In Marxist theory surplus value is
the value created by individual labour which is left over, or remains in the product or
services produced, after the employer has paid the costs of hiring the worker. Surplus
value is the additional value or surplus value which the worker produces but does not get
paid for, allowing the capitalist owner to expand their capital.
Absolute and Relative
Absolute surplus value is the surplus value generated by increasing the length of the
Working day, thus increasing the surplus labour time. Relative surplus value is the
surplus value generated by cutting wages or reducing the cost of living, thus reducing
workers Necessary labour time in proportion to the surplus value extracted.
The Counterfactual Method
of Marx's Theory of Surplus value - Author: Perri S.
Source: Review of Political Economy, Volume 15, Number 1, 1 January 2003, pp. 107-124(18)
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show that Karl Marx
supports his theory of surplus value by developing a counterfactual argument, that is, by
comparing the 'normal' state of a capitalist economy against a hypothetical state in which
no surplus is produced.
Marx then divides his analysis of
value into three successive steps. The first deals with the production of new value in the
sphere of production; the second with the process of creation of surplus value, both in
the sphere of production and in the sphere of circulation; and the third with the process
of equalisation of the rate of profit, which is accomplished via capitalist competition in
the sphere of circulation.
Social process of production,
pumps a definite quantity of surplus-labour out of the direct producers, or labourers;
capital obtains this surplus-labour without an equivalent, and in essence it always
remains forced labour. This surplus labour appears as surplus value, and this surplus
value exists as a surplus product.
In a capitalist society, surplus value, or surplus product, is divided among
capitalists as dividends proportionate to the share of the social
capital each holds. In this form surplus value appears as average profit which falls
to the share of capital, an average profit which in turn divides into profit of enterprise
and interest, and which under these two categories may fall into the laps of different
kinds of capitalists. - Abstract from: The Trinity Formula - marxists.org
Estimates of the Rate of
Surplus-Value in the Postwar United States Economy
Fred Moseley, Economics, Colby College, Waterville, Review of Radical Political Economics,
Vol. 18, No. 1-2, (1986)
One important prediction of Marx's theory is that the rate of surplus-value will increase
as a secular tendency. This paper subjects this prediction of Marx's theory to an empirical evidence test, by deriving annual estimates of
the rate of surplus-value in the United States economy over the period 1947-1977. These
estimates show that the rate of surplus-value in the United States economy increased
significantly over this period, as predicted by Marx's theory. These estimates are then
compared with other estimates of the rate of surplus-value in the postwar United States
economy which are based on different interpretations of the main theoretical issues
involved in the estimation of the rate of surplus-value. This comparison shows that the
theoretical issue which makes the most difference in the estimated trend of the rate of
surplus-value is whether or not Marx's distinction between productive labor and
unproductive labor is taken into account in the definition of the rate of surplus-value.
Surplus Value, Unemployment and Industrial Turbulence
A Statistical Application of the Marxian Model To Post-War Japan
Yoshio Sugimoto, Department of Sociology La Trobe University, Australia
Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 19, No. 1, 25-47 (1975)
The paper examines in quantitative terms how powerful such Marxian concepts as the amount
and rate of surplus value and the size of the industrial reserve army of labour are in accounting for levels of industrial turbulence.
Emotional labour and surplus value: the case of holiday 'reps'
Authors: Panikkos Constanti; Paul Gibbs
Source: The Service Industries Journal, Volume 25, Number 1, January 2005, pp. 103-116(14)
Abstract: The employee's behavior requires 'emotional labour' [Hochschild, 1983] where the front-line
employee has to either conceal or manage actual feelings for the benefit of a successful
service delivery. The implication is not necessarily of equality or mutual benefit but of
satisfaction for the customer and profit for the management. The article discusses whether
the service employee is being exploited in this three-way relationship, and how surplus
value accrues and its benefit distributed.
Marx's Value, Exchange and Surplus Value Theory: A Suggested Interpretation
JEAN CARTELIER, The Jerome Levy Economics Institute; Université Paris X Nanterre -
Abstract: The concept of commodity society based on a specific division of labour (opposition between private and
social labour) and that of surplus-value are the most prominent achievements of Marx's
intellectual efforts in dealing with the economy of capitalism.
This paper attempts to evaluate the consistency of the theoretical propositions inherent
in these concepts. The main contention is that an internal criticism of Marx's theory of exchange value and surplus-value leads one to restate it in
a different framework. This framework. which mas be called monetary approach represents an
alternative to value theory.
The first section of the paper is devoted to Marx's value theory, especially to the form
of value analysis. We suggest that Marx did not succeed in deriving money from commodity.
As a consequence, money, if any, has to be presupposed at the same time as the specific
division of labour. The second section points out the logical inconsistencies which make
the surplus value theory unsuitable for its purpose.
Theories of Surplus Value, Marx 1861-3
The first section Production Process of Capital to be divided in the following
1. Introduction. Commodity. Money.
2. Transformation of money into capital.
3. Absolute surplus-value. (a) Labour-process and the process of producing surplus-value.
(b) Constant capital and variable capital. (c) Absolute surplus-value. (d) Struggle for
the normal working-day. (e) Simultaneous working-days (number of simultaneously employed
labourers). Amount of surplus-value and rate of surplus-value (magnitude and height?).
4. Relative surplus-value. (a) Simple co-operation. (b) Division of labour. (c) Machinery.
5. Combination of absolute and relative surplus-value. Relation (proportion) between
wage-labour and surplus-value. Formal and real subsumption of labour under capital.
Productivity of capital. Productive and unproductive labour.
6. Reconversion of surplus-value into capital. Primitive accumulation. Wakefields
7. Result of the production process.
8. Theories of surplus-value.
9. Theories of productive and unproductive labour. |XVIII-1140|.