From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Fri Dec 03 2004 - 12:50:28 EST
Hi Ajit, > There is no time and no causation in Sraffa's original > work. Sraffa does not have a "model". His propositions > are mathematical or logical in nature. What all > different variants of Sraffians have done with it, is > a different story altogether. Cheers, ajit sinha But you have previously explained to me that the Sraffian model is a theory of prices because it demonstrates that they are determined by (i) technical coefficients, (ii) distributional variable, (iii) uniform profit assumption. It does not explain prices by reference to previous prices. But if there is no causality or order to this explanation then we could equally say that the Sraffian model is a theory of distribution given (i) technical coefficients, (ii) uniform profit assumption, (iii) relative prices. Isn't this a general problem with acausal, simultaneous models? Essentially they define a function that map inputs to outputs. Given a collection of inputs you get some outputs, and hence the outputs are explained by the inputs. But you can invert the function and get the inputs given the outputs. So which comes first: the distributional variable or prices? Would you agree that all presentations of the Sraffian framework smuggle in the assumption that the order of explanation is such that it is prices that are explained, rather than going the other way, and thinking that it is prices that are taken as given? If we want to stick to the intepretation that Sraffa's "model" is acausal then we cannot say it "explains prices"; rather it determines a functional relation between distribution and prices, given the assumptions. Just musing as this critique will depend on the invertability of the function. -Ian.
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