Piero Sraffa published Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities in 1960, and this enigmatic little book invited explanations of its meaning, particularly as its subtitle, Prelude to a Critique of Economic Theory, held out hopes of an ambitious research program. In the almost half-century since its publication, it has attracted a small following, particularly in Europe, but it has failed to make much of an impact on American academic economics. This is odd because Sraffian economics in many ways satisfies the relentless concern of mainstream American economics with mathematical rigor. As a species of general equilibrium theory, Sraffian economics is indeed rigoros but it appears to be irrelevant to the sort of issues that concern modern economists.

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