That’s the title of an important new study by my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Kevin Stolarick. Economists have long used the firm as their basic unit of analysis. But Marx long ago said it was the kind of work people do that not only defined their class position but is what really propelled the economy. The study makes the case for the emerging field of “occupational organization” as a complement and counterpoint to the more established field of industrial organization. Here’s the abstract.
Industrial Organization studies the behavior of firms, markets and economies through the lens of industry. With the transition to a knowledge or creative economy, occupation has become an equally important consideration for understanding regional economies and markets. Industry alone is no longer a sufficient discriminator to understand regional markets and structures. This paper discusses the rising importance of occupation as a unit of analysis for understanding regional economies and economic structures. However, occupation does not supplant industry as occupation alone is also not sufficient. Rather, an understanding of the organization of occupations and industries across regions and occupations within industries is required. The study of Occupational Organization is needed.
The full study is here.