Ajit Sinha

PhD State University of New York at Buffalo

Professor, TSLAS
Chair, Research and Faculty Development

Specialization

History of Economic Theory

Email

ajit.sinha@thapar.edu

Ajit Sinha is professor of economics at the Thapar School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has a long and varied experience of teaching and research in economics. Ajit started his career as lecturer of economics at University of Delhi in 1982 (Khalsa College and then Sri Ram College of Commerce) and went on to teach economics at State University of New York at Buffalo, York University, Canada and The University of Newcastle, Australia. In 1999, Ajit joined LBS National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie as Professor of Economics and taught there for two years. Since then he has been Professor (and also Director) at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Maître des Conférences Associé at Collège de France, Paris, Visiting Professor at Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai, University of Paris 1 (Sorbonne), University of Trento, Italy and Professor at Azim Premji University in Bangalore. Ajit has also been Visiting Fellow at Centre for Development Economics at Delhi School of Economics, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at JNU, Department of Economics, Bombay University, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Open University, UK, Elected Life-Long Honorary Research Associate at PHARE (University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne) and Visiting Scholar at Faculty of Economics and Politics, University of Cambridge, UK. Ajit has also served as a member of ‘Research Institutes Committee’ and the National Steering Committee of the Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development (IDPAD) of Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR)—he was also a member of the Indian delegation of IDPAD to Amsterdam in 2004. He has been a recipient of a research grant worth US$ 95,000 from Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) to write a book on the Economics of Piero Sraffa.

Ajit has M.A in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and M.A and Ph.D. in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. His main area of research has been the History of Economic Theory, particularly the theories of value and distribution. He has more than fifty research papers published in reputed international journals and edited books and encyclopedias. For the last two decades he has been exploring the significance of the contribution to economic theory of Piero Sraffa, an outstanding mind of the 20th century economics, who also had a profound impact on the second-half of the 20th century philosophy through his considerable influence on the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Apart from publishing several research papers in leading journals such as Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Metroeconomica, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Review of Political Economy, etc., he, in 2016, published a comprehensive account of Sraffa’s theory, based heavily on the research of Sraffa’s archive, in a book titled A Revolution in Economic Theory: The Economics of Piero Sraffa by Palgrave Macmillan. This book has now become a leading alternative to the orthodox interpretation of Sraffa. One of the foremost historians of economic thought, Samuel Hollander commented that ‘… Sinha puts paid thereby to alternative readings of that enigmatic work, including that of the late Pierangelo Garegnani, Sraffa’s student and a leading Sraffian commentator’. Richard Arena, a leading heterodox theorist, wrote, ‘The two main features of Ajit Sinha’s book show the fundamental nature of its contribution to economic analysis and the history of economic thought’. Two leading heterodox journals, Cambridge journal of Economics and Review of Political Economy as well as the Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics have published long review-articles of the book. Commenting on his most recent book, Essays on the Theories of Value in the Classical Tradition, John King, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Australia wrote, ‘it is essential reading for anyone with an interest in classical value theory’. A leading heterodox theorist, Roberto Scazzieri, professor at university of Bologna and fellow at National Lincei Academy of Italy, wrote, ‘This is a an extremely ambitious and challenging work that opens new and invaluable vistas on classical economic theory and economics at large’. And a highly celebrated and most respected post-Keynesian economist, G.C. Harcourt commented, ‘[these] essays not only illuminate the past but also sign post the most promising ways forward in economic theory’. Ajit’s first book, Theories of Value from Adam Smith to Piero Sraffa, was published in 2010 by Routledge. This book has now become highly recommended and widely used. Its second edition with an additional long ‘Afterword’, was brought out by Routledge in 2018. G.C. Harcourt characterised this book as ‘a splendid example for all those interested in the best ways of understanding the relevant links between the past of our discipline and the present’ and Roger Guesnerie, Rt., Chair of Economics, Collège de France and Founding President, Paris School of Economics described it as ‘a brilliant illustration of the fact that the history of economic thought, on the one hand, and economic analysis, on the other, are neither antagonistic, nor substitutes, but necessary complements’. Ajit has also co-edited three books, published by JAI Press and Routledge, and was a member of the editorial board of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Political Economy, published by Routledge in 1999. Currently he is editing a book titled A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory to be published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Publications

