The production function has been a powerful instrument of miseducation.
– Joan Robinson (1953–54), The Production Function and the Theory of Capital, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 21(2), pp. 81–106. (jstor)
… that is how Jesus Felipe and John McCombie begin their new book The Aggregate Production Function and the Measurement of Technical Change.
I have observed that although neoclassical economists use the aggregate production function heavily, even those who do not learn it somehow err and assume it implicitly somewhere in their analysis. This book I believe is a rewriting of both authors’ work in this area collecting various papers written in many places — critiquing the very “foundation” of neoclassical economics.
From the publisher’s site for the book:
‘This is an extremely important and long-awaited book. The authors provide a cogent guide to all that is wrong with the theory and empirical applications of the discredited notion of an aggregate production function. Their critique has devastating implications for orthodox macroeconomics.’ – Anwar Shaikh, New School for Social Research, US
h/t Matias Vernengo