1st Edition

The Financial Foundations of Production and Uncertainty

By Andres F. Cantillo Copyright 2024

    Rejecting much of mainstream economic theory for being too passive, this book argues that the innovative and unpredictable nature of economic phenomena is better understood with analytical devices, which allow for more creative and participatory analysis. As is demonstrated, this has significant implications for our understanding of production, money, and finance.

    The book introduces the concept of "production commitments": the expectation of a producer that others in the chain will produce their corresponding output. This expectation forms the basis of all specialized production in the economy. And being at the center of the process of specialization, production commitments are the most basic form of finance. Unless they are purely redistributive, money and monetary financial assets are valuable to the production process as long as they represent outstanding production commitments. It is also demonstrated that this new way of looking at finance is better grasped with an input-output framework than with the traditional probabilistic two-factor general equilibrium approach. By combining the Sraffa-Pasinetti approach to "expectation" with G.L.S. Shackle’s "potential surprise function", the book posits an alternative to the standard modern portfolio theory view of finance. Understanding production commitments through the Sraffa-Pasinetti framework also allows for an assessment of the compatibility between outstanding financial assets and a given or expected structure of production.

    This book will be of great interest to readers of post-Keynesian economics and other alternative approaches to economic theory, production, and financial economics.

    1 Introduction and plan of the work. 2 Production commitments, the structure of production and portfolio theory. 3 Production commitments and monetary theory. 4 The financial structure implicit in the Sraffa-Pasinetti framework and the intersectoral analysis of The General Theory. 5 Production commitments and the structure of production: two of the three elements of an effective language for the formation of expectations in a monetary economy. 6 Shackle’s potential surprise function and the formation of expectations in a monetary economy. 7 Concluding remarks. 8 Appendix


    Andres F. Cantillo earned his M.A. and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He currently works as an associate professor of economics at the Kansas City Kansas Community College. Andres has also taught at Missouri State University and The University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2009 he was awarded the G.L.S. Shackle Studentship at St. Edmund’s College—Cambridge University. His list of publications includes two articles in the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics: “Shackle’s Potential Surprise Function and the Formation of Expectation in a Monetary Economy” and “Production Commitments and the Financial Foundations of Specialized Economies”. He is also the author of two book reviews: “G.L.S. Shackle” and “Foundations of Real World Economics”, and a contributor to the Dictionary of Ecological Economics.