By Maurice Scott, Robert A. Laslett (auth.)
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Extra resources for Can We Get Back to Full Employment?
THE RECENT RECESSION Turning to the more recent fall in demand, with its accompanying rise in cyclical unemployment, Taylor (1978) has provided an analysis based on broadly the same method as that of Matthews. He seeks to explain the shortfall of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the recession years of 1975-77 as compared with the level which the GDP would have reached had it continued on the trend established in the years 1963-74. e. ). Each of these is estimated to have reduced demand by about 4 per cent of GDP.
Greater readiness on the part of employers to absorb wage increases, because their own profit margins are high, or to pass them on as price increases, because other firms' profit margins are high, or because the firm is in a less than fully exploited and stronger monopoly situation (increased cost to employers of resisting a strike works in a similar way). g. because of availability of more generous state benefits, more strike pay, more private savings of worker, or better access to credit. ) either favours a higher wage settlement, or at least opposes it less strongly.
This would indeed follow from the simple theory of capital and growth which one finds in some text-books, the idea being that capital is a quantity rather like labour or land. If you combine a given quantity of labour with more capital the (marginal) productivity of labour will be increased. Hence, at a given real wage, more labour can be employed. This view of capital does not accord very well with the fact, familiar to all, that some machines can replace many men. The Labour-saving versus labour-using investment 47 simple theory first mentioned must treat this labour saving as being the result, not of more capital, but rather of labour-saving technical progress, which is independent of investment.