CHAPTER 14
ACCUMULATION WITHOUT INVENTIONS

So far we have been comparing positions of the mechanisation frontier at each of which the economy concerned was enjoying the conditions of a golden age. In each economy the rate of profit remains constant through time, and expectations about future profits are being continuously fulfilled, and therefore renewed, as time goes by. A change in the position of the mechanisation frontier in one economy is quite another story. It is an event taking place in time. It involves a change in the rate of profit and a revision of expectations. This introduces many complications into the argument and to isolate the essential point we will temporarily make some further simplifying assumptions.


SPECIAL ASSUMPTIONS

(1) The labour force is constant.

(2) There is no technical progress, and the spectrum of known techniques is fully understood and blue-printed.

(3) Entrepreneurs expect prices and wage rates in the future to continue to be what they are to-day, even if they have recently changed.

(4) The length of life of individual capital goods is short so that an individual entrepreneur can readily change his stock of capital goods from one form to another, without loss of value, by refraining from renewing items that have ceased to be profitable and investing accrued amortisation funds in items which he expects to be profitable.

(5) There is a perfect mobility of labour between occupations.

(6) There is a large gap between techniques, so that the

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