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On Socio-Economic Roles And Specialisation

  • ROBERT P. GILLES
  • EMILIYA LAZAROVA
  • PIETER H. M. RUYS

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1759-3441.2006.tb00392.x
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Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 157-170

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econpa:v:25:y:2006:i:2:p:157-170
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  1. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  2. Sun, Guang-Zhen & Yang, Xiaokai & Zhou, Lin, 2004. "General equilibria in large economies with endogenous structure of division of labor," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 237-256, October.
  3. Papai, Szilvia, 2004. "Unique stability in simple coalition formation games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-354, August.
  4. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
  5. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change
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  6. Cheng, Wenli & Yang, Xiaokai, 2004. "Inframarginal analysis of division of labor: A survey," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 137-174, October.
  7. Gilles, R.P. & Lazarova, E.A. & Ruys, P.H.M., 2006. "Stability, Specialization and Social Recognition," Discussion Paper 2006-17, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Robert P. Gilles & Dimitrios Diamantaras, 2005. "New Classical Economics: Towards A New Paradigm For Economics?," Division of Labor & Transaction Costs (DLTC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 35-56.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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