VJE Seminar: Christian Gehrke (U Graz)
Sraffa's constructive and interpretive work, and Marx
Abstract:This paper provides a summary account of Piero Sraffa’s interpretive and constructive work on the classical approach to the theory of value and distribution, focusing attention in particular on the role of Marx’s contributions. It is shown that in the early phase of his constructive work Sraffa developed his equation systems by adopting a “physical real cost” approach and a strictly objectivist point of view, and completely eschewed Marx’s labour-based approach and the related Marxian concepts. He only explored systematically the relationship between his own modern re-formulation of the surplus approach to the theory of value and distribution and Marx’s contribution at a later stage. Sraffa considered Marx’s most important analytical contribution to the further development of the surplus approach to consist in his re-integration of circular production relations into the theory of value and distribution, which allowed him to perceive the existence of a maximum rate of profits and its role in the analysis of accumulation and technical change.
joint work with Heinz D. Kurz