A simple Smith-Ricardo model is developed that incorporates division of labor into the continuum-good Ricardian model of Dornbusch et al.(1977). The trade-off between the efficiency gain and coordination cost associated with production specialization determines the efficient level of division of labor. The model is applied to explain how the recent IT revolution could affect a country’s efficient level of production specialization and competitive advantage. In particular, absolute advantage (in division of labor) and relative labor supply plays a crucial role in determining the effects of an IT progress on a country’s competitive margin in international trade.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Division of labor, Production specialization, Information technology, Coordination cost, International Trade
JEL Trade: General (jel F10), Neoclassical Models of Trade (jel F11)
Publisher Department of Economics
Series Carleton Economic Papers
Citation
Yu, Z. (2003). IT, Production Specialization, and Division of Labor: A Smith-Ricardo Model of International Trade (No. CEP 03-06). Carleton Economic Papers. Department of Economics.