để chiếu sáng trong các bối cảnh như vậy. Mối quan hệ trao đổi là một sự cố kỹ thuật, một sự cố kỹ thuật thực sự tăng lên gần như tất cả các biến chứng thú vị, nhưng vẫn còn, cho rằng tất cả các công ty con, thực tế chính của tình trạng khan hiếm. | II ENDS AND MEANS 37 and costs are the reflection of relative valuations not of merely technical conditions. We all know of commodities which from the technical point of view could be produced quite Yet their production is not at the moment a business proposition. Why is this Because given the probable price the costs involved are too great. And why are costs too great Because the technique is not sufficiently developed This is only true in a historical sense. But it does not answer the fundamental question why given the technique the costs are too high. And the answer to that can only be couched in economic terms. It depends essentially on the price which it is necessary to pay for the factors of production involved compared with the probable price of the product. And that may depend on a variety of considerations. In competitive conditions it will depend on the valuations placed by consumers on the commodities which the factors are capable of producing. And if the costs are too high that means that the factors of production can be employed elsewhere producing commodities which are valued more highly. If the supply of any factor is monopolised then high costs may merely mean that the controllers of the monopoly are pursuing a policy which leads to some of the factors they control being temporarily unemployed. But in any case the process of ultimate explanation begins just where the description of the technical conditions leaves off. But this brings US back although with new knowledge of its implications to the proposition from which we started. Economists are not interested in 1 The production of motor oils from coal is a very topical case in point. 38 SIGNIFICANCE OF ECONOMIC SCIENCE CH. technique as such. They are interested in it solely as one of the influences determining relative scarcity. Conditions of technique show themselves in the productivity functions just as conditions of taste show themselves in the scales of relative valuations. But there .