Clapham / Pigou / Robbins
Die Skalenertragsdebatte im "Economic Journal"
The conflict that has become familiar under the name of "economies of scale debate" is a classic debate on costs, competition and development. This momentous debate that has only been superficially concluded to this day was triggered by the "Of Empty Economic Boxes" essay that John Clapham printed in September 1922, which was the first blow to Marshall's theoretical structure. "Perhaps the most important effect of the controversy is that it even led to breaking out of Marshall's static system of economic analysis and early neoclassical economics. It paved the way for the basic thoughts of the modern growth theory." (Bertram Schefold) The core of the essay collection "is formed by Sraffa's article, which indisputably triggered the revolution in thinking on competition and its fairness of returns on the European side. It is no coincidence that Schumpeter was also involved in the controversy: He used the opportunity to introduce his synthesis of dynamic economic development, supported by the entrepreneur, with the static apparatus of neoclassical analysis." (Bertram Schefold) In commentary volume for this edition, the Nobel Prize winner Kenneth J. Arrow (Stanford, USA) describes the economies of scale debate as the starting point for the modern growth theory in particular; Geoffrey C. Harcourt and Stephanie Blankenburg (both Cambridge, UK) trace the contents and course of the debate from the perspective of the Cambridge school; Bertram Schefold (Frankfurt/M.) analyses the correlations between increasing profits, competition and growth; Paolo Sylos Labini (Rome) relates the economies of scale debate to the theory of oligopolistic competition.