By Knut Wicksell
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Extra resources for Lectures on Political Economy General
He assumes that gold, the measure of value and prices, is always produced with the same labour costs, and also that profits on capital employed in the production of gold constitute the same percentage of wages or of the total product as in any other branch. From this he is led to the conclusion that the amount of labour employed in the production of a certain unit of goods directly expresses the number of ounces or grammes of gold for which this unit of goods is habitually exchanged in the market; in other words its price measured in gold.
Many monetary questions, it is true, have their proper place in the special or applied section of our subject, but to avoid unnecessary length we shall treat most of them together, more especially since the actual technique of money is of much greater interest to pure economic theory than the technical details of production or trade. 1 (ii) The theory of value and exchange. (iii) The theory of production and distribution. (iv) The theory of capital, all of which are treated in Volume I, and (v) The theory of money and credit, which is the subject of the second volume of the theoretical part of our work.
13 14 LECTURES ON POLITICAL ECONOMY In this part we have first to examine the qualitative aspect of human needs and the differing significance which we attach to the available means, material, or otherwise, of satisfying those needs. In modern communities this significance finds its most striking and objective expression in the exchange value or price of the various objects, goods or personal services. The theory of value and price has an importance which is not limited to systems where there is highly developed division of labour, with money and credit and more or jess free competition.