nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2006‒04‒29
twelve papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bristol Business School

  1. Flexibility and diversity: the putting-out system in the silk fablic industry of Kiryu, Japan By Masaki Nakabayashi
  2. War and pestilence as labor market shocks: manufacturing wage growth 1914-1919 By Thomas A. Garrett
  3. The Evolution of Top Incomes in an Egalitarian Society: Sweden, 1903–2004 By Roine, Jesper; Waldenström, Daniel
  4. The determinants of aid in the post-cold war era By Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Howard J. Wall
  5. Short-Term Credit: A Monetary Channel Linking Finance to Growth By Carolyn Sissoko
  6. The road to price stability By Athanasios Orphanides
  7. "Selection or Imitation? : Organizational Evolution in the Japanese Cotton Industry, 1905-1935:" By Tetsuji Okazaki
  8. Tracking the elusive French productivity lag in industry 1840-1973 By Jean-Pierre Dormois
  9. Rising Wage Dispersion, After All! The German Wage Structure at the Turn of the Century By Karsten Kohn
  10. Access to Banking Services and Money Transfers by Mexican Immigrants By Cynthia Bansak; Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes
  11. Three decades of financial sector risk By Joel F. Houston; Kevin J. Stiroh
  12. Dinamica di lungo periodo del sistema industriale italiano. Un'indagine empirica (1911-1991). By G. Cainelli; R. Leoncini; A. Montini

