New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2005‒08‒13
24 papers chosen by

  1. Technical Change and the Wage Structure During the Second Industrial Revolution: Evidence from the Merchant Marine, 1865-1912 By Aimee Chin; Chinhui Juhn; Peter Thompson
  2. Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe By Guido Tabellini
  3. Toward Abstraction: Ranking European Painters of the Early Twentieth Century By David W. Galenson
  4. Patience Capital and the Demise of the Aristocracy By Doepke, Matthias; Zilibotti, Fabrizio
  5. Optimal Rent Extraction in Pre-Industrial England and France – Default Risk and Monitoring Costs By Mikael Priks
  6. Selection and Firm Survival: Evidence from the Shipbuilding Industry, 1825-1914 By Peter Thompson
  7. The Killing Game: Reputation and Knowledge in Non-Democratic Succession By Egorov, Georgy; Sonin, Konstantin
  8. Financial Market Analysis Can Go Mad (in the search for irrational behaviour during the South Sea Bubble) By Gary S. Shea
  9. Market Efficiency and the Euro: The case of the Athens Stock Exchange By Theodore Panagiotidis
  10. Accounting for Russia's Post-Crisis Growth By Rudiger Ahrend
  11. Turk Futbol'unda Rekabetin 40.yili (The Fortieth anniversary of Turkish football) (in Turkish) By Ferda HALICIOGLU
  12. Technological change: An analysis of the diffusion and implications of e-business technologies By Philipp Koellinger
  13. El estudio de caso como metodología de investigación: teoría, mecanismos causales, validación By Enrique Yacuzzi
  14. Turkiye 1. Profesyonel Football Ligi Rekabet Duzeyi: 1958-1998 ( Degree of Football Competition in the Turkish First Division: 1958-1998) (In TURKISH) By Ferda HALICIOGLU
  15. What do we do in Post-industrial Society? The Nature of Work and Leisure Time in the 21st Century By Jonathan Gershuny
  16. Alternative measures of the Federal Reserve banks’ cost of equity capital By Michelle L. Barnes; Jose Lopez
  17. The economics of Information Technologies Standards & By Eric Thivant; Laid Bouzidi
  18. Branch Rickey’s Equation Fifty Years Later By Ray C. Fair; Danielle Catambay
  19. GST and the Changing Incidence of Australian Taxes: 1994-95 to 2001-02 By Neil Warren, Ann Harding and Rachel Lloyd
  20. Modernity with democracy?: Gender and governance in the people's planning campaign, Keralam By J. Devika
  21. Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks: How Big Are They and How Much do they Matter for the US Economy? By Kilian, Lutz
  22. Banking Reform in Russia: Problems and Prospects By William Tompson
  23. The Project of the Baron de Hirsch. Success or Failure? By Edgardo Zablotsky
  24. The Ties that Divide. A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System By Flandreau, Marc; Jobst, Clemens

  1. By: Aimee Chin (Department of Economics, University of Houston); Chinhui Juhn (Department of Economics, University of Houston); Peter Thompson (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: Using a large, individual-level wage data set, we examine the impact of a major technological innovation — the development of powerful and economical steam engines — on skill demand and the wage structure among the merchant marine. Our data reveal a complex range of responses to the new technology. The new technology created a new demand for skilled workers, the engineers, while destroying other skills relevant only to sail. There were also contradictory effects among the less skilled. On the one hand, technological innovation may have been deskilling for production work since many experienced able-bodied seamen were replaced by laborers in the engine room. On the other hand, able-bodied seamen employed on steam earned a premium relative to their counterparts on sail. Our data allow us to identify this steam premium as a skill premium rather than a compensating differential. At the managerial level, we identify a skill premium on steam for mates, whose job became more complex on the larger vessels, but not for bosuns whose job did not. In aggregate, there is little change traditional measures of the skill premium, but such measures are too crude to illuminate the rich wage dynamics induced by a major technical innovation.
