nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2005‒10‒15
twelve papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bristol Business School

  1. "The Whig Fable of American Tobacco, 1895-1913" By Leslie Hannah
  2. How Much Did The Liberty Shipbuilders Forget? By Peter Thompson
  3. "the Extent and Implications of Director Interlocking in the Pre-war Japanese Banking Industry" By Tetsuji Okazaki; Michiru Sawada; Kazuki Yokoyama
  4. The impact of women’s educational and economic resources on fertility. Spanish birth cohorts 1901-1950 By Pau Baizán; Enriqueta Camps
  5. Exercises in Futility: Post-War Automobile-Trade Negotiations between Japan and the United States By Donald W. Katzner; Mikhail J. Nikomarvo
  6. Fifteen Years of Economic Reform in Russia: What has been Achieved? What Remains to be Done? By Rudiger Ahrend; William Tompson
  7. "Technology Adoption, Learning by Doing, and Productivity: A Study of Steel Refining Furnaces" By Tsuyoshi Nakamura; Hiroshi Ohashi
  8. Les théories de la planification et la régulation des systèmes économiques. By Irina Peaucelle
  9. "The Fall of "Organ Bank" Relationships During the Wave of Bank Failures and Consolidations: Experience in Pre-war Japan" By Tetsuji Okazaki; Michiru Sawada; Ke Wang
  10. The Last Great Depression of the XXth Century: A Dynamical Approach By iulia igescu
  11. Making Explosive Cocktails: recipes and costs for 26 Crises from 1823 to 2003 By Néstor Adrián Amado; Ana María Cerro; Osvaldo Meloni
  12. L'économie politique néo-smithienne en france By Alain Béraud; Philippe Steiner; Jean-Jacques Gislain

  1. By: Leslie Hannah (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: At the beginning of the twentieth century, US tobacco manufacturers were not forging ahead of their leading European counterparts in technology, productivity or managerial techniques. On some indicators, including per capita cigarette consumption, the USA strikingly lagged much of the rest of the world. Fiscal discrimination against cigarettes, amplified by the monopoly pricing, strategic choices, and organizational overload of the American Tobacco trust, are among the retarding factors.
    Date: 2005–07
  2. By: Peter Thompson
    Abstract: This paper produces new estimates of the rate of organizational forgetting in the well-known case study of US wartime ship production. I show that estimation is easily colored by problems of unobserved product heterogeneity and sensitivity to specification of the learning curve. Using data recently constructed from primary sources at the National Archives, I produce new estimates of organizational forgetting at the rate of no more than 4 percent, and possibly less than zero percent, per month. These are much smaller rates than previously reported. However, the paper also stresses the fact that our ability to obtain reliable estimates of rates of organizational forgetting is extremely limited.
    Keywords: learning by doing, organizational forgetting, technological change
    JEL: L1 O33
    Date: 2003–12
  3. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Michiru Sawada (Nagoya Gakuin University); Kazuki Yokoyama (Faculty of Economics, Nagoya City University)
    Abstract: In pre-war Japan, many banks were controlled by industrial companies through capital and personal relationships. Those banks are known as "organ banks" (kikan ginko). Organ banks engaged in unsound lending to their related companies, which resulted in damage to the banks' financial positions and consequently destabilized the financial system. This is a popularly held view of the financial history of pre-war Japan (organ bank hypothesis). However, this view has been based largely on case studies and casual observations. In this paper we examine the organ bank hypothesis using quantitative data and econometric methodology. To measure the extent of connections between banks and non-banking companies, we compiled a comprehensive database of directors and auditors of banks and non-banking companies in 1926. It was found that interlocking of directors and auditors between banks and non-banking companies was very pervasive. More than 80% of ordinary banks had at least one director or auditor who was at the same time a director or auditor of at least one non-banking company. Also, regression analyses confirmed that director interlocking had a negative effect on bank performance, especially for smaller banks.
