nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2006‒08‒05
three papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Land, Technical Progress and the Falling Rate of Profit By Howard Petith
  2. 1846 and All That: The Rise and Fall of British Wheat Protection in the Nineteenth Century By Paul Sharp
  3. Beliefs and Pareto Efficient Sets: A Remark By Thibault Gajdos; Jean-Marc Tallon

  1. By: Howard Petith
    Abstract: The paper sets out a one sector growth model with a neoclassical production function in land and a capital-labour aggregate. Capital accumulates through capitalist saving, the labour supply is infinitely elastic at a subsistence wage and all factors may experience factor augmenting technical progress. The main result is that, if the elasticity of substitution between land and the capital-labour aggregate is less than one and if the rate of caital augmenting technical progress is strictly positive, then the rate of profit will fall to zero. The surprise is that this result holds regardless of the rate of land augmenting technical progress; that is, no amount of technical advance in agriculture can stop the fall in the rate of profit. The paper also discusses the relation of this result to the classical and Marxist literature and sets out the path of the relative price of land.
    Keywords: Marx, classical economics, falling rate of profit
    JEL: B24 E11 O41
    Date: 2006–09–01
  2. By: Paul Sharp (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: By documenting the legislative history of the Corn Laws from 1670 and using previously unused data to calculate annual Ad Valorem Equivalents for most years from 1814, it is possible to establish several important facts about British wheat protection. Statutory protection was only significant for a few years after 1815, the decline starting in the 1820s and continuing beyond the famous “repeal” in 1846. The level of protection prior to 1846 was, for many years, much lower than previous accounts have suggested. The annual time series of Ad Valorem Equivalents will allow for UK trade policy to play the important role it deserves in econometric analyses of the nineteenth century.
    Keywords: United Kingdom; Corn Laws; protectionism
    JEL: N43 N53 N73
    Date: 2006–07
  3. By: Thibault Gajdos (EUREQUA - Equipe de Recherche en Economie Quantitative - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I]); Jean-Marc Tallon (EUREQUA - Equipe de Recherche en Economie Quantitative - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I])
    Abstract: We show that, in a two-period economy with uncertainty in the second period, if an allocation is Pareto optimal for a given set of beliefs and remains optimal when these beliefs are changed, then the set of optimal allocations of the two economies must actually coincide. We identify equivalence classes of beliefs giving rise to the same set of Pareto optimal allocations.
    Keywords: Beliefs, Pareto Optimality
    Date: 2006–07–20

This nep-hpe issue is ©2006 by Erik Thomson. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.