This highly original book develops a systematic zero-net-profit comparative statics theory of the firm that challenges many widely held views in microeconomics. It builds a bridge between the marginalist long-run theory of the firm and Sraffian theory to create a unified theoretical framework that explains how firms react to exogenous shocks resulting in new equilibrium positions of the whole economy. The central message of the book is that too often economists expect more from the microeconomic laws of input demand and output supply than they can really give. The authors show that the zero-net-profit condition requires a more articulated analysis that sometimes yields qualitative results contrary to those of familiar economic laws. Written for academic researchers and graduate students, the book will be of particular interest to those working on the microeconomics of industry equilibrium, comparative statics and Sraffian economics.
Arrigo Opocher is Full Professor of Economics at the University of Padua. He has published in leading economics journals on the topics of economic theory and its history and has written books on long-run growth and trade theory. He is co-editor of the journal Metroeconomica. Ian Steedman is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author or editor of fourteen books and over 140 articles. He has also undertaken editorial work for the Cambridge Journal of Economics, the European Journal of the History of Economic Thought and Metroeconomica.
Preface; Introduction; 1. Taking seriously the tendency to zero net profits; 2. An isolated industry; 3. Multiproduct firms; 4. Interdependent industries; 5. Industry-level input use. Some aftershocks from capital theory; 6. The 'autonomous' components of input prices; 7. The effects of taxation; 8. Productivity increase; 9. Full industry equilibrium in retrospect; 10. Conclusion; References; Index.