Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Productive Powers of Labour and the Redundant Transformation to Prices of Production

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

A Marx-immanent Critique and Reconstruction

The famous Marxian ‘transformation problem’ originated from a research manuscript written by Marx in 1864/65, from which Engels assembled Capital III (1894). Unequal capital compositions, equal rates of surplus-value and equal rates of profit among different sectors are posited, and reconciled using the problematic concept of ‘prices of production’. Yet the assumption of equal rates of surplus-value is at odds with the subsequent text of Capital I (1867), where Marx presents various determinants of the rate of surplus-value, and connects productive powers of labour diverging between sectors with divergent value-generating potencies of labour. Given the other determinants, diverging rates of surplus-value then result. Marx disregarded these productive power differentials when he originally formulated his transformation. In a reconstruction, building on Capital I , this omission is rectified. It makes prices of production and hence the dual account systems redundant. The transformation problem then evaporates.

Affiliations: 1: School of Economics, University of Amsterdam reuten@uva.nl


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Backhaus Hans-Georg 1969"‘Zur Dialektik der Wertform’" Beitrage zur Marxistischen Erkenntnistheorie Schmidt Alfred Frankfurt Suhrkamp Eldred M., Roth M. ‘On the Dialectics of the Value-form’, Thesis Eleven, 1, 1980 90 120
2. Bellofiore Riccardo 2005"‘The Monetary Aspects of the Capitalist Process in Marx: A Re-reading from the Point of View of the Theory of the Monetary Circuit’" Marx’s Theory of Money: Modern Appraisals Moseley Fred Basingstoke Palgrave-Macmillan
3. Campbell Martha 1997"‘Marx’s Theory of Money: A Defense’" New Investigations of Marx’s Method Moseley Fred, Campbell Martha Albany, NJ Humanities Press
4. Elson Diane 1979"‘The Value Theory of Labour’" Value: The Representation of Labour in Capitalism Elson Diane London CSE Books
5. Engels Friedrich 1885"‘Vorwort’ to Das Kapital II (see mega ii/13)" ‘Preface’ to Capital II (see Marx 1978)
6. Engels Friedrich 1894"‘Vorwort’ to Das Kapital III (see Marx 1964)" ‘Preface’ to Capital III (see Marx 1981)
7. Howard Michael Charles, King John Edward 1989 A History of Marxian Economics: Volume I, 1883–1929 London Macmillan [Crossref]
8. Inwood Michael 1992 A Hegel Dictionary Oxford Blackwell [Crossref]
9. Kopf Eike, Bang Willi, Conrad Joachim, Klapperstück Edgar 1983 ‘Einleitung zu MEGA ii/5’ see mega ii/5, pp. 1*–55*
10. Marx Karl 1859 Zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie mega ii/2 Marx-Engels-Werke Band 13 available at: <>
11. Marx Karl 1867ⁱ Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Oekonomie. Buch I: Der Produktionsprocess des Kapitals first edition Hamburg Verlag von Otto Meissner see mega ii/5
12. Marx Karl 1962 [18904] Das Kapital, Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie; Erster Band, Der Produktionsprozeß des Kapitals fourth edition Engels Friedrich Marx-Engels-Werke Band 23 Berlin Dietz Verlag
13. Marx Karl 1964 [1894] Das Kapital, Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie; Dritter Band, Der Gesamtprozeß der kapitalistischen Produktion Engels Friedrich Marx-Engels-Werke Band 25 Berlin Dietz Verlag
14. Marx Karl 1971 [1859] A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy Dobb Maurice Ryazanskaya S.W. London Lawrence & Wishart
15. Marx Karl 1976 [1890⁴] Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume One Fowkes Ben fourth German edition see Marx 1962 Harmondsworth Penguin
16. Marx Karl 1978 [1885] Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume Two Fernbach David German edition Harmondsworth Penguin
17. Marx Karl 1981 [1894] Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume Three Fernbach David German edition see Marx 1964 Harmondsworth Penguin
18. Marx Karl 1993 research manuscript for Capital III of 1864–5, mega ii/4.2
19. Marx Karl 2010 [1887] Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production. Volume I Engels Frederick Moore Samuel, Aveling Edward mecw 35 digital edition London Lawrence & Wishart
20. Marx Karl 2015"research manuscript for Capital III of 1864–5 (see Marx 1993)" mega ii/4.2 Fowkes Ben Marx’s Economic Manuscript of 1864–1865 Moseley Fred Historical Materialism Book Series Leiden Brill
