Sraffa on Value
cburford at gn.apc.org
Sat Jun 10 18:37:27 MDT 1995
Thanks for coming back. I discovered by the way today that in addition to
Sraffa being out of print in London, Steedman's Marx after Sraffa is out of
> I guess I'm unclear on wshay you found to be opaque in Steve's exposition.
I had said
> > I have two problems:
> > 1) Steedman's chart that Steve uses is so condensed that I cannot find
> > my way round it.
> > I would like an explanation in very elementary terms as to what column
> > is what and how the columns relate to each other.
> > Inputs Outputs
> > Iron Labor Iron Gold Corn
> > Iron Industry 28 56 --> 56
> > Gold Industry 16 16 --> 48
> > Corn Industry 12 8 --> 8
> > Total 56 80 --> 56 48 8
> > This is obviously mythical (it shows gold being produced by iron
> > and labor), but it illustrates a few points. Firstly, production
> > is a process that "transforms" inputs into quantifiable but
> > qualitatively different outputs. Secondly, it takes both
> > commodity inputs and labor to produce anything. Thirdly, since
> > 56 units of steel are used up producing the total output of 56
> > units of steel, 48 of gold and 8 of corn, this system is in
> > "simple reproduction", since it only produces enough steel to
> > reproduce the same outputs the next time round. Thus the net *
> > output is the 48 units of gold and 8 units of corn (these could
> > be 48 ounces and 8 tonnes, by the way; they don't have to be in
> > the same units).
> > <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Although I suspect magic is hidden in this table, I am seeking an
elementary explanation of what are the rows and columns and how they
relate to each other.
An explanation line by line as if I was an intelligent child would be
helpful to establish if there is something robust in Sraffa's model and
I am being over sceptical, or whether the obscurity of the mathematics
is impressive, but it is just a variant of the theories of economics
that are limited to circular descriptions of prices of production.
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