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The Division of Labor and the Market for Organizations

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Author Info

  • Snower, Dennis J.

    ()
    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Lindbeck, Assar

    ()
    (Stockholm University)

Abstract

The paper examines the determinants of the division of labor within firms. It provides an explanation of the pervasive observed changes in work organization away from the traditional functional departments and towards multi-tasking and job rotation. Whereas the existing literature on the division of labor within firms emphasizes the returns from specialization and the need for coordination of the work of different workers, the present analysis focuses on the returns from multi-tasking, which is shown to arise from informational and technological complementarities among tasks as well as from the exploitation of the versatility of human capital. The paper also explores how the move towards multi-tasking can affect the labor market, deriving implications for wage inequality, employment, and unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 119.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp119

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Related research

Keywords: Division of labor; specialization; multi-tasking; organization of work; technological change; information flows;

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References

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  1. Kim, Sunwoong, 1989. "Labor Specialization and the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 692-705, June.
  2. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185.
  3. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1996. "Reorganization of Firms and Labour Market Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  6. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  7. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  8. Yang, Xiaokai & Borland, Jeff, 1991. "A Microeconomic Mechanism for Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 460-82, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zon,Adriaan ,van & Antonietti,Roberto, 2005. "Education and Training in a Model of Endogenous Growth with Creative Destruction," Research Memorandum 010, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Norbert Berthold & Rainer Fehn, 2003. "Unemployment in Germany: Reasons and Remedies," CESifo Working Paper Series 871, CESifo Group Munich.

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  1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

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