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What are the main factors of production?

AS, A-Level, IB
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 14 Jul 2023

In economics, the factors of production are the resources or inputs that are used in the production of goods and services.

Factors of Production and Factor Rewards - revision video

The main factors of production are as follows:

  1. Land: This refers to all natural resources used in production, including land itself, as well as any minerals, water, forests, or other resources that are found in or on the land. Land is often considered a fixed factor because its supply is generally limited.
  2. Labour: Labour includes the physical and mental effort exerted by individuals in the production process. It encompasses the skills, abilities, and time contributed by workers. Labour is a variable factor as it can be increased or decreased based on the needs of production.
  3. Capital: Capital refers to the physical assets or man-made resources used in production. It includes machinery, equipment, tools, buildings, infrastructure, and any other tangible goods that are employed to produce other goods and services. Capital can be classified as either physical capital or financial capital.
  4. Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship refers to the ability and willingness to organize, coordinate, and take risks in the production process. Entrepreneurs play a crucial role in identifying business opportunities, assembling and allocating resources, making strategic decisions, and assuming the uncertainties and risks associated with starting and managing a business.

These four factors—land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship—combine together to facilitate the production of goods and services. They are complementary to each other, meaning that all factors are typically needed in combination to achieve efficient production. The relative availability, quality, and combination of these factors of production influence the level of economic output and the distribution of income in an economy.

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