[OPE-L:1926] Re: Re: Re: productivity increases and rising real wages

Patrick L. Mason (pmason@garnet.acns.fsu.edu)
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 09:37:48 -0500


Mike L wrote:

>However, as I understood your argument, productivity

>increases *also* increase the ability of capital to pay and this is a

>factor in rising real wages--- which I do think corresponds to the

>neoclassical argument. Have I misinterpreted you?

Yes, I do argue that productivity growth increases the
<bold><italic><underline>ability</underline></italic></bold> to pay, that
is, it raises surplus labor time. Whether or not pay actually rises is
another story. All the productivity gains could go to profit, or there
might be some division between labor and capital, or the productivity
gain could be used to hire more unproductive workers. I'm not asserting
an automatic relationship between productivity growth and wage changes.
Recent US economic history shows that it is entirely possible for wage
growth to lag behind productivity growth.

peace, patrick l mason

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