This book presents a comprehensive account of more than 200
years of controversy on the classical theories of value and
distribution. The author focuses on four, perhaps most critical,
classics, viz., Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, David Ricardo's
Principles of Political Economy, Karl Marx's Capital and Piero
Sraffa's Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities. The
book highlights several significant differences in the theories of
the four authors as it searches for the ?classical standpoint? that
separates them from the ?moderns?. It throws fresh light on some
old questions while introducing new, controversial interpretations
in the literature surrounding it. It is unique in its organisation
as it first presents the author's close reading of the theories of
value and distribution in the four classics and then critically
engages with the major alternative interpretations and criticisms
of the theories discussed therein.
Bringing original insights on theoretical positions, the book
challenges canonical interpretations so as to discuss and analyse
the flaws and weaknesses, in addition to the already obvious
strengths, of widely celebrated theories. The theories discussed
here emerge from questions like: what role does demand or human
psychology play in the determination of value in classical theory?
Do classical economists determine the distribution of income within
the context of a theory of prices and resource allocation? What
role does the notion of ?equilibrium? play in classical theory and
the theory of Sraffa?
It will appeal to academics and students of economic theory and
philosophy, as well as to the general reader.
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