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To understand why Ricardo proceeded in this way, it is necessary to make conjectures. It is possible—I would say probable—that Ricardo was eager to make his case in terms of the ideal measure because the dependence of the return on capital upon the proportionate shares strikes the eye particularly clearly in terms of this formulation. But, whatever the reason, the only rationale for the inverse profit-wage relation when we focus upon the process of industry adjustments to disturbances (a rationale which Ricardo himself provides, although not in this context) is that involving the market mechanism. And we must firmly emphasize that in this context there is no sense to the notion that the matter of distribution is somehow solved prior to pricing.

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