Journal Article

Embodied labour and competitive prices: a physical quantities approach

Bruce B. Roberts

in Cambridge Journal of Economics

Published on behalf of Cambridge Political Economy Society

Volume 21, issue 4, pages 483-502
Published in print July 1997 | ISSN: 0309-166X
Published online July 1997 | e-ISSN: 1464-3545 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.cje.a013682
Embodied labour and competitive prices: a physical quantities approach

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This paper presents a reformulated concept of value consistent with Marx's approach. The relation between such values and competitive prices is shown to have novel and symmetric characteristics. A new sort of transformation algorithm is proposed: first, use values to transform the conditions of production to create a hypothetical ‘standard technology’, in which each commodity is allocated a proportional share of the aggregate inputs; then, solve for production prices simply by calculating the labour directly and indirectly embodied under standard technological conditions. Competitive prices thus represent the ‘average labour’ contained in commodities, where averaging takes place across industry boundaries.

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Subjects: Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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