The paper deals with a fundamental issue in the history of economic thought: the alleged separability in the classical analysis of distinct and sequential logical stages. It will be recalled that the contested idea of an analytical separation of the theory of value (relative prices), the theory of production (relative quantities) and the theory of the social distribution of income was initially advanced by Ricardo, in his lost Papers on the Profits of Capital and in his Essay on Profits, but later abandoned, in the third edition of the Principles. It was then reproposed by J.S. Mill, Jevons, Sraffa and Garegnani, and opposed by Malthus, Marshall and Walras. Today a separability thesis cannot be maintained, as it presupposes the existence of a given physical vector of the real wage, a circumstance which is not satisfied in the present world.
Jel Code: A10, B12, B20, E11, P16