    Keywords: steam power, wage inequality, skill premium, technical change, merchant marine, Canada
    JEL: J31 N71
    Date: 2004–06
  2. By: Guido Tabellini
    Abstract: Does culture have a causal effect on economic development? The data on European regions suggest that it does. Culture is measured by indicators of individual values and beliefs, such as trust and respect for others, and confidence in individual self-determination. To isolate the exogenous variation in culture, I rely on two historical variables used as instruments: the literacy rate at the end of the XIXth century, and the political institutions in place over the past several centuries. The political and social history of Europe provides a rich source of variation in these two variables at a regional level. The exogenous component of culture due to history is strongly correlated with current regional economic development, after controlling for contemporaneous education, urbanization rates around 1850 and national effects. Moreover, the data do not reject the over-identifying assumption that the two historical variables used as instruments only influence regional development through culture. The indicators of culture used in this paper are also strongly correlated with economic development and with available measures of institutions in a cross-country setting.
    Keywords: culture, economic development, trust, literacy, institutions
    JEL: F10 N13 O10 P10
    Date: 2005
  3. By: David W. Galenson
    Abstract: Paris was the undisputed capital of modern art in the nineteenth century, but during the early twentieth century major innovations began to occur elsewhere in Europe. This paper examines the careers of the artists who led such movements as Italian Futurism, German Expressionism, Holland's De Stijl, and Russia's Suprematism. Quantitative analysis reveals the conceptual basis of the art of Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio de Chirico, Kazimir Malevich, and Edvard Munch, and the experimental basis of the innovations of Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Piet Mondrian. That the invention of abstract art was made nearly simultaneously by the conceptual Malevich and the experimental Kandinsky and Mondrian emphasizes the importance of both deductive and inductive approaches in the history of modern art.
    JEL: J0
    Date: 2005–08
  4. By: Doepke, Matthias; Zilibotti, Fabrizio
    Abstract: We model the decision problem of a parent who chooses an occupation and invests in the patience of her children. The two choices complement each other: patient individuals choose occupations with a steep income profile; a steep income profile, in turn, leads to a strong incentive to invest in patience. In equilibrium, society becomes stratified along occupational lines. The most patient people are those in occupations requiring the most education and experience. The theory can account for the demise of the British land-owning aristocracy in the nineteenth century, when rich landowners proved unable to profit from new opportunities arising with industrialization, and were thus surpassed by industrialists rising from the middle classes.
    Keywords: British aristocracy; capital accumulation; discount factor; income distribution; Industrial Revolution; patience
    JEL: N23 O14 O15 Z10
    Date: 2005–06
  5. By: Mikael Priks
    Abstract: Beginning in the mid-seventeenth century, England changed its system of raising revenues from tax farming, combined with the granting of monopolies, to direct collection within the government administration. Rents were then transferred from tax farmers and monopolists to the central government such that English public finances improved dramatically compared to both the old system and to its major competitor, France. We offer a theory explaining this development. In our view, a cost of tax farming is the ex-ante inefficiency due to the auction mechanism while a cost of direct collection is the ex-post monitoring cost the government incurs to prevent theft. When the monitoring cost is high the government therefore allows tax farmers to extract large rents to enhance their up-front payments. In addition, because revenues materialize late under direct collection, and since the government faces limited borrowing, a high default risk makes a system of up-front collection attractive. The results of the model are consistent with historical facts from England and France.
    JEL: H11 N43
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Peter Thompson (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: Several theories of firm performance can explain the well-known observation that survival is positively related to age. However, a more mundane explanation – selection bias driven by variations in firm quality – may also underlie the phenomenon. This paper employs a 90-year plant-level panel data set on the US iron and steel shipbuilding industry of the 19th and early 20th centuries to discriminate between the two explanations. The shipbuilding industry exhibits the usual joint dependency of survival on age and size, but this dependency is eliminated after controlling for heterogeneity by using pre-entry experience as a proxy for firm quality. The evidence points to a dominant role for selection bias in creating the age-dependency of survival. At the same time, pre-entry experience is found to have a large and extremely persistent effect on survival, and this finding is inconsistent with standard explanations for the role of pre-entry experience on firm performance.
