Perspectives of Economic Development by Amlan Datta (auth.)

By Amlan Datta (auth.)

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Stadtluft macht frei (city air makes a man free), so ran a German proverb, which distilled the historic experience of a whole epoch. The towns created not only a tradition of commercial freedom and a distinct legal code embodying this concept of liberty, but they also produced new ideas, a spirit of innovation and a capacity for economic enterprise which was unknown before. ' 1 But their potency in promoting economic development depended in the long run on the extent to which they could enter into ever-widening relations of give and take with the rest of society.

787. 30 Perspectives of Economic Development of a vast number of partially employed people, particularly in agriculture. As industry develops labour comes out of this halfvisible reservoir in search of more remunerative employment. The downward pressure on wages, which is exerted 'by the reserve army of labour' in the Marxist model, is in fact exercised even more persistently by members of poor peasant families who, even when they are not forcibly ejected from land, are nonetheless attracted by new opportunities of supplementing their meagre incomes.

More particularly, we have to take into account not only' revenue', but also capital. Economists have often stressed the importance of the mobility of capital. But there is one aspect of this mobility which needs to be specially emphasised. Capital is, generally speaking, more mobile than labour in all countries. It is mobile between different lines of investment in trade and industry. But does it also move freely from trade and industry to agriculture, and back again? In some countries, it does; we have already cited instances.

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