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Exploitation as the Unequal Exchange of Labour: An Axiomatic Approach

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  • Naoki Yoshihara

    ()
    (Hitotsubashi University)

  • Roberto Veneziani

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

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" (Dum�nil, 1980; Foley, 1982; Dum�nil 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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Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 655.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp655

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Keywords: Justice; Exploitation; Class; Convex economies;

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  1. 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.
  2. Veneziani, Roberto, 2007. "Exploitation and time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 189-207, January.
  3. Veneziani, Roberto, 2008. "Exploitation, inequality, and power," MPRA Paper 30288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Yoshihara, N., 1996. "Wealth, Exploitation and Labor Discipline in the Contemporary Capitalist Economy," ISER Discussion Paper 0405, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2007. "Class and Exploitation in General Convex Cone Economies," Discussion Paper Series a489, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. Simon Mohun, 2004. "The Labour Theory of Value as Foundation for Empirical Investigations," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 65-95, 02.
  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. 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.
  2. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2011. "Exploitation and Profits: A General Axiomatic Approach in Convex Economies with Heterogeneous Agents," CCES Discussion Paper Series 44, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. 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.
  4. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2010. "Class and exploitation in general convex cone economies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 281-296, August.
  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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