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Sraffa's Other Leg

  • Samuelson, Paul A

In a constant-returns-to-scale-technology sans joint products, relative goods and factor prices must in general depend competitively on the two legs of demand composition and cost-technology. Sraffa's 1926 classic article, besides validly contending the need for imperfect-competition paradigms in increasing-returns situations, wrongly emphasized the primacy of the special one-leg case of constant costs. Here it is shown that Sraffa's leitmotiv involved overstress on this nongeneric case: his 1925 Italian paper, his late-1920s exploration of input-output, his editing of the classical writings, and his 1960 classic book involve the same bias. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 101 (1991)
Issue (Month): 406 (May)
Pages: 570-74

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:101:y:1991:i:406:p:570-74
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