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The New Value debate and the birth of a paradigm


  • Freeman, Alan


This article updates the paper ‘Mr Marx and the Neoclassics’ presented at the July 1996 conference of the History of Economics Society in Vancouver. It assesses the challenge presented by temporal analysis to both neoclassical orthodoxy and orthodox interpretations of Marx’s thought. It provides a rigorous value-theoretic account of the falling profit rate, of crisis, and of unequal world development rooted in an account of the value-price relation that conforms to Marx’s disputed expectations. This challenge represents a convergence of a number of different strains of thought. It involves a systematic reconsideration of the role of money and its relation to value. And it explores an alternative to the persistent dogma that economic movement may be captured by the mutations of a static or simultaneous equation system in which the only dynamic effects are the temporal evolution of its parameters. This alternative view reinstates the notion which Marshall and Walras sought to extirpate, of successive or temporal causation. The combination of these two insights has been variously termed the sequential nondualist or temporal approach (a term due to Gil Skillman). This revolution in thought, it is argued, goes beyond Marxist economics and offers a rigorous foundation for political economy as a whole. It has met powerful resistance. The conclusion drawn is that two exercises are needed: To enquire into the reasons this resistance, and to situate the ‘new’ theory – in actuality a reassertion of classical orthodoxy – in the general framework of the history of political economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Alan, 1997. "The New Value debate and the birth of a paradigm," MPRA Paper 1541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1541

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    TSSI; Temporalism; Marx; Value; Marshall; Walras; non-equilibrium; history of thought; Keynes; Austrian Economics; Post-Keynesian economics;

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • B24 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist; Scraffian
    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian


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