 # Participatory theory of value?

I’ve recently been taking interest in various theories of value aside from the labor theory of value. My focus, however, is the possibility that parecon itself may have a theory of value that can be unearthed by analyzing the writings somewhat.
For the time being, I recommend that people are familiar with chapter 5.5 of A Quiet Revolution in Welfare Economics, as I will be borrowing the qualitative model of the economic sphere from that book.

The beginning of this idea would be the imperfection theorem that Hahnel/Albert made for a market allocation system. Although I’m familiar that marginalism is common within economic theories today, the way that its represented in here seems to indicate something more than just general marginal utility. My best guess is that what I’m representing would be some kind of amalgamation of the utility and cost-of-production theories of value.
My equation so far is (i + ((M+G)f - (M+G)b) + xon) - (uo + xop). xon represents negative external costs, and xop represents positive external costs.
i would represent the total cost of the natural/man-made resources (R and X) and the total amount compensated for each individual per hour (E). E can be broken down into (wagexhours)xI, where I represents the total amount of individuals involved in the economic process.
((M+G)f - (M+G)b) will represent the total upkeep cost of the aggregate state values. I say “aggregate” as I don’t consider P, S, V, or K much of a measurable variable to include in calculating value. I include G, however, because this can be measured in a myriad of ways; for example, after taking out high-ranking Jewish employees in Nazi Germany, the general value of the companies in the stock market had decreased.

The main issue with this equation, however, is how to measure uo. I’ve struggled to think of a proper way to answer this, and the best I can come up with is how high the average consumer is willing to pay for the product. I’d love some insight from others about this mystery variable.

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I’ve been tinkering with this a bit more, and although I still haven’t figured out how to measure uo, I have made an example and some thoughts about everything here.

Here’s the basic example of the participatory theory of value that I made (w=wage, h=hours):
(i + ((M+G)f - (M+G)b) + xon) - (uo + xop)

i = (wh)I + R + X
I = 5
w = 7
h = 2
(wh)I = 70

R = 30
X = 20
R+X = 50

50+70 = 120

(M+G)b = 120
(M+G)f = 150
150-120 = 30

xon = 230
xop = 240

120+30+230 = 380
380-240 = 140

Our final answer, after dealing with all known variables, is 140 - uo.

A possible addition to measuring i would be to account for multiple groups of I with different wages and hours. Although this would take more math to calculate the value, this helps add more depth into how its made within the average business.
Its also possible that uo maybe stay an unknown variable; how much it satisfies a consumer may vary depending on the consumer themselves. This would be some dismay for me, as I’d rather not deal with an unknown variable in my neat little equation for value, but it seems to be the best option so far.
Like I said in my last post, I’d love to hear some thoughts on uo before I decide anything on my own.

Quick update on this thread: it turns out Albert/Hahnel might’ve beat me to the punch in Unorthodox Marxism when it comes to a theory of value from parecon. Its not similar to what I suggested, however I think its a significant improvement compared to what I had been theorizing a few months ago.