With appropriate adjustments for risk, capitalists or firms are normally concerned with maximizing their profits when they undertake investment activities. Other factors enter into the decision-making process as well, however. In particular, a set of institutions that supports the investment activity and generates confidence in the investors plays a key role. Such institutions may range from a labor market that functions in such a way that assures investors that they will be able to hire (at reasonable cost) employees with the requisite skills to a legal system capable of enforcing contracts and a system of international trade relations that assures access to raw materials, intermediate goods, and export markets. The full range of institutions that favors investment activity-in the economists’ sense of new capital goods and the technology embodied in them rather than in the financial sense-is the social structure of accumulation (SSA).