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Exploitation as the Unequal Exchange of Labour: An Axiomatic Approach

  • Yoshihara, Naoki
  • Veneziani, Roberto

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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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/17889/1/070ccesDP_23.pdf
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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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reiko Gotoh & Naoki Yoshihara, 2000. "A Class of Fair Distribution Rules a la Rawls and Sen," Discussion Paper Series a389, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  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, vol. 49(1), pages 23-61, 02.
  6. Roberto Veneziani, 2013. "Exploitation, inequality and power," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 25(4), pages 526-545, October.
  7. Veneziani, Roberto, 2007. "Exploitation and time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 189-207, January.
  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. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2007. "Class and Exploitation in General Convex Cone Economies," Discussion Paper Series a489, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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