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On Sraffa, post-Keynesian theories of pricing and capitalist competition: Some observations


  • Stephanie Blankenburg

    () (School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK)


The paper explores the implications of the 1920s 'cost controversy' for heterodox economic theory (here limited to post-Keynesian and Sraffian analysis). It argues that neither neoclassical nor heterodox theories have found viable solutions to the basic dilemma posed by the 'cost controversy', namely how to reconcile a general theory of price with that of growth and accumulation. The a priori commitment of neoclassical theory to a symmetric theory of exchange and production means that the impasses met by Walrasian general equilibrium theory and by the New Endogenous Growth Theory cannot be resolved, while also preserving explanatory power. For the case of post-Keynesian and Sraffian theory, it is suggested that, while a claim to "a general theory of everything" is also unsustainable, a reconsideration of the methodological roots of Sraffa’s own analysis and of core aspects of classical theories of competition, might open an avenue to providing an empirically relevant heterodox theory of contemporary corporate capitalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Blankenburg, 2011. "On Sraffa, post-Keynesian theories of pricing and capitalist competition: Some observations," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 8(1), pages 183-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:ejeepi:v:8:y:2011:i:1:p183-200

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anonymous, 0. "1992 Winter," CWAE Newsletter, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics (CWAE).
    2. anonymous, 2009. "Which came first—democracy or growth?," Inside the Vault, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Spring.
    3. Corsi, Marcella & Guarini, Giulio, 2009. "Growth and institutions in Paolo Sylos Labini's thought," MPRA Paper 19431, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Anonymous, 0. "1992 Spring," CWAE Newsletter, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics (CWAE).
    5. Fine, Ben, 2000. "Endogenous Growth Theory: A Critical Assessment," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 245-265, March.
    6. -, 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).
    7. Anonymous, 0. "992 Spring, Volume 6, Number ," COSBAE Newsletter, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Committee on the Opportunities and Status of Blacks in Agricultural Economics (COSBAE).
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    More about this item


    cost controversy; Sraffa; post-Keynesian theory of pricing; classical theory of competition;

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General


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