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Different Employment of Capitals in Vertically Integrated Sectors: Smith after the Austrians

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  • Meacci, Ferdinando

Abstract

The Austrian notion of stages of production and the related principle of the greater productivity of roundabout methods plus the neo-Austrian notions of vertical integration and vertical division of labour are utilized in this paper in an attempt to reconstruct Smith’s convoluted arguments on the different employment of capitals in Chapter V, Book II, of the Wealth of Nations. Smith’s arguments are first clarified in the light of the two concepts of capital (money capital and productive capital), of the two aspects of productive labour (living labour and dead labour) and of the two viewpoints (of an individual and of society) on which Smith’s theory is based. The results of this clarification are then used to prove that, independently of Smith’s own words but in consistency with his theory, the notions of ‘quantity’ and ‘productivity’ of productive labour have a ‘vertical’ as well as an ‘horizontal’ dimension so that they fit both the input-output scheme and the Austrian framework of time-consuming methods of production.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11702.

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Date of creation: 02 Jul 2008
Date of revision: 02 Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11702

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Keywords: Classical and Austrian capital theory; stages; sectors; vertical integration;

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  1. Smith, Adam, 2008. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: A Selected Edition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199535927 edited by Sutherland, Kathryn, September.
  2. Salvadori, Neri & Signorino, Rodolfo, 2011. "Competition," MPRA Paper 38387, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2004:i:18:p:a0 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Stigler, George J, 1976. "The Successes and Failures of Professor Smith," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1199-1213, December.
  5. Meacci, Ferdinando, 2004. "The competition-of-capitals doctrine and the wage-profit relationship," MPRA Paper 20118, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.
  6. Smith, Adam, 1776. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1776.
  7. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
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