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

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  • Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio
  • Özak, Ömer

Abstract

This research explores the deep historical roots and persistent effects of the division of labor in pre-modern societies. It advances the hypothesis, and establishes empirically that population diversity had a positive causal effect on the division of labor. Based on a novel ethnic level dataset combining geocoded ethnographic, linguistic and genetic data, this research exploits the exogenous variation in population diversity generated by historical migratory patterns to causally establish that higher levels of population diversity were conducive to economic specialization and the emergence of trade-related institutions that, in turn, translated into differences in pre-modern comparative development. Additionally, this research provides suggestive evidence that regions historically inhabited by pre-modern societies with higher levels of economic specialization have higher levels of contemporary occupational heterogeneity, economic complexity and development.

Suggested Citation

  • Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer, 2016. "The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor," MPRA Paper 74703, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:74703
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeeman:v:92:y:2018:i:c:p:397-417 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Smyth, Russell, 2017. "Ethnic Diversity and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 285-302.
    3. Ramos-Toro, Diego, 2017. "Social Cohesion and Carbon Emissions," MPRA Paper 82396, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Specialization; Division of Labor; Trade; Comparative Development; Economic Development; Human Capital; Skill-Bias; Population Diversity; Genetic Diversity; Linguistic Diversity; Cultural Diversity; Persistence; Serial Founder Effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • 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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