nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2005‒09‒17
eight papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bristol Business School

  1. On the Unity of Twentieth-Century Ideas By John Ryskamp
  2. When Being Virtuous Makes Sense: Bourgeois Ethics in the Golden Age vs. Embarrassment of the Bourgeoisie Today By Altug Yalcintas; Arjo Klamer
  3. Endogenous Fertility, Mortality and Economic Growth: Can a Malthusian Framework Account for the Conflicting Historical Trends in Population? By Isaac Ehrlich; Jinyoung Kim
  4. A Reflection of the Indian Women in Entrepreneurial World By Kollan Bharti; Parikh Indira J
  5. Drifting Together or Falling Apart? The Empirics of Regional Economic Growth in Post-Unification Germany By Roberta Colavecchio; Declan Curran; Michael Funke
  6. Modelos de Administración y control obrero en un mercado competitivo. El caso de Polaroid de México By Patricia Torres Mejia
  7. Declining Volatility in the U.S. Automobile Industry By Valerie A. Ramey; Daniel J. Vine
  8. When do Countries Introduce Competition Policy? By Forslid, Rikard; Häckner , Jonas; Muren, Astri

  1. By: John Ryskamp
    Abstract: This paper examines 'natural' mathematics--developed to counter perceived paradoxes in early twentieth-century set theory--as an internally consistent unifying factor in the arguments of several disciplines, including economics (Sraffa), physics (Einstein), biology (Kimura), and mathematics (Godel).
    Keywords: Sraffa,Marx,set theory, mathematics, natural mathematics
    JEL: B
    Date: 2005–09–09
  2. By: Altug Yalcintas (Ankara University Turkey); Arjo Klamer (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Have you ever thought of virtues? Temperance, Courage, Justice, Hope, and Love, just to name a few. And, have you ever thought that they could have anything to do with economics? Economists have long ago separated the moral philosophy (ethics) and the science of choice (economics) from each other. They have supposed that economic transactions – producing goods, exchanging them in the market, and eventually consuming them – are entirely independent from the human condition. Deirdre McCloskey, a famous Chicago economist and historian, is now facing the issue in her forthcoming book: capitalism would turn into a disaster if we were to follow economists and put all our faith and hope on Prudence Alone. It can only be rescued if we are able to think capitalism in the light of “Bourgeois Virtues,” as she calls them. True, the name “bourgeoisie” has got a bad connotation in contemporary Holland. The situation is not so different in many other industrial societies. But it was the virtuous attitude of Dutch merchants in the 17th century that made Holland prosperous. Before reaching any conclusions we do better entering into the discussion with McCloskey and recover the language of virtues that will enable us to assess the moral conditions of modern economic societies.
    Keywords: bourgeois virtues, virtue ethics, Simon Schama, Deirdre McCloskey
    JEL: N
    Date: 2005–09–09
  3. By: Isaac Ehrlich; Jinyoung Kim
    Abstract: The 19th century economist, Thomas Robert Malthus, hypothesized that the long-run supply of labor is completely elastic at a fixed wage-income level because population growth tends to outstrip real output growth. Dynamic equilibrium with constant income and population is achieved through equilibrating adjustments in "positive checks" (mortality, starvation) and "preventive checks" (marriage, fertility). Developing economies since the Industrial Revolution, and more recently especially Asian economies, have experienced steady income growth accompanied by sharply falling fertility and mortality rates. We develop a dynamic model of endogenous fertility, longevity, and human capital formation within a Malthusian framework that allows for diminishing returns to labor but also for the role of human capital as an engine of growth. Our model accounts for economic stagnation with high fertility and mortality and constant population and income, as predicted by Malthus, but also for takeoffs to a growth regime and a demographic transition toward low fertility and mortality rates, and a persistent growth in per-capita income.
    JEL: O1 J1 I1
    Date: 2005–09
  4. By: Kollan Bharti; Parikh Indira J
