Money has no Price: Marx’s Theory of Money and the Transformation Problem

  • Fred Moseley


According to the standard interpretation of the ‘transformation problem’ in Marx’s theory, the money commodity (e.g., gold) is treated as essentially the same as all other commodities. If the first place, it is assumed that the money-commodity has a value-price (price proportional to labour-time)2 and also has a price of production, which could be different from its value- price, just like all other commodities. Second, it is argued that, in the transformation of value-prices into prices of production, some surplus-value is transferred from the gold industry to all other industries in order to equalize the rate of profit. Finally, as a result of this transfer of surplus-value from the gold industry to all other industries, the prices of production of all other commodities increase, so that the total price of production of commodities is greater than their total value-price. In this chapter, Bortkiewicz and Sweezy will be considered as the representatives of the standard interpretation of Marx’s theory of money and the transformation problem in particular (with the former the originator of the standard interpretation).


Actual Quantity Standard Interpretation Profit Rate Definite Quantity Total Price 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bortkiewicz, Ladislaus von (1907), ‘Value and price in the Marxian System (Part I)’, International Economic Papers, No. 2, 13–60 (1952).Google Scholar
  2. de Brunhoff, Suzanne (1973), Marx on Money (New York: Urizen, 1976).Google Scholar
  3. Carchedi, Guglielmo (1984), ‘The logic of prices as values’, Economy and Society, 13(4), 431–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Howell, David (1975), ‘Once again on productive and unproductive labour’, Revolutionary Communist (3/4), 46–68.Google Scholar
  5. Mandel, Ernst (1984), ‘Gold, money, and the transformation problem’, in E. Mandel and A. Freeman (eds), Ricardo, Marx, and Sraffa (London: Verso).Google Scholar
  6. Marx, Karl (1859), A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (New York: International, 1970).Google Scholar
  7. Marx, Karl (1867), Capital, Volume I (New York: Random House, 1977).Google Scholar
  8. Marx, Karl (1884), Capital, Volume II (New York: Random House, 1981).Google Scholar
  9. Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels (1975), Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress).Google Scholar
  10. Marx, Karl (1861–3a), Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 31 (New York: International, 1989).Google Scholar
  11. Marx, Karl (1861–3b), Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 33 (New York: International, 1991).Google Scholar
  12. Mattick, Paul Jr (1981), ‘Some aspects of the value-price problem’, Economies et Sociétés, (Cahiers de l’ISMEA Series) 15(6–7), 725–81.Google Scholar
  13. Moseley, Fred (1993), ‘Marx’s logical method and the transformation problem’, in F. Moseley (ed.), Marx’s Method in ‘Capital’: A Reexamination (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press).Google Scholar
  14. Moseley, Fred (1997), ‘The development of Marx’s theory of the distribution of surplus-value’, in F. Moseley and M. Campbell (eds), New Perspectives on Marx’s Method in ‘Capital’ (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press).Google Scholar
  15. Moseley, Fred (2000), ‘The new solution to the transformation problem: A sympathetic critique’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 32(2), 282–316.Google Scholar
  16. Moseley, Fred (2002), ‘Hostile brothers: Marx’s theory of the distribution of surplus-value in Volume III of Capital’, in Geert Reuten (ed.), The Culmination of Capital: Essays on Volume III of Capital (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).Google Scholar
  17. Moseley, Fred (2003), ‘The determination of constant capital and variable capital’, Efmoseley/CONCP.htm.Google Scholar
  18. Naples, Michele (1996), ‘Time, money, equilibrium: methodology and the labour theory of the Profit Rate’, in A. Freeman and G. Carchedi, Marx and Non-Equilibrium Economics (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar).Google Scholar
  19. Ramos, Alejandro (1998–9), ‘Value and price of production: New evidence on Marx’s transformation procedure’, International Journal of Political Economy, 28(4), 55–81.Google Scholar
  20. Sweezy, Paul (1942), The Theory of Capitalist Development (New York: Monthly Review Press).Google Scholar
  21. Williams, Michael (1975), ‘An analysis of South African capitalism — neo Ricardianism or Marxism?’, Bulletin of the Conference of Socialist Economists, 4(1), 1–38.Google Scholar
  22. Yaffe, David (1976), ‘Value and price in Marx’s Capital’, Revolutionary Communist, 2(1), 31–49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Fred Moseley 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Moseley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations