[OPE-L] Rationing/price control

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Tue Aug 07 2007 - 14:33:10 EDT

Prof. Laibman's idea of immanent critique is a very good one, but shouldn't that also apply to Marxism? 

I am not convinced that all the tools of microeconomics are "neutral", that seems to be more a proof by selected instance. Maybe some techniques are neutral, other are embedded in a theory which makes certain assumptions that are not neutral. It would perhaps be more appropriate to say, that all economists share a common stock of relevant logical and empirical evidence, and that theoretical progress occurs through the confrontation of rival theories with each other, and the shared evidence.

The theory of rationing was extensively written on in the West during and after World War 2, and has important applications in health economics. In socialist economics, there is of course also an extensive literature on administered prices. Often economists act as though all prices are of the same kind, but in reality, of course, there are many different kinds of prices subject to different kinds of regulation.

So anyway Prof. Laibman's interesting paper isn't a purely abstract exercise, it has empirical applications. But I lack experience in the economics of rationing, and therefore cannot supply further texts to support this paper. John Roemer discusses the concept of utility in his book Theories of Redistributive Justice http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/ROETHE.html?show=contents but I'm not sure yet if I can agree with his concept.


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