“Of the Division of Labor”

Adam Smith

In “Of the Division of Labor”, Adam Smith focuses on the trifling manufactures to analyze the importance of the division of labor, since trifling manufactures supply small wants for a small number of people, involving a small number of workmen, which could be collected under the view of the spectator (Adam, p.37). Adam Smith states that the most significant importance of division of labor is the increase of the productive powers of labor (Adam, p.38). However, as far as agriculture, it is impossible to divide labors because different sorts of labor return to work in different seasons of the year.

Adam Smith states that division of labor makes efficiency because of three reasons. First, increase of dexterity of labor increases the quantity of the work he can perform. Secondly, division of labor saves time which is lost in passing from one species of work to another. Thirdly, invention of a great number of machines facilitate and abridge labor and enable one man to do the work of many (Adam, p.39).

Division of labor makes individual become more expert in his own peculiar branch, more work is done upon the whole, and the quantity of science is increased by it.

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