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National Accounts in Value Terms: The Social Wage and Profit Rate in Britain 1950-1986


  • Freeman, Alan


This paper reproduces, for archival purposes, chapter 5, of the same name, which appeared in Dunne (1991). It represents one of the first systematic attempts that I know of, to present complete ‘Value National Accounts’, that is to say, accounts presenting social reproduction in terms of the value categories of Karl Marx. The critical requirement is not, as might be thought, the reduction of money categories to labour time categories: though this is desirable particularly when comparing or aggregating the accounts of different countries or in tracing the movement of an economy over time, if the Monetary Equivalent (MELT – see Ramos 2004) has been changing. Rather, it is to ‘transform’ the accounts in such a way that there is a single source of value added (labour) instead of, as in the standard accounts, the normal three sources of value which are Marx’s ‘Holy Trinity’ of capital, land and labour. The consequence of bestowing on land and capital the property of creating value means that money sums such as interest and rent, instead of being presented as deductions from the value added or, in national accounts terms ‘transfers’ from labour to capital, are treated as if they were sources of value in their own right, mystifying not only the production process itself but the distribution of the produced value between social classes. The paper proposed, and quantified for the UK economy, an alternative presentation in which these mystifications are corrected, and on this basis, established a ‘completed scheme of reproduction’ showing the role of productive and unproductive labour respectively in the UK economy. The paper also marked a watershed in the evolution of what was to become the Temporal Single System Interpretation (TSSI) of Marx’s theory of value. I had not at that time met Andrew Kliman. However, very shortly after this paper, working with Paolo Giussani, we arrived independently from Andrew Kliman at the formulations of Marx’s schemas of reproduction that the key features of TSSI. I entered into correspondence with Andrew Kliman shortly after this, and the IWGVT was established not long after that.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Alan, 1991. "National Accounts in Value Terms: The Social Wage and Profit Rate in Britain 1950-1986," MPRA Paper 52760, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Feb 1991.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52760

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moseley, Fred, 1985. "The Rate of Surplus Value in the Postwar U.S. Economy: A Critique of Weisskopf's Estimates," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 57-79, March.
    2. Petrovic, Pavle, 1987. "The Deviation of Production Prices from Labour Values: Some Methodology and Empirical Evidence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 197-210, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Freeman, Alan, 1999. "Measuring the UK Economy (Conference Paper)," MPRA Paper 52815, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Oct 1999.
    2. Freeman, Alan, 1999. "Measuring the UK Economy," MPRA Paper 6894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Freeman, Alan, 1998. "The indeterminacy of price-value correlations: a comment on papers by Simo Mohun and Anwar Shaikh," MPRA Paper 2040, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 1998.
    4. Freeman, Alan, 1991. "Why Quantitative Marxism?," MPRA Paper 52795, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Feb 1991.

    More about this item


    Liquidity; Value; Quantification; MELT; MEL; Money; Labour; Marx; TSSI; Temporalism;

    JEL classification:

    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts


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