Prices and production by Hayek F.A.

By Hayek F.A.

This e-book owes its lifestyles to a call for participation via the college of London to bring in the course of the consultation 1930-31 4 lectures to complicated scholars in economics, and within the shape during which it was once first released it actually reproduced those lectures.

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Of course this does not mean that we have to start for that purpose ab ovo with an explanation of the whole economic process. But it does mean that we have to start where general economic theory stops ; that is to say at a condition of equilibrium when no unused resources exist. The existence of such unused resources is itself a fact which needs- explanation. It is not explained by static analysis and, accordingly, we are not entitled to take it for granted. * On the contrary, it is my conviction that if we want to explain economic phenomena at all, we have no means available but to build on the foundations given by the concept of a tendency towards an equilibrium.

It also shows the total amount of intermediate products which must exist at any moment of time in order to secure a continuous output of consumers' goods. For this reason we may conceive of this diagram not only as representing the successive stages of the production of the output of any given moment of time, but also as representing the processes of production going on simultaneously in a stationary society. To use a happy phrase of J. B. , vol. VI, Jena, 1925, p. 1115 et seq. 2 So long as we confine ourselves to the real aspects of the capital structure the triangular figures may be taken to represent not only the stock of goods in process but also the stock of durable instruments existing at any moment of time.

What I have here in mind are not changes in the methods of production made possible by the progress of technical knowledge, but the increase of output made possible by a transition to more capitalistic methods of production, or, what is the same thing, by organising production so that, at any given, moment, the available resources 1 I have dealt more fully with the relation between pure economic theory and the explanation of business fluctuations in my book, Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle (London, 1933), Chaps.

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