Inicio > Economía marxista > «Competition and Industrial Rates of Return»: Anwar Shaikh

«Competition and Industrial Rates of Return»: Anwar Shaikh

I first met Ajit in 1978 when I spent a year at Cambridge as a visitor to the Faculty of Economics. It was a heady time in the economics profession,
and it was personally gratifying for me to meet Joan Robinson, Nicholas Kaldor, Richard Kahn, Richard Goodwin, Geoffrey Harcourt and Luigi Pasinetti, among others, not to meniion the young turks such as Ajit, Francis Cripps and John Eatwell. Karl Marx had once again been ‘rediscovered’ as an economist, as happens periodically, and Piero Sraffa’s famous little book (Sraffa, 1963) had helped to spark a revival of interest in the classical analysis of competition.

The analysis of competition has always played an important role in
Ajit’s work. A quick look at his homepage showed that fully one-third of
his listed articles refer to that subject, dated from 1968 to as recently as
200S. And within this subject, the analYSis of profit rates has always been
one of his central concerns. This is also the topic of my own contribution
to this volume, which I hope will help to further Ajit’s ongoing project.
Profit rate equalization in the classical-Marxian theory of competition

The classical theory of competition conceives of profit rate equalization
as a dynamic and turbulent process. Investment flows into an industry
are motivated by the expected rates of return on those potential
new investments that embody the best-practice conditions of production
(Cohen et al., 1987, p. 387). I shall call these the expected rates
of return of regulating capitals, where the term ‘regulating’ refers to the
lowest-cost methods operating under generally reproducible conditions.

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