In this article, we will answer the fundamental question of “what are the factors of production?” Let’s begin by understanding the meaning of factors of production. Factors of production definition can be highlighted as resources used by people to produce goods and services as the building blocks of the economy. Things that are used to produce commodities are called inputs. For example, to produce rice, a farmer uses commodities like soil, tractor, water and so on. These inputs are classified into two types namely primary input and secondary input. In primary input, the services are rendered, wherein secondary input is merged into the commodities for which they are used.
Four Factors of Production
If we observe from the above example tractor, soil, tools and the farmer services are considered as primary inputs whereas water, pesticides, seeds, etc. are merged into the commodities which come under secondary inputs. Primary inputs are also called as factors of input, secondary inputs are known as non-factor inputs. The type of economic system is decided by the ownership of factors of production.
So what are the four factors of production? In a capitalistic economy, the factors are owned by the individuals who use them for their profit. The four factors of production are:
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1. Land as a Factor of Production
It mainly refers to all the natural resources which are in nature. The land has a broad definition and as one of the four factors of production, it includes various things like agricultural land to commercial real estate. All the natural resources from oil to gold can be extracted from the land. The land used by farmers increases the land value and its utility. If we take an example a tech company can easily use land with zero investment, whereas it is most important for a real estate venture. Therefore, even though the land is an essential component for most of the ventures, its significance can be increased or decreased based on the industry.
2. Labour as a Factor of Production
It is defined as human efforts that have been put both mentally and physically to earn an income is called labour as a factor of production. Labour refers to the effort put by an individual to bring the product into the market. It can be in various forms like, the construction work near a building site is part of labour, the receptionist who enrols the list, and the waiter who serves the customers comes under labour, etc.. Land comes under passive factors whereas labour comes under active factors. It is the labour that is required to get the product into the market. Land and Labour are called primary elements among the four factors of production.
3. Capital as a Factor of Production
In economics, capital refers to money. All the man-made goods which are used for the production of income in the future come under capital. A point to remember here, money is not a factor of production as it is not directly involved in the production. As a factor of production, capital involves the purchase of goods made with money in production. Let us take an example: Tractor purchased for farming is called capital, chairs desks in the office come under capital. In the factors of production, it is important to distinguish between personal and private capital. A person's vehicle which is used to transport for a family doesn't come under capital goods.
4. Entrepreneur as a Factor of Production
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes all the other factors and is willing to undertake any risk that arises due to this process. So how do entrepreneurs use the factors of production? Entrepreneurship is the thing that combines all the other factors of production. It is a drive to develop an idea into a business. An entrepreneur acts as a boss and takes care of the business. Let us take an example, At the start of the social media platform Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg calculated the risk of success and failure of his social media network in the developing stages. In the initial stage, he coded himself and he is the labour for it, with its success, he decided to build a company and then he needed labour. So, he started hiring employees.
Did you know?
Few economists think that there are only two factors of production of land and labour. The land they assert is appropriated from gifts of nature by human labour and entrepreneur is merely a special sort of labour. Therefore, the primary factors of production are Land and Labour, whereas the secondary factors of production are capital and entrepreneurs.
Q1. Which is a Factor of Production that brings all the factors together?
Ans. The entrepreneur is a factor of production that brings all the factors together. An entrepreneur is a person who organizes all the other factors and is willing to undertake any risk that arises in the process. Entrepreneurship is the thing that combines all the other factors of production. It is a drive to develop an idea into a business. An entrepreneur acts as a boss and takes care of the business.