    Date: 2005–07
  4. By: Pau Baizán; Enriqueta Camps
    Abstract: In this chapter we portray the effects of female education and professional achievement on fertility decline in Spain over the period 1920-1980 (birth cohorts of 1900-1950). A longitudinal econometric approach is used to test the hypothesis that the effects of women’s education in the revaluing of their time had a very significant influence on fertility decline. Although in the historical context presented here improvements in schooling were on a modest scale, they were continuous (with the interruption of the Civil War) and had a significant impact in shaping a model of low fertility in Spain. We also stress the relevance of this result in a context such as the Spanish for which liberal values were absent, fertility control practices were forbidden, and labour force participation of women was politically and socially constrained.
    Keywords: Fertility decline, human capital, intergenerational transfers of knowledge
    JEL: J22 J24 J13 J16
    Date: 2005–09
  5. By: Donald W. Katzner (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Mikhail J. Nikomarvo
    Abstract: This paper traces the history of the failed automobile-trade negotiations between Japan and the United States from the 1970’s to the mid 1990’s. It attributes the failure of those negotiations to a lack of understanding on both sides of not only what was motivating the other side, but also the unalterable cultural, social, and economic constraints under which the other side operated. JEL Categories: F13
    Keywords: automobile industry, US-Japanese trade negotiations
    Date: 2005–10
  6. By: Rudiger Ahrend; William Tompson
    Abstract: The paper provides an overview of the course of economic reform and the performance of the Russian economy since the early 1990s and an analysis of the structural reform challenges ahead. It assesses the contribution of institutional and structural reforms to economic performance over the period, before turning to the question of where further structural reforms could make the biggest contribution to improved performance. Three major conclusions emerge. First, there is still a great deal to be done to strengthen the basic institutions of the market economy. While the Russian authorities have embarked on some impressive – and often technically complex – ‘second-generation’ reforms, many ‘first-generation’ reforms have yet to be completed. Secondly, the central challenges of Russia’s second decade of reform are primarily concerned with reforming state institutions. Thirdly, the pursuit of reforms across a broad front could enable Russia to profit from complementarities that exist among various strands of reform. <P>Quinze ans de réformes économiques en Russie L’article donne un aperçu du déroulement des réformes économiques et des performances de l’économie russe depuis le début des années 90, ainsi qu’une analyse des enjeux des futures réformes structurelles. L’article considère la contribution des réformes institutionnelles et structurelles à la performance économique durant la période, avant d’examiner dans quels domaines des réformes structurelles additionnelles pourraient avoir la plus grande contribution à l’amélioration de la performance économique. Il en résulte trois conclusions majeures. Premièrement, il reste encore beaucoup à faire pour renforcer les institutions de base d’une économie de marché. Bien que les autorités russes aient commencé quelques réformes de « seconde génération » qui sont impressionnantes – et souvent techniquement complexes-, il reste un bon nombre de réformes de « première génération » à achever. Deuxièmement, les défis centraux de la deuxième décennie de réformes concernent en première ligne la réforme des institutions de l’État. Troisièmement, la poursuite des réformes sur un large front permettrait à la Russie de profiter des complémentarités existantes entre les différents axes des réformes.
    Keywords: growth, corruption, croissance, transition, competition, transparency, transparence, concurrence, Russia, economy, state ownership, Russie, économie, entreprise d'État, corruption, reforms, stabilisation, réformes, stabilisation
    JEL: H1 K2 P21 P27 P31 P37
    Date: 2005–05–13
  7. By: Tsuyoshi Nakamura (Department of Economics, Tokyo Keizai University); Hiroshi Ohashi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Models of vintage-capital learning by doing predict an initial fall in productivity after the introduction of new technology. This paper examines the impact of new technology on plant-level productivity in the Japanese steel industry in the 1950s and 1960s. The introduction of the basic oxygen furnace was the greatest breakthrough in the steel re.ning process in the last century. We estimate production function, taking account of the di.erences in technology between the re.ning furnaces owned by a plant. Estimation results indicate that a more productive plant was likely to adopt the new technology, and that the adoption would be timed to occur right after the peak of the productivity level achieved with the old technology. We have found that the adoption of the new technology primarily accounted not only for the industry's productivity slowdown in the early 1960s, but also for the industry's remarkable growth in the post-war period. These results are robust to endogeneity in the choice of input and technology.
