[OPE-L:5517] RE: Empirical work

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 08:11:23 -0700 (PDT)

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> 2. Same question, but suppose the proportion of productive to
> labour is changing rapidly (as seems to be the case in the UK in the late
> 1970s/early 1980s) Then what? If variable capital is the total wages of
> productive labour, what capital stock does this labour work with? And how
> can I get any empirical estimate of it? Or should I sidestep the problem
> with some sort of decomposition like
> r=(s/v)*(v/total wages)*(total wages/total capital advanced)*(total
> advanced/K)?

One has to distinguish between the problem of accounting for
wholly unproductive sectors - banking and insurance for instance,
and the unproductive work that exists within sectors. The latter
is hard to get realistic figures on. But for the former, one can
relatively easily get figures on the capital stock in the financial
sector and exclude this from the aggregate constant capital stock
for the economy.

To be consistent here though, one should then exclude the profits
of the banks and their wage bills from S when computing S/C for
the whole economy. One should calculate the profit of industrial capital

------ = industrial rate of profit

where S is aggregate surplus value, u wages of unproductive labour
in the financial sector, i total net interest paid to the banks,
C total constanc capital stock, and c is the constant capital of
of the financial sector.