labour theory of value


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labour theory of value

the doctrine, in classical economics (and especially in MARXIST ECONOMICS), that labour alone is the source of VALUE and that the value and price of commodities is directly related to the labour-time embodied in their production. On this formulation CAPITAL represents past or ‘dead’ labour, and this, together with new labour and land, is combined in the process of production. Apart from general arguments for and against Marxism, debates also exist within Marxism over the extent to which empirical prices, profits, etc. bear a systematic and calculable relation to value in its theoretical sense. Often it is accepted that they do not, but that nevertheless the general concept of labour values is useful in indicating levels of ‘exploitation’, tendencies to crisis, etc. within capitalism (e.g. see Wright, 1981,1985,1989). On the other hand, even within Marxism, there are arguments that the labour theory of value is unjustified (see Steedman et al, 1981). Both Pierre Sraffa (1960), in a so-called ‘neo-Ricardian’ analysis, and Roemer (1982), using a game-theory approach, have elaborated the technical reasons for this. Sraffa, for example, argues that the standard of absolute ‘value’ cannot be ‘labour’ in the way that both Ricardo and Marx suggested, but must instead be the ‘standard commodity’ (in which the proportions in which commodities enter net outputs is assumed equal to that in which they enter the aggregate means of production); this standard commodity includes labour, but not labour exclusively. It can be argued, as by Hodgson (1982), that: ‘the extent to which the propositions of Capital depend on the labour theory of value has been over estimated by both supporters and opponents of Marxian analysis’, and that this analysis remains a powerful tool for the analysis of capitalist societies and capitalist economic relations, especially in its focus on production, forms of PROPERTY, and on inequalities – see also CAPITALIST LABOUR CONTRACT, EXPLOITATION, CONTRADICTORY CLASS LOCATIONS. Against this, there exist very real problems for Marxism from any detachment from the labour theory of value, not least an undermining of the LAW OF VALUE and doctrines of an inherent tendency to final crisis in capitalism that have been central, at least to 'S cientistic’ forms of Marxism (see CRISES OF CAPITALISM, ORGANIC COMPOSITION OF CAPITAL, TENDENCY TO DECLINING RATE OF PROFIT). Accordingly, the account of capitalism provided by contemporary Marxism is far less determinate than that given previously
References in periodicals archive ?
The paper concludes, therefore, that, for Smith, labour is a measure of value but also the source of value, so that the Scottish philosopher opts in the first chapters of The Wealth of Nations for a labour theory of value against the belief of those who interpret that Smith founded a value theory based on production costs.
To understand that, we need to look not just at the concept of surplus value but also at the labour theory of value.
John Locke and the Labour Theory of Value," Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol.
The second section outlines the emergence of the classical labour theory of value in the work of Ricardo and Marx.
An important figure in this tradition was John Bellars, whose plan to employ the London poor not only included a sophisticated labour theory of value, but also illustrated the widespread ambiguity surrounding money during the 1690s.
IN the 20th century, no pandemic disease came close to doing as much harm as the Marxian labour theory of value.
Mohun, Simon (2004): "The labour theory of value as foundation for empirical investigations", Metroeconomica, February, 55 (1), pp.
The labour theory of value was producerism's essential principle.
In this article, Sorensen rejects Marx's labour theory of value but accepts that classes are conflict groups originating in exploitation.
In fact, her reworking of Marx's labour theory of value 'without the subject/object distinction' proves central in analysing significant developments such as the emergence of biotechnology and the attack on welfare.
To do so, she turns to Marx's labour theory of value, critiquing his failure to recognize that some groups of labour were already more or less valued as part of pre-capitalist relations that were subsequently embedded within capitalism.

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