By John Weeks (auth.)
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Additional info for A Critique of Neoclassical Macroeconomics
In the current context, that means with different combinations of capital and labour. If we accept this reasonable definition of why commodities differ, then it follows that when the commodity composition of a given level of y changes, the k and l necessary to produce the different combinations also changes. Therefore, presuming that the prices of commodities are constant is no longer a sufficient basis for aggregating income. It does not ensure that y is unique for a given combination of capital and labour.
This characteristic of the synthesis model, that its basic concepts are specified independently of money, is of particular importance to the analysis of labour market equilibrium. Indeed, the nature of the labour market in the neoclassical model cannot be fully appreciated without grasping this point. In the Keynesian neoclassical model there could be a less than full employment equilibrium. In formal mathematical terms this is possible because the only equilibrium condition is that aggregate demand equal income/output.
It is the wage that is given (measured in the single commodity), and on the basis of the wage households determine their optimal mix of work and leisure. 7 Analogously, businesses are presumed to believe that they can sell as much as they might wish at the prevailing price. On this basis - all agents are 'price-takers' - the demand and supply schedules for labour can be specified without reference to the price of the single commodity in monetary units. Some have called these 'notional' schedules, the quantities of labour demanded by businesses and supplied by households on the presumption expectations will be fulfilled and that all markets will be cleared (the commodity market being the only other one at this point).
A Critique of Neoclassical Macroeconomics by John Weeks (auth.)