The Shape of the Division of Labour: Nations, Industries and Households

The Shape of the Division of Labour

Contributors: Bina Agarwal, Martin Baily, Jean-Louis Beffa, Richard N. Cooper, Jan Fagerberg, Elhanan Helpman, Shelly Lundberg, Valentina Meliciani, Peter Nunnenkamp

Edited by Robert M. Solow and Jean-Philippe Touffut
Edward Elgar 2010

This book is unique in its broad coverage of the concept of division of labour. The variety of contributions highlight its shape, showing that it is not just limited to the old notions of the degree of the division of labour among productive units, along the lines of Adam Smith, or the degree of specialization amongst countries, along the lines of David Ricardo. Through different lenses, the authors present a panoramic and detailed view of contemporary analyses, including not only gender, but also assets, sectors and nations. The book edited by Robert Solow and Jean-Philippe Touffut therefore provides a refreshing new vision on one of the oldest concepts popular in economic analyses.
- Luc Soete, Professor of International Economic Relations, Maastricht University and Director of UNU-MERIT

How is work divided up in the household, within an industry, a nation or between continents? What are the dynamics of the division of labour? The wide-ranging contributions to this book explore these questions from technological, capital and political perspectives. They include in-depth studies of gender, the firm, countries’ economic specializations, ICTs, foreign direct investment and agriculture. The ten distinguished contributors – scholars, economists and practitioners – take stock of the shape of the division of labour and provide useful policy recommendations.

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View the contributors’ presentations given at the Cournot Centre’s conference, The New International Division of Labour, held 12-13 November 2009.