On Socio-Economic Roles and Specialization

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2006-035/2

17 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2006

See all articles by Robert P. Gilles

Robert P. Gilles

Queen's University Management School

Emiliya A. Lazarova

Queen's University Belfast

Pieter H. M. Ruys

Date Written: March 2006


Xiaokai Yang's theory of economic specialization under increasing returns to scale is a formal development of the fundamental Smith-Young theorem on the extent of the market and the social division of labor. In this theory specialization and, thus, the social division of labor is firmly embedded within a system of perfectly competitive markets. This leaves unresolved whether and how such development processes are possible in economies based on more primitive, non-market organizations. In this paper we discuss a general relational model of economic interaction. Within this non-market environment we discuss the emergence of economic specialization and eventually of economic trade and a social division of labor. We base our approach on three levels in organizational development: the presence of a stable relational structure; the presence of relational trust and subjective specialization; and, finally, the emergence of objective specialization through the institution and the social recognition of economic roles.

Keywords: economic development, social division of labor, non-market economies

JEL Classification: D02, O12

Suggested Citation

Gilles, Robert P. and Lazarova, Emiliya A. and Ruys, Pieter H. M., On Socio-Economic Roles and Specialization (March 2006). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2006-035/2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=895091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.895091

Robert P. Gilles (Contact Author)

Queen's University Management School ( email )

25 University Sq
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
United Kingdom

Emiliya A. Lazarova

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN

No contact information is available for Pieter H. M. Ruys

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