    Date: 2005–09
  8. By: Irina Peaucelle
    Abstract: In this text the principles of planning such as they were formulated by the creators of these economic theories are recalled. I analyze also their transformation one century later and new application in production and management. I characterize the mechanisms of macroeconomic forecast, of the companies strategic planning and the regulation of the companies through the financial instruments. ### [résumé : Dans ce texte les principes de planification tels qu'ils ont été formulés par les créateurs de ces théories économiques sont rappelés pour analyser leur transformation et application dans l'organisation de production et la gestion d'aujourd'hui. Il s'agit des mécanismes de prévision macroéconomique, de la planification stratégique des entreprises et de la régulation de l'activité des entrepris à travers les instruments financiers.] ###
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Michiru Sawada (Faculty of Economics, Nagoya Gakuin University); Ke Wang (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper examines how the close ties between banks and non-banking firms-the so-called "organ bank" relationship in Japanese banking literature-declined through bank failures and banking consolidations in pre-war Japan. With a unique dataset compiled from 1,007 Japanese banks that were doing business between 1926 and 1936, we measure the degree of the "organ bank" relationship by the number of people who worked as directors or auditors for both a bank and a non-banking firm at the same time. We found that the number of "interlocking directors" declined in our sample period, when there were many bank failures and bank mergers and acquisitions. Furthermore, the remaining interlocked directors, after the wave of bank failures and consolidations, no longer demonstrated negative effects on the performance of the banks, as measured by their profitability. Our findings suggest, based on experience in Japan, that banking consolidations and selection through failure may help eliminate the detrimental connections between banks and non-banking firms.
    Date: 2005–09
  10. By: iulia igescu (Global Insight)
    Abstract: The dramatic fall in output in eastern Europe in the 90s was a result of the institutional structure imposed by the state - taken here as exogenous - on the production process. Consider therefore an economic system where the state is promoting a policy of 'forced capital formation' to fund a technology which produces higher output. The drawback is that such a system becomes internally unstable: even though economic growth takes place in the short run, in the long run the economy moves into a transition path towards a stable lower income (unless the relationship between the political sector and the economy changes and the state withdraws from the capital formation process). As output loss reached the level of another Great Depression, pecularities of this phenomenon of East Europe can bring new insight into what is triggering great depressions.
    Keywords: Great Depression, state, capital formation, growth
    JEL: E
    Date: 2005–10–07
  11. By: Néstor Adrián Amado (UNSTA); Ana María Cerro (UNSTA & Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina); Osvaldo Meloni (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina)
    Abstract: Crises, like “explosive cocktails” are made by mixing powerful ingredients. Argentina has made 26 “explosive cocktails” since 1823. How many ingredients are needed to make an “explosive cocktail”? Which are these ingredients? Which is the most expensive mix? This paper attempts to identify the different recipes that ended up in economic crisis throughout argentine economic history by means of the regression tree analysis technique. The paper also measures Argentina’s crises costs in terms output losses. We follow the methodology used by the IMF (1998), that is, computing cumulative output lost relative to trend. It is found that there are four explosive mixes, having Fiscal Deficit, Real Exchange Rate Overvaluation, Bank Deposit growth rate decline and the ratio of External Debt to Exports as the key ingredients. The most frequent crises are those having high fiscal deficit; though average cost is higher for crises mixing moderate fiscal with strong decline in Real Bank Deposits, presumably entailing banking crises.
    Keywords: Currency Crises, Regression Tree Analysis, Crises Costs
    JEL: F1 F2
    Date: 2005–10–06
  12. By: Alain Béraud (THÉMA - Théorie économique, Modélisation et Applications - CNRS : UMR7536 - Université de Cergy Pontoise); Philippe Steiner; Jean-Jacques Gislain
    Abstract: Cet article étudie les positions des économistes classiques français dans la période allant de 1803 à 1848. La première partie considère la manière dont, une fois mis de côté une grande part de leur propre héritage en économie politique, les auteurs français ou de langue française ont interpété l'oeuvre de Smith en la modifiant sur des points essentiels. La deuxième partie expose les raisons de la réaction essentiellement négative aux Principes de Ricardo. La troisième partie montre dans quelle mesure les économistes français s'appuyèrent sur les thèses smitiennes pour s'affranchir de l'influence ricardienne.
    Keywords: Smith; Ricardo; économie classique
    Date: 2005–09–30

This nep-his issue is ©2005 by Bernardo Batiz-Lazo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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