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Some Notes on Marshallian Supply Functions


  • Panico, Carlo


This paper argues, in opposition to P. A. Samuelson, that Piero Sraffa's 1920s contribution to the "cost controversy" pleaded for abandoning the Marshallian approach in favor of a simultaneous determination of all prices. His critique distinguished those Marshallian supply functions lacking rigorous foundations from those based on sound arguments, pointing out the validity of some nonconstant cases and focusing on the analysis of the conditions that make the ceteris paribus assumption legitimate when the effects of variable returns cannot be neglected, rather than on the negligible size of these returns or on "pure rhetoric," as Samuelson suggests. Sraffa's critique was soon misinterpreted along lines similar to those followed by Samuelson. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Panico, Carlo, 1991. "Some Notes on Marshallian Supply Functions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 557-569, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:101:y:1991:i:406:p:557-69

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rodolfo Signorino, 2000. "Method and analysis in Piero Sraffa's 1925 critique of Marshallian economics," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 569-594.
    2. Cavalieri, Duccio, 2001. "On Some Controversial Aspects of Sraffa's Theoretical System in the Second Half of the 1920s," MPRA Paper 43737, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Arrigo Opocher, 2003. "'Interrelated prices' and Sraffa's critique of partial equilibrium," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 479-496.
    4. Giuseppe Freni, 2001. "Sraffa's early contribution to competitive price theory," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 363-390.
    5. Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, 2003. "Joan Robinson and the three cambridge revolutions," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 545-560.

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