Re: naive question on Sraffian model

From: Anders Ekeland (anders.ekeland@ONLINE.NO)
Date: Tue Nov 23 2004 - 13:51:09 EST

Dear Ian,

the question is not naive, but maybe the wish to "close" the model by
endogenous "economic" factors is a bit naive. Or to put it another way,
many Sraffe-inspired economist consider it a very good feature of the model
that it is open, that the fight over the surplus is highlighted, and *not*
modelled as a something that is linked to (marginal) productivity of
labour, of capital or other such mysterious notions.

Notions crying of for some harsh deconstruction. Joan Robinson made a major
contribution to that - especially on "capital".

Of course one could look at share of union membership,
central/decentralized bargaining, kind of government etc. There has been
done some econometrics on that using Nordic data.

But as Morgernstern pointed out in his "Thirteen Critical Points in
Contemp. Ec. Theory: An Interpretation" (Dec. 1972 JEL, Vol 0, no 4) - a
lot of what is actually happening in an economy is *bargaining" - he
mentions especially wage bargaining - and I think he had a point there.

Anders Ekeland

At 18:30 23.11.2004, Ian Wright wrote:
>According to Pasinetti's "lectures on the theory of production" the
>paradigmatic Sraffian model  has either an exogenous wage rate or
>profit rate parameter. Choosing one determines the other, and fixes
>relative prices. Hence, prices reflect the distribution of the surplus
>between wages and profits. Assuming this to be a correct
>characterisation, I'd be grateful if anyone could tell me of attempts
>to "close" this model, in the sense of allowing wages, or profits, or
>both, to be endogenously determined (rather than assuming that wages
>or profits are determined by non-economic factors and hence not a
>subject of economic analysis). My apologies if this is a hopelessly
>naive question. Any help appreciated.

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