New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2005‒05‒23
twenty-two papers chosen by

  1. Alfred Marshall and the quantity theory of money By Thomas M. Humphrey
  2. The reform of October 1979: how it happened and why By David E. Lindsey; Athanasios Orphanides; Robert H. Rasche
  3. What Remains from the Volcker Experiment? By Benjamin M. Friedman
  4. The Inflation Target Five Years On By Mervyn King
  5. Yesterday's bad times are today's good old times: retail price changes in the 1890s were smaller, less frequent, and more permanent By Alan Kackmeister
  6. The Political Economy of Financial Liberalisation By Sourafel Girma; Anja Shortland
  7. The role of social capital in the remittance decisions of Mexican migrants from 1969 to 2000 By Kasey Q. Maggard
  8. Income and education of the states of the United States: 1840–2000 By Scott Baier; Sean Mulholland; Chad Turner; Robert Tamura
  9. Deposit insurance, regulatory forbearance and economic growth: implications for the Japanese banking crisis By Robert Dekle; Kenneth Kletzer
  10. Impacto de las regalías petroleras en el Departamento del Meta By Germán Humberto Hernández Leal
  11. Global financial integration: a collection of new research By Mark Carey
  12. Why did income growth vary across states during the Great Depression? By Thomas A. Garrett; David C. Wheelock
  13. Deflation and the international Great Depression: a productivity puzzle By Harold L. Cole; Lee E. Ohanian; Ron Leung
  14. 25 Years of IIF Time Series Forecasting: A Selective Review By Jan G. De Gooijer; Rob J. Hyndman
  15. Faith-Based Charity and Crowd Out during the Great Depression By Jonathan Gruber; Daniel M. Hungerman
  16. Age and Great Invention By Benjamin F. Jones
  17. The Brazilian economy, 1980-1994 By Marcelo de Paiva Abreu
  18. The Modigliani-Miller Theorems: A Cornerstone of Finance By Marco Pagano
  19. Prices and Exchange Rate of Hellenic Drachma (GRD), during 1981- By Stamatopoulos Theodoros
  20. How the gold standard functioned in Portugal: an analysis of some macroeconomic aspects By António Portugal Duarte; João Sousa Andrade
  21. Capital Stock Depreciation, Tax Rules, and Composition of Aggregate Investment By Daniel Levy
  22. Estimates of the Aggregate Quarterly Capital Stock for the Post- War U.S. Economy By Daniel Levy; Haiwei Chen

  1. By: Thomas M. Humphrey
    Abstract: Marshall made at least four contributions to the classical quantity theory. He endowed it with his Cambridge cash-balance money-supply-and-demand framework to explain how the nominal money supply relative to real money demand determines the price level. He combined it with the assumption of purchasing power parity to explain (i) the international distribution of world money under metallic standards and fixed exchange rates, and (ii) exchange rate determination under floating rates and inconvertible paper currencies. He paired it with the idea of money wage and/or interest rate stickiness in the face of price level changes to explain how money-stock fluctuations produce corresponding business-cycle oscillations in output and employment. He applied it to alternative policy regimes and monetary standards to determine their respective capabilities of delivering price-level and macroeconomic stability. In his hands the theory proved to be a powerful and flexible analytical tool.
    Keywords: Economists ; Money
    Date: 2004
  2. By: David E. Lindsey; Athanasios Orphanides; Robert H. Rasche
    Abstract: This study offers a historical review of the monetary policy reform of October 6, 1979, and discusses the influences behind it and its significance. We lay out the record from the start of 1979 through the spring of 1980, relying almost exclusively upon contemporaneous sources, including the recently released transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings during 1979. We then present and discuss in detail the reasons for the FOMC's adoption of the reform and the communications challenge presented to the Committee during this period. Further, we examine whether the essential characteristics of the reform were consistent with monetarism, new, neo, or old-fashioned Keynesianism, nominal income targeting, and inflation targeting. The record suggests that the reform was adopted when the FOMC became convinced that its earlier gradualist strategy using finely tuned interest rate moves had proved inadequate for fighting inflation and reversing inflation expectations. The new plan had to break dramatically with established practice, allow for the possibility of substantial increases in short-term interest rates, yet be politically acceptable, and convince financial markets participants that it would be effective. The new operating procedures were also adopted for the pragmatic reason that they would likely succeed.
