to me.

Certainly, the above procedure would _not_ settle the theoretical
questions under debate right now. (And, btw, I am _not_ suggesting
that the "productive and unproductive labour" thread be ended;
indeed, I find it to be a very important thread which I would like
to see continued ...).

But, why couldn't the empirical work proceed using two separate
"scenarios" which reflect these different understandings? If for no
other reason, it might be useful to develop a "range" and then
discuss how important (or unimportant) the different definitions
are to the empirical "results".

Or am I way off-base?

In solidarity, Jerry