Academic, Economist (1898-1983)
Pierro Sraffa was an Italian economist who inspired the foundation of the Neo-Ricardian school with his influential book ‘Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities’.
In his book ‘Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities’, Sraffa attempted to redefine David Ricardo’s theory of value. Within this work, Sraffa’s method of aggregating capital as ‘dated inputs of labour’ sparked the famous debate between the UK and USA’s Cambridge schools, otherwise known as the Cambridge Capital Controversy.
There is much controversy and disagreement amongst economists regarding Sraffa’s work. On the one hand, Post-Keynesians believe that Sraffa’s critique can be used to discredit Neoclassical economics and move on to alternative models of economic behaviour. On the other hand, Neoclassical economists argue that his work is compatible with their school of thought.
“In economic theory the conclusions are sometimes less interesting than the route by which they are reached.
– Pierro Sraffa