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Duplication, Growth and 'Total Return Economics'


  • Gordon P. Getty



Maintenance consumption is an expense recovered in product prices, yet also a source of taste satisfaction which must be exhausted, rather than reinvested, from the capital affording it. This riddle is solved in the 'duplication rules': the cost of maintenance consumption is recovered in pay and prices, but an equal flow is exhausted from the human capital of the worker earning the pay. The rules impact tradition in several ways. If output is defined in principle as value added, then it cannot also be described as consumption plus net investment without double-counting the maintenance consumption recovered in prices. Also rate of return in the stationary state is not zero, but is the rate sufficient to offset the exhaustion of individual human capital. The rules lead to new insights into economic return, and support an argument that all growth at the scale of closure is due to productivity gain rather than to thrift.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon P. Getty, 2004. "Duplication, Growth and 'Total Return Economics'," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 3-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:6:y:2004:i:1:p:3-38

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