Re: [OPE-L] Sraffa's Contribution to Marxian Political Economy

From: Gary Mongiovi (MONGIOVG@STJOHNS.EDU)
Date: Tue Feb 27 2007 - 12:07:56 EST

Jerry's account is accurate. It was a good session. Solow was very gracious. I think he's not persuaded that Sraffa's work has any practical relevance, and he belives the neoclassical story, in its postwar, pre-New Classical version, is a pretty good starting point for analysing the world and fixing it. 

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: OPE-L on behalf of Jerry Levy 
	Sent: Tue 2/27/2007 9:38 AM 
	Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Sraffa's Contribution to Marxian Political Economy

	>  I would be interested in knowing what Solow had to say.
	Hi Ajit:
	I didn't take notes and am not sure I remembered all of the points he made
	or can recount them accurately.  (He spoke for quite a while, at least
	as long as those who were making presentations.)  Perhaps Gary and/or
	Riccardo can fill-in or correct the following points:
	i) he was surprised (and humored) by the attention which Sraffa's archives
	has drawn.
	ii) he recounted discussions he had with PS  and his impressions of him
	which were generally favorable. Clearly, he respected PS as a peer
	and scholar.
	 iii) he criticized the assumption of  a equal rate of surplus (value) as
	not having a real base. In other words, it was assumed for reasons
	of mathematical convenience.  He also discussed the issue of
	the amounts of unknowns in Sraffa's theory and the choices that
	were made about limiting the quantity of unknowns.
	iv) he criticized  the point on the wage-rate of profit  frontier
	where the rate of profit equals zero.  At that point, he claimed
	'exploitation' had no meaning.  He did add, though, that he
	was not opposed to a claim that there is exploitation in the
	real world. (*)
	In solidarity, Jerry
	(*)  iii and iv could be seen as similar objections in the
	sense that both imply that Sraffa's theory over-simplified the
	subject matter for reasons of mathematical expedience. A fair
	criticism perhaps, but from someone who developed a one-sector
	growth model?
	In solidarity, Jerry

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