The Relationship of Wages to the Value of Labour-Power in Marx's Labour Market
Having explicitly rejected Malthus' law of population, Marx asserted in his early writings that it was competition that would keep wages fluctuating the value of labor-power, even though he did not consider the production of labor-power to be a capitalist process. This paper notes the inconsistency in this approach and then proposes that, implicit in Marx's mature works, there is a consistent mechanism through which wages gravitate toward the value of labor-power: this uses both the flexible "historical and moral" element of the value of labor-power and the reserve army hypothesis. This combination explains why wages follow a relatively even path over time. A model of the labor market is developed which appears to be consistent with Marx's mature writing. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 15 (1991)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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