The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor

86 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2016 Last revised: 15 Nov 2017

See all articles by Emilio Depetris-Chauvin

Emilio Depetris-Chauvin

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Ömer Özak

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics; IZA

Date Written: November 14, 2017

Abstract

This research explores the historical roots and persistent effects of the division of labor in pre-modern societies. Exploiting a novel ethnic-level dataset, which combines geocoded ethnographic, linguistic and genetic data, it advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that population diversity had a positive effect on the division of labor, which translated into persistent differences in economic development. Specifically, it establishes that pre-modern economic specialization was conducive to pre-modern statehood, urbanization and social hierarchy. Moreover, it demonstrates that higher levels of pre-modern economic specialization are associated with greater skill-biased occupational heterogeneity, economic complexity and economic development in the contemporary era.

Keywords: Comparative Development, Division of Labor, Economic Specialization, Human Capital, Skill-Bias, Population Diversity, Cultural Diversity, Persistence, Human Capital, Skill-Bias

JEL Classification: D74, F10, F14, J24, N10, O10, O11, O12, O40, O43, O44, Z10, Z13

Suggested Citation

Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio and Özak, Ömer, The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor (November 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2827328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2827328

Emilio Depetris-Chauvin

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile ( email )

Vicuna Mackenna 4860
Santiago, 99999
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/emiliodepetrischauvin/home

Ömer Özak (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States
+1-214-768-2755 (Phone)
+1-214-768-1821 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://omerozak.com

IZA

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
241
Abstract Views
1,304
rank
151,588
PlumX Metrics