Neo-Ricardian theory (1960S)

English economist David Ricardo (1772-1823) looked to labor theory in his unsuccessful search for an invariable measure of value.

The Italian-born economist Piero Sraffa (1898-1983) attempted to solve the problems raised in Ricardo’s and Marx’s work by viewing prices in terms of wages, quantities of capital, and profits, rather than as labor time. He asserted that real prices (measured in terms of composite, or standard commodities) do not change unless technology does.

P Sraffa, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (Cambridge, 1960)

The neo-Ricardian school is an economic school that derives from the close reading and interpretation of David Ricardo by Piero Sraffa, and from Sraffa’s critique of neoclassical economics as presented in his The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, and further developed by the neo-Ricardians in the course of the Cambridge capital controversy. It particularly disputes neoclassical theory of income distribution.

Prominent neo-Ricardians are usually held to include Pierangelo Garegnani, Krishna Bharadwaj, Luigi Pasinetti, Joan Robinson, John Eatwell, Fernando Vianello, Murray Milgate, Ian Steedman, Heinz D. Kurz, Neri Salvadori, Bertram Schefold, Fabio Petri, Massimo Pivetti, Franklin Serrano, Fabio Ravagnani, Roberto Ciccone, Sergio Parrinello, Alessandro Roncaglia, Maurice Dobb, Gilbert Abraham-Frois, Theodore Mariolis and Giorgio Gilibert.

The school partially overlaps with post-Keynesian and neo-Marxian economics.

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