Notes on Ricardo’s Principles (2) – 価値 1

中湖 康太

Chapter I On Value (価値について)


(1.1) Section 1: The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour which is necessary for its production, and not on the greater or less compensation which is paid for that labour.


価値: 効用と交換価値

(1.2) It has been observed by Adam Smith that the “word Value has two different meanings, and sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The one may be called ‘value in use’; the other ‘value in exchange’. The things,” he continues, “which have the greatest value in use, have frequently little or no value in exchange; and on the contrary, those which have greatest value in exchange, have little or no value in use.” Water and air are abundantly useful; they are indeed indispensable to existence, yet, under ordinary circumstances, nothing can be obtained in exchange for them. Gold on the contrary, though of little use compared with air or water, will exchange for a great quantity of other goods.

Utility then is not the measure of exchangeable value, although it is absolutely essential to it. If a commodity were in no way useful – in other words, if it could in no way contribute to our gratification – it would be destitute of exchangeable value, however scarce it might be, or whatever quantity of labour might be necessary to procure it.

リカードはアダム・スミスを引用し、「価値(Value)には2つの意味がある; 1つは効用(ある物を使用することによってもたらされる価値)であり、もう1つは、購買力(交換価値)である。多大な効用(使用価値)を有するものが、しばしばほとんど交換価値を有しないことがあり(例えば、水や空気)、逆に、ほとんど使用価値のないものが、多大な交換価値を有する場合(例えば、金)がある。」と述べる。現代経済学においては、価値論は、限界概念に基づく財価格の決定理論(価格理論)として捉えらるといってよい。需要曲線の背後にあるのが限界効用であり、供給曲線の背後にあるのが限界費用である。

交換価値の源泉: 労働量と稀少性

(1.3) Possessing utility, commodities, derive their exchangeable value from two sources: from their scarcity, and from the quantity of labour required to obtain them.

There are some commodities, the value of which is determined by their scarcity alone. No labour can increase the quantity of such goods, and therefore their value cannot be lowered by an increased supply. Some rare statues and pictures, scarce books and coins, wines of a peculiar quality, which can be made only from grapes grown on a particular soil, of which there is a very limited quantity, are all of this description. Their value is wholly independent of the quantity of labour originally necessary to produce them, and varies with the varying wealth and inclinations of those who are desirous to possess them.

These commodities, however, from a very small part of the mass of commodities daily exchanged in the market. By far the greatest part of those goods which are the objects of desire are procured by labour; and they may be multiplied, not in one country alone, but in many, almost without any assignable limit, if we are disposed to bestow the labour necessary to obtain them.

交換価値の源泉を労働量として一般化しよとするが、稀少性に由来するものがある。「商品の交換価値は、稀少性と労働量に由来する」 が、前者(稀少性に由来する交換価値)を例外として処理する。「商品には、その価値を稀少性のみから生じるものもある。どのように労働量を増やしたからといってそれらの供給量を増やすことはできない。稀な彫像や、本、硬貨、特別の品質を持つワイン等がその例である・・・」、「しかし、これらの商品のほんの一部であり、需要されるほとんどの商品は労働によって生産されている。」


(1.4) In speaking, then, of commodities, of their exchangeable value, and of the laws which regulate their relative prices, we mean always such commodities only as can be increased in quantity by the exertion of human industry, and on the production of which competition operates without restraint.

リカードは、労働価値説を主張するにあたり、労働を説明変数とした商品の生産関数を想定している(資本ストックは一定と仮定)。つまり、 qi = fi (l,, k) [ここで、qi : 商品iの生産量、l : 労働量、k: 資本(一定)]。そして、競争原理について言及する。これは重要なポイントである。「商品の交換価値とその相対価格を規制する法則について言えば、ほとんどの商品は、労働の投入によってその生産量を増加することでき、そこには、例外なく競争原理が働いている」


(1.5) In early stages of society, the exchangeable value of these commodities, or the rule whch determines how much of one shall be given in exchange for another, depends almost exclusively on the comparative quantity of labour expended on each.

「社会の早期の段階では、ほとんどの商品の交換価値は、そこに投入されている労働量によって決定されている」 ここで、「社会の早期の段階では」とあるのは、労働価値説の限界を意識しているのであろう。


(1.6) “The real price of everything,” says Adam Smith, “what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What everything is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who wants to dispose of it, or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself, and which it can impose upon other people.” “Labour was the first price – the original purchase-money that was paid for all things.” Again, “in that early and rude state of society which precedes both the accumulation of stock and the appropriation of land, the proportion between the quantities of labour necessary for acquiring different objects seems to be the only circumstance which can afford any rule for exchanging them for one another. If, among a nation of hunters, for example, it usually cost twice the labour to kill a beaver which it does to kill a deer, one beaver should naturally exchange for, or be worth, two deer, It is natural that what is usually the produce of two days’ or two hours’ labour should be double of what is usually the produce of one day’s or one hour’s labour.”



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