    Keywords: shipbuilding, firm survival, age, selection, unobserved heterogeneity
    JEL: N16 L11 L25
    Date: 2004–03
  7. By: Egorov, Georgy; Sonin, Konstantin
    Abstract: The winner of a battle for a throne can either execute or spare the loser; if the loser is spared, he contends the throne in the next period. Executing the losing contender gives the winner an additional quiet period, but then his life is at risk if he loses to some future contender who might be, in equilibrium, too frightened to spare him. The trade-off is analysed within a dynamic complete information game, with, potentially, an infinite number of long-term players. In an equilibrium, decisions to execute predecessors are history-dependent. With a dynastic rule in place, incentives to kill the predecessor are much higher than in non-hereditary dictatorships. The historical part of our analytic narrative contains a detailed analysis of two types of non-democratic succession: hereditary rule of the Osmanli dynasty in the Ottoman Empire in 1281–1922, and non-hereditary military dictatorships in Venezuela in 1830–1964.
    Keywords: dictatorship; economic history; positive political theory; succession
    JEL: C73 D72 N40
    Date: 2005–06
  8. By: Gary S. Shea
    Abstract: An investigation into the legal and political history of South Sea Company subscription finance shows that the subscription contracts had default options built into them, as was typically the case in eighteenth-century subscription financing. Company records and contemporary pamphlet literature show that people understood the subscription finance mechanics that were stated in law. A fair presentation of South Sea share value data also supports this view. Thus we conclude that the analyses published in this Review by Dale, Johnson and Tang were irretrievably flawed and could only be supported by a counterfactual presentation of history.
    Keywords: South Sea Company, Royal African Company, Financial Revolution, Bubble Act, subscription shares, options markets.
    JEL: G13 N23
    Date: 2005–07
  9. By: Theodore Panagiotidis (Loughborough University)
    Abstract: The behaviour of an emerging market, the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), after the introduction of the euro is investigated. The underlying assumption is that stock prices would be more transparent; their performance easier to compare; the exchange rate risk eliminated and as a result we expect the new currency to strengthen the argument, in favour of the EMH. The General ASE Composite Index and the FTSE/ASE 20, which consists of “high capitalisation” companies, are used. Five statistical tests are employed to test the residuals of the random walk model: the BDS, McLeod-Li, Engle LM, Tsay and Bicovariance test. Bootstrap and asymptotic values of these tests are estimated. Alternative models from the GARCH family (GARCH, EGARCH and TGARCH) are also presented in order to investigate the behaviour of the series. Lastly, linear, asymmetric and non-linear error correction models are estimated and compared.
    Keywords: Non-Linearity, Market Efficiency, Random Walk, GARCH, non- linear error correction
    JEL: C22 C52 G10
    Date: 2005–07–29
  10. By: Rudiger Ahrend
    Abstract: <P>This paper provides an in depth analysis of Russia’s recent growth, with a view to understanding the prospects for its continuation. It examines in detail the main drivers of growth, as well as the main developments and policies that have been underlying it. A key finding is that the role of the oil sector, and particularly privately owned oil companies, has been vastly more important in driving economic growth since 2001 than most analyses have recognised. The oil sector’s contribution to growth has hitherto been severely underestimated as official data do not account for transfer pricing and thus fail to reflect fully the importance of the hydrocarbon sector in the Russian economy. The paper further argues that prudent postcrisis fiscal policy, by balancing the federal budget over the oil-price cycle, has also been essential for creating a macroeconomic environment conducive to strong growth. Looking forward, it is argued that - given its economic structure - Russia is bound to ...</P> <P>Bilan de la croissance après la crise en Russie <P>Cet article analyse en profondeur la croissance économique récente en Russie afin de comprendre les perspectives de sa continuité. L’article examine en détail les principaux moteurs de la croissance, ainsi que les principales évolutions et politiques sous-jacentes. Un des principaux résultats est que le rôle du secteur pétrolier, en particulier les compagnies pétrolières privées, a été considérablement plus important comme moteur de la croissance depuis 2001 que ne l’ont constaté la plupart des analystes. La contribution à la croissance du secteur pétrolier a jusqu’à présent été grandement sous-estimée à cause des données officielles qui ne prennent pas en compte l’utilisation des prix de transfert, et par conséquent ne reflètent pas entièrement l’importance du secteur des hydrocarbures dans l’économie russe. Cet article fait également le point sur la politique budgétaire prudente d’après la crise, qui en gardant le budget fédéral équilibré sur l’ensemble du cycle des cours ...</P>
    Keywords: Economic growth, croissance économique, Transition, Transition, fiscal policy, politique budgétaire, monetary policy, politique monétaire, gas, gaz, Russia, Russie, Real Exchange Rate, Capital Flight, Natural Resources, Dutch Disease, Resource Curse, Oil, Property Rights, Diversification, taux de change réel, fuite des capitaux, ressources naturelles, syndrome néerlandais, malédiction des ressources, pétrole, droits de propriété, diversification
    JEL: E6 O1 O52 P2 Q43
    Date: 2004–09–30
  11. By: Ferda HALICIOGLU (The University of Greenwich)
    Abstract: This study is based on a statistical analysis of the Turkish professional football and provides a football competition index for over 40 years.
