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Marx’s Theory of Wages and the Revival of the Surplus Approach

Enrico Levrero ()

Chapter 7 in Sraffa and the Reconstruction of Economic Theory: Volume One, 2013, pp 153-175 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract This work aims to clarify some aspects of classical wage theory, looking at the form in which it was advanced by Marx. It also aims to analyse the ability of this theory to explain income distribution in the context of the present capitalist societies, especially with respect to the relationship in a fiat money economy between money wages and real wages. In particular, Sections 7.2–7.4 reconstuct the notion of the subsistence wage and the determinants of distribution according to Marx; Sections 7.5 and 7.6 consider the effects of technical changes on the secular trends in real wages; Section 7.7 focuses on the different possible forces at work in determining income distribution, and thus in ‘closing’ Sraffa’s price system, when the wage rate happens to be above the subsistence level; lastly, Appendix A deals more exhaustively with the relationship between money wages and real wages, and the effects on price inflation and income distribution of a discrepancy between the real wage rate pursued by the workers in wage bargaining and the real wage rate targeted by the monetary authorities.1

Keywords: Monetary Policy; Wage Rate; Real Wage; Nominal Interest Rate; Monetary Authority (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1057/9781137316837_8

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