The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-Industrial Times

101 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018 Last revised: 7 Jul 2020

See all articles by Emilio Depetris-Chauvin

Emilio Depetris-Chauvin

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Ömer Özak

Southern Methodist University - Department of Economics; IZA; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Date Written: October 7, 2018

Abstract

This research explores the historical roots of the division of labor in pre-modern societies. Exploiting a variety of identification strategies and a novel ethnic level dataset combining geocoded ethnographic, linguistic and genetic data, it shows that higher levels of intra-ethnic diversity were conducive to economic specialization in the pre-modern era. The findings are robust to a host of geographical, institutional, cultural and historical confounders, and suggest that variation in intra-ethnic diversity is a key predictor of the division of labor in pre-modern times.

Keywords: Comparative Development, Division of Labor, Economic Specialization, Intra-Ethnic Diversity, Cultural Diversity, Population Diversity, Genetic Diversity, Linguistic Diversity

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 of the Division of Labor in Pre-Industrial Times (October 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3130747 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3130747

Emilio Depetris-Chauvin

Pontificia Universidad Católica de 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

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

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