Re: [OPE-L] price of production/supply price/value

From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Mon Feb 13 2006 - 09:21:16 EST

Hi Ian,

I haven't read Lippi's book. Your quote from Lippi is very useful.

You wrote 'I think if we want to take this discussion further the next
step is to critically evaluate Fine et. al's response to the TP. My
knowledge of it is limited to the articles in the "Value Dimension"
collection. My feeling is that it does not address the N-R critique on
its own terms
-- it changes the terms of the problem. Hence, it is not a reply.'

I broadly agree that this is the way for our discussion to go but I
think you have to be a bit more careful in how you want to address the
TP. As your response to Fred makes clear, you do not think that one
always has to address a theory in its own terms, at least if that means
*accepting* those terms. To the contrary, you rightly point out that
there is one reality - if the terms of an approach do not properly
correspond to that reality then an immanent critique of the approach
will bring out the mismatch of the terms with reality (to put it rather
too crudely). (There is also the issue of interpretation of Marx which I
will not pursue.)

I wanted, in this post, to elaborate on my view of the TP (which is an
interpretation of Fine/Saad-Filho) but then I realised that the way you
have put your neo-R style critique is not yet clear to me. Before
detailing my view, I am afraid I am therefore going to have to nit-pick
your own as follows.

Your argument [with neo-R hat] is actually quite curious. Rather than
arguing that the neo-R case is the general case and hence refutes the
LTV, you are arguing that the neo-R case is an 'important' special case
and hence refutes the LTV. Doesn't this mean that your 'special' case is
in some sense not so special but is in fact general? Your argument
crucially rests on the view that there is an 'intimate relation' between
the general case and the special case. The meaning of 'intimate
relation' must be, as far as I can tell, that the special case shows
that, in the general case, SNLT cannot have any relation whatsoever with
price. I.e. no 'necessary relation' in the special case indicates no
necessary relation in the general case. Could you spell out why you
think this? By way of context, I would say that Marx's static
transformation demonstrates that prices of production and SNLT are
likely to be very close *relative* to the magnitude of actual
fluctuations due to boom and bust (the chapter of Michael Perelman's
that he gave a link to recently on this list nicely discusses such
dynamics). I would say that this shows there is a dynamically necessary
relation between SNLT and price and that this is very clear prior to the
transformation of the inputs. Hence transformation of the inputs is not
very important. But before I elaborate let me give you a chance to
answer my questions above.

Many thanks,

PS throughout our discussion I am ignoring the point I made a couple of
posts ago that 'prices' are not causally efficacious as scalars.

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