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Cockshott, Paul; Sinha, Ajit (2008)
Publisher: Routledge
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: HB
This paper presents a simulation exercise on Sraffa's system under various types of technical changes to show that the direction of changes in prices of commodities is contingent on the choice of the numeraire. Thus, such a comparison of prices in two systems turns out to be meaningless. This result points to the arbitrary nature of the neoclassical supply functions, as they inevitably compare prices across several Sraffa systems on the basis of an arbitrarily chosen numeraire. We anticipated such a result from our reading of Sraffa as part of his 'prelude to a critique of economic theory'.
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    • Allingham, M. 1989. 'Numeraire', in The New Palgrave General Equilibrium, J. Eatwell, M. Milgate, and P. Newman (eds.), New York, London: W.W. Norton.
    • Dobb, M. 1970. 'The Sraffa System and Ctitique of the Neo-Classical Theory of Distribution', De Economist, 118(4), July-August: 347-62.
    • Hahn, F. 1982. 'The neo-Ricardians', Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 6, pp. 353- 374.
    • Kurz, H.D. and N. Salvadori. 1993. 'The “Standard Commodity” and Ricardo's Search for an “Invariable Measure of Value”', in The Dynamics of the Wealth of Nations: Growth, Distribution and Structural Change: Essays in Honour of Luigi Pasinetti, M. Baranzini and G.C. Harcourt (eds.), London and New York: Macmillan and St. martin's Press.
    • Sraffa, P. 1951. 'Introduction', in Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, vol. I, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Sraffa, P. 1960. Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Wittgenstein, L. 1978 [1953]. Philosophical Investigations, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
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