[OPEL:6159] Re: L] Re: Quantifying value

Murray Smith (msmith@SPARTAN.AC.BROCKU.CA)
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 13:05:48 -0500 (EST)

I don't think that this is a naive suggestion at all, Jerry. Indeed, in my
own original work on the Canadian economy, I calculated the Marxian ratios
on the basis of several definitions of the value categories. As it
happens, the definitional framework that I favored -- the constant-capital
specification of SNUL -- produced results that were most in accord with
Marx's theoretical expectations: a falling average rate of profit
associated with a strongly rising organic composition of capital and a
rising rate of surplus value. These results are similar to those obtained
by proponents of the "standard interpretation" when they distinguish
"gross" from "net" surplus value (or, in Fred's case, the "Marxian" from
the "conventional" rate of profit).


On Tue, 10 Feb 1998, JERRY LEVY wrote:

> 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