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International division of labor

Lim, Kean Fan


Kean Fan Lim


Douglas Richardson

Noel Castree

Michael F. Goodchild

Audrey L. Kobayashi

Richard Marston


International division of labor refers to a conception of economic production as intrinsically transnational; of the interdependence between economic production and geographically-differentiated labor power in the first instance. ‘Old’ and ‘new’ versions of the concept abound: the ‘old’ international division refers to the Ricardian view that labor power enjoys comparative advantage based on finished products; the ‘new’ international division defines comparative advantages on the basis of tasks and processes. The new international division of labor was caused in large part by the crisis of Fordism, a process much researched by economic geographers. Empirical findings demonstrate a more complex process of transformation: the international division of labor was shaped by as much by changes in firm cultures and new politico-developmental objectives in developing countries as they were by the vertical distintegration in and relocation of production process by firms based originally in industrialized economies.


Lim, K. F. International division of labor. In N. Castree, D. Richardson, M. F. Goodchild, A. L. Kobayashi, & R. Marston (Eds.), International encyclopedia of geography: people, the earth, environment, and technologyWiley-Blackwell

Deposit Date Nov 18, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title International encyclopedia of geography: people, the earth, environment, and technology
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