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The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge

In: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition)

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  • Gary S. Becker
  • Kevin M. Murphy

Abstract

This paper considers specialization and the division of labor. A more extensive division of labor raises productivity because returns to the time spent on tasks are usually greater to workers who concentrate on a narrower range of skills. The traditional discussion of the division of labor emphasizes the limitations to specialization imposed by the extent of the market. The authors claim that the degree of specialization is more often determined by other considerations. Especially emphasized.are various costs of "coordinating" specialized workers who perform complementary tasks and the amount of general knowledge available. Copyright 1992, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck94-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11238.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11238

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    1. Human Capital, Endogenous Growth and Hospital Performance
      by Sam Watson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2012-03-27 10:44:23
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