Nations, Industries and Households
The Cournot Centre series
Edited by Robert M. Solow and Jean-Philippe Touffut
Robert M. Solow and Jean-Philippe Touffut How is labour allocated between men and women, between North and South, on the farm and in the plant? Traditional analyses in terms of market or factor endowments have been enhanced by studies on demography, trade and technological change, but the questions remain of how and where countries specialize. The answers may depend on the dividing lines, on the increase in the variety of tasks or on their growth in numbers, but then further questions arise about the asymmetries that the division of labour creates. When economists study the dynamics of the feminization of the labour market, deindustrialization or foreign direct investment and its impact on growth, can they use the same concept of the division of labour? In this book, the contributions move in two complementary directions: the first weighs and updates the relative importance of the different determining factors; the second deepens the analysis by adding further determinants and by making productive entities understandable through the study of their interactions. The impact of the division of labour must be perceived through the light of its ‘demographic, territorial, and thus political, effects’, as Augustin Cournot put it.1 Through the authors’ different approaches, the classical opposition fades between the central role of the market in determining the degree of the division of labour among productive units, as suggested by Adam Smith, and the factor endowments and international trade developed by David Ricardo. The concept of the division of labour followed a trajectory of decline...