Adam Smith’s concept of value of labour. Anglo-American Perspective till mid-19th century.
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RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to investigate applicability of Adam Smith’s Labour Theory of Value (LTV) and present both: the development of Adam Smith’s LTV as well as the early Anglo-American respond to the thesis that labour is real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. THE RESEARCH PROBLEM AND METHODS: Paper analyses premises that led Adam Smith to formulate his thesis that the labour it the only common measure of all value; as well as the reasons for critiques and appraisals of Smith’s thesis. Using analytical methods, as Frederic Beiser defined it, paper will “identify the problem behind a passage, the question the author is attempting to answer, (…) reconstruct the arguments the author gives for its solution, i.e., formulate them into premises and conclusion [and] (…) appraise these arguments, determining their formal validity and the quality of the evidence for them.” THE PROCESS OF ARGUMENTATION: After taking preliminary considerations on development of Smith’s theory the paper examines the earliest critique by the Anglo-American thinker Thomas Pownall. Finally, to investigate shortcomings of Pownall’s criticism, the paper explores various British and American attempts to implement LTV in utopian experiments and validate accuracy of Smith’s assumptions in practice. RESEARCH RESULTS: The result of the study is to clarify the Smith’s LTV concept and present it in new light, without the Marxist distortion given to it by both: Karl Marx itself and Marxists supporters. CONCLUSSIONS, INNOVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: This proves that no matter how disputable and undefined the LTV concept might be, and besides all imperfections of LTV theory emphasised by Pownall, under specific circumstances it might be implemented into practice. The paper focusses on pre-Ricardian economy and utopian social experiment and therefore it provides new context of analysis does not intend to present the Marxist variations on LTV.
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