By Neil Hart (auth.)
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Additional info for Alfred Marshall and Modern Economics: Equilibrium Theory and Evolutionary Economics
10 Similarly, the ability to introduce or replicate new routines was also, in most instances, associated with large manufacturers. Marshall’s observations of industry also led him to discern that the reciprocal effects of the division of labour and localisation of industry could often be secured by the concentration of many small businesses of a similar character in particular localities. However, while the localisation of industry was a signiﬁcant dimension of industrial organisation, its occurrence did not imply that the forces that appear to favour larger ﬁrms were extinguished.
12 As the industry experiences growth, the representative ﬁrm would be growing at the same rate as that of the industry as a whole, such that its size relative to the industry remained constant. Indeed, the characteristics of a representative ﬁrm cannot be determined a priori, as they are shaped by, and change with, those factors that determine the pattern of growth in the industry as a whole (Metcalfe 2007b: S5). From an analytical perspective, the representative ﬁrm was intended to represent ‘in miniature’ the supply curve of the industry, and in order to investigate how the industry as a whole may respond to a given change, we simply analyse how the hypothetical representative ﬁrm is likely to react (Principles: 317).
This had followed what has been termed an ‘Age of Tranquillity’, during which the evolving ‘Marshallian’ theoretical apparatus reigned virtually undisputed in the English-speaking world during the ﬁrst two decades of the twentieth century (Shackle 1967: 289). The attack on what was perceived to be the analytical core of Marshall’s economics was led by Piero Sraffa’s (1925, 1926, 1930) critical contributions, which Sraffa placed in the following context: In the tranquil view which the modern theory of value presents us there is one dark spot which disturbs the harmony of the whole.
Alfred Marshall and Modern Economics: Equilibrium Theory and Evolutionary Economics by Neil Hart (auth.)