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Critica della teoria neoclassica della crescita e della distribuzione


  • Luigi Pasinetti

    (Universit? Cattolica del S. Cuore, Istituto di teoria economica e metodi quantitativi, Milano)


The paper surveys the main theories of income distribution in their relationship with the theories of economic growth. First, the Classical approach is considered, focusing on the Ricardian theory. Then the neoclassical theory is discussed, highlighting its origins (Bohm-Bawerk, Wicksell, Clark) and the role of the aggregate production function. The emergence of a "Keynesian" theory of income distribution in the wake of Harrod's model of growth is then recalled together with the surprising resurgence of the neoclassical theory (following the contributions of Solow and Meade). But, as the paper shows, the neoclassical theory of income distribution lacks logical consistency and has shaky foundations, as has been revealed by the severe critiques moved to the neoclassical production function. Mainstream economic literature circumvents this problem by simply ignoring it; while the models of endogenous growth exclude the issue of distribution theory from their consideration. However, while mainstream economics bypasses the problems of income distribution, this is too relevant an issue to be ignored and a number of new research lines, briefly surveyed, try new approaches to it.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Pasinetti, 2000. "Critica della teoria neoclassica della crescita e della distribuzione," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 53(210), pages 187-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:psl:moneta:2000:22

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-1198, December.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-397, July.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    4. Atkinson, A B, 1997. "Bringing Income Distribution in from the Cold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 297-321, March.
    5. Burmeister,Edwin, 1980. "Capital Theory and Dynamics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521297035, March.
    6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    7. 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 305-325, November.
    8. Robert M. Solow, 2000. "La teoria neoclassica della crescita e della distribuzione," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 53(210), pages 149-185.
    9. Hahn, Frank, 1982. "The Neo-Ricardians," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 353-374, December.
    10. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
    11. D. G. Champernowne, 1953. "The Production Function and the Theory of Capital: A Comment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 112-135.
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    Cited by:

    1. Orsola Costantini, 2015. "The Cyclically Adjusted Budget: History and Exegesis of a Fateful Estimate," Working Papers Series 24, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    2. Sortino, Antonio, 2007. "L’inquadramento teorico del paradigma dello sviluppo rurale endogeno," MPRA Paper 7151, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Giovanni Bonifati, 2002. "Produzione, investimenti e produttivitˆ. Rendimenti crescenti e cambiamento strutturale nellÕindustria manifatturiera americana (1960-1994)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 55(217), pages 19-54.

    More about this item


    Distribution; Economic Growth; Growth; Income Distribution; Income;

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution


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