“Capital is that part of wealth which is devoted to obtaining further wealth” — Alfred Marshall
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In this quote, Alfred Marshall is providing a definition of the term “capital” from an economic perspective. He describes capital as that portion of overall wealth or resources which owners or businesses apply and invest for the purpose of generating more wealth.
So according to Marshall, capital refers specifically to assets that are used productively to produce further financial returns, such as machinery, equipment, factories, and other means of production. This distinguishes capital from wealth that is consumed or kept in liquid form.
The quote reflects Marshall’s view that capital is a key driver of economic growth, as it is the part of existing wealth that gets reinvested for the goal of obtaining additional wealth over time through productive activities like industry and commerce.