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The labour theory of value, risk and the rate of profit

  • Toms, Steven

The paper extends Marx’s law of value to include the effects of risk. It shows how risk has its origins in the labour process and is transferred between labour and capital on an unequal basis and between capitals on a zero sum basis. An empirical test is then presented, which shows that the employment of labour increases risk from the point of view of the investing capitalist. The conclusion is that the employment of labour is a curate’s egg from capital’s point of view. On the one hand it is essential for the production of sustainable surplus value and therefore for competitive advantage and capital accumulation. On the other hand employment of labour renders such accumulation inherently risky and therefore commensurately more costly to the rational capitalist investor.

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File URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/2571/1/ymswp12toms.pdf
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Paper provided by The York Management School, University of York in its series The York Management School Working Papers with number 12.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrc:ymswp1:12
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