    Keywords: Football competition, Turkish football
    JEL: P Q Z
    Date: 2005–08–01
  12. By: Philipp Koellinger (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This is a monograph that presents both a comprehensive literature review and original research results on the diffusion and the implications of e-business technologies. The diffusion of e-business technologies among firms is regarded as part of the ongoing process of technological change and economic development. It is shown that increasing returns to adoption can arise if the technologies do not substitute each other in their functionalities, leading to an endogenous acceleration mechanism of technological development. Hence, the probability to adopt any e- business technology is hypothesized to be an increasing function of previously adopted, related technologies. Early mover advantages can exist until the early mover has exhausted all possibilities of the new technological paradigm that promise positive returns on investment. Thus, history matters for the technological development of a firm and adoption decision today affect the expected value of any other related technology in the future. The existence of the endogenous acceleration mechanism has important implications for the management of new technologies, the performance of enterprises, the development of market structures and entire economies. The theory is empirically tested and supported in four independent inquiries, using two different exceptionally large datasets and different econometric methods. The existence of a growing digital divide among companies is demonstrated for the period between 1994 and 2002. In addition, the adoption of new e-business technologies by firms creates opportunities to conduct innovation, either to reduce the costs for a given output, to create a new product or service, or to deliver products to customers in a way that is new to the enterprise. Hence, it is argued that the adoption of new technologies does have strategic relevance for firms. Empirical evidence is presented showing that e-business technologies are currently an important enabler of innovations. It is found that innovative firms are more likely to grow. Also, e-business related innovations are at the very least not inferior to traditional kinds of innovations in terms of simultaneous occurrence with superior financial performance of enterprises. The study takes an interdisciplinary approach by relating both to the economics and the management literature, with the objective to show complementarities between both research fields and to draw conclusions for both kinds of audiences.
    Keywords: Technological change, innovation, diffusion, adoption, multiple related technologies, e-business, ICT, firm performance, endogenous acceleration, competitive advantage
    JEL: O3 L0 C1
    Date: 2005–07–29
  13. By: Enrique Yacuzzi
    Abstract: Este trabajo presenta el método del caso como herramienta de investigación en las ciencias sociales. Desde el diseño hasta la presentación de sus resultados, el método está estrechamente vinculado con la teoría. Una teoría es una respuesta a una pregunta del tipo "por qué" o "cómo", y encierra generalmente un mecanismo causal. El caso permite indagar detalladamente en este mecanismo, con mayor profundidad que los estudios estadísticos. Su ámbito de aplicación está bien definido: estudia temas contemporáneos sobre los cuales el investigador no tiene control y responde a preguntas de tipo "cómo" y "por qué". Después de comparar el caso de investigación con el de enseñanza, el artículo realiza algunas consideraciones epistemológicas y explica la lógica - propia del estudio de casos - de la generalización hacia la teoría. También presenta la perspectiva convencional de la validación de los estudios empíricos, junto a una concepción heterodoxa de la validación. El trabajo es una invitación a aplicar el método del caso en la creación de teorías para la administración de empresas. Para facilitar esta tarea, incluye una serie de recomendaciones sobre cómo facilitar la construcción de teorías. Además, los apéndices presentan los pasos de un estudio, describen los tipos de diseño más usuales, y tratan el concepto de causalidad - central a la comprensión de los mecanismos explicativos incorporados en una teoría - desde distintas perspectivas.
    Keywords: Estudio de caso, metodología de investigación social, teoría, causalidad, validación.
