"A careful scrutiny of [Blaug (2009)] shows that Blaug reiterates once again his previous criticisms, adds a few new ones, but does not enter into a serious discussion of the replies to his earlier efforts... Answering him in detail would necessitate repeating again our counter-arguments. We spare the readers this and ask them to consult our earlier replies to Blaug."
"Blaug has already been given the opportunity in this journal to answer his critics; see Blaug (2002). Apparently, he feels that his rejoinder was not effective. This is hardly surprising because Blaug did not attempt to counter the objections of his critics.
Scrutiny of his new effort reveals that the situation has not changed. Once again Blaug merely reiterates his previous criticisms, adds a few new ones, but neglects to answer his critics. He seems to feel that repeating his story often will render it credible."
"If Blaug was concerned with an historical reconstruction of the case under consideration, he needs to spend some time in Trinity College Library, Cambridge (UK), as we did, in order to study Sraffa's papers and library and find out when Sraffa had arrived at which results, and why. He would then see that his above speculation as well as many other statements he put forward concerning Sraffa's contributions are without foundation; they are pure fiction. Historians of economic thought ought to be aware of the usefulness of archival work."
"In order to give credibility to his (in itself rather strange) complaint that 'Sraffians' have not contributed to certain themes or fields in economics, Blaug re-labels some authors: in case X has/has not contributed to field Y, he or she is not/is a 'Sraffian'."
"In the context of a discussion of the problem of the gravitation of market prices to their 'natural' or normal levels, he contends that while Kurz and Salvadori point out 'that little is known about the dynamic behaviour of even simple linear production models; nevertheless, they express the hope that the problem will be "settled in the foreseeable future" (Kurz and Salvadori 1998[a], 20)' (229 n.20). The reader who checks the source mentioned will not find this statement. Has Blaug got the page wrong? No, in the entire book the reader won't find the statement quoted. Has Blaug perhaps confounded some of our books? Yes, he has, but things are worse still. The only passage we are aware of having written that can be related to Blaug's criticism is contained in a book published in 1995. After having pointed out the extreme complexity of the issue at hand ('gravitation') and the dependence of the results obtained on the specific conditions assumed, we conclude: 'It should then be clear that there is no fear that the issue of gravitation will be settled in the foreseeable future' (Kurz and Salvadori 1995, 20; emphasis added). Hence we say exactly the opposite of what Blaug contends we are saying. This is not only annoying but also raises doubts about the seriousness of the entire enterprise. What is the relevance of a critique that lacks the elementary rigor of not misrepresenting (let alone reversing) the view of the people criticised? Misconstruction is an error surely worse even than historically unfaithful reconstruction?"
"None of Blaug's criticisms stands up to close examination. He attributes views to us (and to other authors) we (they) never advocated. He contends that 'Sraffian' authors have not written about certain problems, while referring to writings which show precisely the opposite. He commits a number of elementary blunders and mistakes the mathematical form of an argument for its content. He variously contradicts himself in the paper. He puts forward bold statements that are contradicted by the facts."
I have commented before on the specific Mark Blaug paper Kurz and Salvadori are rejecting; on the history of Blaug's incomprehension of Sraffianism; and even on the Institute of Economic Affairs, a right-wing think tank sponsoring some of Blaug's work.
- Mark Blaug (1975) The Cambridge Revolution: Sccess or Failure? A Critical Analysis of Cambridge Theories of Value and Distribution, Institute of Economic Affairs
- Mark Blaug (1985) Economic Theory in Retrospect, Fourth Edition, Cambridge University Press
- Mark Blaug (1988) Economics Through the Looking Glass: The Distorted Perspective of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Institute of Economic Affairs
- Mark Blaug (1999) "Misunderstanding Classical Economics: The Sraffian Interpretation of the Surplus Approach", History of Political Economy, V. 31, N. 2: pp. 213-236.
- Mark Blaug (2002a) "Kurz and Salvadori on the Sraffian Interpretation of the Surplus Approach", History of Political Economy, V. 34, N. 1: pp. 237-240.
- Mark Blaug (2002b) "Misunderstanding Classical Economics: The Sraffian Interpretation of the Surplus Approach", in Competing Economic Theories: Essays in Memory of Giovanni Caravale (Edited by S. Nisticò and D. Tosato), Routledge
- Mark Blaug (2009) "The Trade-Off Between Rigor and Relevance: Sraffian Economics as a Case in Point", History of Political Economy, V. 41, N. 2: pp. 219-247.
- Pierangelo Garegnani (1987) "Misunderstanding Classical Economics? A Reply to Mark Blaug", History of Political Economy, V. 34, N. 1: pp. 241-254.
- Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori (2002) "Mark Blaug on the 'Sraffian Interpretation of the Surplus Approach'", History of Political Economy, V. 34, N. 1: pp. 225-236.
- Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori (2010) "In Favor of Rigor and Relevance. A Reply to Mark Blaug" (4 Feb).
- Carlo Panico (2002) "Misunderstanding the Sraffian Reading of the Classical Theory of Value and Distribution: A Note", in Competing Economic Theories: Essays in Memory of Giovanni Caravale (Edited by S. Nisticò and D. Tosato), Routledge