They're still waiting for the procrastinating shopper

Mark Jones markjones011 at
Fri Dec 27 21:05:50 MST 2002

Henry C.K. Liu wrote:

> China exported 4.07 billion pairs of shoes in 2001, up 2.55 percent from
> the previous year. But the value of those exports, US$10.1 billion, was
> an increase of only 2.48 percent over 2000. Actual value growth per
> unit, then, was a negative. Guangdong province is China's largest
> shoe-making region, with annual production at around three billion
> pairs, accounting for almost a third of the world's total. Assuming the
> number of Chinese workers making shoes to be constant, Chinese
> productivity dropped in the shoe industry in 2001. The only way
> productivity could have remained the same or improved would have been if
> the Chinese shoe industry had cut workers, thus contributing to China's
> growing unemployment problem.

Henry, if actual value growth declined while output grew, how does that
equal a fall in productivity? It equals a fall in the price of labour, ie a
decline in the cost of a factor of production, since shoes are part of the
consumption-basket which determines the value of labour-power. So that fall
in the value of output is a form of appearance of an increase in
productivity, no?


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