# [OPE-L:2141] Re: Transforming the Transformation

S.Mohun (S.Mohun@qmw.ac.uk)
Fri, 10 May 1996 07:44:34 -0700

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>Simon replied to John in [2125]:
>
>I'm sorry for the delay, but I am enmeshed in tedious admin here.
>Anyway, if py is net output in money terms and lx is (productive)
>labour hours worked, then anything which alters the ratio lx/py by
>definition alters the value of money. If productivity changes are ruled
>out by assumption 3, then by your assumption 2 yes, the value of
>money will change. (There are other possibilities too: inflation of course,
>but also a firm transferring some of its shop-floor labour
>into its marketing and sales department.)
>I suppose this matters if you want to derive a price from a labour-time via
>the value of money. Is this what is troubling you?
>
>Simon: "if py is net output in money terms and lx is (productive)
>labour hours worked, then anything which alters the ratio lx/py by
>definition alters the value of money."??
>This statement of yours distorts a causal ordering in Marx's value
>theory. The lx and the value of money are to be given first and then
>the py can be determined. Not the other way around. What
>determines the price of a product? It is to be determined, according
>to Marx, by the ratio of the value of the products and the value of
>money if organic compositions of capital were the same. This
>relationship is not of an identity but of an equation. But Simon
>converted the equation into another form and thus distorted the causality
>into the other way around. Why did you do this? Is it necessary for what?

Simon replies:
You say first lx and vm (value of money), then py.
I am no longer sure this is right.
In part my view is structured by the demands of empirical investigation:
1. First py.
2. Then s/v from e = s/v = P/W
3. Then vlp from e=(1-vlp)/vlp
4. Then vm from vlp/vm=w
5. Then lx from py=lx/vm.
I imagine I will be accused of confusing measurement with determination. But
I am interested in constructing a time trend for vm and using it to help me
think about it theoretically. That's about the best I can do at the present.
Simon
Simon Mohun,
Dept of Economics,
Queen Mary and Westfield College,