  1. By: Masaki Nakabayashi (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: We have seen many cases where the factory system emerges and realizes higher productivity in the process of industrialization. However, also seen in history is that other types of production organization have kept expanding and have reached at some high performance. For instance, the putting-out system rather than the factory system has sometimes been chosen in the fabric industry, where the flexibility of production and the variety of products are especially important to respond to the fashion. This type of production organization has prospered even during the industrialization since the 19th century, supported by the development of some modern technologies such as synthetic dyes. This study inquires a case of the silk fabric industry in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. In Kiryu, the traditional silk textile industry developed in the Tokugawa era, and the industry even grew more under the putting-out system during the industrialization in Japan since the late 19th century, because the putting-out system with synthetic dying was the optimal combination to realize the variety of products required in the mass consumption in the industrial society.
    Keywords: multitask Governance of trades, Putting-out system, Industrial district, Japanese textile industry, Repeated game.
    JEL: L67 L14 N95
    Date: 2006–04
  2. By: Thomas A. Garrett
    Abstract: This paper explores the effect of mortalities from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic and World War I on real wage growth in the manufacturing sectors of U.S. states from 1914 to 1919. The general hypothesis is that both events caused a significant decrease in the supply of manufacturing labor, thereby initially increasing the marginal product of labor and thus wages. The empirical results reveal that influenza mortalities led to a greater overall increase in real manufacturing wage growth, but the marginal effect on wage growth from an additional World War I combat mortality was greater than that from the influenza pandemic.
    Keywords: Wages ; Manufacturing industries
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Roine, Jesper (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics); Waldenström, Daniel (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)
    Abstract: This study presents new homogenous series of top income shares in Sweden over the period 1903 to 2004. We find that, starting from higher levels of inequality than in other Western countries, the income share of the Swedish top decile drops sharply over the first eighty years of the century. The fall is almost entirely due to a dramatic drop in the top percentile, while the lower half of the top decile experiences virtually no change over this period. Most of the decrease takes place before the expansion of the welfare state, in fact, by 1950 Swedish top income shares were already lower than in other countries. In the past decades the Swedish top income shares developed very differently depending on whether capital gains are included or not. Including them, Sweden’s experience resembles that in the U.S. and the U.K. with sharp increases in top incomes, whereas excluding them Sweden looks more like the Continental European countries where top income shares have remained relatively constant. A possible interpretation of our results is that Sweden over the past 20 years has become a country where it is more important make the right investments than to have a high salary to become rich.
    Keywords: Income inequality; Income distribution; Wealth distribution; Top incomes; Welfare State; Sweden; Taxation; Capital gains
    JEL: D31 H20 J30 N30
    Date: 2006–04–11
  4. By: Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Howard J. Wall
    Abstract: This paper estimates the responsiveness of aid to recipient countries* economic and physical needs, civil/political rights, and government effectiveness. We look exclusively at the post-Cold War era and control for the political, strategic, and other considerations of donors with fixed effects. In general, we find that aid and per capita income were negatively related, while aid was positively related with infant mortality, rights, and government effectiveness.
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Carolyn Sissoko (Department of Economics, Occidental College)
    Abstract: This paper develops a mechanism that links the combined monetary and financial role of intermediaries to the division of labor and endogenous growth. The mechanism is based on an analysis of the late 18th century British environment. At this time the money supply was composed mainly of circulating private debt, which was liquid because of the intermediation of bankers. The model builds on an augmented Ramsey Cass Koopmans (RCK) model of optimal growth. First, by relaxing the assumption that each agent buys and sells at the same time an endogenous cash-in-advance constraint is created. The cash constraint is not binding for agents who borrow from intermediaries at the start of a period and repay the debt at the end of the period. Thus intermediated short-term credit is a solution to the monetary friction. Second to address the division of labor the symmetric n-good n-type structure of Kiyotaki and Wright’s search model of money is nested into each period of the model. Because each type of agent is more productive when his production is specialized, relaxing the cash constraint leads to a division of labor. Finally the exogenous growth of the RCK model is reinterpreted as endogenous growth due to a process of learning-by-doing. We find that financial intermediaries by relaxing the cash constraint promote the division of labor which generates a process of endogenous growth. Because the growth rate of the economy is increasing in the quantity of credit in the economy, the model provides a theoretic explanation for the empirical findings of Levine, Loayza and Beck and Rousseau and Wachtel.
    JEL: E5 O3 O4
    Date: 2002–08
  6. By: Athanasios Orphanides
    Abstract: Nearly a quarter-century after Paul Volcker's declaration of war on inflation on October 6, 1979, Alan Greenspan declared that the goal had been achieved. Drawing on the extensive historical record, I examine the views of Chairmen Volcker and Greenspan on some aspects of the evolving monetary policy debate and explore some of the distinguishing characteristics of the disinflation.
    Keywords: Anti-inflationary policies ; Monetary policy ; Greenspan, Alan ; Volcker, Paul A.
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper explores the mechanisms by which the industrial organization of the Japanese cotton spinning industry changed over time, focusing on the rise and fall of the firms that integrated spinning and weaving processes. The basic idea is to decompose the change in the proportion of integrated firms into factors representing "selection" and "imitation" in an evolutionary sense. It was found that the factor which made the largest contribution differed between the growing phase and the declining phase of integrated firms. In the growing phase, imitation, namely the change in the attribute of the incumbent firms, was the major factor in the proportion change. On the other hand, in the declining phase, selection, in particular, birth rate, was the major factor, not only in the case where the proportion is measured in terms of firm number but also in terms of production.
    Date: 2006–04
  8. By: Jean-Pierre Dormois
    Date: 2006–03
  9. By: Karsten Kohn (Goethe University of Frankfurt and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Using register data from the IAB employment sample, this paper studies the wage structure in the German labor market throughout the years 1992-2001. Wage dispersion has generally been rising. The increase was more pronounced in East Germany and occurred predominantly in the lower part of the wage distribution for women and in the upper part for men. Censored quantile wage regressions reveal diverse age and skill patterns. Applying Machado/Mata (2005)-type decompositions I conclude that differences in the composition of the work force only had a small impact on the observed wage differentials between East and West Germany, but changes in the characteristics captured better parts of the observed wage changes over time.
    Keywords: wage inequality, censored quantile regression, Machado/Mata decomposition, IABS, East Germany, West Germany
    JEL: J31 C24
    Date: 2006–04
  10. By: Cynthia Bansak (Department of Economics, San Diego State University); Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)
    Abstract: Increased access to the U.S. financial system through banks’ recognition of the ‘matrícula consular’ identification card may encourage Mexican immigrants to save and transfer more money home. Using data from the Mexican Migration Project, we examine whether immigrants with bank accounts in the U.S. between 1970 and 2002 sent more funds to Mexico than their unbanked counterparts. While having a U.S. bank account does not raise monthly remittances by Mexican immigrants, it boosts the amount brought back home by more than $6000 per trip. These findings suggest that increased usage of banks by immigrants may enhance future flows of funds to Mexico.
    JEL: F22 G21 J61 O15
    Date: 2004–10
  11. By: Joel F. Houston; Kevin J. Stiroh
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of risk in the U.S. financial sector using firm-level equity market data from 1975 to 2005. Over this period, financial sector volatility has steadily increased, reaching extraordinary levels from 1998 to 2002. Much of this recent turbulence can be attributed to a series of major financial shocks, and we find evidence of an upward trend in volatility only for the common component that affects the entire financial sector. While idiosyncratic volatility remains dominant, a combination of common shocks, deregulation, and diversification has reduced its relative importance since the early 1990s. Within the financial sector, commercial banks show the largest rise in volatility, which also reflects industry shocks and not the idiosyncratic component. Despite these changes, we find that the links between the financial sector and economic activity have declined in recent years. These results have implications for investors, bank regulators, and other policymakers concerned with the origins of financial sector risk and with the links between the financial markets and real activity.
    Keywords: Risk ; Financial markets ; Banks and banking
    Date: 2006
  12. By: G. Cainelli; R. Leoncini; A. Montini

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