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New Developments in Sraffian Theory

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Loews Philadelphia, Adams
Hosted By: Union for Radical Political Economics
  • Chair: Robin Hahnel, Willamette University

On the Theory of Exhaustible Resources: Ricardo Versus Hotelling

Heinz Kurz
University of Graz


The paper compares, and eventually combines, the approaches of Harold Hotelling and David Ricardo to the theory of exhaustible resources. According to Ricardo the exploitation of deposits of resources is typically subject to capacity constraints which necessitate the working of differently fertile mines side by side and which imply that the classical theory of differential rent applies. Hotelling assumed that the amount of the resource that can be extracted in a given period of time is only constrained by the amount of it left over from the preceding period; his emphasis was therefore on royalties and not differential rent. A model is elaborated which brings together the insights of both authors and allows one to trace relative prices and income distribution over time.

Reproducibility, Viability, and Returns in Price of Production Systems

Enrico Bellino
Catholic University Piacenza


Prices of Production are commonly conceived as exchange rates among commodities which permit them to be “reproduced” in the same quantities, or along a proportional growth path. A deeper investigation shows that Sraffa’s price equations can also refer to economies where industries with positive net products cohabit with industries with negative net products. An alternative interpretation of “viability” is thus provided. The co-presence of growing and declining industries re-opens the issue about returns to scale in production models.

Sraffian Indeterminacy in General Equilibrium Revisited

Naoki Yoshihara
University of Massachusetts-Amherst


Unlike Mandler’s (1999; Theorem 6) impossibility result about the
Sraffian indeterminacy of the steady-state equilibrium, we show that any stationary growth equilibrium with an endogenous growth rate is indeterminate in terms of Sraffa (1960) under the simple overlapping generation economy. Moreover, we also check that this indeterminacy is generic.
Daniel E. Saros
Valparaiso University
Nathan Sivers Boyce
Willamette University
Tom Weisskopf
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
JEL Classifications
  • B2 - History of Economic Thought since 1925
  • B5 - Current Heterodox Approaches