Monday, 14 March 2011


The Auckland University Economics Group exists for real people to discuss real-life economics. Here’s what our friends at the Group have for you this week.

Economic Harmonies 1: Division of Labour

Without division of labour there would be no need to study economics.   And likely nobody around to study it either.

            “Whoever prefers wealth to poverty and life and heath to sickness and death, is
        logically obliged to value the existence of a division-of-labour society and all that
        it depends on… Take away a division-of-labour society, and production shrivels to
        the level of medieval feudalism…”

               - Ludwig Von Mises

            “The purpose of division of labour is to make a smaller quantity of labour produce
        a greater quantity of work.”

                - Adam Smith

Division of Labour is the very soul of economics. It is inescapable.

            “Even the inhabitant of [Marx &] Engels’s future fairyland will have to decide sooner
        or later whether he wishes to be Archbishop of Canterbury or First Sea Lord, whether
        he should seek to excel as a violinist or as a pugilist, whether he should elect to know
        all about Chinese literature or about the hidden pages in the life of the mackerel.”
- Alexander Gray

Come along and learn what makes the soul of the dismal science tick, and learn:

  • Why was Henry Ford able to produce more cars in a day than any other manufacturer?
  • Why is economics founded on 'division of labour'?
  • What barriers are there to division of labour? And what are implications of these barriers?

UoA Econ Group 15 March-1

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