Capital-value is the part of the value of a commodity which is equal to the value of the capital used up in producing that commodity. It is the complement of the surplus-value, which is the value of the commodity over and above costs; together, the capital-value and the surplus-value make up the total value of the commodity.

capital-value + surplus-value = commodity-value

Capital-value itself has two components, the values of the constant and variable capital used in producing the commodity. Variable capital represents the labour costs and constant capital the non-labour costs.

  c    +    v     +     s     =        a

 |           |                              where:
  -----------           |                   c = constant capital
       |                                    v = variable capital
                                            s = surplus-value
 capital-value     surplus-value            a = value of commodity

`... the sum of the prices, or the sum of the values, of the circulating commodities. It is immaterial in what proportion this sum of values consists of surplus-value on the one hand, and of capital-value on the other.' (Karl Marx, Capital, vol II; p 422 in Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1974 edition.)

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