[OPE-L:870] Re: Sraffa

akliman@acl.nyit.edu (akliman@acl.nyit.edu)
Mon, 29 Jan 1996 15:14:41 -0800

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Andrew here. In ope-l 866, I said that Sraffa basically repeats Bortkiewicz's
"proof" of internal inconsistency in the transformation of values into
production prices--i.e., the alleged proof the reproduction requires
stationary prices--in another context. This was perhaps not clear. I did
not mean that Sraffa was trying to disprove anything in Marx. I meant that
Sraffa states, or at least very strongly implies, that he has proved that
reproduction requires stationary prices. By "another context," I meant that
he, unlike Bortkiewicz, wasn't trying to shaft Marx.

So there's no dispute between John Ernst and I here. _Production of
Commodities ..._ was not a critique of Marx, but of mainstream capital
theory. Sraffa was no Steedman.

But I disagree that Sraffa's "technique"--postulation of stationary prices--
is valid even as a critique of neoclassicism, because the foundation on which
the postulate is based (these are the uniquely determined exchange-ratios if
society is to reproduce itself) is false. Neoclassicists know this and have
thrown off the "capital controversy" critique partly by introducing non-
stationary prices. It seems that much of the work of Garegnani and some
others has been to try to force the neoclassicists to debate on the ground
of "long period equilibrium," without success.

Andrew Kliman