Re: [OPE-L] Enrique D. Dussel's writings online

From: Philip Dunn (pscumnud@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Date: Sat Apr 09 2005 - 04:25:41 EDT


Quoting Ian Wright <iwright@GMAIL.COM>:

> Hi Phil
> 
> > Define labour-content of X as the labour required at the margin to produce
> X:
> >
> >              L = X dN/dX
> 
> I can't accept this definition without more explanation. I didn't
> understand your point.
> 
> -Ian.
> 

Hello Ian

Chapter 2 of Ricardo's Principles 

 http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP.html

The exchangeable value of all commodities, whether they be manufactured, or the
produce of the mines, or the produce of land, is always regulated, not by the
less quantity of labour that will suffice for their production under
circumstances highly favorable, and exclusively enjoyed by those who have
peculiar facilities of production; but by the greater quantity of labour
necessarily bestowed on their production by those who have no such facilities;
by those who continue to produce them under the most unfavorable circumstances;
meaningóby the most unfavorable circumstances, the most unfavorable under which
the quantity of produce required, renders it necessary to carry on the
production.

So the unit labour-content of corn is determined at the margin of cultivation.
and is equal to dN/dX, the marginal rate at which labour is required to produce
extra corn.

(This is traditional agriculture, no seed corn is bought. Further there are no
implements, so no constant capital. The corn retained from the previous harvest
for sowing is commodity capital.)

Phil


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