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On the Origins of Piero Sraffa’s Equations. New Evidence Following Pierangelo Garegnani’s Lead

Nerio Naldi ()
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Nerio Naldi: La Sapienza University of Rome

No CSWP33, Centro Sraffa Working Papers from Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione "Piero Sraffa"

Abstract: The paper investigates the origins of the equations which form the structure of Piero Sraffa’s Production of Commodities by means of Commodities. Following an interpretation first developed by Pierangelo Garegnani in a paper that highlighted the importance of a manuscript headed ‘Notes Lon-don, Summer 1927 (Physical Real Costs etc.)’, we single out new evidence relevant to the reconstruction of the path which led Sraffa to conceive his equations. In particular, we stress how Sraffa came to pay special attention to the case of a subsistence economy (‘a community that produces just what is sufficient to keep it going’) and how this led him to shift his attention from the idea of reducing heterogeneous physical costs to an ‘absolutely necessary commodity’ to the determination of exchange ratios by the solution of systems of simultaneous equations.

Keywords: Sraffa; Piero Sraffa Papers; Production of Commodities; costs; relative prices (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B24 B31 B51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-pke
Date: 2018-12
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