Full text: Accumulation and Technology

more and more elaborate. Can we draw the conclusion that 
the value of capital invested to the wage bill ( this 
corresponds to the "organic composition of capital?) 
or to the value of output ( the capital-output ratio 
which is more easily obtained from our statistics ) 
has risen? * 
* A remark has to be interjected here in relation to the 
interpretation of the organic composition of capital. 
It has been shown by Okishio and others ( including myself ) 
that the definition given by Marx ( labour embodied in 
capital + living labour ) makes his arguments 
incomprehensible while the altrnative definition 
( labour embodied in capital + total labour, which 
corresponds to the capital-output ratio) renders them 
meaningful. I shall theredore use this second definition 
- the capital-output ratio - in preference to the first. 
f‘ i 
Marx was perfectly aware of the fact technical progress 
would cheapen not only the product but also the machine. 
But he never considered the possiblity that this influence 
which counteracted the effect of mechanisation on the 
capital-output ratio might go so far as to offset the 
effect completely and leave the capital-output ratio: 
where it was. And yet this is what in fact happened 
s "b i 
if we are to believe the historical statics of S.Kuznets 
and others. There is practically no evidence of a strong 
and persistent tendency of the capital-output ratio to 
rise in the time covered by our data ( in U.S. from the 
late 19thcentury ). 
The error of judgement could easily arise in the absence of 
statistical information relevant to this question.

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