Did Marx hold a labor theory of value?

Abstract

In the first volume of Capital, Marx introduces a labor theory of value. The theory is supposed to form the basis of his “laying bare” the “inner workings” of capitalism. The theory rests on two claims, and at the outset Marx uses it to explain four features of capitalist production. Yet by the end of the final volume of Capital, he abandons both claims and offers alternative accounts of all four features of capitalism. We hold that Marx’s introduction of the labor theory of value is not the presentation of an alternative economic theory, but serves to introduce his analysis of the class structure of capitalism

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Peter R. King
Nottingham University (PhD)

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Abstract.[author unknown] - 2011 - Dialogue and Universalism 21 (4):447-449.
Abstract.[author unknown] - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2):319-325.

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