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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” (Duménil, 1980; Foley, 1982; Duménil 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 Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number a524.

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Length: 53 p.
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:hituec:a524

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

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  1. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2007. "Class and Exploitation in General Convex Cone Economies," Discussion Paper Series a489, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Veneziani, Roberto, 2008. "Exploitation, inequality, and power," MPRA Paper 30288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2009. "Strong Subjectivism in the Marxian Theory of Exploitation: A Critique," Discussion Paper Series a523, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Simon Mohun, 2004. "The Labour Theory of Value as Foundation for Empirical Investigations," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 65-95, 02.
  5. Veneziani, Roberto, 2007. "Exploitation and time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 189-207, January.
  6. Naoki Yoshihara, 1998. "Wealth, Exploitation and Labor Discipline in the Contemporary Capitalist Economy," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 23-61, 02.
  7. 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.
  8. Reiko Gotoh & Naoki Yoshihara, 2003. "A class of fair distribution rules à la Rawls and Sen," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 63-88, 08.
  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, vol. 60(3), pages 560-567, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Veneziani & Naoki Yoshihara, 2010. "Exploitation and Profits: A General Axiomatic Approach in Convex Economies with Heterogeneous Agents," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2010-12, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  2. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2013. "Exploitation in Economies with Heterogeneous Preferences, Skills and Assets: An Axiomatic Approach," Discussion Paper Series 579, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2007. "Class and Exploitation in General Convex Cone Economies," Discussion Paper Series a489, 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 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 594, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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