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The Surplus Approach, Institutions, And Economic Formations

Sergio Cesaratto () and Stefano Di Bucchianico ()

Contributions to Political Economy, 2021, vol. 40, issue 1, 26-52

Abstract: The paper develops Pierangelo Garegnani’s notion of the ‘core’ of the classical theory of distribution to propose a wider integration of the concept of social surplus and institutions into economic thinking. Its main tenet is that the social surplus does not exist independently of the institutions (or social order) that oversee its production and distribution, starting from those that prevail in the sphere of production. In this sense, we supplement the surplus approach with important insights not only from the Polanyian approach, from economic archaeology and anthropology, but also from Sraffian authors and Sraffa’s manuscripts. Taking inspiration from Garegnani, this work is offered as a prelude to the design of different economic ‘cores’ for different stylized economic formations.

Date: 2021
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