Competition, Value and Distribution in Classical Economics : Studies in Long-Period Analysis book cover
1st Edition

Competition, Value and Distribution in Classical Economics
Studies in Long-Period Analysis

ISBN 9780367687052
Published March 10, 2022 by Routledge
348 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Drawing in particular on the work of Sraffa, Smith, Ricardo and Marx, the essays in this volume explore the characteristic features of the Classical economists’ approach to economic problems, and the renewal of interest in that approach in modern times.

In recent years, new material has been made available on both Sraffa and Marx which have made new insights and interpretations possible. The release of Sraffa’s hitherto unpublished papers and correspondence has led to reconsideration of doctrinal questions such as to what extent Sraffa built upon, or deviated from the analyses of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and other representatives of the classical British school and Karl Marx. A major theme is also to what extent we can today, equipped with Sraffa's insights and analytical tools, re-interpret and develop ideas of classical authors, which they could present only in primitive forms, on technological progress, exhaustible resources and other contemporary issues. On Marx, the publication of the MEGA2 edition of the works, papers and correspondence of Marx and Engels also gives rise to a reconsideration of this relationship, given Marx's disenchantment with some of his own work and return to ideas advocated by Ricardo, especially as regards the long-term tendency of the rate of profits. Finally, the classical notion of competition and monopoly deserve to be scrutinized carefully again and frequent misinterpretations in the literature refuted.

This volume is vital reading for scholars of classical economics, Marx and Sraffa, and the history of economic thought more broadly. It also deals with issues in the areas of machinery and technical progress, joint production, and economic development and growth.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori

I. Classical economics, old and new

2. David Ricardo: on the art of ‘elucidating economic principles’ in the face of a ‘labyrinth of difficulties’

Heinz D. Kurz

3. Ricardo on machinery: an analysis of Ricardo’s examples

Giuseppe Freni and Neri Salvadori

4. Mark Blaug revisited: a rebel with many causes

Neri Salvadori and Rodolfo Signorino

II.On Sraffa’s contribution

5. The construction of long-run market supply curves: some notes on Sraffa’s critique of partial equilibrium analyses

Giuseppe Freni and Neri Salvadori

6. Classical economics after Sraffa

Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori

7. On the ‘photograph’ interpretation of Piero Sraffa’s production equations: a view from the Sraffa archive

Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori

III. Production of commodities by means of commodities in its making

8. Sraffa’s constructive and interpretive work, and Marx

Christian Gehrke and Heinz D. Kurz

9. Don’t treat too ill my Piero!: interpreting Sraffa’s papers

Heinz D. Kurz

10. Besicovitch, Sraffa, and the existence of the standard commodity

Neri Salvadori

11. Piero Sraffa’s early work on joint production: probing into the intricacies of multiple-product systems

Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori

IV. Competition and monopoly

12. The Classical notion of competition revisited

Neri Salvadori and Rodolfo Signorino

13. Adam Smith on monopoly theory: making good a lacuna

Neri Salvadori and Rodolfo Signorino

14. Adam Smith on markets, competition, and violations of natural liberty

Heinz D. Kurz

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Heinz D. Kurz is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Graz, Austria, and Fellow of the Graz Schumpeter Centre.

Neri Salvadori is Professor of Economics at the University of Pisa, Italy.


"The great prominence – for both width and depth – of Heinz Kurz and Neri Salvadori’s contributions is unanimously recognized by all scholars interested in Piero Sraffa’s works (published and unpublished) and in the revival of the classical approach to value and distribution. This volume not only adds to the collections of essays by these authors already published, but, by broadening the field of analysis or providing new insights on issues they already dealt with, it completes them. One could say that, because of a sort of positive externality, the new collection of essays by Kurz and Salvadori also increases the importance of the previous ones."

Saverio M. Fratini, Professor of Economics, Roma Tre University, Italy