Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

Value, price and profit: Hans Peter’s circular flow analysis

Gehrke Christian, University of Graz

At the beginning of the 20th century several authors pursued the idea of a synthesis or reconciliation between the “objective” and the “subjective” theory of value and distribution in terms of systems of simultaneous equations. In Russia, a “Marx-Walras synthesis” was attempted by a number of writers, and in Germany the idea was proposed in particular by Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz (1906/07, 1921). Following in Bortkiewicz’s footsteps, Hans Peter (1933, 1934, 1954) sought to elaborate on the “Marx-Walras” synthesis. The present paper scrutinizes his contribution and investigates if he advanced the argument beyond Bortkiewicz. It opens with a brief account of Peter’s life and work, then summarizes his exposition and critique of the Walras-Pareto model, and finally discusses his (partial) endorsement of Bortkiewicz’s solution to the transformation problem and his objections to the latter’s espousal of the Ricardo-Marx "deduction theory".


Keywords: circular flow, Bortkiewicz, Pareto, Marx, Walras

Please Login in order to download this file