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Encephalization and Division of Labor by Early Humans

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  • John Hartwick

    () (Queen's University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hartwick, 2007. "Encephalization and Division of Labor by Early Humans," Working Papers 1161, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1161
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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1161.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Alexander Field, 2008. "Why multilevel selection matters," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 203-238, December.
    4. David Harper, 2008. "A bioeconomic study of numeracy and economic calculation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 101-126, August.
    5. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Attitudes," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(1), pages 8-12, 04.
    6. repec:ces:ifodic:v:7:y:2009:i:1:p:14567006 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. John M. Hartwick, 2009. "Son to Father Reciprocity and Encephalization in Early Humans," Working Papers 1223, Queen's University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    early humans; division of labor; brain expansion;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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