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Strong Subjectivism in the Marxian Theory of Exploitation: A Critique

  • Roberto Veneziani

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Naoki Yoshihara

    ()

    (Hitotsubashi University)

This paper critically analyses the strongly subjectivist approach to exploitation theory recently proposed by Matsuo ([7]), in the context of general convex economies with heterogeneous agents. It is proved that the Fundamental Marxian Theorem is not preserved in his subjectivist approach, contrary to Matsuo's claims, and that no meaningful subjectivist exploitation index can be constructed. It is argued that a minimal objectivism is necessary in exploitation theory, whereby subjective preferences do not play a direct, definitional role. An alternative objectivist approach is briefly analysed, which is related to the 'New Interpretation' ([1]; [3]). It is argued that it captures the core intuitions of exploitation theory and it provides appropriate indices of individual and aggregate exploitation. Further, it is shown that it preserves the FMT in general economies.

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File URL: http://www.econ.qmul.ac.uk/papers/doc/wp654.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 654.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp654
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  1. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2009. "Objectivist versus Subjectivist Approaches to the Marxian Theory of Exploitation," Discussion Paper Series a514, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Yoshihara, Naoki, 2010. "Class and exploitation in general convex cone economies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 281-296, August.
  3. Morishima, Michio, 1974. "Marx in the Light of Modern Economic Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 611-32, July.
  4. Simon Mohun, 2004. "The Labour Theory of Value as Foundation for Empirical Investigations," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 65-95, 02.
  5. Veneziani, Roberto, 2007. "Exploitation and time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 189-207, January.
  6. Roberto Veneziani, 2004. "The Temporal Single-system Interpretation of Marx's Economics: A Critical Evaluation," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 96-114, 02.
  7. Takao Fujimoto & Arrigo Opocher, 2010. "Commodity Content In A General Input-Output Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 442-453, 07.
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