"These allusions give incidentally some indication of the disproportionate length of time over which so short a work has been in preparation... As was only natural during such a time period, others have from time to time independently taken up points of view which are similar to one or the other adopted in this paper and have developed them further or in different directions from those pursued here." -- Piero Sraffa
Despite my appreciation of Bliss' 1975 book, I think the following view dubious, uninformed, and authoritarian:
"A striking feature of the school to which Piero Garegnani belongs is its seeming lack of interest in the real world... Our world is changing rapidly and in ways that demand economic analysis of what is happening... Over the last 30 years so-called neoclassical economics has been extraordinarily productive... What has been the contribution of the post-Sraffa school in the same period? Nothing at all as far as I can see. This has been an exceptionally sterile approach. Where are the new ideas? Where are the illuminating insights into what is happening today?" -- Christopher Bliss (2009)I have no problem with a researcher deciding to center their investigations into criticism and the history of economic thought. I think that when Bliss calls neoclassical economics "extraordinarily productive", he includes research that fails to test neoclassical economics and whose relationship to neoclassical economics can be doubted. Sraffian economics can easily exceed this standard.
I take the "others" Sraffa refers to above to be principally Wassily Leontief and John Von Neumann. So, for example, work with Leontief's Input-Output (I/O) analysis is applied Sraffian analysis. Interestingly enough, countries maintain their national accounts in a form supporting I/O analysis. (For the United States, see the benchmark input-output accounts available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). For many developed countries, see the Structural Analysis (STAN) Database for data on Industry and Services available from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).) For me, challenges in working with this data arise from statistical discrepancies, rectangular matrices that I expect to be square, components in value added that are neither wages nor profits, import and export flows, etc. But other economists, including some Sraffians have addressed these challenges in their own work.
I have listed selected applied Sraffa work on two topics.. Tony Aspromourgos (2004) lists Sraffian research applied to a larger range of issues.
- Tony Aspromourgos (2004). "Sraffian Research Programmes and Unorthodox Economics", Review of Political Economy, V. 16, n. 2: pp. 179-206.
- Christopher Bliss (2009). "Comment on 'Capital in Neoclassical Theory: Some Notes' by Professor Piero Garegnani".
- Thijs ten Raa (2006). The Economics of Input-Output Analysis, Cambridge University Press.
- John Von Neumann (1945). "A Model of General Economic Equilibrium", Review of Economic Studies, V. 13, N. 1: pp. 1-9.