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Investigación económica

versión impresa ISSN 0185-1667

Inv. Econ vol.64 no.253 México jul./sep. 2005



The Theory of Economic Change: A Comparative Study of Marshall and the “Classics”

La teoría del cambio económico: un estudio comparativo de Marshall y los "Clásicos"

Marcella Corsi* 

* Department of Economics and Business, CEU, Roma, Italy <>


This paper deals with two alternative answers to Smith's question 'What are the causes of the Wealth of Nations?'

On the one hand, Marshallian equilibrium theory focuses on static increasing returns and assumes that the conditions of production and the demand for a commodity can be considered, in respect to small variations, as being practically independent. On the Other hand, in a classical perspective, economic progress consists of a cumulative and self-perpetuating process of change: established positions are constantly under pressure because the division of labour is at once a cause and an effect of economic progress.


Este trabajo trata de responder a dos cuestiones alternativas a la pregunta de Smith ¿cuáles son las causas de la riqueza de las naciones?

Por una parte, la teoría del equilibrio marshaliano se enfoca sobre un incremento del beneficio estático y asume que las condiciones de la producción y la demanda para un bien pueden ser consideradas, respecto a pequeñas variaciones, como dadas prácticamente independientes. Por otra parte, en un perspecúra clásica, el progreso económico consta de un proceso de cambio acumulativo y autoperpetuo: las posiciones establecidas están constantemente bajo presión porque la división del trabajo es inmediatamente una causa y un efecto del progreso económico.

JEL Classification: B12, B40, 120, 030

Texto completo disponible sólo en PDF

Full text available only in PDF format


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Received: January 2003; Accepted: November 2004

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