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Encephalization and Division of Labor by Early Humans

  • John Hartwick


    (Queen's University)

We draw on Ricardian comparative advantage between distinct persons to map out the division of labor among proto-humans in a village some 1.7 million years ago. A person specialized in maintaining a cooking fire in the village is of particular interest (Ofek [2001]). We are also interested in modelling hunting by village males in teams. The large issue is whether and how specialization (division of labor) and interpersonal trade might have driven brain-expansion in early humans.

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Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1161.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1161
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  1. Alberto Battistini & Ugo Pagano, 2008. "Primates’ fertilization systems and the evolution of the human brain," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, April.
  2. David Harper, 2008. "A bioeconomic study of numeracy and economic calculation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 101-126, August.
  3. Alexander Field, 2008. "Why multilevel selection matters," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 203-238, December.
  4. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "The intergenerational transmission of attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20054, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
  6. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2002. "Evolution of Social Behavior: Individual and Group Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 67-88, Spring.
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