Pasinetti's Hyper-Integrated Labor Coefficients and the 'Pure Labor Theory of Value'

15 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2013

See all articles by Ian P. Wright

Ian P. Wright

The Open University - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 23, 2013


Pasinetti (1988) constructs ‘vertically hyper-integrated labor coefficients’ for an economic model that exhibits unbalanced growth. The hyper-integrated coefficients additionally include the labor required to produce investment goods as part of the labor cost of reproducing commodities. In a hypothetical ‘natural’ state, with profits at non-uniform ‘natural’ rates, then prices, although not proportional to Classical labor-values, are proportional to Pasinetti’s hyper-coefficients. The hyper-coefficients, Pasinetti suggests, provide ‘a complete generalization of the pure labor theory of value’. But in conditions of capitalist production-prices, with a uniform profit-rate, even Pasinetti’s more general ‘pure labor theory of value’ breaks-down, since prices are not proportional to the hyper-coefficients, a result that constitutes a ‘complete generalization of Marx’s “transformation problem”.

In this paper I demonstrate that Pasinetti’s theoretical innovations imply a di fferent conclusion, specifically that the 'pure labor theory of value’ holds generally. I extend Pasinetti’s hyper-integrated approach and construct a measure of labor cost, vertically super-integrated labor coefficients, which additionally includes the labor required to reproduce the capitalist class at its conventional level of consumption. Production-prices are proportional to the super-coefficients, a result that constitutes a general solution to Marx’s 'transformation problem' and completes Pasinetti’s generalization of the ‘pure labor theory of value’.

Keywords: Pasinetti, labor theory of value

JEL Classification: C67, E11, D46

Suggested Citation

Wright, Ian P., Pasinetti's Hyper-Integrated Labor Coefficients and the 'Pure Labor Theory of Value' (April 23, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Ian P. Wright (Contact Author)

The Open University - Department of Economics ( email )

Walton Hall
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
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