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 ?
If Nealon has a reason for finding analyses predicated on the labor theory of value persuasive, he needs to make an argument, or at least cite someone who is making such an argument.
shown above, justification from the labor theory of value fares no
However, Foley seems to be right in his response: "It is true that the New Interpretation identifies the phenomenal forms of price to the categories of the labor theory of value, but it is hard to see why this turns the relation on its head" (2000, p.
The section on theories includes a chapter by Yuji ljiri on labor theory of value, which is then followed by a discussion of accounting issues based on the labor theory of value in economics.
The labor theory of value was inadequate as a basis for understanding the corporate economy.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, the Austrian economists, along with William Stanley Jevons and Leon Walras, had radically changed the foundations of economic theory by developing the theory of marginal utility in place of the labor theory of value championed by the classical economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo to John Stuart Mill.
In Lincoln's synthesis, the labor theory of value based on equal opportunity was the great engine of self-improvement:
Numerous thinkers have criticized Marx and the labor theory of value for being blind to nature's intrinsic value and to the real social costs associated with the degradation of nature.
In the 19th Century, Marx posited what is now called the labor theory of value.
In a book devoted to countering Marxism, it is surprising to find a concept of money that comes perilously close to the labor theory of value.
Implicit assumptions concerning subjects such as the employment levels and homogeneity of factors, varying cost conditions, and the labor theory of value impact the analysis and can be made explicit.