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'Cantabrigian Economics' and the aggregate production function

  • John S.L. McCombie

    ()

    (University of Cambridge, UK)

In Cambridge, UK, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were some of the most distinguished post-war non-neoclassical economists, which included Nicholas Kaldor, Joan Robinson and Piero Sraffa. The Cambridge capital theory controversies seemed to have been decisively settled in Cambridge, UK’s favour, yet no alternative paradigm emerged to challenge the prevailing neoclassical orthodoxy. This paper briefly looks at the reasons for this, including why the Cambridge capital theory debate, despite its important ramifications, is now largely forgotten. The paper concludes by looking at a further problem that vitiates the aggregate production function, resulting from the use of constant-price value data in econometric estimation. This criticism has also been widely ignored.

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Article provided by Edward Elgar Publishing in its journal Intervention. European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies.

Volume (Year): 8 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 165-182

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Handle: RePEc:elg:ejeepi:v:8:y:2011:i:1:p165-182
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  1. Jesus Felipe & Franklin M. Fisher, 2003. "Aggregation in Production Functions: What Applied Economists should Know," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 208-262, 05.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Diego Comin & Peter Howitt, 2006. "When Does Domestic Saving Matter for Economic Growth?," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_030, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  3. P. Garegnani, 1970. "Heterogeneous Capital, the Production Function and the Theory of Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 407-436.
  4. Douglas, Paul H, 1976. "The Cobb-Douglas Production Function Once Again: Its History, Its Testing, and Some New Empirical Values," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 903-15, October.
  5. Fisher, Franklin M, 1971. "Aggregate Production Functions and the Explanation of Wages: A Simulation Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(4), pages 305-25, November.
  6. Jesus Felipe & John McCombie, 2006. "The Tyranny of the Identity: Growth Accounting Revisited," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 283-299.
  7. Mark Blaug, 2009. "The Trade-Off between Rigor and Relevance: Sraffian Economics as a Case in Point," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 219-247, Summer.
  8. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2009. "The Economics of Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012634, March.
  9. Avi J. Cohen, 2003. "Retrospectives: Whatever Happened to the Cambridge Capital Theory Controversies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 199-214, Winter.
  10. M. J. Farrell, 1959. "The Convexity Assumption in the Theory of Competitive Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 377.
  11. -, 2009. "Economic growth in the Caribbean," Sede Subregional de la CEPAL para el Caribe (Estudios e Investigaciones) 38668, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
  12. Sheila C. Dow, 1980. "Methodological Morality in the Cambridge Controversies," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 2(3), pages 368-380, April.
  13. Avi J. Cohen, 1984. "The Methodological Resolution of the Cambridge Controversies," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 6(4), pages 614-629, July.
  14. Jesus Felipe & J. S. L. McCombie, 2005. "How Sound are the Foundations of the Aggregate Production Function?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 467-488, Summer.
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