    JEL: M19 B41 B49
    Date: 2005–08
  14. By: Ferda HALICIOGLU (The University of Greenwich)
    Abstract: This study is primarily concerned with the degree of professional football competition in the Turkish first division football since its establishment. Moreover, this article aims to find the optimal number of football teams in a league as well as presenting the effects of the changes in point system on the degree of football competition. Finally, the Turkish first division's football competition level is compared to the selected European leagues.
    Keywords: Football competition, optimal league, Turkish football, European Football
    JEL: L50 H80
    Date: 2005–08–01
  15. By: Jonathan Gershuny (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: There are three meanings of “industrial”, the first two taking industry as a concrete noun, the third as an abstract: • “industries” as a general term for branches of economic activity or production • “industry” as a particular branch, manufacturing • “industry” as a description of an approach to the activity of work. And there are (at least) three ways in which we have now passed beyond the “industrial” phase of economic development: • The emergence of “value chains” as a new form of economic organisations: the disaggregation of industrial structure and the growing importance of human capital versus industrial capital. • Self-servicing versus service industries: understanding technical change by thinking of “systems of provision for wants”, which combine production, reproduction and consumption. • Developing Veblen’s leisure theory: industry is progressively replaced by exploit as a core characteristic of paid work. The arguments that follow rely (mostly, for the moment) on empirical evidence from time diary studies.
    Keywords: 21, family, leisure
    Date: 2005–06
  16. By: Michelle L. Barnes; Jose Lopez
    Abstract: The Monetary Control Act of 1980 requires the Federal Reserve System to provide payment services to depository institutions through the twelve Federal Reserve Banks at prices that fully reflect the costs a private-sector provider would incur, including a cost of equity capital (COE). Although Fama and French (1997) conclude that COE estimates are “woefully” and “unavoidably” imprecise, the Reserve Banks require such an estimate every year. We examine several COE estimates based on the CAPM model and compare them using econometric and materiality criteria. Our results suggests that the benchmark CAPM model applied to a large peer group of competing firms provides a COE estimate that is not clearly improved upon by using a narrow peer group, introducing additional factors into the model, or taking account of additional firm-level data, such as leverage and line-of-business concentration. Thus, a standard implementation of the benchmark CAPM model provides a reasonable COE estimate, which is needed to impute costs and set prices for the Reserve Banks’ payments business.
    Keywords: Financial services industry ; Federal Reserve banks - Service charges ; Federal Reserve banks - Costs
    Date: 2005
  17. By: Eric Thivant (University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 - Centre de Recherche de l'IAE - Equipe de Recherche SICOMOR); Laid Bouzidi (University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 - Centre de Recherche de l'IAE - Equipe de Recherche SICOMOR)
    Abstract: This research investigates the problem of Information Technologies Standards or Recommendations from an economical point of view. In our competitive economy, most enterprises adopted standardization’s processes, following recommendations of specialized Organisations such as ISO (International Organisation for Standardization), W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and ISOC (Internet Society) in order to reassure their customers. But with the development of new and open internet standards, different enterprises from the same sector fields, decided to develop their own IT standards for their activities. So we will hypothesis that the development of a professional IT standard required a network of enterprises but also a financial support, a particular organizational form and a precise activity to describe. In order to demonstrate this hypothesis and understand how professional organise themselves for developing and financing IT standards, we will take the Financial IT Standards as an example. So after a short and general presentation of IT Standards for the financial market, based on XML technologies, we will describe how professional IT standards could be created (nearly 10 professional norms or recommendations appear in the beginning of this century). We will see why these standards are developed outside the classical circles of standardisation organisations, and what could be the “key factors of success” for the best IT standards in Finance. We will use a descriptive and analytical method, in order to evaluate the financial support and to understand these actors’ strategies and the various economical models described behind. Then, we will understand why and how these standards have emerged and been developed. We will conclude this paper with a prospective view on future development of standards and recommendations.
    Keywords: information technologies, financial standards, development of standards, evaluation of the economical costs of standards
    JEL: L
    Date: 2005–07–27
  18. By: Ray C. Fair (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Danielle Catambay
    Abstract: This paper analyzes Branch Rickey’s 1954 equation in a regression context. The results for 1934–1953 are consistent with Rickey’s conclusions, and the equation holds up well when extended 51 years. Two of the main conclusions are that on-base percentage dominates batting average and that offense and defense are equally important. Perhaps Rickey was as good as he thought he was?
