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The Cambridge economic tradition and the distribution of the social surplus

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Author: Nuno Ornelas Martins

Various research projects in economics developed at Cambridge share common philosophical presuppositions, within what can be termed as the Cambridge economic tradition. I argue here that the Cambridge economic tradition can be distinguished from other traditions in terms of its underlying ontology, methodology and ethics, and also in terms of the way in which those philosophical presuppositions are expressed in competing theoretical approaches to the distribution of the social surplus. I also distinguish between an economic tradition and a school of economics and note that various schools have existed within the Cambridge economic tradition. The various Cambridge schools can themselves be identified in terms of the specific analytical frameworks they adopted when addressing the distribution of the social surplus.

Cambridge Journal of Economics, Volume 45, Issue 2, March 2021, Pages 225–241,