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The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor

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  • Emilio Depetris-Chauvin
  • Ömer Özak

Abstract

This research explores the historical roots and persistent effects of the division of labor in premodern societies. Exploiting a novel ethnic-level dataset, which combines geocoded ethnographic, linguistic and genetic data, it advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that population diversity had a positive effect on the division of labor, which translated into persistent differences in economic development. Specifically, it establishes that pre-modern economic specialization was conducive to pre-modern statehood, urbanization and social hierarchy. Moreover, it demonstrates that higher levels of pre-modern economic specialization are associated with greater skill-biased occupational heterogeneity, economic complexity and economic development in the contemporary era.

Suggested Citation

  • Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2017. "The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor," Documentos de Trabajo 471, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:471
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Smyth, Russell, 2017. "Ethnic Diversity and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 285-302.
    2. Ramos-Toro, Diego, 2017. "Social Cohesion and Carbon Emissions," MPRA Paper 82396, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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