Sraffa and the Reconstruction of Economic Theory
Written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Piero Sraffa's Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, the papers selected and contained in this book accounts for the work completed around the two central aspects of his contribution to economic analysis, namely the criticism of the neoclassical (or 'marginalist') theory of value and distribution, and the reconstruction of economic theory along the lines of the Classical approach. Divided into three volumes, the book debates the most fruitful routes for advancements in this field and their implications for applied and policy analysis. The third volume collects papers concerning the interpretation of Sraffa's contribution, its relation with other streams in economic thinking, methodological debates and the history of economic thought or the evolution of his views both in general and on specific themes.
The chapter presents an overview of the development of economics in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russia by focusing on the different interpretations of Ricardo’s theory prevailing over this period. The choice of the reference point will make the overview somewhat selective, but still it is not an arbitrary one. Ricardian theory entered Russia relatively late, in the 1870s. By that time it was considered already a part of the history of economics. However the debates between the different approaches in economics led to the confrontation of the corresponding versions of its history. Due to the rigorous style of Ricardo’s writings, their interpretation allowed less space for ideological or political connotations, comparing to the interpretations of Adam Smith or Karl Marx. Hence, the study of the different interpretations of Ricardian theory in the competing theoretical approaches allows to grasp the analytical difference between them.
The chapter is concentrated mainly on the history of pre-revolutionary Russian economics.