The link between occupation and character began with David Hume and extended by Adam Smith in service to their attack on the doctrine of innate national character. Worker's awareness of the relative approbative rewards to occupation is central to Smith's competitive labor market equilibrium. When the division of labor is extended by growth, the variance of character increases. With this insight Smith was able to offer a race-blind theory of civilization, something that escaped even Hume. 19th century anthropological focus on the variance of character can be seen as a racialization of Smith's work.
© 2016 Palgrave Macmillan UK
DOI: 10.1057/s41302-016-0004-y (hyperlink DOI, include DOI: plus numbers).
The definitive version is available at:
Levy, David M., Sandra J. Peart. "Group Analytics in Adam Smith's Work." Eastern Economic Journal 42, no. 4 (April 9, 2016): 514-527. doi:10.1057/s41302-016-0004-y .
Levy, David M. and Peart, Sandra J., "Group Analytics in Adam Smith's Work" (2016). Jepson School of Leadership Studies articles, book chapters and other publications. 250.