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The Trade-Off between Rigor and Relevance: Sraffian Economics as a Case in Point

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Author Info

  • Mark Blaug

Abstract

Piero Sraffa published Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities in 1960, and this enigmatic little book invited explanations of its meaning, particularly as its subtitle, Prelude to a Critique of Economic Theory, held out hopes of an ambitious research program. In the almost half-century since its publication, it has attracted a small following, particularly in Europe, but it has failed to make much of an impact on American academic economics. This is odd because Sraffian economics in many ways satisfies the relentless concern of mainstream American economics with mathematical rigor. As a species of general equilibrium theory, Sraffian economics is indeed rigoros but it appears to be irrelevant to the sort of issues that concern modern economists.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Duke University Press in its journal History of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Pages: 219-247

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Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:41:y:2009:i:2:p:219-247

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Related research

Keywords: Piero Sraffa;

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Cited by:
  1. Pier Luigi Porta, 2013. "What remains of Sraffa's economics," Working Papers 242, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised May 2013.
  2. Stirati, Antonella, 2014. "Real wages in the business cycle: an unresolved conflict between theory and facts in mainstream macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 53743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Kurz, Heinz D. & Salvadori, Neri, 2010. "In Favor of Rigor and Relevance. A Reply to Mark Blaug," MPRA Paper 20530, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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