Notes on Ricardo’s Principles (16) – 価値 15

中湖 康太





Not so with the other great cause of the variation in the value of commodities, namely, the increase or diminution in the quantity of labor necessary to produce them. If to produce the corn, eighty, instead of one hundred men, should be required, the value of the corn would fall 20 percent, or from £5500 to £4400. If to produce the cloth, the labor of eighty instead of one hindered men would suffice, cloth would fall from £6050 to £4950. An alteration in the permanent rate of profits, to any great amount, is the effect of causes which do not operate but in the course of years, whereas alterations in the quantity of labor necessary to produce commodities are of fairly occurrence. Every improvement in machinery, in tools, in buildings, in raising the raw material, saves labor, and enables us to produce the commodity to which the improvement is applied with more facility, and consequently its value alters. In estimating, then, the causes of the variations in the value of commodities, although it would be wrong wholly to omit the consideration of the effect produced by a rise or fall of labor, it would be equally incorrect to attach much importance to it; and consequently, in the subsequent part of this work, tough I shall occasionally refer to this cause of variation, I shall consider all the great variations which take place in the relative value of commodities to be produced by the greater or less quantity of labor which may be required from time to time to produce them.



It is hardly necessary to say that commodities which have the same quantity of labor bestowed on their production will differ in exchangeable value if they cannot be brought to market in the same time.


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