    Keywords: Federal Open Market Committee ; Monetary policy - United States
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Benjamin M. Friedman
    Abstract: Under conventional representations of economic policymaking, any innovation is either (1) a change in the objectives that policymakers are seeking to achieve, (2) a change in the choice of policy instrument, or (3) a change in the way auxiliary aspects of economic activity are used to steer policy in the context of time lags. Most public discussion of the 1979 Volcker experiment at the time, and likewise most of the subsequent academic literature, emphasized either the role of quantitative targets for money growth (3) or the use of an open market operating procedure based on a reserves quantity rather than a short-term interest rate (2). With time, however, neither has survived as part of U.S. monetary policymaking. What remains is the question of whether 1979 brought a new, greater weight on the Federal Reserve%u2019s objective of price stability vis-a-vis its objective of output growth and high employment (1). That is certainly one interpretation of the historical record. But the historical evidence is also consistent with the view that the 1970s were exceptional, rather than that the experience since 1979 has differed from what went before as a whole.
    JEL: E52
    Date: 2005–05
  4. By: Mervyn King (Bank of England)
    Abstract: Mervyn King is the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and a co-founder of the LSE Financial Markets Group. On Wednesday 29 October 1997 he gave a public lecture at the LSE to mark the 10th anniversary of the Financial Markets Group and the 5th annivesay of the Bank of England Inflation Target. This Special Paper is the Transcript of that lecture.
  5. By: Alan Kackmeister
    Abstract: This paper compares nominal price rigidity in retail stores during two 28-month periods: 1889-1891 and 1997-1999. The 1889-1891 microdata price quotes show: 1. a lower frequency of price changes; 2. a smaller average magnitude of price changes; 3. fewer "small" price changes; and, 4. fewer temporary price reductions. These differences are consistent with the 1889-1891 period having a higher cost of changing prices resulting in less adjustment to transitory price shocks. Changes in the retailing environment that may have led to a higher cost of changing prices in 1889-1891 are discussed.
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Sourafel Girma; Anja Shortland
    Abstract: Political economy theories of financial development argue that in countries where a narrow elite controls political decisions, financial development may be deliberately obstructed to deny access to finance to potential competitors. This paper empirically examines whether the level of liberalisation of the banking system, the stock market and capital account depend on regime characteristics, using panel data from 26 countries from 1973 - 1999. Our results show that it is predominantly fully democratic regimes that have liberalised financial systems. Countries that are not fully democratic have a lower probability of having liberal banking systems and capital accounts and this probability decreases with increasing democratisation. This suggests that the attractiveness of using financial levers to allocate funds in the economy increases with the amount of competition the government faces.
    Keywords: Financial Repression; Liberalisation;Politics
    JEL: O16 D78 D72
    Date: 2005–05
  7. By: Kasey Q. Maggard
    Abstract: Remittances from migrants in the United States play a major role in the Mexican economy. This paper analyzes the role that different types of social capital play in the remittances decisions of Mexican migrants. Both the decision to remit and the decision on how much to remit are analyzed. The model, based on the idea of enlightened altruism, assumes that the migrant makes his decisions based on his own well-being as well as that of his household in Mexico and his community in Mexico. Social capital is defined as the resources one gains from relationships and networks. Four different types of social capital are identified in this paper: hometown-friendship networks in the United States, family networks in the United States, other-ethnicity-based networks in the United States, and community networks in Mexico. Social capital from friendships proves to be very positively significant in both the decision to remit and how much to remit. However, for all of the observations, familial social capital is not significant in either the decision to remit or how much to remit, although familial social capital has a positive role in both tests. Other-ethnicity-based social capital negatively influences both decisions and is significant in both as well. Social capital in Mexico has a significant negative impact on the two remittance decisions. Beyond social capital, this paper provides insight into other factors that affect remittance decisions including income, bank accounts, proximity to Mexico, exchange rate, interest rate differential, community infrastructure, the number of members in the Mexican household, Mexican household consumption, and time trends. In addition, to investigate time trends further, separate regressions were run on those observations where the last migration took place before 1991 and those whose last migration occurred after 1990.
