Factors of Production - Historical Schools and Factors - Marxian


Marx considered the "elementary factors of the labor-process" or "productive forces" to be:

  • Labor ("work itself")
  • The subject of labor (objects transformed by labor)
  • The instruments of labor (or means of labor).

The "subject of labor" refers to natural resources and raw materials, including land. The "instruments of labor" are tools, in the broadest sense. They include factory buildings, infrastructure, and other human-made objects that facilitate labor's production of goods and services.

This view seems similar to the classical perspective described above. But unlike the classical school and many economists today, Marx made a clear distinction between labor actually done and an individual's "labor power" or ability to work. Labor done is often referred to nowadays as "effort" or "labor services." Labor-power might be seen as a stock which can produce a flow of labor.

Labor, not labor power, is the key factor of production for Marx and the basis for Marx's labor theory of value. The hiring of labor power only results in the production of goods or services ("use-values") when organized and regulated (often by the "management"). How much labor is actually done depends on the importance of conflict or tensions within the labor process.

Read more about this topic:  Factors Of Production, Historical Schools and Factors

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