Price-Value Deviations and the Labour Theory of Value: Evidence from 42 Countries, 2000–2017

Patrick Mokre, Baki Güney Işıkara

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The relationship between prices and labour values has been the source of fruitful controversy since the earliest Classical Political Economists. The alleged refutation of the labour theory of value was an integral part of the marginalist attack against Classical and Marxist analysis. However, statistical analysis of price-value relationships made possible by the data available since the later 20th century suggest considerable empirical strength of the labour theory of value. We trace the intellectual history of the price-value relationship and its inseparable link to capitalist competition through Smith, Ricardo, Marx and Sraffa. Following Shaikh and Ochoa, we present an empirical model of testing their hypotheses that (1) labour values regulate prices of production and (2) serve as gravitational centres for market prices. The analysis of a large dataset of 42 countries and 15 years reveal only small and stable deviations and thus lend support to the Classical Political Economic analysis. With a sample of over 36,000 price vectors, we provide the most comprehensive empirical application of its class and generalize the results that have been established in the relevant literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165 - 180
JournalReview of Political Economy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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