He explains that, though money in the form of precious metals is sufficiently well-suited to serve as the measure of the exchangeability of commodities, it is imperfect because of the fluctuations in the value of these metals. in this way, the task in hand is accomplished with the help of many workers who are responsible for their specific role. It wasn’t until I read Joan Robinson dismiss the argument in her 1973 textbook An Introduction to Modern Economics that I began to really put the effort in to understanding the division of labour . When two parties enter into a trade with one another, both come away with something they were previously lacking. In such a system, it is important to make sure that all the workers who are working on a task are able to complete their job in time and with constant accuracy. It was these concerns, Smith posits, that led to the desire for a common currency. Smith offers three reasons for this increase in productivity. Adam Smith Division Of Labor Summary 1423 Words | 6 Pages concept of Adam Smiths writing was his idea of productivity. Division of labor is also very important for ensuring uniformity in the operations. In focusing on one task, rather than passing from one task to another, a process that requires him to use different tools and materials, he is able to maximize his time, thus increasing productivity. Division of labor by skill set would have allowed for modest efficiencies and surpluses. Growth, according to Smith, is rooted in the increasing division of labor. Still, water is a much cheaper product as compared to diamonds. In this way, instead of each man struggling to produce some of the things he needed, each man would specialize, producing an excess of one thing, and exchange to gain all or most of required. In this chapter, Adam Smith explains that the source of value of all commodities derives not from their money price, but from the amount of labor required to purchase them. Book 1 of ‘The Wealth of Nations’, deals with Division of labor. It is convenient to estimate the value of one commodity by its exchangeable value, and therefore by its money price. If each laborer performs certain specific steps, then one laborer can make 4,800 pins on an average in one day. It is important, however, because it allows him to begin to show that the market has internal forces that allow it to regulate itself, and check excesses and inequalities. He arguments that diamonds are not vital for the life and survival of human beings in the way that water is. As a result, it can make the workers dull and bored. It is, in turn, the assurance of being able to trade what one produces with others that encourages the division of labor. Adam Smith Today: A Smithean Critique of American Society, Read the Study Guide for The Wealth of Nations…, The Appealing Moral Principles of Adam Smith, The Divergent Opinions of Smith and Rousseau: Natural Sociability and Criticisms of the Division of Labor, Read the E-Text for The Wealth of Nations…, View Wikipedia Entries for The Wealth of Nations…. This will reduce their efficiency and will also affect their performance in the long run. Also implied in the second chapter is the idea that people are motivated primarily by their own self-interest. Smith goes on to explain that often, the rent of land is based upon the potential productivity of the land, the burden of improving the land falling upon the tenant. If bartering is conducted with perishable, non-divisible goods, it is rendered difficult, and many exchanges are simply impractical. Alexis de Tocqueville agreed with Smith: "Nothing tends to materialize man, and to deprive his work of the faintest trace of mind, more than extreme division of labor." In this way, the rent of the land is always a monopoly, based not on what the landowner might have spent upon improving the land, neither what he can afford, but rather what the tenant can afford to pay.
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