March 23, 2018 

AmosWEB means Economics with a Touch of Whimsy!

AmosWEBWEB*pediaGLOSS*aramaECON*worldCLASS*portalQUIZ*tasticPED GuideXtra CrediteTutorA*PLS
HEDGING: Buying or selling futures contracts to protect against price changes. This is a common form of "insurance" used by those who produce various commodities, such as wheat, cattle, coffee, and natural gas, as well as those who buy these commodities as inputs.

Visit the GLOSS*arama


Payments made to scarce resources, or the factors of production (labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship), in return for productive services. Factor payments are frequently categorized according to the services of the productive resource being rewarded. Wages are paid for the services of labor; interest is the payment for the services of capital, rent is the services for land, and profit is the factor payment to entrepreneurship.
Factor payments show up in the circular flow model of the macroeconomy as payments made by the business sector for the factor services purchased from the household sector through the factor or resource markets. The source of the revenue used by the business sector for factor payments is the sale of output through the product markets. Factor payments are essentially the production cost for the business sector. Factor payments are also the income, specifically, national income, of the household sector.

Official Payments

The official factor payment entries in the National Income and Product Accounts maintained by the Bureau of Economic analysis (and their common name) are compensation of employees (wages), net interest (interest), rental income of persons (rent), and corporate profits (profit). A fifth, catch-all payment category, proprietors' income, is also included.
  • Compensation of Employees: The official measure of wages earned by the household sector for supplying labor services. Compensation of employees is far and away the largest of the five factor payments, typically running about 70 percent of total factor payments. It includes standard wages and salaries paid directly to employees, as well as fringe benefits paid on behalf of employees to third parties.

  • Net Interest: The official measure of interest earned by the household sector for supplying capital services. Net interest is usually less than 10 percent of total factor payments, typically in the 6 to 8 percent range. It is revenue generated from borrowed funds but is considered payment for the productive services of capital, because capital is typically purchased with borrowed funds.

  • Rental Income of Persons: The official measure of rent earned by the household sector for supplying land and related services. Rental income of persons is typically the smallest of the five factor payment categories, usually less than 5 percent of total factor payments. It includes payments for the use of land, natural resources, and capital goods attached to the land.

  • Corporate Profits: The total accounting profits received by corporations, which is the official measure of profit earned by the household sector for supplying entrepreneurship services through corporations. Corporate profits is the second largest factor payment category, usually coming in around 20 to 25 percent of total factor payments.

  • Proprietors' Income: The excess of revenue over explicit production cost of owner-operated businesses and includes payments to all factors of production--labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship. Proprietors' income is usually less than 10 percent of total factor payments, typically falling in the 7 to 10 percent range.
While the first four entries might seem to be all inclusive, proprietors' income is needed because proprietorships (and many partnerships) frequently fail to separately track implicit wage, interest, rent, and profit factor payments. In particular, small owner-operated firms often calculate net income by deducting explicit operating cost from revenue, thus ignoring any implicit payments for labor, capital, land or entrepreneurship supplied by the proprietor (or partners). As such, this proprietors' income includes usually wages, rent, interest, and profit.

The Circular Flow

The Circular FlowCircular Flow
The role that factor payments play in the macroeconomy can be illustrated by the circular flow model. The circular flow captures the continuous movement of production, consumption, income, and factor payments between producers and consumers.

A basic representation of the circular flow is displayed to the right. The components of this model are the four macroeconomic sectors--household, business, government and foreign--and the three macroeconomic markets--product, resource, and financial.

The household sector at the far left contains the consuming population of the economy who also own all resources. The business sector at the far right includes all of the producers. The government sector is positioned in the middle of the diagram and the foreign sector is at the very top.

The product markets near the top of the flow direct production from the business sector to the household sector in exchange for payment flowing in the opposite direction. The resource markets at the bottom of the flow direct factor services from the household sector to the business sector in exchange for payment flowing in the opposite direction. The financial markets located just above the resource markets divert saving from the household sector to business and government borrowing.

The circular flow indicates that the income used by the household sector to purchase goods through the product markets is obtained by selling factor services through the resource markets. It also indicates that the revenue used by the business sector to pay for factor services obtained through the resource markets is generated by selling goods through the product markets.

Factor payments are the flow between the business sector and the resource markets. In particular, the business sector uses the revenue it receives from the sale of gross domestic product to pay for the services of the factors of production.

On To Income

Factor payments are the source of income of the household sector. In particular, factor payments are the other side of national income. Payments made by the business sector to acquire the services of resources are also income earned by the resource owners for supplying factor services.

The following equation summarizes the connection between national income and factor payments:

=Wages + Interest + Rent + Profit + Proprietors' Income


Recommended Citation:

FACTOR PAYMENTS, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia,, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: March 23, 2018].

Check Out These Related Terms...

     | compensation of employees | net interest | rental income of persons | corporate profits | proprietors' income | gross domestic income | personal income | disposable income | net domestic product |

Or For A Little Background...

     | national income | gross domestic product | gross domestic product, income | circular flow | production | resource markets | National Income and Product Accounts | Bureau of Economic Analysis | National Bureau of Economic Research |

And For Further Study...

     | business cycles | gross domestic product, expenditures | gross domestic product, ins and outs | gross domestic product, welfare | gross national product | real gross domestic product | national income and gross domestic product | national income and net domestic product | personal income and national income | disposable income and personal income | factor market analysis | factor demand | factor supply |

Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Bureau of Economic Analysis | National Bureau of Economic Research |

Search Again?

Back to the WEB*pedia


[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time strolling around a discount warehouse buying club wanting to buy either a wall poster commemorating Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing aboard the Kon-Tiki or decorative garden figurines. Be on the lookout for celebrities who speak directly to you through your television.
Your Complete Scope

This isn't me! What am I?

In the Middle Ages, pepper was used for bartering, and it was often more valuable and stable in value than gold.
"It is not the straining for great things that is most effective; it is the doing of the little things, the common duties, a little better and better."

-- Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Writer

American Assocation of Commercial Publications
A PEDestrian's Guide
Xtra Credit
Tell us what you think about AmosWEB. Like what you see? Have suggestions for improvements? Let us know. Click the User Feedback link.

User Feedback

| AmosWEB | WEB*pedia | GLOSS*arama | ECON*world | CLASS*portal | QUIZ*tastic | PED Guide | Xtra Credit | eTutor | A*PLS |
| About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement |

Thanks for visiting AmosWEB
Copyright ©2000-2018 AmosWEB*LLC
Send comments or questions to: WebMaster