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Contributions to Political Economy Current Issue





Published: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:29:45 GMT

 



Book Review

2016-07-22

AlbertoneManuela, National Identity and the Agrarian Republic: The Transatlantic Commerce of Ideas between America and France (1750–1830), Ashgate, Farnham, 2014, pp. 342.



Book Review

2016-07-22

AslanbeiguiNahid and OakesGuy, Arthur Cecil Pigou, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2015, pp. x + 309 (with Index). ISBN: 978-1-349-55380-8.



A Neglected Bicentenary: George Pryme’s Lectures on Political Economy

2016-07-22

Abstract
This paper examines the legacy of George Pryme’s original lectures on political economy that began in the University of Cambridge in 1816. It discusses Pryme’s role in promoting the first established chair of political economy in Cambridge, and it outlines some of the highlights of the Pryme Collection of Economic Literature.



Walras on Capital: Interpretative Insights from a Review by Bortkiewicz

2016-07-22

Abstract
A review by Bortkiewicz, wholeheartedly approved by Walras, of the second edition of the Eléments supplies an important insight, until now neglected, on how Walras interpreted his own capitalization equations before the fourth edition. The insight helps to explain why Walras was for so long unable to perceive that his given vectorial endowment of capital goods was incompatible with the uniform rate of return on supply price (URRSP) that he was assuming. Walras seems to have confusedly considered the capital endowments relevant for the determination of equilibrium rentals to be the ones resulting from the production of new capital goods and therefore as having already undergone an adjustment of their composition toward the one required for URRSP. Realization of the erroneousness of this view can explain the unobtrusive but crucial changes in the discussion of capitalization in the fourth edition, and most likely also the introduction of the ‘bons’.



Classical Theory of Investment: Panel Cointegration Evidence From 13 EU Countries

2016-07-22

Abstract
In the realm of macroeconomic theory, it is well established that investment decisions play an instrumental role in the determination of the level of output and employment; nevertheless, little progress has been made in relation to the theoretical aspects of these decisions. This paper, inspired by the classical approach to capital accumulation as well as the Keynesian theory of effective demand, attempts to enhance our empirical understanding of what determines investment decisions by exploring profitability, financial as well as demand factors. In so doing, a ‘Fully Modified OLS’ panel cointegration framework, for a cluster of two distinct groups of EU countries classified as core and the peripheral economies, provides the platform upon which our econometric investigation takes place. The respective evidence generated from the estimation process is in line with the theoretical framework proposed in this paper.



SOME NOTES ON MARX'S ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SRAFFA'S THOUGHT

2016-07-22

Abstract
I have argued as long ago as 1998, and more recently in a paper published in this journal in 2003, that the beginnings of Sraffa's work for Production of Commodities—identified as the formulation in 1927 of some systems of equations, which later brought him to the equations we find in the book—owed much to his (re)reading of Marx, at the time when he started to prepare the lectures on ‘Advanced theory of value’, he was supposed to give in Cambridge in the Autumn of 1927. I have shown that probably the most important text for Sraffa at this stage was Marx's Histoire des doctrines économiques (the French edition of Theories of Surplus Value), which led him to discover the materialistic conception of cost and value of the Physiocrats, and their Tableau économique, which in turn brought Sraffa to study Marx's schemes of (simple) reproduction, which were the source of Sraffa's equations. In an article published in 2015 in this journal, A. Ginzburg disagrees, basing himself on a paper by Garegnani of 2003, where it is maintained that Sraffa's formulation of his equations was wholly independent of his study of Marx, and was in fact reached before ‘discovering’ Marx as a serious economic theorist. I point out that documents to be found in Sraffa's papers show that Sraffa's appreciation of Marx and his reproduction schemes are not later than the formulation of Sraffa's equations in the Autumn of 1927. Moreover, I show that Garegnani's reconstruction (endorsed by Ginzburg) of the origin of Sraffa's equations as deriving from an attempt to reduce the ‘real’ cost of a commodity to a quantity of a single commodity, necessary for its production, does not stand up close scrutiny. Some other arguments brought forward by Ginzburg to substantiate his claims against my thesis are also discussed, and found wanting.



Professor de Vivo on Sraffa and Marx

2016-07-22

Abstract
In a recent paper (this journal, 2015, 34) dedicated to the reconstruction of the intellectual relations of Gramsci and Sraffa, the author basically accepted the reconstruction proposed by Garegnani that underlines the existence of a ‘turning point’, between Summer and Autumn 1927, in Sraffa’s theoretical reflection that led him to his 1960 book. This turning point, consisting in a movement from a Marshallian interpretation of classical political economy (where Marshall’s theory was considered ‘not at all incompatible’ with Marx) to the rediscovery of an alternative theory of value and distribution, was described as an ‘endogenous’ path. According to de Vivo's ‘exogenous’ path, instead, the draft of the Sraffa’s ‘first equations’ (where the absence of a surplus is assumed), would demonstrate the existence of an autonomous development starting out from Marx’s schemes of reproduction. In the present paper, the author provides new evidence, based on Sraffa’s manuscripts, on the intermesh of post-Marshallian problems with themes deriving from the classical economists. In contrast with de Vivo's statement that Sraffa's writings belonging to the ‘Marshallian phase’ would not bear any connection with the work undertaken for the 1960 book, it is shown that this continuity exists, and it is meaningful. The final section of the paper is dedicated to show the ambiguity of the idea—accepted, among others, by de Vivo—that the discrimination between the surplus approach and the marginal approach concerns the opposition between ‘reproducibility’ and ‘scarcity’.



CANTILLON IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH. TWO EDITIONS BY RICHARD VAN DEN BERG AND ANTOIN E. MURPHY: NEW FACTS AND HYPOTHESES *

2016-07-22

Abstract
The publication of a critical edition by Richard van den Berg (RvdB) of Richard Cantillon's famous 1755 Essai sur la nature du commerce en général, which provides a remarkably detailed comparison between this French text and various English counterparts by Malachy Postlethwayt and Philip Cantillon (and much more), has led to this article. Its publication almost coincided with the appearance of a new translation of the Essai in English, by Antoin E. Murphy (AEM). The first part of this article is a review of the new editions, which leads to new evidence and questions on Philip Cantillon's book. Its second part revisits the findings of Tsuda and Murphy to prove by methods borrowed from another field, the History of the Book, the long suspected involvement of Jacques Claude Marie Vincent de Gournay (1712–1759) in the publication of the Essai. Little known aspects of Cantillon's influence on other economists11—notably on members of the Gournay circle22—will be discussed . Additional details will also be provided on the interest in the Essai of the Société de Bretagne,33 and it will be suggested that the latter's reaction to Postlethwayt's Dictionary may have led to important works of Quesnay and Morellet.