Re: [OPE-L] standard commodity

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 31 2005 - 07:50:45 EST

--- Ian Wright <iwright@GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Paul, Ajit
> > Also, have either of you read Chp 7 of Christian
> Bidard's "Prices,
> Reproduction, Scarcity" (Cambridge, 2004), entitled
> "Ricardo's theory
> of value"? In that chapter he constructs a standard
> commodity that is
> invariant to changes in technical change (not
> distribution). He also
> uses the device of incorporating the real wage into
> the input matrix.
> He argues that Ricardo confused the idea of an
> absolute value with an
> invariable standard of value. Bidard makes the point
> that an
> invariable standard of course cannot exist if all
> commodities become
> easier to produce due to technical change (here
> assuming no new
> commodity types). But a sliding standard can be
> constructed which is
> nonetheless a measure of value that makes sense over
> changes in
> technology. The variation in the value of other
> commodities can be
> compared to that of a constructed sliding standard,
> similar to
> Sraffa's construction of the standard commodity.
> Bidard: "the approach
> is based on a relativity principle: in order to
> calculate the speed of
> a cyclist observed from a boat, it suffices to know
> the drift of the
> boat (the change in the standard) and the speed
> relative to the boat
> (the change relative to the standard). That
> procedure is the only
> possibility in the absence of an observer on the
> mainland." He gives
> some numerical examples of his approach.
> -Ian.

Christian was very kind to send his book to me as a
gift. I haven't had time to read through his book yet.
Though I have quickly looked through his chapter 7. My
sense is that this is not solving any of the value
theory problems. As a matter of fact he has read our
Standard commodity paper but has not mentioned to me
that his sliding standard might have some relevance to
our paper. His, as with most of the Sraffians, main
difference with me is that he takes Sraffa's work more
in the constructive vein and I more in the destructive
vein. Cheers, ajit sinha

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