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Choosing techniques or typical subsystems instead? A PhD thesis

Manoudakis, Kosmas (2010): Choosing techniques or typical subsystems instead? A PhD thesis. Forthcoming in: J E E

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Abstract

This paper deals with the problem of choosing techniques. When we refer to the problem of choosing techniques, we actually refer to choose from a set of given production processes-techniques -according to a specific criterion- the optimum one. The criteria which are going to be presented are the w-r criterion, the cost minimization criterion, the Bidard’s algorithm and the -so called- John von Neumann’s criterion. Based on the usual neo-Ricardian assumptions for the linear production techniques, we try to figure out whether a comparison of the above techniques is possible according to any of the above criteria. The main conclusion of this paper is that it is impossible in either a neoclassical, or a neo-Ricardian “world” to choose or to rank a technique between others, according to any of the above criteriaeven in the special case of the non decomposable single production techniques. We are confident that it is possible to rank univocally the techniques in the case of corn and charasoffian economies, and of course in an economy a ℓa von Neumann. We conclude that in fact we do not compare or choose techniques but typical systems instead.

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