SECTION I
ACCUMULATION WITH ONE TECHNIQUE

CHAPTER 8
ACCUMULATION WITH CONSTANT TECHNIQUE

IN our model economy there are no inhabitants except workers who spend their wages (and nothing but their wages) currently as they receive them, and entrepreneurs whose consumption is negligible and whose sole function and aim is to organise production and accumulate capital. These assumptions pare off all complications and enable us to examine the mere essence of the capitalist rules of the game.


WAGES AND PROFITS WITH ONE TECHNIQUE

For the purpose of this chapter we assume that only one technique of production is known. A given rate of output of each type of product requires a specific outfit of capital goods, a specific time-pattern of production and a specific flow of man-hours of work per annum. When our story begins, a capitalist economy has long been established and there is in existence a stock of productive equipment appropriate to the known technique, with all its pipe-lines full of work-in-progress. The amount of employment is governed by the stock of equipment in existence. We will first assume that entrepreneurs have always found as much labour available as they wanted to employ. (We may imagine that the capitalist economy exists side by side with a self-subsistence peasant economy with which it does not trade, but from which it can recruit labour as required.)1

In the dark backward and abysm of time, capitalism emerged from some pre-existing type of economy where labour was

____________________
1
Cf. W. A. Lewis, "'Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour'," Manchester School ( May 1954).

-73-

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