21. mega ii/2, 59 Ökonomische Manuskripte und Schriften 1858–1861 einschl. Zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie, 1859 Berlin Dietz Verlag 1980
22. mega ii/4.2 Ökonomische Manuskripte 1863–1867, Teil 2: Manuskript 1863/65 zum 3. Buch des „Kapital” Müller Manfred, Jungnickel Jürgen, Lietz Barbara, Sander Christel, Schnickmann Arthur Berlin Dietz Verlag 1993
23. mega ii/4.3 Ökonomische Manuskripte 1863–1867, Teil 3: Manuskripte 1867–68 zum 2. und 3. Buch des „Kapital” Vollgraf Carl-Erich, Mis’kevic Larisa Berlin Akademie Verlag 2012
24. mega ii/5 Das Kapital. Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie. Erster Band Hamburg 1867 Berlin Dietz Verlag 1983 available at: <>
25. mega ii/13 Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Ökonomie. Zweiter Band Herausgegeben von Friedrich Engels. Hamburg: Verlag von Otto Meissner 1885 Omura Izumi, Hayasaka Keizo, Hecker Rolf, Kubo Sejiro, Miyakawa Akira, Mori Kenji, Ohno Sadao, Roth Regina, Shibata Shinya, Yatuyanagi Ryojiro Berlin Akademie Verlag 2008 available at: <>
26. mega ii/14 Manuskripte und redaktionelle Texte zum dritten Buch des „Kapitals”, 1871 bis 1895 Vollgraf Carl-Erich, Roth Regina, Jungnickel Jürgen Berlin Akademie Verlag 2003
27. mega ii/15 Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Ökonomie. Dritter Band Herausgegeben von Friedrich Engels. Hamburg 1894 Roth Regina, Kopf Eike, Vollgraf Carl-Erich, Hubmann Gerald Berlin Akademie Verlag 2004 available at: <>
28. Moseley Fred 2015"Money and Totality" A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx’s Logic in Capital and the End of the ‘Transformation Problem’ Historical Materialism Book Series Leiden Brill
29. Moseley Fred, Smith Tony 2014 Marx’s Capital and Hegel’s Logic Historical Materialism Book Series Leiden Brill
30. Reuten Geert 1988"‘Value as Social Form’" Value, Social Form and the State Williams Michael London Macmillan available at: <>
31. Reuten Geert 1993"‘The Difficult Labour of a Theory of Social Value: Metaphors and Systematic Dialectics at the Beginning of Marx’s Capital’" Marx’s Method in Capital: A Re-examination Moseley Fred Albany, NJ Humanities Press available at: <>
32. Reuten Geert 2004"‘Productive Power and the Degree of Intensity of Labour: Marx’s Concepts and Formalizations in the Middle Part of Capital I’" The Constitution of Capital: Essays on Volume I of Marx’s ‘Capital’ Bellofiore Riccardo, Taylor Nicola Basingstoke Palgrave-Macmillan available at: <>
33. Reuten Geert 2009"‘Marx’s Rate of Profit Transformation: Methodological, Theoretical and Philological Obstacles’" Re-reading Marx – New Perspectives after the Critical Edition Bellofiore Riccardo, Fineschi Roberto Basingstoke Palgrave-Macmillan available at: <>
34. Reuten Geert 2018, forthcoming"‘The Redundant Transformation to Prices of Production: A Marx-immanent Critique and Reconstruction’" Marx’s Capital – An Unfinished and Unfinishable Project? Hubmann Gerald, van der Linden Marcel Historical Materialism Book Series Leiden Brill
35. Reuten Geert, Williams Michael 1989 Value-Form and the State: The Tendencies of Accumulation and the Determination of Economic Policy in Capitalist Society London Routledge
36. Schefold Bertram 2004"‘Einführung zu mega ii/15’" Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie, Dritter Band mega ii/15 871 910
37. Stiebeling George C. 1890 Das Werthgesetz und die Profit-Rate; Leichtfaßliche Auseinandersetzung einiger wissenschaftlicher Fragen; Mit einem polemischen Vorwort New York Heinrich available at: <–03605.pdf>
38. Vollgraf Carl-Erich 2012"‘Einführung zu mega ii/4.3’" mega ii/4.3 421 474
39. Vollgraf Carl-Erich 2018, forthcoming"‘Marx’s Further Work on Capital after Publishing Volume 1: On the Completion of Section ii of the mega²’" Marx’s Capital – An Unfinished and Unfinishable Project? Hubmann Gerald, van der Linden Marcel Historical Materialism Book Series Leiden Brill
40. Williams Michael 2000"‘Why Marx neither Has nor Needs a Commodity Theory of Money’" Review of Political EconomyVol 12 4 435 451 [Crossref]
41. Wolf Julius 1891"‘Das Rätsel der Durchschnittsprofitrate bei Marx’" Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik iii. Folge 57Vol Band II 352 367 available at: <>

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Historical Materialism — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation