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Ricardo Was Right!

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  • Samuelson, Paul A

Abstract

Ricardo added a chapter, "On Machinery," to the third and last edition of his Principles. In it, he contended that invention of machinery could reduce the demand for labor, wages, and national income. This paper is devoted to the analytical questions of whether Ricardo was right that viable invention can reduce the total of real output after all competitive prices adjust to clear all markets, and why so many mainstream economists doubt Ricardo. After a defense of Ricardo's analysis, the political and ideological aspects of the historical discussions are evaluated. Mathematical proofs are provided in an appendix. Copyright 1989 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuelson, Paul A, 1989. " Ricardo Was Right!," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(1), pages 47-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:91:y:1989:i:1:p:47-62
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    Cited by:

    1. Piva, Mariacristina & Vivarelli, Marco, 2017. "Technological Change and Employment: Were Ricardo and Marx Right?," IZA Discussion Papers 10471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Freni, Giuseppe & Salvadori, Neri, 2016. "Ricardo on Machinery: A Textual Analysis," MPRA Paper 73427, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2017. "The employment impact of R&D expenditures and capital formation," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Politica Economica ispe0078, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

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