[OPE-L:7398] [OPE-L:929] Re: Marx's concept of price of production

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 30 Apr 1999 07:05:03 -0400 (EDT)

Re Fred's [OPE-L:927]:

> Certainly, for actual market prices, input prices are in
> general not equal to output prices.

OK, we have agreement on that point. [NB to Ajit: in my previous post, I
was using the terms input prices and output prices as Fred is above].

> To interrogate what issue? That input prices are not
> equal to output prices?


> > b) what do you believe can cause input prices to differ
> > (systematically?) from output prices?;
> The ana[r]chy of capitalist production; the lack of
> conscious coordination of capitalist production; the
> systematic failure for supplies to equal to demands.

These different causes, and others, need to be discussed. I would need to
hear more about how you think these mechanisms can (re)create
disequilibrium before I can comment.

> However, again, Marx nonetheless assumed that there is
> also a systematic tendency for disequilibrium prices to
> fluctuate around equilibrium prices, and Marx's theory in
> Volume 3 of Capital is about the latter.

To say that disequilibrium prices fluctuate around equilibrium prices is
tautological. Yet, even when we can identify the formal possibility of
equilibrium, it does *not* mean that:

a) the system is in equilibrium;
b) the system is headed for equilibrium;
c) the system will stay in equilibrium once it arrives at equilibrium;
d) the system is ordinarily in equilibrium.

> > c) what is the relationship between changes that occur within a
> > period to what occurs over a longer time horizon?
> I am not sure what you mean here.

I meant: what is the relationship between the changes in input and output
prices that occur in the *short-run* to what occurs in the *long-run*?

> In any case, I agree that we should move toward more
> concrete disequilibrium analysis. I have already said this a
> number of times. I think an urgent research task in the
> years ahead should be to further develop Marx's theory in
> this direction.

We are in complete agreement here.

In solidarity, Jerry