ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unequal Exchange Continued

February 7, 1981 Unequal Exchange Continued V M Dandekar SAU'S Comment [1] on my two articles [2, 3] is founded on a profound and total ignorance of almost everything relevant to the present exchange, namely, (a) the Sraffa system, (b) certain elements of trade theory, and (c) the concept of unequal exchange. This is surprising in a senior academician who has prestigious published work on the subject. Even more surprising is the amazing complacency with which Sau lays bate all his ignorance; Sau's Comment is also characterised by a certain affectation. For instance, in the opening paragraph of his Comment [1], Sau says; "He [Dandekar] has made interesting use or Sraffa for this purpose. Several years ago, in 1972, Oscar Braun and Sarnir Amin had made similar attempts, and we have commented upon them elsewhere. Since Dandekar rajses some of those issues again it is worthwhile to make a brief comment on his papers" [1], This might give an impression that Sau has already examined critically the use of the Sraffa system in the analysis of unequal exchange and that Dandekar is raising the self-same issues without bothering to see Sau's previous work [4]. In fact, in his comments on Braun [4, pp 53-55, 173-76], Sau has hardly any comment to make on Braun's use of the Sraffa system. As for Samir Amin's use of the Sraffa system, Sau's comment is as follows: "It is understood that Amin [1972] has grafted the Sraffa model on to the Marxian schema of expanded reproduction: unfortunately, this paper is not available to us" [4, p 173]. That is all. We submit that this is not quite conducive to an honest academic exchange. Let us now examine Sau's criticism of my use of the Sraffa system in [2,3]. Sau raises doubts regarding the applicability of the Sraffa system to the illustrative economies in [2, 3]. In Section I of his Comment [1], referring to the two economies I-A and I-B which are not in a self-replacing states, Sau says: "I t should be noted at the outset that Sraffa does not at all talk of such systems; all his numerical illustrations and theoretical analysis assume 'a self-replacing state' of the economy, wherein the economy is in a position to produce its own inputs." In Section It of the Comment [1], Sau extends this doubt to the other two economies denoted by R=0.10 and R = 0.50. These economies are clearly in a self-replacing state, but Sau argues that they in fact arc not. He says: "I f the two economies are indeed self-replacing (in the sense of Sraffa) in the absence of trade, the prices computed under such circumstances cannot be compared with the prices resulting from trade, which necessarily implies that the economies are not self-replacing/' In Section II I of the Comment [1], Sau voices the same doubt more explicitly, lie says: "Still more fundamental is the following problem. Sraffa shows that certain relations between wage and profits which obtain In the standard system arc carried over to the actual economic system, provided the latter is self-replacing. But Dandekar transplants certain relations between wage and profits of his standard system, economy I, into his actual economic systems, economies I-A and I-B, as well as economies which are non-self-replacing (that accounts

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