Econ 7950-009

Sraffian Economics

Matías Vernengo


The course provides a non-exhaustive and unsystematic discussion of selected topics in Sraffian economics.  The course presupposes previous knowledge of Sraffa’s Production of Commodities, and familiarity with the surplus approach critique of Marginalism.  Topics covered include the policy relevance and empirical evidence of the Sraffian critique of marginalist economics, the critique of the natural rate of interest and the monetary theory of distribution, the extensions of the Sraffian approach to deal with international economics, and technological change.  Some macroeconomic issues, incorporating the Keynesian Principle of Effective Demand, are also discussed.  Self-evaluation will be the method for grading.


1st Week

Foley, D., P. Garegnani, M. Pivetti and F. Vianello (2004), “Classical Theory and Policy Analysis: A Round Table,” Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione Piero Sraffa, Materiali di Discussione, No 1.


2nd Week

Ozanne, A. (1996), “Do Supply Curves Slope Up? The Empirical Relevance of the Sraffian Critique of Neoclassical Production Economies,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 20(6), pp. 749-62.


Petri, F. (2000), “On the Likelihood and Relevance of Reverse Capital Deepening,” University of Sienna, Working Paper No 279.


Han, Z. and B. Schefold (2006), “An Empirical Investigation of Paradoxes (Reswitching and Reverse Capital Deepening) in Capital Theory,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 30(5), pp. 737-65.


3rd Week

Panico, C. (1985), “Market Forces and the Relation Between the Rates of Interest and Profits,” Contributions to Political Economy, 4, pp. 37-60.


Pivetti, M. (1991), An Essay on Money and Distribution, London, Macmillan, chs. 1 and 2.


4th Week

Pivetti, M. (1991), chs. 3 to 6.


5th Week

Pivetti, M. (1991), chs. 7 to 12.


6th Week

Sraffa, P. (1932a), “Dr. Hayek on Money and Capital,” Economic Journal, 42, pp. 42-53.


Hayek, F. (1932), “Money and Capital: A Reply,” Economic Journal, 42, pp. 237-49.


Sraffa, P. (1932b), “A Rejoinder,” Economic Journal, 42, pp. 249-51.



7th Week

Brewer, A. (1985), “Trade with Fixed Real Wages and Mobile Capital,” Journal of International Economics, 18(1), pp. 177-86.


Steedman, I. and J. Metcalfe (1977), “Reswitching, Primary Inputs and the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Theory of Trade,” Journal of International Economics, 7(2), pp. 201-08.


8th Week

Brailovsky, V. (1989), “Exchange Rate Policy,” Contributions to Political Economy, 8, pp. 1-33.


Vernengo, M. (2001), “Foreign Exchange, Interest and Prices,” in L-P. Rochon and M. Vernengo (eds.), Credit, Effective Demand and the Open Economy, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.


9th Week

Metcalfe, J. and I. Steedman (1981), “Some Long- Run Theory of Employment, Income Distribution and the Exchange Rate,” The Manchester School, 49(1), pp. 1-20.


Serrano, F. (2003), “From Static Gold to Floating Dollar,” Contributions to Political Economy, 22, pp. 87-102.


10th Week

Okishio, N. (1987), “Choice of Technique,” in J. Eatwell, M. Milgate and P. Newman (eds.), The New Palgrave, London, Macmillan.


Bhaduri, A. (2007), Growth, Distribution and Innovations: Understanding Their Interrelations, London, Routledge, chs. 3 and 4.



11th Week

Ginzburg, A. and A. Simonazzi (2004), “Disinflation in Industrialized Countries, Foreign Debt Cycles and the Costs of Stability,” Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione Piero Sraffa, Materiali di Discussione, No 4.


Hannsgen, G. (2004), “Gibson's Paradox, Monetary Policy, and the Emergence of Cycles,” Levy Economics Institute, Economics Working Paper Archive 410.


12th Week

Cesaratto, S. (2007), “Are PAYG and FF Pension Schemes Equivalent Systems? Macroeconomic Considerations in the Light of Alternative Economic Theories,” Review of Political Economy, 19(4), pp. 449-73.


13th Week

Barba, A. and M. Pivetti (2009), “Rising household debt: Its causes and macroeconomic implications – a long-period analysis,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33(1), pp. 113-37.


14th Week

White, G. (2004), “Capital, Distribution and Macroeconomics,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 28(4), pp. 527-47.