Re: (OPE-L) Re: measurement of abstract labor

From: clyder@GN.APC.ORG
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 09:27:56 EDT

We simply assume that the average intensity of all labour in an industrial
sector will be the same as the average intensity in society as a whole.
Since the labour in a sector is the average of lots of different
people working at different intensities the spread of these averages
will be a lot smaller than the spread of the individual intensities.

It is possible that there still subsist some systematic differences
in intensity between sectors. If one had some independent means of
determining these then one could test to see if the intensities of
labour, when added as an additional explanatory variable, increased
the correlation between prices and values that one got without
the correction for intensity. This would be an interesting question
since it would provide a means of empirically testing Marx's hypothesis
that more intense labour adds more value.

In principle one could do the test if one had the opportunity to get
good work-study records of the working day in different industries.
I think there is a good PhD thesis in such an investigation.

Quoting "Gerald A. Levy" <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>:

> Hi Paul C.
> In your empirical calculation of SNLT suggested below,
> how do you calculate the average  *intensity* of labor?
> In solidarity, Jerry
> ============
> Fred what is wrong with just adding up all the actual labour time
> across society.
> Since you are integrating over the social totality what you will get
> is bound to be the average socially necessary. Of course foreign trade
> complicates things, but that complicates things in theory as well.
> The total hours worked by society must be the total socially necessary
> time done by society - there is no hidden time to skew the average.
> One may of course discuss whether certain activities are necessary to
> society and decide to exclude them from the total, but these exclusions
> are done both in theory and in your empirical measure as well so they
> cancel out.

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