New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2006‒01‒29
seven papers chosen by

  1. Stuck on Gold: Real Exchange Rate Volatility and the Rise and Fall of the Gold Standard, 1870-1939 By Chernyshoff, Natasha; Jacks, David S.; Taylor, Alan M
  2. Does Bilateralism Promote Trade? Nineteenth Century Liberalization Revisited By Accominotti, Olivier; Flandreau, Marc
  3. The German industrial Census of 1936, statistics as preparation for the war By Fremdling, Rainer
  4. El Proceso Colombiano de Desindustrialización By Juan José Echavarría; Mauricio Villamizar; (con la colaboración de Juanita González)
  5. Technological Progress and Regress in Pre-Industrial Times By Aiyar, Shekhar; Dalgaard, Carl-Johan; Moav, Omer
  6. Les performances de l’économie suédoise depuis 1970 : quelques éléments d’évaluation By Vincent Touzé
  7. Diffusion of Digital Mobile Telephony - Are Devoloping Countries Different? By Petri Rouvinen

  1. By: Chernyshoff, Natasha; Jacks, David S.; Taylor, Alan M
    Abstract: Did adoption of the gold standard exacerbate or diminish macroeconomic volatility? Supporters thought so, critics thought not, and theory offers ambiguous messages. A hard exchange-rate regime such as the gold standard might limit monetary shocks if it ties the hands of policy-makers. But any decision to forsake exchange-rate flexibility might compromise shock absorption in a world of real shocks and nominal stickiness. A simple model shows how a lack of flexibility can be discerned in the transmission of terms of trade shocks. Evidence on the relationship between real exchange rate volatility and terms of trade volatility from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century exposes a dramatic change. The classical gold standard did absorb shocks, but the interwar gold standard did not, and this historical pattern suggests that the interwar gold standard was a poor regime choice.
    Keywords: gold standard
    JEL: F33 F41 N10
    Date: 2006–01
  2. By: Accominotti, Olivier; Flandreau, Marc
    Abstract: Textbook accounts of the Anglo-French trade agreement of 1860 argue that it heralded the beginning of a liberal trading order. This alleged success has much interest from a policy point of view: unlike modern GATT/WTO multilateral agreements, it rested on bilateral negotiations. But, in reality, how great were its effects? With the help of new data on international trade we provide empirical evidence. We find that the Anglo-French treaty and subsequent network of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trade agreements coincided with the end of a period of unilateral liberalization across the world, and that it did not contribute to expand trade at all. This is contrary to a deeply rooted belief among economists and economic historians. We conclude that, contrary to a popular wisdom, bilateralism did not promote trade in the 19th century.
    Keywords: Anglo-French treaty; bilateralism; liberalization; MFN; multilateralism; trade policy
    JEL: F31 N32
    Date: 2006–01
  3. By: Fremdling, Rainer (Groningen University)
    Abstract: In 1936, the Imperial Statistical Office of Germany carried out an industrial census using the concept of net-production or value-added. In 1939, these statistics were published with strategic sectors such as aircraft industry being hidden. Originally, this census and its forerunner of 1933 had been designed to compile an input-output-table for Germany as a basis for managing the business cycle. Finally, these date were used for constructing detailed material balance sheets, which served as a statistical basis for preparing the war.
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Juan José Echavarría; Mauricio Villamizar; (con la colaboración de Juanita González)
    Abstract: El proceso colombiano de industrialización tuvo corta duración. El despegue comenzó en la década de los años 1930s, cuarenta años más tarde que en Argentina, Brasil, Chile o México, y la industria (especialmente la moderna) perdió dinamismo desde los 1960s (empleo) y 1970s (producción). Se trata de dinámicas mundiales parcialmente relacionadas con la productividad relativa del sector y con el impacto de la política económica. La política económica jugó un papel central en la dinámica de la industria. El bajo desarrollo del sector financiero ha restringido el crecimiento del sector, obligando a las firmas a depender exageradamente de utilidades reinvertidas costosas, aún cuando la liberalización financiera de los 1990s tuvo un impacto positivo en materia de productividad. Algo similar sucedió con la apertura arancelaria y paraarancelaria adoptada en ese mismo período. La evidencia empírica confirma que hoy se cuenta con un sector industrial moderno mucho más competitivo, preparado para afrontar el reto de la globalización.
  5. By: Aiyar, Shekhar; Dalgaard, Carl-Johan; Moav, Omer
    Abstract: This paper offers micro-foundations for the dynamic relationship between technology and population in the pre-industrial world, accounting for both technological progress and the hitherto neglected but common phenomenon of technological regress. A growing population engenders the endogenous adoption of new techniques that increase the division of labour. Conversely, technological progress supports an increasing population in the Malthusian environment. A transient shock to population or productivity, however, induces the neglect of some techniques rendered temporarily unprofitable, which are therefore not transmitted to the next generation. When the shock passes, the division of labour remains constrained by the smaller stock of knowledge, and technology has thereby regressed. A slow process of rediscovery is required for the economy to reach its previous level of technological sophistication and population size.
    Keywords: division of labour; Malthusian stagnation; technological progress; technological regress
    JEL: J11 O10 O33 O40
    Date: 2006–01
  6. By: Vincent Touzé (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Petri Rouvinen
    JEL: L96 O30 O10
    Date: 2004–03–15

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