    Date: 2004
  8. By: Scott Baier; Sean Mulholland; Chad Turner; Robert Tamura
    Abstract: This article introduces original annual average years of schooling measures for each state from 1840 to 2000. The paper also combines original data on real state per-worker output with existing data to provide a more comprehensive series of real state output per worker from 1840 to 2000. These data show that the New England, Middle Atlantic, Pacific, East North Central, and West North Central regions have been educational leaders during the entire time period. In contrast, the South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central regions have been educational laggards. The Mountain region behaves differently than either of the aforementioned groups. Using their estimates of average years of schooling and average years of experience in the labor force, the authors estimate aggregate Mincerian earnings regressions. Their estimates indicate that a year of schooling increased output by between 8 percent and 12 percent, with a point estimate close to 10 percent. These estimates are in line with the body of evidence from the labor literature.
    Date: 2004
  9. By: Robert Dekle; Kenneth Kletzer
    Abstract: An endogenous growth model with financial intermediation is used to show how public deposit insurance and weak prudential regulation can lead to banking crises and permanent declines in economic growth. The impact of regulatory forbearance on investment, saving and asset price dynamics under perfect foresight are derived in the model. The assumptions of the theoretical model are based on essential features of the Japanese financial system and its regulation. The model demonstrates how banking and growth crises can evolve under perfect foresight. The dynamics for economic aggregates and asset prices predicted by the model are shown to be generally consistent with the experience of the Japanese economy and financial system through the 1990s. We also test our maintained hypothesis of rational expectations using asset price data for Japan over the 1980s and 1990s. An implication of our analysis is that delaying the resolution of banking crises adversely affects future economic growth.
    Keywords: Financial crises - Japan ; Deposit insurance ; Bank supervision ; Economic development
    Date: 2004
  10. By: Germán Humberto Hernández Leal
    Abstract: El departamento del Meta extrae petróleo crudo desde el año 1976, ubicándose, en la actualidad, entre los tres mayores productores del país. En consecuencia, con la influencia de su producción y las regalías, que han elevado el PIB departamental y fortalecido sus finanzas públicas, deben garantizarse amplías oportunidades de inversión, tanto pública como privada. El objetivo de este estudio es, entonces, observar el impacto socioeconómico y el manejo dado a los recursos de las regalías petroleras a partir del año 2000, en el que se incrementaron notablemente los recaudos de esta entidad territorial por este concepto. El Meta, está todavía en la fase de aumento de dichos ingresos y tiene aún la oportunidad de dirigirlos hacía proyectos que contribuyan, en general, a consolidar el desarrollo económico regional y, concretamente, a mejorar el nivel de vida de su población, en lo que respecta al acceso a servicios públicos básicos como: acueducto, alcantarillado, energía eléctrica, educación y salud, los cuales no han registrado mejoras significativas, pese a las orientaciones dadas por la normatividad que estipula la destinación de las regalías.
    Keywords: Explotación petrolera,
    Date: 2004–07–31
  11. By: Mark Carey
    Abstract: This introductory note summarizes and draws together the work reported in eight research papers written by staff economists of the Board's Division of International Finance as part of a project on global financial integration. The eight papers are also International Discussion Finance Discussion Papers (IFDPs), the numbers of which are specified on the table of contents that appears herein. When viewing this introduction online, the paper titles appearing on the table-of-contents page are web links that may be used to navigate directly to each paper's on-line file.
    Keywords: International finance ; International economic integration
    Date: 2004
  12. By: Thomas A. Garrett; David C. Wheelock
    Abstract: State per capita incomes became more disperse during the contraction phase of the Great Depression, and less disperse during the recovery phase. We investigate the effects of geography, industry structure, bank failures and fiscal policies on state income growth during each phase. We find that industrial composition and spatial interdependencies contributed to negative state income growth during the contraction, whereas New Deal spending and spatial interdependencies contributed to positive state income growth during the expansion phase. We find no evidence that banking conditions or state government expenditures influenced state income growth during the Great Depression.
    Keywords: Depressions
    Date: 2005
  13. 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.
    Date: 2005
  14. By: Jan G. De Gooijer; Rob J. Hyndman
    Abstract: We review the past 25 years of time series research that has been published in journals managed by the International Institute of Forecasters (Journal of Forecasting 1982-1985; International Journal of Forecasting 1985-2005). During this period, over one third of all papers published in these journals concerned time series forecasting. We also review highly influential works on time series forecasting that have been published elsewhere during this period. Enormous progress has been made in many areas, but we find that there are a large number of topics in need of further development. We conclude with comments on possible future research directions in this field.