    Abstract: Entrepreneurship amongst women has been a recent concern. Women have become aware of their existence their rights and their work situation. However, women of the middle class are not too eager to alter their role in fear of social backlash. The progress is more visible among upper class families in urban cities. This paper focuses on Women entrepreneur. Any understanding of Indian women, of their identity, and especially of their role taking and breaking new paths, will be incomplete without a walk down the corridors of Indian history where women have paused, lived and internalized various role models. Some have taken entrepreneurship roles where some have opted for employment, some in entertainment field and some for leadership roles while millions of others have taken the role of ideal stereotyped social roles. The paper slides from the era of fifties to the 21st centuries and how transformation has occurred in the women roles. Also the paper talks about the status of women entrepreneurs and the problems faced by them when they ventured out to carve their own niche in the competitive world of business environment.
    Date: 2005–08–26
  5. By: Roberta Colavecchio; Declan Curran; Michael Funke
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to address the question of convergence across German districts in the first decade after German unification by drawing out and emphasising some stylised facts of regional per capita income dynamics. We achieve this by employing non-parametric techniques which focus on the evolution of the entire cross-sectional income distribution. In particular, we follow a distributional approach to convergence based on kernel density estimation and implement a number of tests to establish the statistical significance of our findings. This paper finds that the relative income distribution appears to be stratifying into a trimodal/bimodal distribution.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Growth, Germany, Convergence Clubs, Density Estimation, Modality Tests
    JEL: C14 R11 R12
    Date: 2005–08
  6. By: Patricia Torres Mejia (CIESAS - Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social - - Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT))
    Abstract: El objetivo es analizar el caso de la empresa Polaroid de México, en un afán de comprender cómo se estructura el poder interno dentro de una corporación trasnacional que está en la bolsa de valores, que cuenta con una Consejo Directivo donde están representados los intereses de los accionistas mayoritarios y en donde sólo los trabajadores de las plantas norteamericanas tienen acciones a cuenta de salario, pero al igual que los mexicanos, holandeses y escoceses que laboran en las otras plantas, no participan en las decisiones sobre los proyectos de la corporación. Estos tres últimos administran y trabajan capital, tecnología y materia prima extranjera en instalaciones propiedad de la trasnacional.
    Keywords: Antropologia ; industria; Mexico; control obrero
    Date: 2005–09–06
  7. By: Valerie A. Ramey; Daniel J. Vine
    Abstract: This paper documents the dramatic changes in volatility that occurred in the U.S. auto industry in the early 1980s. Namely, output volatility declined significantly, the covariance of inventory investment and sales became much more negative, and adjustments to output, which in earlier decades stemmed primarily from plants hiring and laying off workers, were more often accomplished with changes in average hours per worker after the mid 1980s. Building on the work of Blanchard (1983), we show how all of these changes could have stemmed from one underlying factor—a decline in the persistence of motor vehicle sales. We use both industry-level data as well as micro data on production schedules from 103 assembly plants in the United States and Canada to document the developments in the early 1980s. We then use the original Holt, Modigliani, Muth and Simon (1960) linear quadratic inventory model to show how a decline in the persistence of sales leads to all of the changes noted above, including the propensity to use intensive margins of adjustment over extensive labor margins, even in the absence of technological change.
    JEL: E2
    Date: 2005–09
  8. By: Forslid, Rikard (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Häckner , Jonas (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Muren, Astri (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper first presents stylised evidence showing how the date of the introduction of competition policy is correlated with country size. Smaller countries tend to adopt competition policy later. We thereafter present a simple theoretical model with countries of different size and firms competing à la Cournot. The predictions of the model are consistent with the empirical regularity presented. An implication of our model is that globalisation may give very different incentives regarding competition policy for small and large developing countries.
    Keywords: Competition policy; anti-trust; trade costs
    JEL: F12 F15 F21 R12
    Date: 2005–06–01

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