is the result any different if we assume that wages
Exactly the same is true of the “ parasitic ” occupations much discussed in recent years, those in which the labourers, usually women and children, do not receive a living wage, but are partially supported by others (parents, relations, etc.). It is said that, in the interests of society, such occupations should be
Ricardo’s theory, it may be asserted that, whenever the primary effect of a change in production is to cause employers to reduce the number of their employees without their having been compelled to do so by a rise in wages, it is a sign that the marginal productivity of labour has fallen and a larger or smaller ultimate reduction in wages will probably ensue. On the other hand, a technical improvement which favours labour must reveal itself from the beginning in an increased demand for labour and higher wages in much the same way as if, in the example on p. 137, technical improvements had tended to make arable farming more profitable than pastoral, instead of vice versa. But what we have said here applies mainly to wages and rent, in relation to each other. The appearance of capital in the field of production introduces, as we shall see below, certain modifications in our conclusions, without, however, rendering them invalid as a whole.