Sraffa on Income Distribution

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Income distribution is one of the fields in which Sraffa’s 1960 book has given rise, since its publication, to most varied interpretations. One (extreme) view is that Sraffa has nothing to say about income distribution. He does not explicitly present any theory of income distribution anywhere in his book. According to this view, Sraffa’s analysis is only a partial analysis. Not only does he take the physical quantities (and thus consumers’ demand) as given from outside his own analysis, he also takes income distribution as given, and does not want to pronounce on it. Another view goes to the extreme opposite, in fact that he proposes a specific theory of income distribution, which can be surmised from a half-line phrase at the end of his section 44. The claim is that it is on the arena of financial markets that the game of income distribution is played and won (or lost). The Author’s view is that neither of these extreme views can seriously be substantiated. The Author goes on to explain what the correct starting point is and where to place the correct emphasis i.e. on logical grounds and not on factual grounds.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)135-138
Numero di pagine4
RivistaCambridge Journal of Economics
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 1988


  • Income distribution
  • Piero Sraffa


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