The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, edited by Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb.

Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the Royal Economic Society, 1951 [– 1955].

10 vols, 8vo; very good copies in publisher’s blue cloth with dust-jackets printed in red and black, some tide-marks to cloth, light sunning to dust-jackets in places.


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The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, edited by Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb.

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First comprehensive edition of the works of the political economist David Ricardo (1772-1823).

‘Sraffa’s edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo proved to be more than a great scholarly achievement. For in his introduction to The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation Sraffa presented an entirely new interpretation of Ricardo’s theory of value and distribution. Sraffa’s interpretation established a new, theoretically consistent version of the surplus approach to the analysis of distribution in the Essay on Profits. Further, he demonstrated that this approach was sustained in the Principles by Ricardo’s use of the labour theory of value, and that, contrary to the accepted view of Ricardo’s analysis presented by Jacob Hollander (1904), Ricardo did not retreat from his use of the labour theory of value in successive versions of the Principles.’

‘Sraffa’s interpretation of Ricardo had a considerable impact at the time of its publication … However, the real importance of Sraffa’s new interpretation was for the understanding of Marx’s analysis of value and distribution, which is based on Ricardo’s theory, and for the general rehabilitation of the surplus approach to value and distribution, which had, for so long, been regarded as logically deficient.’ (Palgrave).

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