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The sources of profitability

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  • Flaschel, Peter
  • Fröhlich, Nils
  • Veneziani, Roberto

Abstract

This paper is built around a theorem proved analytically and exemplified empirically in Flaschel, Franke and Veneziani (2010) which states that profitable capital-using labor-saving technical change is under mild conditions always reducing the labor content of commodities. This type of technical change therefore increases Marx’s value rate of profit in a systematic way. Against this background the paper studies the relationship between the actual value and price rate of profit and derives expressions that show that the deviation between them may be of a secondary and unsystematic nature. This result is then exemplified empirically using flow as well as stock matrix data for the German economy. The paper argues on this basis that prices of production are in fact of a questionable nature and an unnecessary detour in the input-output oriented analysis of the profitability nexus between total labor costs and the actual prices of the considered commodities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30861.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30861

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Keywords: Labor values; profit rates; input-output models;

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References

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  1. Reati, Angelo, 1986. "The Deviation of Prices from Labour Values: An Extension to the Non-competitive Case," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 35-42, March.
  2. Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke and Roberto Veneziani, 2010. "Labor Productivity and the Law of Decreasing Labor Content," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2010-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  3. Marquetti, Adalmir A., 2003. "Analyzing historical and regional patterns of technical change from a classical-Marxian perspective," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 191-200, October.
  4. Roberto Veneziani, 2004. "The Temporal Single-system Interpretation of Marx's Economics: A Critical Evaluation," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 96-114, 02.
  5. Peter Flaschel & Reiner Franke & Roberto Veneziani, 2012. "The Measurement of Prices of Production: An Alternative Approach," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 417-435, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Ian Wright, 2011. "Classical macrodynamics and the labor theory of value," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 76, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
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