Books

  • Essays on Theories of Value in the Classical Tradition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, pp. 450.
  • A Revolution in Economic Theory: The Economics of Piero Sraffa, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 253.
  • Theories of Value from Adam Smith to Piero Sraffa, Routledge, 2010, pp. 370+. Second edition with an ‘Afterword’, 2018.

Edited Books

  • A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020 (forthcoming). [The collection carries papers by leading economists such as G.C. Harcourt, Anna Carabelli, Carlo Panico, Ghislain Deleplace, Guglielmo Chiodi, Annalisa Rosselli, John Davis, Kumaraswamy Velupillai and others].
  • Pluralistic Economics and its History, co-edited with Alex Thomas, Routledge, 2019. [The collection carries papers by some leading economists such as G.C. Harcourt, Meghnad Desai, John King, Cristina Marcuzzo, Roberto Scazzrieri, C.T. Kurien, K.L. Krishna, Anjan Mukherjee and others].
  • Economic Development, Climatic Change and the Environment, co-edited with Siddhartha Mitra, Routledge, 2006, pp. 233, hb. [The collection carries papers by some leading environmental economists such as Roger Guesnerie, Jean-Charles Hourcade, Ngo Van Long, Barkley Rosser Jr. and others].
  • Encyclopedia of Political Economy, vols. 1 & 2, Member editorial Board, Routledge, 1999.
  • Latest Development in Marxist Theory-A Special Issue of Research in Political Economy, Volume 15, co-edited with Paul Zarembka, 1996, JAI Press, pp. 315. [The collection carries papers by some leading political economists such as Claudio Napoleoni, Giorgio Lunghini, Augusto Graziani and others].

