Let us now consider the position of the economy defined by the independent variables (i)–(iii) together with the relative prices and values of the distributive variables resulting from the equations of production. How should this position be interpreted? One widely accepted view is based on the passages of Production of Commodities where Sraffa relates his analysis to the theories of the old classical economists (p. v) and identifies his theoretical prices with their ‘natural prices’ or ‘prices of production’ (§ 7). It is accordingly argued that the prices obtained from Sraffa’s equations are to be interpreted in the same way as those determined by Smith, Ricardo or Marx, i.e. as the exchange ratios that would tend to prevail, in conditions of free competition, when the produced quantities of the different commodities conform to the respective ‘effectual demands’. This in turn implies that the whole theoretical position is to be regarded as a normal position, aimed at defining a centre of gravitation for the prices and quantities of the actual economy (cf. for example Garegnani 1990a: 132; Mainwaring 1984: 12-13; Caravale 1985: 185; 1988: 1337-8; Mongiovi 1991: 719, n. 3; Kurz and Salvadori 1995: 4-5, 416-17).