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Rousseau and division of labor: from robinson to the economic agent

Claire Pignol

Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, 2007, issue 53, 55-72

Abstract: Rousseau shares with neo-classical theory a characterization of the economic agent, as a producer, based on the figure of Robinson. But whereas neo-classical economy expresses, through Robinson, the rational behavior of any economic agent, Rousseau considers on the contrary that the individual inserted in division of labor risks, unfortunately, to divert from Robinson behavior. For him, division of labor does not add a coordination problem to the problem of individual choice; it corrupts the agent's judgment and desires. A "good" division of labor would be one in which the agent would find again Robinson's judgment and independence. It is not feasible.

JEL-codes: B11 B31 D11 D60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2007:i:53:p:55-72