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Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods

The Other Sraffa - Surprises in the Archive?

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k) Ajit Sinha (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India)
A Reinterpretation of Sraffa's Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities

Sraffa asserts that the rate of profits must be uniform in his price equations. The leading Sraffian interpretation of this proposition is that Sraffa's system is assumed to be at the classical centre of gravitation, and hence the rate of profits is taken to be equal across industries. The paper argues that this interpretation is untenable. The paper makes three points. First of all, it argues that a close reading of Sraffa's writings provides no support to this interpretation, it rather points in opposite direction. Secondly, the paper provides an alternative interpretation/explanation of Sraffa's proposition regarding the uniformity of the rate of profits, which does not need the notion of centre of gravitation or the equilibrium of supplies and effectual demands. It further shows that such an explanation finds support in Sraffa?s writings. Finally, the paper critically evaluates the evidence provided in support of the received Sraffian.

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Department of Economics
Faculty of Economics
University of Bergamo


December 21-22, 2010
aula 3, via Salvecchio 19
University of Bergamo - Bergamo Alta, Italy