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By Jack Birner

This ebook explains the controversy over the Cambridge controversies of the Sixties and Seventies. In a compelling and entire argument, Birner discusses the most contributions to the debate in a chain of case stories. He progressively develops a methodological version of idealizations that explains either the growth of the talk and the historic ironies surrounding it.

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Sample text

For stylistic reasons I will continue to speak in terms of changes (‘r rises’, ‘the economy switches’), although this is not justified. The model only compares stationary states and does not describe processes. 3 Characteristic propositions of neoclassical production theory We now demonstrate a number of characteristic propositions of neoclassical production theory. They are: 1 2 3 4 4 When the rate of interest changes monotonically, a technique of production that had been profit maximizing never reappears after a switch to another technique has taken place.

Notice that in the next chapters, when discussing the various articles, I will take over the original notation. This makes it possible for the reader to refer quickly to the original publications, while it allows of a detailed discussion of what the authors are trying to do. 2 From (6) and the definition of aLC = LC /C and aKC = KC /C, and pC = 1. 3 For a proof, see Ferguson (1969: 262). 2 The background of the debate Some history The more precise capital theory became, the more static it became; the study of equilibrium conditions only resulted in the study of stationary conditions.

1953, ‘ The Production Function and the Theory of Capital: A Comment’, Review of Economic Studies. , 1956, The Accumulation of Capital, MacMillan. , 1962, ‘Parable and Realism in Capital Theory: The Surrogate Production Function’, Review of Economic Studies. , 1965, ‘A Nonsubstitution Theorem and Switching of Techniques’, Quarterly Journal of Economics. , 1965, Capital and Growth, Oxford University Press. , 1966, ‘Changes in the Rate of Profit and Switches of Techniques’, Quarterly Journal of Economics.

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