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Reading List and Links


Bliss, “The Theory of Capital: A Personal Overview” in Bliss, Cohen and Harcourt (eds.), Capital Theory, Vol. I, pp. xxvii-lx
Cohen and Harcourt, “Capital Theory Controversy: Scarcity, Production, Equilibrium and Time” in Bliss, Cohen and Harcourt (eds.), Capital Theory, Vol. I, pp. xxvii-lx
Hennings, “Capital as a Factor of Production” in The New Palgrave: Capital Theory

Foundations of Neoclassical Capital Theory

Senior, “Instruments of Production” through “Fixed and Circulating Capital,” pp. 57-66 in An Outline of the Science of Political Economy
Bohm-Bawerk, “The Problem of Interest” and “Final Conclusions,” pp. 1-10, 421-428 in Capital and Interest; “Present and Future,” pp. 237-281 in The Positive Theory of Capital
Clark, “Distribution as Determined by a Law of Rent
Clark, “Kinds of Capital and of Capital-Goods,” pp. 141-156 in The Distribution of Wealth
Fisher, “Time Preference (Human Impatience)” sections 1-8, and “The Investment Opportunity Principles” sections 1-5, in The Theory of Interest
Samuelson, “Irving Fisher and the Theory of Capital” (Handout)

Austrian Contributions and Early Capital Controversies

Menger, “The Laws Governing the Value of Goods of Higher Order,” pp. 149-165 in Principles of Economics
Fetter, “The ‘Roundabout Process’ in the Interest Theory
Fetter, “The Relations between Rent and Interest
Cohen, “Frank Knight’s Position on Capital and Interest: Foundation of the Hayek/Knight/Kaldor Debate”
Cohen, “The Hayek/Knight Capital Controversy: The Irrelevance of Roundaboutness, or Purging Processes in Time?”
Cohen, “The Kaldor/Knight Controversy: Is Capital A Distinct and Quantifiable Factor of Production?”
Lachmann, “The Order of Capital,” “On Expectations,” and “Process Analysis and Capital Theory,” pp. 1-52 in Capital and Its Structure
Hicks, “The Austrian Theory of Capital and its Re-birth in the Modern Economics” (Handout)
Milgate, “On the Origin of the Notion of ‘Intertemporal Equilibrium’
Weston, “Some Perspectives on Capital Theory

Ricardian, Marxian and Neo-Ricardian Capital Theory

Ricardo, section III-V of “On Value,” chapter 1, pp. 22-43, and “On Machinery,” chapter 31, pp. 386-397 in On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation
Marx, excerpts from Wage Labor and Capital from Tucker (ed.) The Marx-Engels Reader (Handout)
Pasinetti, “The accumulation of capital” (Handout)
Sraffa, “Letter to Joan Robinson” (Handout)
Sraffa, “Reduction to Dated Quantities of Labour” and “Fixed Capital,” pp. 40-47, 75-87 in Production of Commodities by Mean of Commodities
Foley, “Value, Distribution and Capital: A Review Essay

The Cambridge Capital Controversies

Samuelson, “Parable and Realism in Capital Theory: The Surrogate Production Function
Pasinetti, “Changes in the Rate of Profit and Switches of Technique
Cohen and Harcourt, “Reswitching and reversing in capital theory”
Harcourt, “The Cambridge Controversies: Old Ways and New Horizons–Or Dead End?
Blaug, “A Final Judgment” (Handout)
Cohen, “Prices, Capital, and the One-commodity Model in Neoclassical and Classical Theories”
Dixit, “The Accumulation of Capital Theory

Capital, Distribution and Growth

Ramsey, “A Mathematical Theory of Saving
Solow, “A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth
Baumol, “Macroeconomics of Unbalanced Growth: The Anatomy of Urban Crisis
Kaldor, “Alternative Theories of Distribution
Pasinetti, “Rate of Profit and Income Distribution in Relation to the Rate of Economic Growth
Samuelson and Modigliani, “The Pasinetti Paradox in Neoclassical and More General Models
Kaldor, “Marginal Productivity and the Macro-Economic Theories of Distribution: Comment on Samuelson and Modigliani
Samuelson and Modigliani, “Marginal Productivity and the Macro-Economic Theories of Distribution: Reply to Pasinetti and Robinson
Phelps, “The Golden Rule of Accumulation: A Fable for Growthmen
Diamond, “National Debt in a Neoclassical Growth Model


Piketty, “Course Notes: Models of Growth & Capital Accumulation, Is Balanced Growth Possible?
Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Introduction, Chapters 1 & 2
Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Chapters 3 – 6
Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Chapters 7 – 10
Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Chapters 11 & 12
Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Chapters 13 – 16, Conclusion

Heterodox Criticism of Piketty

Varoufakis, “Egalitarianism’s latest foe: a critical review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital…
Pettifor and Tily, “Piketty’s determinism?
Koo, “Piketty’s inequality and local versus global Lewis turning points
Hudson, “Piketty vs. the classical economic reformers
Hillinger, “Is Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Das Kapital for the twenty-first century?
Galbraith, “Unpacking the first fundamental law
Fullbrook, “Capital and capital: the second most fundamental confusion
Colander, “Piketty’s policy proposals: how to effectively redistribute income
Beker, “Piketty: inequality, poverty and managerial capitalism
Baker, “Capital in the Twenty-first Century: are we doomed without a wealth tax?

Orthodox Criticism of Piketty

Kopczuk, “Recent Evolution of Income and Wealth Inequality: Comments on Piketty”
Horwitz, “Inequality, Mobility, and Being Poor in America”
Magness and Murphy, “Challenging the Empirical Contribution of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century
McCloskey, “Measured, unmeasured, mismeasured, and unjustified pessimism: a review essay of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the twenty-first century
Jones and Kim, “A Schumpeterian Model of Top Income Inequality
Ray, “Nit-Piketty
Rognlie, “A note on Piketty and diminishing returns to capital”
Krusell and Smith, “Is Piketty’s ‘Second Law of Capitalism’ Fundamental?”
Acemoglu and Robinson, “The Rise and Fall of General Laws of Capitalism”
Auerbach and Hassett, “Capital Taxation in the 2st Century” (Handout)
Weil, “Capital and Wealth in the 21st Century” (Handout)
Mankiw, “Yes, r>g. So what?” (Handout)

A Response

Piketty, “About Capital in the 21st Century