    Keywords: Accuracy measures; ARCH model; ARIMA model; Combining; Count data; Densities; Exponential smoothing; Kalman Filter; Long memory; Multivariate; Neural nets; Nonlinearity; Prediction intervals; Regime switching models; Robustness; Seasonality; State space; Structural models; Transfer function; Univariate; VAR.
    JEL: C53 C22 C32
    Date: 2005–05
  15. By: Jonathan Gruber; Daniel M. Hungerman
    Abstract: Interest in religious organizations as providers of social services has increased dramatically in recent years. Churches in the U.S. were a crucial provider of social services through the early part of the twentieth century, but their role shrank dramatically with the expansion in government spending under the New Deal. In this paper, we investigate the extent to which the New Deal crowded out church charitable spending in the 1930s. We do so using a new nationwide data set of charitable spending for six large Christian denominations, matched to data on local New Deal spending. We instrument for New Deal spending using measures of the political strength of a state's congressional delegation, and confirm our findings using a different instrument based on institutional constraints on state relief spending. With both instruments we find that higher government spending leads to lower church charitable activity. Crowd-out was small as a share of total New Deal spending (3%), but large as a share of church spending: our estimates suggest that church spending fell by 30% in response to the New Deal, and that government relief spending can explain virtually all of the decline in charitable church activity observed between 1933 and 1939.
    JEL: H3 N4
    Date: 2005–05
  16. By: Benjamin F. Jones
    Abstract: Great achievements in knowledge are produced by older innovators today than they were a century ago. Using data on Nobel Prize winners and great inventors, I find that the age at which noted innovations are produced has increased by approximately 6 years over the 20th Century. This trend is consistent with a shift in the life-cycle productivity of great minds. It is also consistent with an aging workforce. The paper employs a semi-parametric maximum likelihood model to (1) test between these competing explanations and (2) locate any specific shifts in life-cycle productivity. The productivity explanation receives considerable support. I find that innovators are much less productive at younger ages, beginning to produce major ideas 8 years later at the end of the 20th Century than they did at the beginning. Furthermore, the later start to the career is not compensated for by increasing productivity beyond early middle age. I show that these distinct shifts for knowledge-based careers are consistent with a knowledge-based theory, where the accumulation of knowledge across generations leads innovators to seek more education over time. More generally, the results show that individual innovators are productive over a narrowing span of their life cycle, a trend that reduces -- other things equal -- the aggregate output of innovators. This drop in productivity is particularly acute if innovators' raw ability is greatest when young.
    JEL: O3 O4 J2 I2
    Date: 2005–05
  17. By: Marcelo de Paiva Abreu (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: This paper on the Brazilian Economy is the draft of a chapter to be included in volume IX of the Cambridge History of Latin America, edited by Leslie Bethell . The 1929-1980 period has been covered by the material circulated in Texto para Discussão 0433, November 2000. A third chapter on the period after 1994 will conclude the sequence.
    Date: 2005–01
  18. By: Marco Pagano (Università di Napoli "Federico II", CSEF and CEPR)
    Abstract: The Modigliani-Miller (MM) theorems are a cornerstone of finance for two reasons. The first is substantive and it stems from their nature of “irrelevance propositions”: by providing a crystal-clear benchmark case where capital structure and dividend policy do not affect firm value, by implication these propositions help us understand when these decisions may affect the value of firms, and why. Indeed, the entire subsequent development of corporate finance can be described essentially as exploring the consequences of relaxing the MM assumptions. The second reason for the seminal importance of MM is methodological: by relying on an arbitrage argument, they set a precedent not only within the realm of corporate finance but also (and even more importantly) within that of asset pricing.
    Keywords: Modigliani-Miller theorem, capital structure, leverage, dividend policy
    Date: 2005–05–01
  19. By: Stamatopoulos Theodoros (TEI of Crete, University of Piraeus, Greece & CEFI/Mediterranean University of Aix-Marseille II, France.)
