Re: [OPE-L] models with unequal turnover periods

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Tue Sep 18 2007 - 08:59:12 EDT

Re Fred's reply to Paul C:

As Fred knows - and as I pointed out recently (even though it was obvious)
- Marx's theory also was not was not formalized in difference or
differential equations.  What Fred is asserting, imo, does not appreciate
either the meaning of Sraffa's theory or that of Marx.

At the risk of again stating the obvious, Sraffa never denied that
capitalism was a dynamic system.  Just as obviously, Marx understood that
it _was_ a dynamic system _but_ his formalizations in _Capital_ did not
adequately express that insight.

Marx, like the classical political economists, developed his formal
analysis using the convention of "periods of production".  There's much to
be said for period analysis, but it is _not_ dynamic analysis.  It's
rather a kind of comparative statics.

So, the problem isn't just - or even primarily - one for Sraffa.  Sraffa's
concern in _PCBMC_ was to critique marginalism.  For that limited purpose,
a dynamic presentstion was not necessary.  Marx's concern was to lay bare
the economic law(s) of motion of capitalism and _that_ requires that one
(eventually) incorporate dynamic analysis into the theory.  Although there
are "dynamic insights" in his theory, Marx never really did this.  So, the
problem that Fred is raising is more a problem for Marxians who wish to
to move beyond the period analysis in _Capital_.  This is especially a
problem for those who see Marx's theory as "complete" rather than a
partially completed layered analysis presented in terms of levels of
abstraction.  (This does not include Fred.)

Is it legitimate to present a theory initially using the convention of
period analysis and then move on to dynamic analysis?  I don't see why
not, but if I am mistaken someone should correct me.  However, if one were
to do that with Marx's theory then it would no longer be Marx's theory but
would be another (perhaps superior) theory.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Sep 30 2007 - 00:00:05 EDT