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Labor Productivity and the Law of Decreasing Labor Content

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  • Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke and Roberto Veneziani

    (Bielefeld University, Kiel University, Queen Mary University of London)

Abstract

This paper analyzes labor productivity and the law of decreasing labor content (LDLC) originally formulated by Farjoun and Machover (1983). First, it is shown that the standard measures of labor productivity may be rather misleading, owing to their emphasis on monetary aggregates. Instead, the conventional classical-Marxian labor values provide the theoretically and empirically sound measures of labor productivity. The notion of labor content and the LDLC are therefore central in order to understand the dynamics of capitalist economies. Second, some rigorous theoretical relations between different forms of profit-driven technical change and productivity are derived in a general input-output framework with fixed capital, which provide deterministic foundations to the LDLC. Third, the main theoretical propositions are analyzed empirically based on a new dataset of the German economy. JEL Categories: B51, D57, O33, C67

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke and Roberto Veneziani, 2010. "Labor Productivity and the Law of Decreasing Labor Content," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2010-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2010-11
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    Cited by:

    1. Naoki Yoshihara & Roberto Veneziani, 2013. "The Measurement of Labour Content: A General Approach," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2013-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    2. Jonathan F. Cogliano & Roberto Veneziani & Naoki Yoshihara, 2016. "The Dynamics of Exploitation and Class in Accumulation Economies," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 242-290, May.
    3. repec:ums:papers:2014-010 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Veneziani, Roberto & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2014. "One Million Miles to Go: Taking the Axiomatic Road to Defining Exploitation," Discussion Paper Series 615, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Jonathan F. Cogliano, 2017. "Surplus Value Production and Realization in Marxian Theory - Applications to the U.S., 1987-2015," Working Paper Series 2017-01, Dickinson College, Department of Economics.
    6. Jonathan F. Cogliano & Roberto Veneziani & Naoki Yoshihara, 2018. "Exploitation, skills, and inequality," Working Paper Series 2018-01, Dickinson College, Department of Economics.
    7. Flaschel, Peter & Fröhlich, Nils & Veneziani, Roberto, 2011. "The sources of profitability," MPRA Paper 30861, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Nadia Garbellini & Ariel Luis Wirkierman, 2014. "Productivity Accounting in Vertically (Hyper-)integrated Terms: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Empirics," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 154-190, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor productivity; law of falling labor content; technical change; labor values; Input-Output analysis.;

    JEL classification:

    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models

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