Reply To: Labor Theory of Value


In addition to the reference provided by Dr. Herbener I would also look at the following works for a refutation both of the labor theory of value and its logical implications (all references below are to the works of Eugen von Bohm Bawerk – Mises’ teacher and the foremost critic of Marxism in the second half of the nineteenth century):

1. For a critique of the fact that prices of commodities reflect the amount of labor time that went into producing them see Bohm Bawerk’s Capital and Interest (Book V1, Chapter 3 on Marx) available online on

2. See the same source for an excellent critique of Marx’s theory of interest/profit that follows logically from an adoption of the labor theory of value (this is Marx’s Theory of Surplus Value).

3. Then see Bohm Bawerk’s Karl Marx and the Close of his System, also available online on
In this work he critiques another logical implication that Marx deduces from the labor theory of value, namely, that the rate of profit should be higher in certain industries as compared to others depending upon how labor or capital intensive they are.

These two works together constitute a withering demolition of the Marxian system.