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Another crisis of economic theory: the neo-ricardian critique

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Chapter Summary

The critique of neoclassical theory makes possible the reintroduction of power and social relations into academic economics; it makes possible a return to political economy. It is pertinent to ask what kind of political economy it shall be. Given the embrace of Sraffa-Marx model, it is necessary to explore the nature of that model and to consider its limitations as a basis for a new political economy. A Sraffa-Marx model, is an unlikely amalgam; and a new political economy based on Sraffa model is unlikely to reveal a world of passionate possibilities. By demolishing theoretical credibility of marginal productivity theory of distribution, neo-Ricardian theory has severed the link between the productive contribution of capital goods and pecuniary return to owners of capital. The Second Crisis of Economic Theory was the assertion that neoclassical theory, the theory which dominates academic economics, once again had no answer to crises of capitalist society.

Keywords: capitalist society; crisis; economic theory; marginal productivity; neo-Ricardian; neoclassical theory; political economy; Sraffa-Marx model



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