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Besicovitch, Sraffa, and the existence of the Standard commodity

Salvadori, Neri (2010): Besicovitch, Sraffa, and the existence of the Standard commodity.

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Abstract

The proof of the existence of the Standard commodity contained in Sraffa's book (section 37) has been debated recently. Lippi (2008) has argued that the algorithm in section 37 of Sraffa’s book is not precisely stated and does not need to converge to the desired eigenvalue and eigenvector. In this paper I will show that also the proof provided by Besicovitch to Sraffa on 21 September 1944 is incomplete, but it can easily be completed.

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