Literature about New Solution to Transformation Problem

Hans Ehrbar ehrbar at
Sun Oct 30 19:47:53 MST 1994

Rob Burns asked about literature about new Solution and
the Net product approach.

As I understand it, the New Solution was
independently discovered by Gerard Dumenil and Duncan Foley.

Dumenil published it in French in a book:

AUTHOR = "Dum{\'e}nil, G{\'e}rard",
TITLE = "De la Valeur aux Prix de Production",
YEAR = 1980,
PUBLISHER = "Economica",
ADDRESS = "Paris",

and Foley in a RRPE article:

author = "Foley, Duncan K.",
YEAR = 1982,
title = "The Value of Money,
 the Value of Labor Power and the Marxian Transformation Problem",
JOURNAL = "Review of Radical Political Economics",
VOLUME = 14,
PAGES = "37--47",

They seem to have been roughly simultaneous,
because Foley tried to publish his paper at various
other places before going to the RRPE.

Very influential was also Lipietz's article in JET, but Lipietz and
Dumenil work in the same building, and it seems Lipietz was in part
reporting and expanding on Dumenil's ideas:

TITLE = "The So-Called `Transformation  Problem'  Revisited ",
AUTHOR = "Lipietz, Alain",
JOURNAL = "Journal of Economic Theory",
VOLUME = 26,
YEAR = 1982,

and a comment by Dumenil:

TITLE = "The So-Called `Transformation Problem' Revisited:   A
 Brief  Comment",
AUTHOR = "Dum{\'e}nil, G.",
JOURNAL = "Journal of  Economic  Theory ",
VOLUME = 33,
YEAR = 1984,

This is perhaps what one can consider the ``original''
literature about the new solution.

Earlier or contemperaneous independent
approaches using the net product are:

AUTHOR = "Laibman, David",
YEAR = 1974,
TITLE = "Values and Prices of Production:
 The Political Economy of the Transformation Problem",
JOURNAL = "Science and Society",

author = "Wolff, R. D. and Bruce Roberts and Antonio Callari",
YEAR = 1982,
title = "Marx's (Not Ricardo's) `Transformation Problem':
 A Radical Reconceptualization",
JOURNAL = "History of Political Economy",
VOLUME = 14,
PAGES = "564--582",

Bruce Roberts's 1981 dissertation,

and a papr presented by Bruce Roberts 1978 at the History of Economics
Society Meetings.

When traveling in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in
1989 I also saw a book there, in German, from the early 1970s, which
used the net product.  Unfortunately I cannot find the reference at
the present time.

If anybody knows of other books or articles using the net product,
I would be happy to hear about them.

Hans G. Ehrbar                                    ehrbar at
Economics Department, 308 BuC                     (801) 581 7797
University of Utah                                (801) 581 7481
Salt Lake City    UT 84112-1107                   (801) 585 5649 (FAX)


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