New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2006‒03‒25
nine papers chosen by

  1. Americanisation behind the Curtain: the History of Management Consulting in Estonia By Jaak Leimann; Antti Ainamo; Janne Tienari
  3. Border Wars: Tax Revenues, Annexation, and Urban Growth in Phoenix By Carol E. Heim
  4. Endogenous Herding and The Gold Rush: Timing Models with Both Explosive and Timed Entry By Lones Smith; Andreas Park
  5. The Anarchy of Numbers: Understanding the Evidence on Venezuelan Economic Growth By Francisco Rodríguez
  6. The Welfare State -- Background, Achievements, Problems By Lindbeck, Assar
  7. Mill on Slavery, Property Rights and Paternalism By Mauricio Pérez Salazar
  8. Economia regionale e sistema bancario locale: la Banca di Deliceto dal 1925 al 1939 By Antonio Anelli
  9. Understanding reform in Latin America By Alvaro Forteza; Mario Tommasi

  1. By: Jaak Leimann (School of Economics and Business Administration at Tallinn University of Technology); Antti Ainamo (Jaakko Pöyry Consulting); Janne Tienari (Lappeenranta University of Technology)
    Abstract: Management consulting started to evolve in Estonia around 40 years ago. The development was affected by the consulting practice and literature mostly from the United States and neighbouring Finland. The most important factors in the development of the consulting sector in Estonia were direct contacts and cooperation of Estonian and Finnish management experts. As a result, the Estonian management theorists and practicioners were of the top level in the whole Soviet Union and affected the management-related thinking and practice in many other management knowledge centres in the Soviet Union. The development of management consulting between 1970 and 1990 formed a good basis for contemporary management consulting and development after Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet rule in 1991.
    Keywords: historical research, management consulting, iron wall, American model, consulting practice, consulting project, conference, theory-building, internationalisation
    JEL: L84 N01 P20
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Esteban A. Nicolini
    Abstract: This paper shows that the interaction between economic and demographic variables in England before the onset of modern economic growth did not fit some crucial assumptions of the Malthusian model. I estimated a vector autoregression for data on fertility, nuptiality, mortality and real wages over the period 1541-1840 applying a well-known identification strategy broadly used in macroeconomics. The results show that endogenous adjustment of population to real wages functioned as Malthus assumed only until the 17th century: positive checks disappeared during the 17th century and preventive checks disappeared before 1740. This implies that the endogenous adjustment of population levels to changes in real wages -one of the cornerstones of the Malthusian model- did not work during an important part of the period usually considered within the “Malthusian regime”.
    Date: 2006–02
  3. By: Carol E. Heim
    Abstract: Phoenix and neighboring municipalities, like many in the South and West, pursued a growth strategy based on annexation in the decades after World War II. This paper explores the link between annexation and competition for tax revenues. After discussing arguments for annexation, it traces the history of annexation in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A long-running series of "border wars" entailed litigation, pre-emptive annexations, and considerable intergovernmental conflict. The paper argues that tax revenues have been a key motivation for annexation, particularly since the 1970s. It then considers several related policy issues and argues that while opportunities for annexation are becoming more limited, competition for tax revenues (particularly sales tax revenues) continues to be fierce and to create dilemmas for municipalities in the region.
    JEL: H71 H77 N92 R51
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Lones Smith; Andreas Park (Economics University of Toronto)
    Keywords: Games of Timing, War of Attrition, Preemption Game
    JEL: C73 D81
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Francisco Rodríguez (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)
    Abstract: This paper studies Venezuelan economic performance from 1950 to 1998. We show that there exist wide divergences in many commonly used estimates of GDP growth and discuss the sources of those differences. We show that the choice of base year and linking techniques are crucial for the diagnosis of economic growth, and argue that the aggregate GDP and TFP growth numbers are distorted by cuts in oil production that came about as a result of the country adopting the OPEC strategy of exploiting market power during the 1970s. We argue that non-oil growth and TFP numbers represent more adequate measures of economic performance and that, while far from satisfactory, these do not deviate significantly from those of other Latin American countries.
    Keywords: Economic growth, National accounts, Growth accounting, Oil exporting economies, Latin America, Venezuela
    Date: 2006–02
  6. By: Lindbeck, Assar (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)
    Abstract: This paper starts out with a brief discussion of the historical background, the justifications and the political forces behind the built up of the modern welfare state. It also summarizes its major achievements in terms of economic efficiency and redistribution. The paper also tries to identify some major problems of contemporary welfare-state arrangements, differentiating exogenous shocks from endogenous behaviour adjustments by individuals to the welfare state itself. The latter include tax distortions, moral hazard, and endogenous changes in social norms concerning work and benefit dependency.
    Keywords: Justifications for Welfare State; Incentive Problems; Moral Hazard; Social Norms
    JEL: H40 H53 H55 J22
    Date: 2006–02–27
  7. By: Mauricio Pérez Salazar
    Abstract: J. S. Mill’s statement that “an engagement by which a person should sell himself, or allow himself to be sold, as a slave would be null and void; neither enforced by law nor by opinion” has sparked a lively debate on his supposed paternalism and on its consistency with his views on individual liberty. Mill consistently opposed slavery as an iniquity. However, his critique was also founded on the principle that certain property rights should neither be recognized nor protected. The example he chose was very unusual (people in his day did not sell themselves as slaves); its importance lies in the analogy with marriage and the practical impossibility of a divorce being obtained by the vast majority of women at that time. The essence of Mill’s argument would thus be antipaternalistic: society ought not to enforce a kind of contract (indissoluble marriage) that limits the individual liberty of women in order to further the family as an institution that is supposedly good for them. This is not to say that in other matters (such as colonialism) Mill might not be charged with inconsistent paternalism.
    Date: 2006–02–01
  8. By: Antonio Anelli
    Date: 2006–02
  9. By: Alvaro Forteza (Departmento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Mario Tommasi (Departamento de Economía, Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina.)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the pro-market reform process in eight Latin American countries, based on country studies undertaken within the Understanding Reform project of the Global Development Network. After a brief presentation of the reform in Latin America and in the eight countries in the project, the paper addresses some key themes on the political economy of reform. We review the initial conditions of reform; the role played by technocrats and stakeholders; political participation; the peculiar shortcut to reform represented by "policy switches" (announcing something to do the opposite); some traditional topics in the literature on reform like sequencing, shocks and learning; the apparently key role played by local characteristics; the complex feedbacks between pro-market reforms and the political process; and the recent backlash against reform in Latin America. The paper ends with some remarks mostly on normative lessons from this experience.
    Keywords: Reform, Washington Consensus, Political Economy
    JEL: O54 O57 P16
    Date: 2005–12

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