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On recent reformulations of the labour theory of value


  • Fabio petri



The paper discusses three redefinitions of the labour theory of value: the New Interpretation of Duménil and Foley, the approach of Wolff-Callari-Roberts, and the Temporal Single System approach. In them the labour theory of value loses the role of instrument for the determination of the rate of profit and becomes a gratuitous reinterpretation of independently determined prices as ‘representing’ quantities of labour value on the basis of the undemonstrated postulate that only labour produces exchange value. It is argued that these approaches are unable to defend the thesis that profits result from labour exploitation because such a thesis must rest on the causes of wages below their potential maximum, causes that these redefinitions leave unexplained and in fact open to neoclassical explanations. They evidence an imperfect grasp of the foundations of the thesis in Marx that labour is exploited, foundations better grasped by P. Garegnani and clarified here with an example.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio petri, 2012. "On recent reformulations of the labour theory of value," Department of Economics University of Siena 643, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:643

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Freeman, Alan, 1996. "The Psychopathology of Walrasian Marxism," MPRA Paper 1539, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Garegnani, Pierangelo, 1979. "Notes on Consumption, Investment and Effective Demand: II," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 63-82, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Cingolani, 2015. "Sylos Labini su Marx: implicazioni per la politica economica (Sylos Labini on Marx: economic policy implications)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 68(269), pages 81-147.

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    JEL classification:

    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian

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