What have been judged to be internal inconsistencies in Marx's
account of the transformation of values into production prices,
his law of the falling rate of profit, and other aspects of his
value theory are not in fact features of the original theory. The
inconsistencies actually result from the revisions of Marx's
theory, first formulated by Bortkiewicz, based on simultaneous
valuation. This is because simultaneous valuation is incompatible
with the principle that value is determined by labor-time.
Although Bortkiewicz recognized that Marx's own concept of value
determination was "successivist," not simultaneous, he claimed to
have proved that Marx made an error, the correction of which
required simultaneous determination.
Bortkiewicz's alleged proof is now known to be false.
Nevertheless, his followers within Marxian economics continue to
employ models in which valuation is simultaneous, even though the
theoretical conclusions derived from such models often contradict
those derived by Marx. They justify the use of these models by
arguing -- in contrast to Bortkiewicz himself -- that Marx's
concept of value determination was simultaneous; specifically,
that the value transferred from inputs to outputs depends on the
inputs' post-production replacement costs.
A thorough review of the textual evidence, presented in the latter
sections of this paper, has found no support for this claim.
Although relevant evidence is contained throughout a large number
of Marx's economic writings from the late 1850s onward, a great
deal of it has come from the 1861-83 economic manuscript, which
has only recently been translated into English. Once the issue is
carefully posed, so that temporal determination of the transfer of
value is not confused with valuation at historical cost, all of
the evidence indicates that Marx consistently held that value is
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Author: Prof. Andrew Kliman, Department of Social Sciences, Pace
University, Pleasantville, New York 10570, USA
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