Marxian Value Theory After Sraffa

  • M. C. Howard
  • J. E. King
Part of the Radical Economics book series (RAE)


As we indicated in the previous chapter, the impact of Sraffa’s The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities was by no means immediate. The initial effect was to generate an attack upon neoclassical theory, which resulted in the ‘Cambridge Controversies’ of the mid-1960s. Although this was relevant to the Marxian analysis of ‘vulgar economy’, it did not bear upon the logical coherence of Marxian political economy itself, and it was not until the 1970s that the direct implications for Marxian economics began to be appreciated. Meanwhile, the questions raised by Francis Seton and Paul Samuelson in the 1950s awaited answers (see Chapter 12 above). It remained to be seen whether Samuelson’s conclusions could be generalised to an n-sector model, and whether (as Engels and others had supposed) the transformation of values into prices of production could legitimately be regarded as a historical as well as a logical process (see volume I of this book, Chapter 3, section II). Also unresolved were important methodological issues concerning the role of mathematical models in the appraisal of Marxian value theory, and the relative significance of the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the problem.


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Copyright information

© M. C. Howard and J. E. King 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Howard
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. E. King
    • 3
  1. 1.University of WaterlooCanada
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  3. 3.La Trobe UniversityAustralia

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