Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Exploitation of Labour and Exploitation of Commodities: a “New Interpretation”

Veneziani, Roberto and Yoshihara, Naoki (2011): Exploitation of Labour and Exploitation of Commodities: a “New Interpretation”.

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Abstract

In the standard Okishio-Morishima approach, the existence of profits is proved to be equivalent to the exploitation of labour. Yet, it can also be proved that the existence of profits is equivalent to the ‘exploitation’ of any good. Labour and commodity exploitation are just different numerical representations of the productiveness of the economy. This paper presents an alternative approach to exploitation theory which is related to the New Interpretation (Duménil 1980; Foley 1982). In this approach, labour exploitation captures unequal social relations among producers. The equivalence between the existence of profits and labour exploitation holds, whereas it is proved that there is no relation between profits and commodity ‘exploitation’.

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