Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk argues that Marx ignored the fact that the same amount of labor time should be rewarded differently depending upon where along the structure of production it took place (1898)
The Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (1851-1914) wrote a devastating crique of Karl Marx’s economic theory shortly after the publication of the posthumous third volume of Das Kapital in 1894. Among many criticisms, he points out that Marx ignored the fact that the same amount of labor time should be rewarded differently depending upon where along the structure of production it took place:
Socialism & Interventionism
Now Marx’s hypothesis assumes that the prices of the commodities I and II are determined exactly in proportion to the amounts of labor expended in their production, so that the product of six years’ work in commodity I only brings as much as the total produce of six years’ work in commodity II. And further, it follows from this that the laborer in commodity I should be satisfied to receive for every year’s work, with an average of three years’ delay of payment, the same return that the laborer in commodity II receives without any delay; that therefore delay in the receipt of payment is a circumstance which has no part to play in the Marxist hypothesis, and more especially has no influence on competition, on the crowding or under-stocking of the trade in the different branches of production, having regard to the longer or shorter periods of waiting to which they are subjected.