nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2005‒04‒09
four papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
London South Bank University

  1. Deflation and the International Great Depression: A Productivity Puzzle By Harold L. Cole; Lee E. Ohanian; Ron Leung
  2. Births, Deaths, and New Deal Relief during the Great Depression By Price V. Fishback; Michael R. Haines; Shawn Kantor
  3. A Tale of Two Labor Markets: Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Britain and the U.S. Since 1850 By Jason Long; Joseph Ferrie
  4. MODELLI DI SVILUPPO LOCALE. I DISTRETTI INDUSTRIALI E LA PICCOLA E MEDIA IMPRESA: L’ESPERIENZA SPAGNOLA By Nicola Boccella

  1. By: Harold L. Cole; Lee E. Ohanian; Ron Leung
    Abstract: This paper presents a dynamic, stochastic general equilibrium study of the causes of the international Great Depression. We use a fully articulated model to assess the relative contributions of deflation/monetary shocks, which are the most commonly cited shocks for the Depression, and productivity shocks. We find that productivity is the dominant shock, accounting for about 2/3 of the Depression, with the monetary shock accounting for about 1/3. The main reason deflation doesn't account for more of the Depression is because there is no systematic relationship between deflation and output during this period. Our finding that a persistent productivity shock is the key factor stands in contrast to the conventional view that a continuing sequence of unexpected deflation shocks was the major cause of the Depression. We also explore what factors might be causing the productivity shocks. We find some evidence that they are largely related to industrial activity, rather than agricultural activity, and that they are correlated with real exchange rates and non-deflationary shocks to the financial sector.
    JEL: E0 N1
    Date: 2005–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11237&r=his
  2. By: Price V. Fishback; Michael R. Haines; Shawn Kantor
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of New Deal relief programs on infant mortality, noninfant mortality and general fertility rates in major U.S. cities between 1929 and 1940. We estimate the effects using a variety of specifications and techniques for a panel of 114 cities for which data on relief spending during the 1930s were available. The significant rise in relief spending during the New Deal contributed to reductions in infant mortality, suicide rates, and some other causes of death, while contributing to increases in the general fertility rate. Estimates of the relationship between economic activity and death rates suggest that many types of death rates were pro-cyclical, similar to Ruhm%u2019s (2000) findings for the modern U.S.. Estimates of the relief costs associated with saving a life (adjusted for inflation) are similar to estimates found in studies of modern social insurance programs.
    JEL: I38 J11 N32
    Date: 2005–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11246&r=his
  3. By: Jason Long; Joseph Ferrie
    Abstract: The U.S. both tolerates more inequality than Europe and believes its economic mobility is greater than Europe's. These attitudes and beliefs help account for differences in the magnitude of redistribution through taxation and social welfare spending. In fact, the U.S. and Europe had roughly equal rates of inter-generational occupational mobility in the late twentieth century. We extend this comparison into the late nineteenth century using longitudinal data on 23,000 nationally-representative British and U.S. fathers and sons. The U.S. was substantially more mobile then Britain through 1900, so in the experience of those who created the U.S. welfare state in the 1930s, the U.S. had indeed been "exceptional." The margin by which U.S. mobility exceeded British mobility was erased by the 1950s, as U.S. mobility fell compared to its nineteenth century levels.
    JEL: J6 N3
    Date: 2005–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11253&r=his
  4. By: Nicola Boccella
    Date: 2005–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ufg:qdsems:08-2005&r=his

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