Monday, August 28, 2017

Time Value in Relation to Total Factor Productivity

Why has personal time value recently become so important, for productivity considerations?  Consider a broader historical framing, in this regard. So long as economies continue to expand via tradable sector growth, a majority of economic time value needs little specific designation, since total output gains in this circumstance, also translate into rising wages. In other words: So long as wages are gradually rising, many individuals remain capable of meeting their economic obligations.

Unfortunately, however, when non tradable sector activity begins to dominate economic settings, its asset formation and services capacity might reduce output in ways which also reduce total economic participation. Of late, this scenario has indeed taken place. Not only are there long term problems for individual budgets as a result, there are equally pressing issues, for the resource capacity of government budgets.

As the costs of basic consumption requirements increase, governments and individuals have less recourse to the revenue source of rising wages, even though that source is still needed to maintain societal obligations. Since the reduced output of dominant non tradable sector activity prevents rising wages, its organizational capacity needs to be amended, to make total resource capacity go further. In order to do so, more formal economic definition for our time value is needed, to facilitate basic means for production and consumption.

Others have also suggested a consumption based focus, for the productivity gains that could restore economic dynamism. For example, Miles Kimball highlighted a recent storify which touched on the importance of basic consumption for productivity, where Bonnie Kavoussi tweeted:
Miles Kimball notes it's important to focus on productivity in areas that are the biggest parts of people's budgets.
For decades, our institutions have also relied on the use of credit to bolster the gradual losses of real wage value. Only recently has it become more evident, that credit use isn't necessarily a good substitute for one's time use options, as means to remain responsible for basic consumption requirements. In particular, since lower income levels have recently lost access to credit for housing, it's time to look at new ways to make time count, as a component of total factor productivity.

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