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Development Economics and Structuralist Macroeconomics

Development Economics and Structuralist Macroeconomics

Essays in Honor of Lance Taylor

Edited by Amitava Krishna Dutt

Lance Taylor is widely considered to be one of the pre-eminent development economists in the world and is known for his work on development planning, macroeconomics of development, stabilization policy, and the global economy. He has also been the major force behind structuralist economics, which is seen by many to be a major alternative to orthodox development economics and policy prescriptions. The essays in this volume, written by well-known scholars in their own right, make contributions to each of these areas while honoring the contributions made by Lance Taylor.

Chapter 6: Finance and competition

William Darity Jr, Bobbie L. Horn and Michael Syron Lawlor

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics


William Darity, Jr., Bobbie L. Horn and Michael Syron Lawlor* The motive of business is pecuniary gain, the method is essentially purchase and sale. The aim and usual outcome is an accumulation of wealth. (T. Veblen, 1904, p. 20.) I INTRODUCTION When Sraffa surveyed the field of value theory in the prefatory comments of his influential 1926 article on the Marshallian theory of competitive price, what he found most remarkable was the relative lack of contention concerning questions of value theory: ‘A striking feature of the present position of economic science is the almost unanimous agreement at which economists have arrived regarding the theory of competitive value.’ (1926 p. 535). One might be tempted to say that Sraffa spent the rest of his career in an attempt to upset this tranquility – and, that he was substantially successful in that effort. As theoretical controversies go, taking a broad view of Sraffa’s almost invisible influence, the dispute raised by Sraffa over the fundamental approach of economic theory to the question of relative price formation has proved to be a protracted and enduring one, at least since the 1960s. Elements of the debate have ranged across all levels of economic discussion, from interpretation of the history of the discipline to the central theoretical framework of contemporary economics to ideology.1 At bottom, these disputes concern a challenge, premised on an interpretation of the classical economists, to the orthodox2 conception of the process by which a modern capitalist...

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