Re: (OPE-L) Robinson and Marx

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Thu Nov 25 2004 - 05:41:47 EST

At 22:30 +0100 24-11-2004, Anders Ekeland wrote:

>The great divide in economics is between dynamic and static theory. Static
>capitalism is a contradictio in adjectivo and static models can never be
>the fundament of Marxian economics IMHO. As a Marxist I have more in common
>with any burgeois economist of the dynamic type (the evolutionary ones)
>than with Bortkiewicz, Roemer et al. We shall not acccept any "result" from
>a static model, that is not verified by a dynamic model, i.e.
>stability/robustness of equilibria is crucial.
>A Sraffian system is OK as as an immanent critique of GE theory, but not as
>a fundament for real, general economic theory. And when people find it
>problematic that a Sraffa model is not closed by purely "economic" factors,
>this is for me just a reminder of how much work there is before economics
>gets a dynamic foundation and becomes integrated with the other social
>sciences. The economy is not a deterministic machine, it is full of people,
>of idelogical fights, of political activity, full of *learning*.  And
>learning is a dynamic concept per definition.
>One could have wished that JR would have led the way for dynamic economics
>based on a renewed labour theory of value. She did not, but despite that I
>am convinced that she was on the right side of the divide.

Have you looked at her polemics with Garegnani on CJE. I think she
was exactly making some of your points - outside the LTV, of course,
but that's another matter.


ps: the positive role of the critique of capital theory in
Neoclassical economics of Robinson, Garegnani, etc. is beyond doubt.
But that was against Neoclassical economics before, say,
Arrow-Debreu. But look at all the debate after the paper by
Sonnenschein et al about excess demand functions, mid 70s: they were
actually destroying themesleves from within, because they showed that
you don't have either unicity or stability of GE. There are a couple
of good papers by Kirman on this. And a huge discussion. The best
things are in French by Bernard Guerrien. So my short story is: they
answered to criticism going towards a disaggregated models and
denying the battleground given by long-run equilibrium positions.
They seemed to succeed, but actually they ended showing that their
model has no place for money, uncertainty, and even fails on
equilibrium. At the same time, Robinson was criticizing the way some
Neoricardians were going, because traped in statics, equilibrium, no
role for history and time, etc.

Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
"Hyman P. Minsky"
UniversitÓ di Bergamo
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
direct    +39-035-2052545
secretary +39-035 2052501
fax:      +39 035 2052549

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