Show Less

Is There Progress in Economics?

Knowledge, Truth and the History of Economic Thought

Edited by Stephan Boehm, Christian Gehrke, Heinz D. Kurz and Richard Sturn

This thought-provoking book discusses the concept of progress in economics and investigates whether any advance has been made in its different spheres of research. The authors look back at the history, successes and failures of their respective fields and thoroughly examine the notion of progress from an epistemological and methodological perspective.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 22: On the long-period method: a comment on Ravagnani

Knowledge, Truth and the History of Economic Thought

Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori


Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori* The previous chapter by Ravagnani is divided into four sections. In the first section Ravagnani shows, quite convincingly, that in SraffaÕs view the system of prices analysed in Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities applies to an economy which need not be stationary or quasi-stationary, that is, expanding at a rate of growth that is uniform across all industries. In the second section Ravagnani, starting from Hicks (1990), attributes to a number of interpreters of SraffaÕs analysis, including ourselves (Kurz and Salvadori, 1995), the view that Ôthe theoretical positions defined in Production of Commodities can only be regarded as abstract representations of stationary economiesÕ. In the third section, which is the most relevant one, he argues that SraffaÕs theoretical position is in fact conceived as a guide to the average levels of the prices and quantities of the actual economy, taken over a time interval long enough to allow the competition of capitals to manifest its effects, and furthermore to allow, through the repetition of transactions, for a compensation of the accidental factors that may influence the actual prices. He continues: [A] consistent definition of a centre of gravitation is indeed compatible with some implicit tendency of the independent variables to change, provided that this tendency can be considered sufficiently slow in relation to the forces that are supposed to engender the gravitation of the actual magnitudes towards their theoretical levels. Thus, in the context of classical theory, an appropriate...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.