    Keywords: Branch Rickey’s Equation, On-Base Percentage
    JEL: C2
    Date: 2005–07
  19. By: Neil Warren, Ann Harding and Rachel Lloyd
    Abstract: The past decade has seen major reforms to the design of Australia’s tax system. This paper outlines these reforms and examines their distributional impact across the household income spectrum. While the authors estimated tax incidence in Australia prior to the July 2000 (ANTS) reforms (which included the introduction of a 10% GST), no comprehensive estimates of the impact of these tax reforms have been made since that date. This paper addresses this deficiency. It finds that the personal income tax has become more income redistributive and more progressive over the period 1994-95 to 2001-02. However, the broad-based indirect tax reforms implemented over this period have become marginally more regressive and, because they have become more important as a revenue source, they now impact more adversely on post-tax income distribution. In the case of taxes other than the personal income tax and the reformed indirect taxes, they have become less regressive and have increased in importance. Overall, the progressivity of the Australian tax system and the distribution of post-tax income appears to have remained remarkably stable over the period.
    Keywords: Australia, Tax system, reform, income distribution, tax incidence, progressivity, tax
    Date: 2005–06–29
  20. By: J. Devika (Centre for Development Studies)
    Abstract: This paper takes advantage of the possibility of a critical perspective afforded by the feminist perspective in analyzing the interactions between political and civil societies in the shaping of specific developmental interventions by the state, to examine the People's Planning Campaign (PPC) in Keralam. Implemented in the mid-90s, this was hailed as an important experiment in mainstreaming gender concerns in development. The objectives of this paper go beyond reporting on the degree of success/failure of the effort at mainstreaming gender concerns in the PPC, though it draws upon many such reports. It will raise a few questions essentially historical in nature: given the fact that political society in Keralam has never displayed any acute concern for gender justice, and that this was a marginal issue even within civil society here, under what conditions did it come to be acknowledged as a key element in a political experiment as momentous as the PPC? Gender justice has been addressed in people's planning (at least in some locations, to some extent) in some specific ways, excluding other ways- what determines this selection process?. In the first section of this paper I trace the emergence of civil and political societies in 20th century Keralam, with special attention to the ways in which they have been gendered, and simultaneously worked as gendering spaces. This account may help us to understand how gender justice came to be both `in' and `out', at one and the same time, in the momentous political experiment of the PPC. In the second section, several points of agreement between numerous reports on gender and governance in the PPC are taken up and discussed in the wider historical context. These reports generally point out, for instance, that that the active involvement of social movements like the KSSP in democratic decentralization has not effected a significant change in the general attitude of misogyny prevalent in political society. The conclusion considers the implications of some of two significant developments-the entry of women into local governance, and the wide reach attained by the women SHGs _ for the future of gender politics in Kerala.
    Keywords: Gender Justice, Framework of Democracy, Framework of Modernity, Civil Society, Political Society
    Date: 2005–02
  21. By: Kilian, Lutz
    Abstract: Since the oil crises of the 1970s there has been strong interest in the question of how oil production shortfalls caused by wars and other exogenous political events in OPEC countries affect oil prices, US real GDP growth and US CPI inflation. This study focuses on the modern OPEC period since 1973. The results differ along a number of dimensions from the conventional wisdom. First, it is shown that under reasonable assumptions the timing, magnitude and even the sign of exogenous oil supply shocks may differ greatly from current state-of-the-art estimates. Second, the common view that the case for the exogeneity of at least the major oil price shocks is strong is supported by the data for the 1980/81 and 1990/91 oil price shocks, but not for other oil price shocks. Notably, statistical measures of the net oil price increase relative to the recent past do not represent the exogenous component of oil prices. In fact, only a small fraction of the observed oil price increases during crisis periods can be attributed to exogenous oil production disruptions. Third, compared to previous indirect estimates of the effects of exogenous supply disruptions on real GDP growth that treated major oil price increases as exogenous, the direct estimates obtained in this paper suggest a sharp drop after five quarters rather than an immediate and sustained reduction in economic growth for a year. They also suggest a spike in CPI inflation three quarters after the exogenous oil supply shock rather than a sustained increase in inflation, as is sometimes conjectured. Finally, the results of this paper put into perspective the importance of exogenous oil production shortfalls in the Middle East. It is shown that exogenous oil supply shocks made remarkably little difference overall for the evolution of US real GDP growth and CPI inflation since the 1970s, although they did matter for some historical episodes.
