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Sraffa's mathematical economics: a constructive interpretation

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  • K. Vela Velupillai
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    Abstract

    The claim in this paper is that Sraffa employed a rigorous logic of mathematical reasoning in his book, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (PCC), in such a way that the existence proofs were constructive. This is the kind of mathematics that was prevalent at the beginning of the nineteenth century, which was dominated by the concrete, the constructive and the algorithmic. It is, therefore, completely consistent with the economics of the nineteenth century, which was the fulcrum around which the economics of PCC was conceived.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 325-342

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:325-342

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    Related research

    Keywords: existence proofs; constructive mathematics; algorithmic mathematics; mathematical economics; mathematical methodology; B23; B24; B31; B41; B51;

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    1. Sen, Amartya K, 1974. "On Some Debates in Capital Theory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(163), pages 328-35, August.
    2. Debreu, Gerard, 1991. "The Mathematization of Economic Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 1-7, March.
    3. Hahn, Frank, 1982. "The Neo-Ricardians," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 353-74, December.
    4. Smale, Stephen, 1976. "Dynamics in General Equilibrium Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 288-94, May.
    5. Debreu, Gerard, 1984. "Economic Theory in the Mathematical Mode," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 267-78, June.
    6. Desai, Meghnad & Ormerod, Paul, 1998. "Richard Goodwin: A Short Appreciation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1431-35, September.
    7. Debreu, Gerard, 1986. "Theoretical Models: Mathematical Forms and Economic Content," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1259-70, November.
    8. Guglielmo Chiodi, 1998. "On Non-self-replacing States," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 97-107, 02.
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    Cited by:
    1. Birolo, Adriano, 2010. "The path of a scholar," MPRA Paper 30734, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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