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The Price of Time

V. Bogachev and Leonid Kantorovich

Problems of Economic Transition, 1970, vol. 12, issue 10, 3-27

Abstract: In economic practice, decisions are frequently taken to reduce the time required to produce a given effect even though this entails a certain increase in expenditures. In such cases, the apparent material advantage must be abandoned in favor of the gain in time. On the other hand, it is clear that the ahead-of -schedule fulfillment of production and construction targets, without regard to expenditures, is inexpedient. In a word, economic practice very frequently confronts us with the necessity of choosing between a time gain and material overexpenditures. The same practice also shapes certain - sometimes intuitive - conceptions as to the circumstances and dimensions in which an additional expenditure can be justified by reducing the time required for the realization of a given economic measure. One might ask: is there a scientific basis for making an objective comparison of the time gain with the expenditure of resources (or of material savings against time losses)? In other words, is it possible to compare time in any sense with material and labor inputs?

Date: 1970
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DOI: 10.2753/PET1061-199112103

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