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The neo-ricardian reduction

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Chapter Summary

Robert Paul Wolff has become a neo-Ricardian economist who views Marx as a theoretical economist before all else. Wolff considers neo-Ricardian linear reproduction models of an economy with a surplus as the key to the rehabilitation of Marx as a powerful and relevant economist, or that he identifies distribution of the surplus as the central social and economic issue in any society. Wolff admits his failure to capture Marxs deepest and most powerful insights in his models. Wolffs problems begin with the three-sector (corn, iron, labour) model of an economy without a surplus (simple material reproduction) introduced in his opening chapter on the concept of reproduction. Wolff performs a Ricardian reduction in order to close his system. He assumes that the technical inputs required to produce workers are those necessary to permit them to be able to work for one unit of time.

Keywords: Marx; neo-Ricardian reduction; Robert Paul Wolff

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