By Nicholas Kaldor
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Additional resources for Causes of Growth and Stagnation in the World Economy
This has therefore the same kind of effect as that associated with the absorption of "open" or "disguised " unemployment. It is difficult to visualise, therefore, that the labour supply should be the effective constraint on production in any particular "economy", except for short periods which do not leave time for the consequential movement in theflowof labour as between geographical locations or as between industries or sectors. The meaning of the term "economy" is capable of numerous interpretations.
With an expansion of total production, new subsidiary industries appear using specially constructed instruments, the use of which becomes profitable only when the aggregate size of production is large enough to make their use economical. In the words of Adam Smith, productivity depends on the 'division of labour' and the latter depends on the size of the market, which in turn depends on the division of labour - which means that the process of expansion is self-generating. In this case, the changes which occur in response to rising demand become difficult to disentangle from changes in technology which induce increasing demand by making things relatively cheaper.
Over a period of time, however, investment decisions must themselves be governed by changes in the level of production (as determined by demand); so if production is rising, productive capacity in any particular industry, or in industry as a whole, must grow at the same rate, or roughly the same rate, as production. If it grows less, the growth of output will be constrained, sooner or later, by a shortage of capacity; if it grows by more, there will be an increasing amount of surplus capacity which must progressively reduce the attraction of further increasing capacity through new investment.
Causes of Growth and Stagnation in the World Economy by Nicholas Kaldor