The Division of Labor

Assembly Line

Source: Dr. Bart van Heerikhuizen (in collaboration with Social Sciences - UvA)
Affiliation: University of Amsterdam

In this video, Dr. van Heerikhuizen explains the impact of the division of labor, drawing on the first chapter of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. In short, the division of labor dramatically increased the productive capacity of our work. This is because everyone's dexterity is improved, they don't have to move from place to place or task to task, and specialization creates the opportunity for discovery of better, more efficient ways of working. 

This video is part of a series by "Social Sciences - UvA" on The Wealth of Nations.


Image Credit: "Workmen assemble universal carriers (army vehicles) on the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co. / Des ouvriers assemblent des chenillettes universelles (véhicules militaires) sur la chaîne de montage de l'usine Ford" by BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Keywords: Adam Smith , Division of Labor , Hierarchies of Work , Meaning of Work , Philosophy