Re: [OPE] Linear transformation between equilibrium prices and labour values

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Thu Dec 09 2010 - 13:36:47 EST

On 2010-12-08 00:02, Ian Wright wrote:
> The attractor has significance outside of this special case.
> For example, consider that we introduce technical change and changing
> consumption patterns to this model (which is quite easy to do,
> although quite difficult to analyze). The attractor remains causally
> efficacious. In fact, if the rates of technical change and consumption
> patterns are relatively slow then the attractor will in fact manifest;
> in other words, the economy has time to gravitate to its "long-period"
> position before that long-period position undergoes significant
> change. But in general the attractor, in these more realistic
> circumstances, is subject to change (i.e., it's now a dynamic
> attractor that is driven by the new set of "laws" that integrate
> technical change and changes in consumption).
> If we started with the "full" model, in which everything changes, the
> analytical challenges would be very high. But by starting with
> "simplified" models, the analytical challenges are lower, which
> provides the opportunity to identify sub-parts of the system and
> understand them in isolation. Once we attain that understanding we can
> incrementally introduce complexity and hopefully gain a complete
> understanding of the dynamics of the complex system as a whole. The
> knowledge gained from studying the simpler models is normally highly
> relevant to studying the more complex cases.

I agree with this.
> I look at it this way: at any time a part of the division of labor is
> devoted to producing capitalist consumption goods. In the nonstandard
> scheme we must count this labor-time as a cost of production. That's a
> requirement for computing current "total labor costs".
> I don't think the "ex post" conception helps here. Both standard and
> nonstandard labor-values, at least outside of the context of national
> accounts and the idealization of the "year", are instantaneous or
> current properties of an economy that link actual work done in
> different parts of the economy into vertically integrated sectors. At
> all times this link exists, whether in the standard or nonstandard
> accounting schemes.

Here we disagree about the theoretical status of rentier consumption.
The matrices of technical coefficients A and rentier consumption
coefficients C(t), respectively, represent fundamentally different
economic structures.

While A represents the underlying technical structure, C(t) varies
itself with prices, outputs, rentier consumption mixes, rentier savings
and cannot be established a priori in the way that A is. If a single
rentier supplies m units of money to a firm i, the specific bundle of
commodities he may consume from the interest in an indeterminate or
random entity prior to his consumption.

You argue that the "ex post" has proper no meaning since consumption is
instantaneous. That is the case in your model, but the question is if
C(t) is a meaningful theoretical entity in real capitalist economies.
Rentier consumption is not synchronized and integrated with the overall
capitalist production process in the way that industry sectors are. C(t)
is also a dubious entity to build labour values on, since it depends on
the price structure itself, which labour values are supposed to explain.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Thu Dec 9 13:38:15 2010

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