The Ricardo Puzzle
This paper tackles the puzzle of Ricardo's stubborn commitment to a labor theory of value that he himself saw as no more than an approximation to reality and which was heavily opposed by Malthus, his most respected contemporary. We show it is wrong to think that the theory was just the result of personal stubborness with no analytical benefit. Quite to the contrary, it was the only defense Ricardo could find against Malthus' destructive criticism, which introduced an unacceptable degree of indetermination in his theory of profits. By adopting the labor theory of value, Ricardo drastically simplified the method of proof of his main proposition, which otherwise seemed to present impossible analytical challenges. The irony is that the proposition was correct, quite independently of the labor theory of value, but Ricardo was just unable to prove it.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:40:y:2008:i:4:p:595-611. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.