1.“Gender” equality is still an major public issue in the U.S.

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1.“Gender” equality is still an major public issue in theU.S. and, I suspect, in other countries. A relatively early(1985), comprehensive, and still very influential analysisof the division of labor between the sexes (as thendefined) and how changes in the opportunity costs andrequired energy associated with domestic and commercialwork explain much of the change in marital participationand longevity. It is sometimes hard to distinguish divisionof labor based on “real” considerations and discriminationbased on cultural preferences or unequal power.Gary S. Becker, 1985, “Human Capital, Effort, and theSexual Division of Labor,”Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1, Part 2: Trends inWomen's Work, Education, and Family Building (Jan.,1985), pp. S33-S58Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/2534997(Links toan external site.)2.An interesting challenge or adjunct to the traditionalemphasis on the extent of the market as the primarydeterminant of the degree of specialization. Recall ourdiscussion of Stigler’s article. In my opinion it doesn’treally upset Adam Smith’s theorem so much as discussthe factors that, ceteris paribus, limit the application ofproduction division. It also addresses the implications ofgrowth in knowledge as an important factor influencingspecialization. The article highlights important andoften overlooked organizational design issues.Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy, 1992, “The Divisionof Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge,”TheQuarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 107, No. 4 (Nov.,1992), pp. 1137-1160 StableURL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/2118383(Links to anexternal site.)3.An interesting critique of the commonly held viewthat Marx advocated the complete abolition of divisionof labor and a coherent discussion of some of thewelfare egalitarian arguments to a right to “meaningfulwork.”Renzo Llorente, 2006, “Analytical Marxism and theDivision of Labor,”
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