    Keywords: Counterfactual; Economic activity; Exogeneity; inflation; oil shock; Oil supply; war; weak instruments
    JEL: C32 E32
    Date: 2005–07
  22. By: William Tompson
    Abstract: <P>This paper examines the state of the Russian banking sector in 2004 and assesses the most important reform initiatives of the last two years, including deposit insurance legislation, a major reform of the framework for prudential supervision, steps to increase transparency in the sector, and measures to facilitate the development of specific banking activities. The overall conclusion that emerges from this analysis is that the Russian authorities’ approach to banking reform is to be commended. The design of the reform strategy reflects an awareness of the need for a ‘good fit’ between its major elements, and the main lines of the reform address some of the principal problems of the sector. The major lacuna in the Russian bank reform strategy concerns the future of state-owned banks. Despite a long-standing official commitment to reducing the role of the state – and of the Bank of Russia in particular – in the ownership of credit institutions, there is still a need for a much more ...</P> <P>La réforme du secteur bancaire en russie - les enjeux et les perspectives <P>Cet article examine la situation du secteur bancaire russe en 2004 et évalue les principales initiatives de réforme prises au cours des deux dernières années – la législation sur l’assurance des dépôts, une vaste refonte du cadre de la surveillance prudentielle, des mesures pour renforcer la transparence du secteur, et l’adoption de dispositions visant à faciliter le développement de certaines activités bancaires. De façon générale, il ressort de cette analyse que l’on peut saluer l’approche suivie par les autorités russes en matière de réforme bancaire. La conception de la stratégie de réforme témoigne d’une sensibilité à la nécessité de trouver une «bonne harmonie» entre ces principales composantes, et les grands axes de la réforme s’attaquent à certains des grands problèmes du secteur. La plus grande lacune de la stratégie russe pour la réforme du secteur bancaire concerne l’avenir des banques publiques. En dépit d’un engagement officiel de longue date à réduire le rôle de ...</P>
    Keywords: corruption, transparency, transparence, banking, deposit insurance, Russia, economy, state ownership, Russie, économie, entreprises d’État, prudential supervision, accounting, international financial reporting standards, Sberbank, activités bancaires, assurance de dépôts, surveillance prudentielle, comptabilité, normes comptables internationales, corruption, Sberbank
    JEL: E58 G21 G28 O52 P29
    Date: 2004–11–09
  23. By: Edgardo Zablotsky
    Abstract: In 1891, Baron Maurice de Hirsch founded the Jewish Colonization Association (J.C.A.), through which he would manage a gigantic social welfare project concerning the immigration of thousands of people from the Russian Empire towards Argentina, and their settlement in agricultural colonies. In this paper, we evaluate the result of this project, which is generally qualified as a failure by historians on the subject. We hold an alternative hypothesis, wholly opposed to this conclusion: if the social evaluation of the project were carried out, taking into account the externality it generated, the conclusion would be that the project was highly successful; even though its private evaluation ,which implicitly is the usually made evaluation, would lead to the conclusion that it was a total failure. This externality is reflected in the number of immigrants arriving in the country independently of the J.C.A., but who would have never come here were it not be for Baron de Hirsch’s project, since it placed Argentina on the map of East European Jewry, in a world in which the dissemination of information was slow and deficient.
    Keywords: Externalities, Baron Maurice de Hirsch, Jewish Colonization Association
    JEL: I38 N96
    Date: 2005–05
  24. By: Flandreau, Marc; Jobst, Clemens
    Abstract: This paper provides a new methodology to map international monetary relations in the 19th century. We identify an index of international liquidity and, applying techniques borrowed from formal network analysis (in particular, blockmodelling) we produce a formal ranking of currencies according to their degree of international circulation. The resulting indices are powerful tools to study the logic of the emergence of international currencies, as well as useful controls for cross-section regressions.
    Keywords: international monetary system; key currency; networks; pound sterling
    JEL: F31 N32
    Date: 2005–07

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