By John Hicks
This choice of essays on funds and development brings jointly the paintings of Sir John Hicks. together with formerly unpublished essays, this assortment is bound to make readers view Hicks paintings in a brand new mild.
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Extra info for Economic Perspectives: Further Essays on Money and Growth
The economy would have attained what Adam Smith called its ‘full complement of riches’; but the higher real wages, which had followed from the now exhausted Impulse, would remain. Suppose, however, that there were induced inventions, induced (as in this case they would be) by the rise in real wages, by the rise in wages relatively to product prices (as a whole). Such technical changes would be directed towards economizing in labour costs, and thus to reducing the scarcity of labour. They would therefore tend to slow up the rise in wages.
Let us return, for instance, to the question of population. It is in some of the poorest countries of the world that population is now increasing most rapidly. We are perhaps a little less worried than we were about the Malthusian peril—the problem of feeding the hundreds of millions of new mouths which demographers tell us will so soon be upon us. It is far from certain that we are right to be so complacent; but suppose we are right. We are still left with the problem of ﬁnding the savings in order to employ, in a ‘modern’ manner, even that fraction of the population of, say, India which is now employed in a ‘modern’ manner—a fraction which, with a larger population, will comprise many more people.
In the ‘capitalist’ model, familiar in economic textbooks, the improvement in productivity raises proﬁts, and from the larger proﬁts it is easy to make larger savings. Under socialism, the proﬁts accrue to public bodies; but here again, if the new technique has proved productive, public proﬁts will be increased, and from their larger proﬁts the public bodies will ﬁnd it easier to ﬁnance new investment. They may not do so, and the capitalists may not do so; but in either case there is some presumption that they will.