The World Review of Political Economy Volume 12 Number 4 comprises 8 articles addressing Political Economy and heterodox views along with a Book Review.

In his piece titled “Value and Price: Controversy, Stasis, and Possibility”, author David Laibman spotlights the value dimension and the problem of “transforming”  values  into  prices which emerged in the late 19th century. He questions how a  value-theoretic  political  economy  may provide superior  insights  into  capitalist  laws of motion, unattainable from the critical study of the prices, wages, profits and production alone. The author searches for insights and answers to this from Marx and Engels and the formation of an opposing class forces to capitalist society and how this may help us in our search for answers to these questions.

Author Tiago Camarinha Lopes’ article “Pure-Blood and Muggle Marxian Approaches in the Theory of Value and Price” argues that to make progress in the theory of value and price we must incorporate in the debate of the transformation problem of how Marxian  economics  relates  to  non-Marxian  economics.  This article presents two alternative approaches  the  “pure-blood  Marxian  approach”  and  the  “muggle  Marxian  approach.”  It addresses how the the  “muggle  Marxian  approach” is represented as being superior by two influential 20th century Western communists working on academic economics Piero Sraffa and Oskar Lange.

Author Fred Moseley’s article “What Does the Labor Theory of Value Do?” is  a  response  to  two  other  articles  from the WAPE 2021 Forum by Tiago  Camarinha  Lopes  and  David  Laibman.  It focuses  on  the key question addressed by both Camarinha Lopes and Laibman of “what does the labor theory of value do that other theories cannot do?”.  In other words, what important phenomena of capitalist economies can Marx’s theory on the labor theory of value explain?  The author presents his answer to this important question of what the labor theory of value does.

Authors Paul Cockshott and David Zachariah  article “A Shift from the Problematic of “Transformation” examines the paradigm shift from the transformation model to the stochastic  profit  models.  Some  of  the  anomalies  undermining  the  transformation  model are given graphically. In the last two sections we present volume II of Capital as an alternative starting point for thinking about the relation between value and price.


Within his article “Value Production, Measurement, and Distribution under Digital Capitalism: A Critique of the Theory That the Law of Value Has Failed” author Xu Wei considers the problem of value  creation  and  profit  sources  of  digital  capital  in Web  2.0  era. This article considers the core categories Western Marxist scholars use to illustrate it the problem and how they conclude the law of value has become invalid in the era of “digital production and consumption”. Author Xie continues by looking at digital labor and  its  results within  Marx’s  analytical  framework to interprete it in  terms  of  “direct  production  process  of  capitalism,”  “fixed  capital  accumulation  pattern”  and  “classification  of  productive  labor  and  non-productive  labor” categories. He considers how the  digital  capitalist  mode  of  production is serving partially to dissipate the role of the law of value, this law as the general principle regulating global capitalist production remains effective in the contemporary world.

Author Lefteris Tsoulfidis’ article “Ricardo’s Labor Theory of Value Is Alive and Well in Contemporary Capitalism” considers  Ricardo’s  numerical  examples and its theoretical  statements  about  deviations  of  relative  values  (prices)  from  relative  labor  times.  These deviations result from capital and the distributive variables (rate of profit and wage) and production (turnover) times. This article looks at the argument that changes  in both relative  (market) and natural (or equilibrium) prices depend primarily on changes in unit labor values and secondarily on capital intensities. Using input-output  data  from  the US  and  Chinese  economies this article tests the extent to  which  Ricardo’s  thesis  holds  true.

Author Teppei Shibata’s article “Capital–Labor Relations in the Japanese Construction Industry” identifies  the  causes  of  and  solutions  to  the  shortage  of  human  resources  in  Japan’s  construction  industry  from  the  perspective  of  the  transformation  of  the  capital–labor  relations.  This article considers how the shortage of human resources is a result of low working conditions brought about  multiple  subcontracting  and  day  laborers  as  a  low-wage  sector.  It highlights how from the 2000’s dependent contractors and foreign workers began forming a new low-wage sector.

In his article “Marxism and MMT: How Modern Monetary Theory Can Enrich the Debate among Marxists” author Anthony William Donald Anastasi considers how to date relatively  little scholarly study has focussed on tying  Marxist theory to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). The author argues that Marxists should take a closer look and use MMT to argue for, implement, and manage non-reformist reforms such as a Job Guarantee and publicly funded elections which could  raise material  and  working  conditions  for the  working  class. This would work to  strengthen class consciousness, and condition society for a post-capitalist economic system.
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