CHAPTER 31
LAND AND ACCUMULATION

WHEN capital is the dominant form of property and land has long been marketable it becomes more or less 1 completely merged in the general mass of rentier property. Entrepreneurs require the use of land in order to be able to employ labour to produce commodities and capital goods; its owners obtain a share in the surplus of product over wages by hiring it to them in much the same way as any owner of wealth can obtain a share by lending finance to an entrepreneur who wants to operate more capital than he possesses himself. From the point of view of an individual owner of property, rent is merely one form of rentier income and from the point of view of an individual entrepreneur land is merely one kind of productive equipment, but for an economy developing in a given space the limited supply of land involves peculiarities which distinguish it from other forms of productive equipment.

As usual, the distinction is not clear cut. Many kinds of capital goods are inextricably involved in the soil itself (its fertility is partly the result of draining, manuring, etc.) and many kinds of equipment are so much dependent upon the space that they occupy (say, shipyards or the permanent way of a railway) that they cannot be much changed, and their supply is almost as completely limited as the sites on which they stand. Moreover, some capital goods have a long life, and the stock of them inherited from the past cannot be distinguished in any relevant way from the supply of natural resources. However, pursuing our policy of taking a high hand with border-line cases, we will continue to envisage, on

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1
The owner of an agricultural estate rented to small farmers often performs some of the functions of an entrepreneur. See J. R. Hicks, Social Framework, p. 93.

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