Objective Specialisation: The Smithian Perspective

  • Robert P. GillesEmail author


The previous chapter is founded on a Ricardian perspective regarding the functioning of the social division of labour as rooted in the individual productive abilities of all consumer-producers. Adam Smith introduced a more social perspective, where productive abilities are rooted in collective knowledge of production technologies that are subject to IRSpec. In this chapter, we show that, if production is conducted through a finite number of professions, the Law of One Price guides the economy to an equilibrium in which all prices reflect the labour value of the traded commodities. Here, the social division of labour adjusts to meet the demand for commodities. We consider several applications, including models of international trade, socio-economic embeddedness, and wage labour.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management SchoolQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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