Re: [OPE-L] Sraffa's Contribution to Marxian Political Economy

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Tue Feb 27 2007 - 09:38:05 EST

>  I would be interested in knowing what Solow had to say.

Hi Ajit:

I didn't take notes and am not sure I remembered all of the points he made
or can recount them accurately.  (He spoke for quite a while, at least
as long as those who were making presentations.)  Perhaps Gary and/or
Riccardo can fill-in or correct the following points:

i) he was surprised (and humored) by the attention which Sraffa's archives
has drawn.

ii) he recounted discussions he had with PS  and his impressions of him
which were generally favorable. Clearly, he respected PS as a peer
and scholar.

 iii) he criticized the assumption of  a equal rate of surplus (value) as
not having a real base. In other words, it was assumed for reasons
of mathematical convenience.  He also discussed the issue of
the amounts of unknowns in Sraffa's theory and the choices that
were made about limiting the quantity of unknowns.

iv) he criticized  the point on the wage-rate of profit  frontier
where the rate of profit equals zero.  At that point, he claimed
'exploitation' had no meaning.  He did add, though, that he
was not opposed to a claim that there is exploitation in the
real world. (*)

In solidarity, Jerry

(*)  iii and iv could be seen as similar objections in the
sense that both imply that Sraffa's theory over-simplified the
subject matter for reasons of mathematical expedience. A fair
criticism perhaps, but from someone who developed a one-sector
growth model?

In solidarity, Jerry

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