Journal Publication

  • ‘A Comment on “The Sraffian Methodenstreit and the revolution in economic theory”’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol.44, 2020, pp. 247-49.
  • ‘A Response to “On Sinha’s View of Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory”’, Review of Political Economy, (forthcoming).
  • ‘A Comment on Sraffa’s “Classical Economics”’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 41(2), 2017, pp. 661-677.
  • ‘A Reflection on the Samuelson-Garegnani Debate’, Economic Thought, 4(2), 2015, pp. 48-67.
  • ‘Sraffa’s Contribution to the Methodology of Economics’, Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics. 27(1), 2015, pp. 33-48.
  • ‘On Marx’s law of the falling rate of profit: disentangling some entangled variables’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 46(2), 2014, pp. 184-89.
  • ‘The New Interpretation of Sraffa’s Prices: A Response to Heinz Kurz’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 37(6), 2013, pp. 1449-1453.
  • ‘Listen to Sraffa’s Silences: A New Interpretation of Sraffa’s Production of Commodities’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 36(6), 2012, pp. 1323-1339.
  • ‘A Response to Angelo Reati’, Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 44(3), 2012, pp. 401-402.
  • ‘Celebrating 50 years of Sraffa’s Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLV, No. 42, October 16, 2010, pp. 61-65.
  • ‘In Defence of Adam Smith’s Theory of Value’. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, vol. 17(1), March 2010, pp. 29-48.
  • ‘A Note on Ricardo’s Invariable Measure of Value’. Cahiers d’économie politique, N° 58, 2010, pp. 133-144.
  • ‘A Sraffian Critique of the Classical Notion of the Centre of Gravitation’ (with M-S Dupertuis). Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33(6), 2009, pp. 1065-1087.
  • ‘Reading A.K. Dasgupta’: A review article of Collected Works of A.K. Dasgupta vols. 1-3, OUP, Journal of Quantitative Economics, 7(1), 2009, pp. 3-22.
  • ‘Sraffa’s System: Equal Rate of Profits and the Notion of Centre of Gravitation’ (with M-S Dupertuis). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 71, 2009, pp. 495-501.
  • ‘Existence of the Standard system in the multiple production case: A solution to the Manara problem’ (with M-S Dupertuis). Metroeconomica, vol. 60(3), 2009, pp. 432-454.
  • ‘Sraffa and the Question of Equilibrium’ (with M.-S.Dupertuis). Cahiers d’économie politique, 2009, N° 56, pp. 91-100.
  • ‘Sraffa and the Later Wittgenstein’, Contributions to Political Economy, Vol. 28, 2009, pp. 47-69.
  • ‘Is it meaningful to talk of price changes in a regime of technical change?’ (with Paul Cockshott). Review of Political Economy, July 2008, 393-403.
  • ‘Sraffa and the Assumption of Constant Returns to Scale: A Critique of Samuelson and Etula’. Contributions to Political Economy, Vol. 26, 2007, 61-70.
  • ‘A Comment on Sen’s “Sraffa, Wittgenstein, and Gramsci”’, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol. 61, 2006, 504-512.
  • ‘Some Critical Comments on de Vivo’s Interpretation of Sraffa’s Path to Production of Commodities’, Contributions to Political Economy, vol. 25, 2006, 83-89.
  • ‘Minimum Income Entitlement’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XL, No. 27, 2005, pp. 2896-2899.
  • ‘Trends in India’s GDP Growth Rate: Some Comments’, (with Shirin Tejani) Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXIX, No. 25, 2004, 5634-5639.
  • ‘Celebrating Twenty Volumes of Research in Political Economy’, Science and Society 68 (1), 2004, 90-92.
  • ‘Reading Sraffa: Philosophical Underpinnings of Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities’, Idea (Electronic Journal), 2002, 33pp.
  • ‘Understanding the Transformation Problem: Is the Standard Commodity a Solution?’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 32(2), 2000, pp. 265-281.
  • ‘Hollander's "Marx and Malthusianism": A Critique’, History of Economics Review, No. 28, Summer 1998, pp. 104-112.
  • ‘The Transformation Problem: A Critique of the “New Solution”’, Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 29, No. 3, 1997, pp. 50-58.
  • ‘Productive/Unproductive Labour: A note on Marx’s critique of Adam Smith’, History of Economics Review, No. 26, Winter-Summer 1997, pp. 125-130.
  • ‘A Critique of Part One of Capital Vol. 1: The Value Controversy revisited’, Research in Political Economy Vol. 15, 1996, pp. 195-222.
  • ‘The Concept of Value in Marx-A Reinterpretation’, Research in Political Economy, Vol. 12, 1990, pp. 41-79.