    Abstract: The paper presents empirical results on an import prices equation to the case of the small open Hellenic economy, during her course to the European Monetary Union, in the 1980s until mid-1990s. The analysis employs cointegration theory to examine the long-run co-movements of prices, effective exchange rate of GRD and unit labour cost of the European countries, which export to Greece. Innovation accounting is also used so as to detect the dynamics of the data set. We found slight evidence to support long run equilibrium, however, it was only the Hellenic inflation rate, which was adjusting to the deviations from this. The fragile stability of the system is confirmed by the impulse response functions examination where the exchange rate of the GRD do not converge to its long-run values, even after a 3 years period from the one unit-shock in various innovations. The determinant role of the growth rate of the unit labour cost and therefore of European countries’ prices to the exchange rate of GRD, to the Hellenic inflation rate, and less to the growth rate of the import prices is (1) justified by its high proportion to their variance decomposition and (2) became apparent approximately after 9 months. The latter seems to amount to the “contract-period” in the Magee’s terminology.
    Keywords: Trade Balance Adjustment through exchange rate policies; European Monetary Integration; Unit Root Tests; Co-integration Analysis; Innovation Accounting
    JEL: F3 F4
    Date: 2005–05–20
  20. By: António Portugal Duarte (Faculty of Economics - University of Coimbra & Group for Monetary & Financial Studies - GEMF); João Sousa Andrade (Faculty of Economics - University of Coimbra & Group for Monetary & Financial Studies - GEMF)
    Abstract: This paper studies the Gold Standard in Portugal. It was the first country in Europe to join Great Britain in 1854. The principle of free gold convertibility was abandoned in 1891. For the purposes of a macroeconomic study, we also extended the analysis up to 1913. Our study points out the mistake of comparing different systems with the same indicators. Examination of demand, supply and monetary shocks in the context of a VAR model confirm the idea that the principles of classical economics are appropriate for the Gold Standard in Portugal.
    Keywords: Gold Standard, Macroeconomic Stability, Convertibility, Portugal, VAR and Unit Roots
    JEL: B10 C32 E42 E58 F31 F33 N23
    Date: 2005–05–19
  21. By: Daniel Levy (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: I estimate time varying aggregate capital stock depreciation rates for the post-war U.S. economy using capital-investment evolution equation along with the data on the annual net capital stock and corresponding quarterly gross investment series. I estimate depreciation rates of consumer durable goods, producer durable goods, and nonresidential business structures. The estimation results suggest that the three depreciation rate series have been behaving very differently over time. In particular, I find that over time the implied depreciation rate of nonresidential business structures has remained stable, the implied depreciation rate of consumer durable goods has been steadily declining, while the implied depreciation rate of producer durable goods has been increasing, especially during the last 10–15 years. These findings are interpreted in terms of the changes in the composition of the aggregate nonresidential business fixed and producer durable good capital stocks. In addition, I discuss the implications of the changes introduced during the 1980s in rules and regulations governing a depreciation accounting for tax purposes, and their effect on the estimates of capital depreciation rates derived in this paper. The main argument the paper makes is that technological progress may be leading to accelerated depreciation of producer durable goods and equipment since newer and more advanced technology makes older equipment obsolete. The empirical evidence reported in this paper supports this argument.
    Keywords: Time Varying Depreciation Rate, Capital Stock, Consumer Durable Goods, Producer Durable Goods, Business Structures, Technological Progress
    JEL: E22 C82
    Date: 2005–05–15
  22. By: Daniel Levy (Bar-Ilan University); Haiwei Chen (Westminster College)
    Abstract: We construct quarterly aggregate gross and net capital stock series for the post-war U.S. economy using annual capital stock, capital depreciation, and capital discard figures along with quarterly investment series. We construct nominal and real measures of all three categories in the aggregate capital stock: consumer durable goods, producer durable goods, and business structures. In constructing the nominal series we take into account the changes in capital goods’ prices. The series are constructed using four different methods. Using time- and frequency domain techniques, we compare the constructed series and characterize their short-run, business cycle, and long-run cyclical properties. We find that the constructed series exhibit very different cyclical and shock persistence dynamics. Practical implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Capital Stock, Consumer Durable Goods, Producer Durable Goods, Business Structures, Capital Depreciation and Discard, Capital Goods Prices, Frequency Domain, Cyclical Behavior, Linear Interpolation, Numerical Iteration
    JEL: E22 C82 E32
    Date: 2005–05–15

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