Unproductive Labour and the Rate of Profit in Australia, 1966/67–1991/92

  • Simon Mohun

Abstract

In this chapter I consider how the categories of productive and unproductive labour in the labour theory of value can be used in empirical work. The labour theory of value is understood within the framework proposed independently by Foley (1982, 1983, 1986) and Duménil (1983-84, 1984), and surveyed in Mohun (1994). It is an aggregate theory, asserting that the labour time worked by productive labour is the source of all money value-added; that the value of money links the wage rate per hour and the value of labour power per hour of labour hired; and that aggregate profits are an exact representation of aggregate surplus value. These propositions remain valid whatever prices happen to be. Hence it is not assumed in this interpretation that embodied labour ratios determine price ratios, nor that the rate of profit is equalized. No assumption is made about the formation of individual prices, and hence there is no need of any specification of how one assumption of price formation (proportionality to labour time) is ‘transformed’ into another (proportionality to total capital advanced).

Keywords

Income Fishing Alan 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1986) The Labour Force, Australia. Historical Summary1966–1984 (6204.0) (Canberra: ABS).Google Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1986) Labour Statistics, Australia1985 (6101.0) (Canberra): ABS).Google Scholar
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1991) Labour Statistics, Australia1990 (6101.0) (Canberra: ABS)Google Scholar
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1992) The Labour Force, Australia Historical Summary1978–1989 (6204.0) (Canbera:ABS)Google Scholar
  5. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1992) Labour Statistics, Australia 1991 (6101.0) (Canberra:ABS).Google Scholar
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1993) Labour Statistics, Australia1992 (6101.0) (Canberra: ABS).Google Scholar
  7. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1993) Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product1991–92 (5204.0) (Canberra: ABS).Google Scholar
  8. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1993) Australian National Accounts: Capital Stock1991–92 (5221.0) (Canberra: ABS).Google Scholar
  9. Australian Bureau of Statistics (1994) Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product1992–93 (5204.0) (Canberra: ABS).Google Scholar
  10. Duménil, G. (1983–84) ‘Beyond the Transformation Riddle: A Labor Theory of Value’, Science & Society, vol. XLVII, no. 4, pp. 427–50.Google Scholar
  11. Duménil, G. (1984) ‘The So-Called “Transformation Problem” Revisited: A Brief Comment’, Journal of Economic Theory, vol. 33, pp. 340–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Duménil, G. and D. Lévy (1993) The Economics of the Profit Rate (Aldershot: Edward Elgar).Google Scholar
  13. Foley, D. K. (1982) ‘The Value of Money, the Value of Labor Power, and the Marxian Transformation Problem’, Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 37–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Foley, D. K. (1983) ‘On Marx’s Theory of Money’, Social Concept, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 5–19.Google Scholar
  15. Foley, D. K. (1986) Understanding Capital (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  16. Marx, K. (1976) Capital, vol. I (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  17. Marx, K. (1981) Capital, vol. III (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  18. Mohun, S. (1994) ‘A Re(in)statement of the Labour Theory of Value’, Cambridge Journal of Economics. vol. 18, pp. 391–412.Google Scholar
  19. Moseley, F. (1991) The Falling Rate of Profit in the Postwar United States Economy (Basingstoke: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Moseley, F. (1992) ‘Unproductive Labour and the Rate of Profit in the Postwar US Economy’, in F. Moseley and E. N. Wolff (eds), International Perspectives on Profitability and Accumulation (Aldershot: Edward Elgar).Google Scholar
  21. Shaikh, A. M. and E. A. Tonak (1994) Measuring the Wealth of Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

References

  1. Cockshott, P., A. Cottrell, and Michaelson, G. (1995) ‘Testing Marx: some new results from UK data’, Capital and Class, 55.Google Scholar
  2. Freeman, A. (1992) ‘National Accounts in Value Terms: The Social Wage and Profit Rate in Britain 1950–1986; in P. Dunne (ed.) Quantitative Marxism (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  3. Moseley, Fred. (1990) ‘The Decline of the Rate of Profit in the Postwar U.S. Economy: An Alternative Marxist Explanation’, Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 22, no. 2–3, p. 17–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ochoa, E. M. (1985) ‘Labour Values and Prices of Production: an Interindustry Study of the U.S. Economy. 1947–1972’, PhD Thesis, New School for Social Research.Google Scholar
  5. Shaikh. A. and Ahmet E. Tonak. (1994) Measuring the Wealth of Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Mohun

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations