Notes on Ricardo’s Principles (56) 賃金9 Wages 9

中湖 康太



Here, Ricardo explains the nature of and the difference between money wages and corn wages or real purchasing power, using numerical examples. Even if money wages increase, laborers’ corn wages would not change nor increase. Or rather it would decrease and laborers’ state of affairs would deteriorate. It can be explained as the reflection of the law of diminishing returns or diminishing marginal productivity of labor by which real wages would be determined. Again, Ricardo’s premise seems to be relative scarcity of land against capital and labor, in agricultural economy.  



When what was at £4 per quarter, suppose the laborer’s wages to be £24 per annum, or the value of six quarters of wheat, and suppose half his wages to be expended on wheat, and other half, or £12, on other things. 

貨幣賃金が£24 13s., £25 10s., £26 8s., £27 8s. 6d.,と上昇すると、それに対応して小麦価格は1コーター£3 4s. 8d., £4 10s., £4 16s., £5 2s. 10d.と上昇する。すると彼の穀物賃金は5.83, 5.66, 5.50, 5.33コーターと減少する。

He would receive £24 13s., £25 10s., £26 8s., and £27 8s. 6d., when wheat was at; £3 4s. 8d., £4 10s., £4 16s., and £5 2s. 10d.; or the value of; 5.83 quarters, 5.66 quarters, 5.50 quarters, and 5.33 quarters;


He would receive these wages to enable him to live just as well, and no better, than before; for when corn was at £4 per quarter, he would expend for three quarters of corn, at £4 per quarter £12, and other things £12, totaling £24.

小麦1コーター£4 4s. 8d.のときは、彼とその家族は3コーターを消費するので、合計£12 14s.となり、他のものは価格が変化しないので、支出額は合計£24 14s.となる。

When wheat was £4 4s. 8d., three quarters, which he and his family consumed, would cost him at £4 per quarter £12 14s., other things not altered in price £12, totaling £24 14s.

小麦が1コーター£4 10s.になると、小麦3コーター消費すると£13 10s.となる。他の商品は£12なので支出額は合計£25 10s.となる。小麦1コーター£4 16s.になると、3コーターで£14 8s.になる。他のものは£12なので、合計 £26 8s.となる。小麦1コーター£5 2s. 10d.になると、3コーターで£15 8s. 6d.になり、他のものへの消費は £12で変わらないので、支出額は合計£27 8s. 6d.になる。

When at £4 16s., three quarters of wheat £14 8s., other things £12, totaling £26 8s. When at £4 10s., three quarters of wheat would cost £13 10s. and other things £12, £25 10s. When at £4 16s., three quarters of wheat £14 8s., other things £12, totaling £26 8s. When at £5 2s. 10d., three quarters of wheat would cost £15 8s. 6d., other things £12, totaling £27 8s. 6d.


In proportion as corn became dear, he would receive less corn wages, but his money wages would always increase, whilst his enjoyments, on the above supposition, would be precisely the same. But as other commodities would be raised in price in proportion as raw produce entered into their composition, he would have more to pay for some of them. Although his tea, sugar, soap, candles, and house rent would probably be no dearer, he would pay more for his bacon, cheese, butter, linen, shoes, and cloth; and therefore, even with the above increase of wages, his situation would be comparatively worse.  


But it may be said that I have been considering the effect of wages on price on the supposition that gold, or the metal from which money is made, is the produce of the country in which wages varied; and that the consequences which I have deduced agree little with the actual state of things, because gold is a metal of foreign production. The circumstance, however, of gold being a foreign production will not invalidate the truth of the argument, because it may be shown that whether it were found at home, or were imported from abroad, the effects ultimately, and, indeed, immediately, would be the same.

続く To be continued.

Kota Nakako

March 30, 2018


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