profit equalisation

Paul_Cockshott wpc at
Fri Jun 16 07:07:20 MDT 1995

I can not say if individual capitalists
are aware of the tendancy for rates of profit
to be lower in industries with higher organic

Remember, that the average rate of profit on
capital is not available without statistical
research. What is obvious is the rate of interest
but this is a financial phenomenon. Differences
in real rates of profit will also be hard to
spot at the level of the stock market, since
the 'valuation' put on a firms capital there
tends to depend upon the interest rate and the
current mass of profit.

One should not assume that what actually happens
in the economy is 'what capitalists are willing
to accept'. Each firm tries to get the most
profit it can, but will not succeed. As to
counter tendancies, Farjoun and Machover argue
that in a stochastic system, all that is required
to cause the law of value to operate, is for there
to be relatively narrow dispersion of the
profit to wage ratio.

Chris asked
Paul, I would be grateful if you can expand just a bit more
about the tendency of the rate of profit to equalise as I have
a problem with the conciseness of the argument.

Are there any counter-tendencies that could be behind your
empirical observation of an inequality in the rate of profit?

How do capitalists from their own limited point of view come
to accept a lower rate of profit in industries with high
organic compositions?

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