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Sraffa, Keynes and Post-Keynesians: suggestions for a synthesis in the making

Richard Arena and Stephanie Blankenburg ()
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Stephanie Blankenburg: SOAS - QMUL - Queen Mary University of London

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Abstract: Piero Sraffa's pivotal contribution to the critique of mainstream theory is well known. It had three principal targets: Marshallian partial equilibrium theory, the neoclassical macroeconomic theory of income distribution, and the neo-Walrasian microeconomic theory of general equilibrium from Pareto to Arrow and Debreu. This chapter examines well-known exponents of post-Keynesian economics who have made their position on the significance (or otherwise) of Sraffa's work for post-Keynesianism explicit. It first looks at Luigi Pasinetti's systematic attempt to integrate Sraffa's and John Maynard Keynes's core theoretical messages as elements of a more general theoretical framework. It then argues that historically specific institutional settings, conventions, and social practices play an important role in Sraffa's analysis. It also claims that his theory of production prices should be interpreted not in terms of a long-period analysis, but as a tool that allows us to explore complex and cumulative forms of economic dynamics not exclusively reliant on linear dynamical systems.

Keywords: Luigi Pasinetti; post-Keynesian economics; general equilibrium; microeconomic theory; income distribution; John Maynard Keynes; Piero Sraffa; mainstream theory; partial equilibrium theory; macroeconomic theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Published in G. Harcourt and P. Kriesler. The Oxford Handbook of Post-Keynesian Economics, Volume 1: Theory and Origins, Oxford University Press, pp.74-100, 2013

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