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What remains of Sraffa's economics


  • Pier Luigi Porta


Recently the Cambridge Journal of Economics have launched a project on New Perspectives on the Work of Piero Sraffa in a Conference and a Special Issue of the Journal. "Almost two decades after the opening of the Sraffa Archives - the Introduction reads - and 50 years on from the publication of PCMC seemed an appropriate moment to reflect on ongoing debates on Sraffa's overall contribution to economics and, in particular, on the relevance of the opening of the Sraffa Archives in this regard. Does Sraffa's lasting contribution to economic analysis essentially remain limited to PCMC or is it taken beyond this by his unpublished writings? In the latter case, is it possible to identify a distinctive research project that Sraffa had in mind?". This paper discusses these problems and proposes an answer to both questions. It is argued that the opening of the Archives changes substantially the judgment that can be given of the intellectual legacy of Piero Sraffa. The contributions to the ongoing debate on Piero Sraffa's economics are discussed. It is argued that the publication of Sraffa's literary remains is the necessary step to make the debate more productive.

Suggested Citation

  • Pier Luigi Porta, 2013. "What remains of Sraffa's economics," Working Papers 242, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised May 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:242

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Samuel Hollander, 1998. "Sraffa in historiographical perspective: a provisional statement," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 430-436.
    2. Pier Luigi Porta, 2012. "Piero Sraffa's early views on classical political economy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(6), pages 1357-1383.
    3. Pier Luigi Porta, 2013. "New perspectives on the work of Piero Sraffa: a rejoinder to Professor Kurz," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(6), pages 1437-1441.
    4. Vivian Walsh, 2003. "Sen after Putnam," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 315-394.
    5. 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.
    6. John B. Davis, 2012. "The change in Sraffa's philosophical thinking," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(6), pages 1341-1356.
    7. Pier Luigi Porta, 2000. "Sraffa’s Ricardo after Fifty Years - A Preliminary Estimate," Working Papers 26, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2000.
    8. Arrow, Kenneth J., 1991. "Ricardo's Work as Viewed by Later Economists," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 70-77, June.
    9. Amartya Sen, 2003. "Sraffa, Wittgenstein, and Gramsci," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1240-1255, December.
    10. Heinz Kurz & Neri Salvadori, 2005. "Representing the production and circulation of commodities in material terms: On Sraffa's objectivism," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 413-441.
    11. Garegnani, Pierangelo, 1984. "Piero Sraffa," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 1-2, March.
    12. Pier Luigi Porta & Roberto Scazzieri, 2008. ""A Revolution to be Accomplished": Keynes and the Cambridge Keynesians," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 455-480.
    13. Roberto Scazzieri, 2012. "The political economy of Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities: a comment on Pasinetti and Sraffa," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(6), pages 1315-1322.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Why should we debate the contributions of particular dead economists?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-06-18 19:20:00

    More about this item


    Sraffian economics; Structural economic dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)

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