• Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Article
      • The Greeks
      • Subsequent pre-Smithian developments
      • Adam Smith's treatment of the division of labour
      • 19th-century developments
      • International division of labour
      • Sexual division of labour
      • Decline and rehabilitation of division of labour in the 20th and 21st centuries
      • Conclusion
    • Bibliography
    • How to cite this article

division of labour

Peter Groenewegen
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Abstract

Division of labour has been a very important topic for economic writings from the earliest times, and was treated in great detail by major economists, including especially Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall. This article surveys the development of ‘division of labour’ from its beginnings in the writings of Greek philosophers through the centuries and up to the 21st century. It therefore also reflects on its offshoots: international division of labour, sexual division of labour and its contemporary revival as an essential adjunct to the theory of economic growth, labour productivity, inter-firm cooperation, and its modern limits in coordination and communication costs.
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Keywords

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Article

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How to cite this article

Groenewegen, Peter. "division of labour." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 17 August 2017 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_D000176> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0401

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