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Iowa Ag Review

Abstract

S uccess in the business of producing agricultural commodities goes to those with the lowest production costs and highest volume, both of which are best achieved through specialization. The payoffs from getting big and specialized are not unique to farming. Frederick Taylor’s principles of scientific management in the early twentieth century accompanied vast changes in the way that goods were manufactured. Henry Ford’s new assembly plants dramatically increased labor productivity by having each worker become adept at a single task. The payoff from increased specialization and control over the work environment allowed both corporate profits and worker pay to increase while simultaneously dropping the price of manufactured goods enough so that most working families could buy them.

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