Output Increase

Output increases whenever there is an increase in one of these inputs, all else being the same. Physical capital refers to goods—such as factory buildings, machinery, and 18-wheel trucks—that have two essential features. First, capital goods are used in the production of other goods. The production of physical capital does not increase our well-being in and of itself. It allows us to produce more goods in the future, which permits us to enjoy more consumption at some future date. Second, capital goods are long lasting, which means we accumulate a capital stock over time. Capital goods are thus distinct from intermediate goods, which are fully used up in the production process. The capital stock of an economy is the total amount of physical capital in the economy. As well as factories and machines, the capital stock includes physical infrastructure—road networks, airports, telecommunications networks, and the like. These are capital goods that are available for multiple firms to use. Sometimes these goods are supplied by governments (roads, for example); sometimes they are provided by private firms (cellular telephone networks are an example). For brevity, we often simply refer to “capital” rather than “physical capital.” When you see the word capital appearing on its own in this book you should always understand it to mean physical capital. Labor hours are the total number of hours worked in an economy. This depends on the size of the workforce and on how many hours are worked by each individual. [1] Human capital is the term that economists use for the skills and training of an economy’s workforce. It includes both formal education and on-the-job training. It likewise includes technical skills, such as those of a plumber, an electrician, or a software designer, and managerial skills, such as leadership and people management. Knowledge is the information that is contained in books, software, or blueprints.

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