Re: Which label: neo-Ricardian, surplus approach, or linear production theory?

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Wed Dec 03 2003 - 05:16:39 EST

At 22:10 -0800 2-12-2003, ajit sinha wrote:
>--- mongiovg <mongiovg@STJOHNS.EDU> wrote:
>>  Well, you can't go wrong with "linear production
>>  theory."  "Surplus approach"
>>  works if you're talking about Sraffa, Pasinetti and
>>  Steedman, but doesn't
>>  really fit for Leontief and I think there is some
>>  ambiguity as regards von
>>  Neumann (though Kurz & Salvadori put vN squarely in
>>  the Sraffian tradition).

>Leontief, and I think Neumann too, assume constant
>returns to scale. Sraffa does not. I think all linear
>production theory implicitly or explicitly assume
>constant returns to scale. Whereever you see a(ij)'s
>in linear production equations, you know that CRS is
>implicitly assumed. Of course, no such a(ij)'s appear
>in Sraffa's equations. So I would think that Sraffa
>should not be clubed under 'linear production theory'.
>Cheers, ajit sinha
>>  No one to whom the label "neo-Ricardian" is applied
>>  likes it, so I'd avoid it
>>  simply on the grounds of good manners. I suspect
>>  that it is often used by some
>>  Marxists or critical realists to suggest a certain
>>  bourgeoise backwardness.
>>  Regards,
>>  Gary
>>  >===== Original Message From Ian Wright
>>  <ian_paul_wright@HOTMAIL.COM> =====
>>  >I would like to use the correct or accepted label
>>  for the class of economic
>>  >models associated with Von Neumann, Sraffa,
>>  Pasinetti, Steedman and
>>  >others. The common elements I want to characterise
>>  are: (i) simultaneous
>>  >solution to a set of technical-production
>>  constraints, (ii) distribution of
>>  >a physical, surplus product, (iii) production of
>>  commodities by means of
>>  >commodities.
>>  >Can anyone tell me what is the accepted label for
>>  this class of models?
>>  >I've come across labels such as "neo-Ricardian",
>>  "surplus approach",
>>  >"linear production theory" and "physical quantities
>>  approach". Is there a
>>  >commonly accepted label that the practitioners
>>  accept?
>>  >
>>  >Thanks for any help in advance.
>>  >
>  > >-Ian.

linear production theory, I fear, would fit a lot of neoclassical
models. I agree with Ajit here.

I think that neo-Ricardian is fair, though it is disliked by those
authors: in fact, all of them, to my knowledge, stress always the
strict continuity between Ricardo and Marx.

von Neumann: the first to put him in the Classical tradition was
Napoleoni in 1963-4 (to my knowledge), it seems that K&S do not
acknowledge that, but I am unsure about that.

an interesting taxonomy of the 'Sraffian' schools is made by
Roncaglia, who distinguishes among 'neoSmithian', 'neoRicardian' and
'neoMarxian' in a little book recently published by Routledge.



Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
"Hyman P. Minsky"
UniversitÓ di Bergamo
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
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secretary +39-035 2052501
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