nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2006‒02‒05
six papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bristol Business School

  1. Hope springs eternal…French bondholders and the Soviet Repudiation (1915-1919). By John Landon-Lane; Kim Oosterlinck
  2. The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family By Claudia Goldin
  3. One Asset, Two Prices: The case of the Tsarist Repudiated Bonds By Kim Oosterlinck; Ariane Szafarz
  4. Market microstructure and Nazi influence on the Paris stock exchange during WWII. By Kim Oosterlinck
  5. The Role of Path Dependence in the Development of U.S. Bankruptcy Law, 1880-1938 By Bradley A. Hansen; Mary Eschelbach Hansen
  6. The Effects of Patent Regime Changes: A Case Study of the European Patent Office By Deng, Yi

  1. By: John Landon-Lane (Rutgers University, The State University of New-Jersey, Department of Economics); Kim Oosterlinck (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.)
    Abstract: By their extreme nature, repudiations rarely occur. History is therefore crucial to analyze their impact on bond prices. This paper provides an empirical study based on an original database: prices of a Tsarist bond traded in Paris before and after its repudiation by the Soviets. A structural vector autoregression is used to identify shocks to this bond that are orthogonal to shocks hitting a proxy for the Paris bond market, the French 3% rente. French market shocks are thus disentangled from repudiation specific shocks hitting the Russian bond. Consistent with expectations no major Russian shocks appears before the 1917 revolution. For 1918, shocks are mainly related with bailouts or hopes of partial bailouts. In 1919, however, the nature of shocks changes as they can be explained either by the negotiations with the Soviets or by the fate of the White Armies. In view of these elements, we argue that the bonds’ value were subject to a “Peso problem”. Their prices essentially reflected expected extreme events that never took place.
    Keywords: repudiation, sovereign debt, secession, Russia, Soviet, war, country break-up.
    JEL: F34 G1 N24
    Date: 2005–11
  2. By: Claudia Goldin
    Abstract: The modern economic role of women emerged in four phases. The first three were evolutionary; the last was revolutionary. Phase I occurred from the late nineteenth century to the 1920s; Phase II was from 1930 to 1950; Phase III extended from 1950 to the late 1970s; and Phase IV, the "quiet revolution," began in the late 1970s and is still ongoing. Three aspects of women's choices distinguish the evolutionary from the revolutionary phases: horizon, identity, and decision-making. The evolutionary phases are apparent in time-series data on labor force participation. The revolutionary phase is discernible using time-series evidence on women's more predictable attachment to the workplace, greater identity with career, and better ability to make joint decisions with their spouses. Each of these series has a sharp break or inflection point signifying social and economic change. These changes, moreover, coincide by birth cohort or period. The relationship between the development of modern labor economics and the reality of women's changing economic role is explored. The paper concludes by assessing whether the revolution has stalled or is being reversed. Women who graduated college in the early 1980s did not "opt-out,"but recent cohorts are too young to evaluate.
    JEL: J1 J2 N3
    Date: 2006–01
  3. By: Kim Oosterlinck (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.); Ariane Szafarz (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels and DULBEA, Université Libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: Prices of repudiated bonds are insightful but scarcely observed. Based on an original daily database, this paper compares the price evolution from January 6, 1916 to August 31, 1919 of a cross-listed (Paris and London) Tsarist bond repudiated by the Soviets on February 8, 1918. After its repudiation, the bond exhibits an important geographic price differential. This phenomenon is attributed to the conjunction of war conditions excluding arbitrage and specific investors' expectations regarding bailouts by the French and British governments. Furthermore, data from the pre-repudiation period show that the impossibility for arbitrage is not sufficient for driving the pricing differences.
    Keywords: Bonds, repudiation, sovereign debt, Russia.
    JEL: F34 G1 N24
    Date: 2004–08
  4. By: Kim Oosterlinck (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.)
    Abstract: Although studies of the Paris stock exchange are quite numerous, its functioning during the Second World War has been overlooked. Based on archives from both the French brokers (Compagnie des Agents de Change) and from the occupying forces, this paper describes the market microstructure, the changes in market organization and the manipulations of the stock prices by the Nazis. Furthermore, the paper shows that, for economic reasons, some measures imposed by the Nazis were kept after the war. It suggests, moreover, that long-term analysis based on indices that include the war years could be misleading because most stocks could not be bought or sold, even though they were quoted at the time.
    Keywords: microstructure, WWII, Paris Stock Exchange
    JEL: N24 G28 G18
    Date: 2004–11
  5. By: Bradley A. Hansen; Mary Eschelbach Hansen (Department of Economics, American University)
    Abstract: This paper provides an illustration of the mechanisms that can give rise to path dependence in legislation. Specifically it shows how debtor-friendly bankruptcy law arose in the United States as a result of a path dependent process. The 1898 Bankruptcy Act was not regarded as debtor-friendly at the time of its enactment, but the enactment of the law gave rise to changes in interest groups, beliefs about the purpose of bankruptcy law, and political party positions on bankruptcy that set the United States on a path to debtor-friendly bankruptcy law. Analysis of the path dependence of bankruptcy law produces an interpretation that is more consistent with the evidence than the standard interpretation that debtor-friendly bankruptcy law was the result of a political compromise in 1898.
    Keywords: bankruptcy, path dependence
    JEL: N42
    Date: 2005–12
  6. By: Deng, Yi (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: Patent system in Europe has undergone significant changes during the 1970s around the establishment of the European Patent Office (EPO), and this paper tries to quantify the influence of such policy changes on the private value of European patents. Based on the patent renewal records, I estimate the private value of patents in Germany, France and the U.K. obtained through the EPO patenting route during the early 1980s, and compare the estimated value with the patent value in the same three countries before the establishment of the EPO, as estimated by Pakes (1986). The average quality and the private value of the EPO patents are substantially higher than those obtained through the national route. The uniform examination and granting procedure at the EPO has effectively eliminated the inter-country differences in the patentability standards and the scope of patents, and has significantly decreased the differences in patent value across these countries. I also find that the extension of the statutory limit to the maximal length of patent lives and changes in the renewal fee schedule have only had modest effects on patent value, and that the learning process of the EPO patents are much longer than that of the national patents.
    Keywords: European Patent Office, Private Value of Patents, Patent Regime Change
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2005–11

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