[OPE-L:6952] [OPE-L:444] Re: New Evidence on Sectoral Prices and Values

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 10:05:46 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 19 Feb 1999, Alejandro Ramos wrote:

> b) correlating profits and c/v.

I think this is the right sort of question to ask.

Paul and I have done work on that. c/v is difficult to measure
well, but our results show a significant negative correlation:
industries with relatively high organic composition tend to have
lower rates of profit (with the partial exception of
state-regulated utilities).

> 2) What would be the theoretical explanation of the "labor
> theory of relative prices"?

This is not so obvious, but taking a systems view of the
capitalist economy as a whole, we can say that the input of
human labour time is the primary "external signal" entering the
system ("external" in the sense that human labour-power is not a
commodity produced under capitalist conditions of production).
So it would not be surprising if the system of prices, despite
all the noise associated with the "anarchy of the market", bore
legible traces of that primary signal.

Allin Cottrell.