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Acta Oeconomica
Authors:
Jonathan F. Cogliano
,
Roberto Veneziani
, and
Naoki Yoshihara

Abstract

Conventional wisdom has it that Marxian value theory, and labour values themselves, are logically inconsistent, theoretically shaky, and empirically irrelevant. In this paper, we discuss recent research showing that this conclusion is not warranted. While past debates have definitively proved that labour values, or employment multipliers, cannot be used to explain equilibrium prices, this does not mean that a sound, empirically oriented Marxian approach cannot be built which assigns a central role to labour values. To be specific, we argue that they can be used to understand certain fundamental laws of capitalist economies – in particular the relation between profitability, technical progress, and accumulation – and also to construct normatively interesting indices capturing certain inequalities in well-being freedom.

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