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Removing an ‘insuperable obstacle' in the way of an objectivist analysis: Sraffa's attempts at fixed capital *

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The paper discusses Sraffa's consecutive attempts in the late 1920s and early 1940s to tackle a problem which endangered his objectivist, surplus-based approach to the theory of value and distribution aimed at reviving the standpoint of the classical economists. Whilst with circulating capital the value transfer to the product and the physical ‘destruction' of the input are one and the same thing, with fixed capital this is not so. Sraffa eventually overcame the difficulty in terms of the joint products-method. This allowed him to explain relative prices and the rate of profits strictly in ‘material terms'.
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Keywords: Classical economics; Sraffa Piero; fixed capital; production; value and distribution

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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