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The Hicks-Malinvaud average period of production and 'marginal productivity': a critical assessment


  • Saverio M. Fratini


Malinvaud (2003) observed that once techniques are ranked according to Hick’s concept of average period for a given rate of interest, a rise in the latter entails the use of a technique with a shorter average period. After a reconstruction of Malinvaud’s argument, it is shown that the result is far less encouraging for neoclassical theory than it might seem. The most important problem is not the fact that change in the interest rate affects the average period associated with a technique, despite the concern this aroused in Hicks and Malinvaud, but rather that it affects the ranking of techniques.

Suggested Citation

  • Saverio M. Fratini, 2011. "The Hicks-Malinvaud average period of production and 'marginal productivity': a critical assessment," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0128, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtr:wpaper:0128

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edmond Malinvaud, 2003. "The Legacy of Knut Wicksell to Capital Theory," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 507-525, December.
    2. Burmeister,Edwin, 1980. "Capital Theory and Dynamics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521297035, May.
    3. Saverio M. Fratini, 2010. "Reswitching And Decreasing Demand For Capital," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 676-682, November.
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    1. Fratini, Saverio M., 2012. "Malinvaud on Wicksell’s legacy to capital theory: some critical remarks," MPRA Paper 39574, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Average period of production; capital; interest rate; Wicksell;

    JEL classification:

    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution

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