Publication in Encyclopedias and Edited Books

  • ‘Interpreting the Nature of Sraffa’s Equations: A Critique of Garegnani’s Interpretation’ in A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, (forthcoming).
  • ‘Corn Model, Subsistence Economy and the Empirical Economy’ in Keynesian, Sraffian, Computable & Dynamic Economics: Theoretical & Simulational (Numerical) Approaches, (ed.) K. Velupillai, London: Palgrave Macmillan (Forthcoming).
  • ‘A Reply to Professor Schefold’ in A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, (forthecoming).
  • ‘A Comment on Scazzieri’s “On Sraffa’s Structuralism”’ in A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, (forthcoming).
  • ‘A Comment on Marcuzzo and Rosselli’s “Sraffa’s Challenge to Causality in Economics”’ in A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, (forthcoming).
  • “‘The Meaning of Sraffa Prices’—A Comment’ in A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, (forthcoming).
  • ‘A Reflection on John Davis’s Comments’ in A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, (forthcoming).
  • ‘A Rejoinder to “Why Sraffa was right not to publish his last article”’ (co-author, Yoann Verger) Comment’ in A Reflection on Sraffa’s Revolution in Economic Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, (forthcoming).
  • ‘Marx’s Metaphysics of Human Labour in the Light of Sraffa: Labour Theory of Value Reconsidered’, in Karl Marx’s Life, Ideas and Influences: A Critical Examination on the Bicentenary, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
  • ‘Introduction’ in Pluralistic Economics and its History, (eds.) Ajit Sinha and Alex Thomas, Routledge, 2019.
  • ‘From “Change” to “Difference”: Sraffa’s Reinterpretation of Classical Economics’ in Pluralistic Economics and its History, (eds.) Ajit Sinha and Alex Thomas, Routledge, 2019.
  • ‘Political Economics of Economic Value’, The Palgrave Handbook of Political Economy, Palgrave, 2018.
  • ‘Heterodox Theories of Value: A Brief History’, The Routledge Handbook of Heterodox Economics, Routledge, 2017.
  • ‘A New Perspective on Sraffa’ in Towards a New Understanding of Sraffa: Insights from Archival Research (eds.) Riccardo Bellofiore and Scott Carter, Palgrave, 2014, pp. 81-93.
  • ‘A Response to Comments by Professor Salanti’ in Towards a New Understanding of Sraffa: Insights from Archival Research (ed.) Riccardo Bellofiore and Scott Carter, Palgrave, 2014, pp. 130-32.
  • ‘On the Notion of Equilibrium and the Gravitation Mechanism’ in The Oxford Handbook of Post-Keynesian Economics vol.1, (eds.) G.C. Harcourt and Peter Kriesler, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 101-122.
  • ‘Introduction’ (with Siddhartha Mittra), Economic Development, Climatic Change and the Environment, (Sinha and Mitra eds.), Routledge, 2006, 9-21.
  • ‘Some Critical Reflections on Marx’s Theory of Value’, in Value and the World Economy Today, (eds.) R. Westra and A. Zuege, Palgrave, 2003, 171-188.
  • ‘Transformation Problem’, Readers Guide to Social Sciences, (ed.) Jonathan Michie, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers: London, 2001. Also reprinted in Encyclopedia of Social Sciences (2002) by the same publisher.
  • ‘Labour Theory of Value’, Readers Guide to Social Sciences, (ed.) Jonathan Michie, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers: London, 2001. Also reprinted in Encyclopedia of Social Sciences (2002) by the same publisher.
  • ‘Surplus Approach Economics’, Encyclopedia of Political Economy, (ed.) Phil O’Hara, Routledge: London, 1999.
  • ‘Transformation Problem’, Encyclopedia of Political Economy, (ed.) Phil O’Hara, Routledge: London, 1999.

Book Review

  • Banerjee, A.V. and Esther Duflo. 2011. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLVI (52), December 24, 2011, pp. 33-35.
  • Hollander, Samuel. 2008. The Economics of Marx, Review of Radical Political Economics, 42(4), 2010, pp. 560-64.
  • Kliman, A. 2007. Reclaiming Marx’s “Capital”, Review of Radical Political Economics, 41(3), 2009, pp. 422-27.
  • Philip Arestis, Gabriel Palma, and Malcolm Sawyer (eds.) 1997. Capital Controversy, Post-Keynesian Economics and the History of Economics: Essays in Honor of G.C. Harcourt vol. 1. Review of Radical Political Economics, 37(1), 2005, pp. 97-100.
  • Mongiovi, G. and F. Petri (eds.) 1999, Value, Distribution, and Capital: Essays in Honor of Pierangelo Garegnani. Review of Radical Political Economics, 34(4), 2002, pp. 499-503.
  • Lapides, K. 1998. Marx's Wage Theory in Historical Perspective. Review of Radical Political Economics, 33(2), 2001, pp. 237-241.
  • Wood, E.M. & J.B. Foster (eds.) 1997. In Defense of History. Review of Radical Political Economics, 31(3), 1999, pp. 127-133.