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Exploitation as the Unequal Exchange of Labour: An Axiomatic Approach

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  • Yoshihara, Naoki
  • Veneziani, Roberto

Abstract

In subsistence economies with general convex technology and rational optimising agents, a new, axiomatic approach is developed, which allows an explicit analysis of the core positive and normative intuitions behind the concept of exploitation. Three main new axioms, called Labour Exploitation in Subsistence Economies, Relational Exploitation, and Feasibility of Non-Exploitation, are presented and it is proved that they uniquely characterise a definition of exploitation conceptually related to the so-called “New-Interpretation” (Dumenil, 1980; Foley, 1982; Dumenil at el., 2009), which focuses on the unequal distribution of (and control over) social labour, and on individual well-being freedom and the self-realisation of men. Then, the main results of Roemer’s (1982, 1988) classical approach and all the crucial insights of exploitation theory are generalised, proving that every agent’s class and exploitation status emerges in the competitive equilibrium, that there is a correspondence between an agent’s class and exploitation status, and that the existence of exploitation is inherently linked to the existence of positive profits.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University in its series CCES Discussion Paper Series with number 23.

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Length: 53 p.
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:ccesdp:23

Note: This version: December 2009
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Keywords: Justice; Exploitation; Class; Convex Economies;

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References

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  1. Veneziani, Roberto, 2008. "Exploitation, inequality, and power," MPRA Paper 30288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2010. "Class and exploitation in general convex cone economies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 281-296, August.
  3. Roberto Veneziani & Naoki Yoshihara, 2009. "Strong Subjectivism in the Marxian Theory of Exploitation: A Critique," Working Papers, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance 654, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  4. Skillman, Gilbert L., 1995. "Ne Hic Saltaveris: The Marxian Theory of Exploitation After Roemer," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 309-331, October.
  5. Naoki Yoshihara, 1998. "Wealth, Exploitation and Labor Discipline in the Contemporary Capitalist Economy," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 23-61, 02.
  6. Reiko Gotoh & Naoki Yoshihara, 2003. "A class of fair distribution rules à la Rawls and Sen," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 63-88, 08.
  7. Simon Mohun, 2004. "The Labour Theory of Value as Foundation for Empirical Investigations," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 65-95, 02.
  8. Veneziani, Roberto, 2007. "Exploitation and time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 189-207, January.
  9. Gérard Duménil & Duncan Foley & Dominique Lévy, 2009. "A Note On The Formal Treatment Of Exploitation In A Model With Heterogenous Labor," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 560-567, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2011. "Exploitation and Profits: A General Axiomatic Approach in Convex Economies with Heterogeneous Agents," CCES Discussion Paper Series, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University 44, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2010. "Class and exploitation in general convex cone economies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 281-296, August.
  3. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2013. "Exploitation in Economies with Heterogeneous Preferences, Skills and Assets: An Axiomatic Approach," Discussion Paper Series, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University 579, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Yoshihara, Naoki & Roberto Veneziani, 2011. "Exploitation of Labour and Exploitation of Commodities: A "New Interpretation"," Discussion Paper Series, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University 556, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2013. "Unequal Exchange, Assets, and Power: Recent Developments in Exploitation Theory," Discussion Paper Series, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University 594, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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