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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Eleonora Lattanzi and Nerio Naldi

This chapter provides a list and a brief description of files and documents where the name of Piero Sraffa is mentioned and are currently kept at the Archivio Centrale…

Abstract

This chapter provides a list and a brief description of files and documents where the name of Piero Sraffa is mentioned and are currently kept at the Archivio Centrale dello Stato and at the Archivio Storico Diplomatico. For each file or document we provide indication of the reference number where it is conserved and a transcription of one or two of the relevant documents out of more than 500 which have been located. The purpose of the chapter is to illustrate the results of archival research of the last decade, including more recent findings, and furnish a groundwork for further research, which may throw further light on documents already known to us, and lead to the discovery of new documents or information, so as to provide a better basis for the reconstruction of the biography of Piero Sraffa and of people whose lives entwined with his – Antonio Gramsci certainly ranking high among them.

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Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Riccardo Bellofiore and Scott Carter

Resurgent interest in the life and work of the Italian Cambridge economist Piero Sraffa is leading to New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship. This chapter introduces readers…

Abstract

Resurgent interest in the life and work of the Italian Cambridge economist Piero Sraffa is leading to New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship. This chapter introduces readers to some of these developments. First and perhaps foremost is the fact that as of September 2016 Sraffa’s archival material has been uploaded onto the website of the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge University, as digital colour images; this chapter introduces readers to the history of these events. This history provides sharp relief on the extant debates over the role of the archival material in leading to the final publication of Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, and readers are provided a brief sketch of these matters. The varied nature of Sraffa scholarship is demonstrated by the different aspects of Sraffa’s intellectual legacy which are developed and discussed in the various entries of our Symposium. The conclusion is reached that we are on the cusp of an exciting phase change of tremendous potential in Sraffa scholarship.

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Lucia Morra

The essay builds a timeline of the friendship and intellectual intercourse between Sraffa and Wittgenstein with data from both their Cambridge Pocket Diaries (CPDs) and…

Abstract

The essay builds a timeline of the friendship and intellectual intercourse between Sraffa and Wittgenstein with data from both their Cambridge Pocket Diaries (CPDs) and their correspondence and biography. The timeline distinguishes five phases: their first meetings until June 1930, the time in which their weekly conversations run uninterrupted (October 1930–June 1933); the period in which the enchantment of their previous meetings was broken (October 1933–July 1936); the following decade in which their meetings were in some years intense, in others nearly inexistent, until Sraffa decided to put an end to their conversations; and finally the years preceding Wittgenstein’s death. The meetings between Sraffa and Wittgenstein from their CPDs are listed in the Appendix.

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Book part
Publication date: 29 October 2014

Scott Carter

This chapter argues that the Marxian theory of exploitation underlies the concepts of surplus and deficit industries that appear in Sraffa’s (1960) Production of

Abstract

This chapter argues that the Marxian theory of exploitation underlies the concepts of surplus and deficit industries that appear in Sraffa’s (1960) Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities. This is seen from archival research of the unpublished papers of Piero Sraffa housed at the Wren Library, Trinity College, University of Cambridge. There it is shown that the origin of these concepts lies in the Marxian theory of exploitation that Sraffa developed regarding the notion of the ‘pool of profits’ the Italian economist utilized over a 14-year period from 1942 to 1956. The chapter engages in an extensive textual study of the archival evidence and then presents a simple analytical model of these relations.

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Research in Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-007-0

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Scott Carter

This essay explores certain aspects of single product industry basic systems of the type Sraffa develops in Part I of Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities. It…

Abstract

This essay explores certain aspects of single product industry basic systems of the type Sraffa develops in Part I of Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities. It focusses on triangular trade as the simplest expression of the more general n-commodity case. Two elements of the framework are explored: (i) the relation of exchange between all commodities, conceived as the configuration of exchange which is applicable to the subsistence and surplus models, and (ii) the value/price expressions of labour time, applicable to the surplus model only, which posits the productivity of, remuneration to and extraction from living labour added to the system. This analysis complements and extends the Marxian reading of Sraffa’s notions of surplus and deficit industries first explored in Carter (2014b). The methodology of ‘given quantities’ in expositing the relations developed is adopted in this essay as it corresponds to the same method employed by Sraffa. This allows readers to easily move from the present essay to Sraffa’s book and importantly his archival notes which are now for all interested parties available as colour digital images on the Wren Library website.

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

John B. Davis

In his 1931 unpublished “Surplus Product” manuscript Sraffa used an open–closed distinction to explain the relationship between the “economic field” and distribution. This…

Abstract

In his 1931 unpublished “Surplus Product” manuscript Sraffa used an open–closed distinction to explain the relationship between the “economic field” and distribution. This chapter examines Sraffa’s thinking in this regard, and shows how it allowed him to resolve a problem he encountered in his early objectivist representation of commodity production in economies with a surplus. The chapter argues that Sraffa adopted a view different from Bertalanffy’s general systems theory understanding of open and closed systems developed around the same time in such a way as to address the specific nature of economics. The chapter compares two related interpretations of Sraffa’s thinking in regard to the open–closed distinction developed by Arena and Ginzburg, and also addresses how Sraffa’s thinking regarding open and closed systems compares with similar thinking of Wittgenstein and Gramsci. The concluding discussion contrasts Sraffa’s causal reasoning with mainstream economics’ ceteris paribus method of causal reasoning.

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Scott Carter

Abstract

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Return of Marxian Macro-Dynamics in East Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-477-4

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Book part
Publication date: 29 October 2014

Scott Carter

Professor Solow’s original comment from 2007 is addressed seven years later. Here the foundational character of Sraffa’s archival material is stressed and no longer is the…

Abstract

Professor Solow’s original comment from 2007 is addressed seven years later. Here the foundational character of Sraffa’s archival material is stressed and no longer is the search for what Sraffa “really said” or much more nefariously what he “really meant” (especially as regards the relation to Marx) the endeavour pursued. This means rendering unto Sraffa what is his and using the foundations he provides from archival material to re-conceive Marxian income distribution theory and policy as a “positive” aspect of economic science.

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Research in Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-007-0

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Abstract

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Gabriel Brondino and Andres Lazzarini

The present essay re-examines the scope of Sraffa’s critique of Marshall’s supply curves that the former developed in his 1925 and 1926 articles showing that neoclassical…

Abstract

The present essay re-examines the scope of Sraffa’s critique of Marshall’s supply curves that the former developed in his 1925 and 1926 articles showing that neoclassical supply curves derived from non-proportional returns are not robust both in the short and in the long run. After examining what a short-run and a long-run equilibrium means both for the original Sraffa’s articles and for Marshall’s pioneer contribution, the chapter discusses the common procedure in conventional economics to introduce the limitations to the growth of the firm. The argument of the chapter will be based on the 1920s articles as well as on the ‘Lectures on Advanced Theory of Value’ delivered in 1928–1931 by Sraffa at Cambridge University, now publicly available online by the Wren library, Trinity College, Cambridge. For short-run analysis, it must be assumed that the number of firms is fixed. This assumption entails serious problems with regards to the notions of competition and competitive behaviour. For long-run analysis, the sources of increasing costs are problems of management and control. However, this idea is untenable both on logical and empirical grounds. We argue that contemporary mainstream microeconomic treatment of costs and supply in the context of perfect competition still presents several problems. These problems, rather than being superficial, lie at the root of the supply and demand approach of value and distribution.

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

Keywords

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