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A Critical Note on Marx’s Theory of Profits

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  • Mariolis, Theodore

Abstract

This paper shows that Marx’s theory of profits is based, implicitly, on the existence of a vertically integrated sector that (i) can produce the exact amount of commodities re-ceived as wages; (ii) includes all the processes of production actually used in the econ-omy considered; and (iii) constitutes a quasi-one-commodity system. Nevertheless, the said sector does not always exist, whilst when it exists, positive surplus labour is a nec-essary and sufficient condition for positive profits in this sector, pure and simple. Con-sequently, Marx’s theory of profits cannot be sustained.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariolis, Theodore, 2006. "A Critical Note on Marx’s Theory of Profits," MPRA Paper 24044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24044
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/24044/1/MPRA_paper_24044.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bidard, Christian, 1997. "Pure Joint Production," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(6), pages 685-701, November.
    2. Morishima, Michio, 1974. "Marx in the Light of Modern Economic Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 611-632, July.
    3. Kurz,Heinz D. & Salvadori,Neri, 1997. "Theory of Production," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521588676, April.
    4. Garegnani, Pierangelo, 1984. "Value and Distribution in the Classical Economists and Marx," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 291-325, June.
    5. Petri, Fabio, 1980. "Positive Profits without Exploitation: A Note on the Generalized Fundamental Marxian Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 531-533, March.
    6. Morishima, M, 1980. "Positive Profit without Exploitation: A Comment of F. Petri's Note," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 535-535, March.
    7. Steedman, Ian, 1976. "Positive Profits with Negative Surplus Value: A Reply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 604-608, September.
    8. Steedman, Ian, 1975. "Positive Profits with Negative Surplus Value," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 85(337), pages 114-123, March.
    9. Roemer, John E, 1980. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Marxian Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 505-530, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mariolis, Theodore, 2006. "A Critique of the ‘New Approach’ to the Transformation Problem and a Proposal," MPRA Paper 24019, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marx’s theory of profits; surplus labour; uniform rate of profit; vertically integrated wage sector;

    JEL classification:

    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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