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Sraffian theory of value: an intermediate stage of the return to the classics

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 03-08-2018
TERRA ECONOMICUS. 2018.  Т. 16. № 2. С. 46-74. 
Тематический раздел:
Piero Sraffa is one of the most original and mysterious economists of the 20th century. Having comprehended early the insolvability of contradictions of the marginal theory of supply and demand, he turned to the legacy of classical economists. Largely due to his efforts, the classical tradition of political economy analysis, outlined by the Physiocrats and W. Petty, but broke off after K. Marx, was revived in the middle of the twentieth century. Not confining himself to explaining the true content of classical political economy, Sraffa was actively working on ways to improve and apply it to various aspects of economic reality. The inherited from the Classics objective viewpoint on the physical nature of product's production and social conditions of their distribution formed the methodological basis for the production approach to the analysis of structural properties of the commodity economy implemented in his own theory.The paper deals with a critical discussion of the main subject of Sraffa's theoretical research - the theory of value (and distribution). The research checks and confirms the following hypothesis. The «effect of distribution on prices» discovered by Sraffa arises from the inconsistency of his model of the price problem. It is based on the incorrect concept of the surplus income distribution between capitalist-entrepreneurs and workers in the form of deferred wage payments. After the formal proof and economic explanation of Sraffa's mistake, the correct formulation of the conditions of the price problem is proposed. It leads to the familiar from the classical theory of value model of prices determined by the total (both intermediate and primary) costs of commodities' production.
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