Tag Archive: resources

A Production Possibilities Frontier

The engine of economic progress must ride on the same four wheels (supply side factors), no matter how rich or poor the country:

  • Human resources (including labor supply, education, discipline and motivation)

Labor inputs include, of course the quantity of workers. However, many economists believe that the quality of labor inputs, the skills, knowledge, and discipline of the labor force, is the single most important element in economic growth. capital goods can be effectively used and maintained only by skilled and trained workers.

Improvements in literacy, health, and discipline, and most recently, the ability to use computers, add greatly to the productivity of labor.

  • Natural resources (including land, minerals, fuels and environmental quality)

The important resources here are, arable land, oil and gas, forests, water, and mineral resources.
But the possession of natural resources is hardly necessary for economic success in the modern world. New York City prospers primarily on its high density service industries. While many countries that have virtually no natural resources, such as Japan, have thrived by concentrating on sectors that depend more on labor and capital than on indigenous resources.

  • Capital formation (including machines, factories and roads)

Tangible capital includes structures like roads, and power plants, and equipment, like trucks and computers. In this regard, some of the most dramatic stories in economic history, often involve the rapid accumulation of capital.
Accumulating capital requires a sacrifice of current consumption over many years. Countries that grow rapidly tend to invest heavily in new capital goods. In the most rapidly growing countries, 10 to 20% of output may go into capital formation. In this regard when we think of capital we must not concentrate only on private sector investment. In fact, many investments are undertaken only be governments, and provide the necessary social overhead capital and infrastructure for businesses to prosper. Roads, irrigation and water projects, and public health measures are important.

Government projects involve external benefits that private firms cannot capture so government is necessary to provide them.

  • Technology (from science and engineering to management and entrepreneurship)

Historically, growth has definitely not been a process of simple replication, adding rows of steel mills, or power plants next to each other. Rather, a never-ending stream of inventions and technological advances led to a vast improvement in the production possibilities of Europe, North America, and Japan. Technological change denotes changes in production processes or the introduction of new products or services.

Technological change is a continuous process of small and large improvements.

While the four supply factors of growth relate to the physical ability of the economy to expand, there are two other factors that are equally important:

  • First, there is the demand factor

To realize its growing production potential, a nation must fully employ its expanding supply of resources. This requires a growing level of aggregate demand.

  • Second, there is the efficiency factor

To reach its production potential, a nation must not only achieve full employment, but also two kinds of economic efficiency. Specifically, a country must achieve productive efficiency. That is, it must use its existing and new resources in the least costly way to produce what it does. And it must also achieve allocative efficiency, meaning that the specific mix of goods and services it produces must maximize society’s well-being.

Happy With Your Job?

“My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise, Is this the fashion in the court of England? Is this the government of Britain’s isle, And this the royalty of Albion’s king?”

I guess we all have our little black holes when it comes to job satisfaction. However, when the days get black and there is no end to it, we cannot rely on “emergent strategy” (Mintzberg and Waters, 1985) alone and hope that the circumstances will change. Or as Christensen (2012) puts it, “that if you are in these circumstances, experiment in life. As you learn from each experiment, adjust.” It took me more than ten years to get the job I really like. Here is how I started my change:

You get what you focus on – so focus on the positive!

  1. Stated on the positive – what do you want?
  2. Where do you want this outcome?
  3. When do you want this outcome?
  4. With whom do you want this outcome?
  5. What would be the evidence that you had achieved your outcome?
  6. How would you know if you were getting your outcome?
  7. What would you be doing to get it?
  8. What would you be seeing and hearing?
  9. What would you be feeling?
  10. How would you represent this?
  11. What would be a demonstration of it?
  12. What resources can you activate to get this outcome?
  13. What resources can you acquire to get this outcome?
  14. What can you continue to do?
  15. What would happen if you got this outcome?
  16. How will getting this outcome affect other areas of your life?