nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒01‒02
twenty papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bristol Business School

  1. From Farmers to Merchants, Voluntary Conversions and Diaspora: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish History By Botticini, Maristella; Eckstein, Zvi
  2. Modern Health Standards for Peoples of the Past: Biological Conditions by Race in the American South, 1873 – 1919 By Scott A. Carson
  3. The Age of Mass Migration: Economic and Institutional Determinants By Graziella Bertocchi; Chiara Strozzi
  4. Construção do Estado-providência em Portugal no período do Estado-Novo (1935- 1974): notas sobre a evolução da despesa social By José António Pereirinha; Daniel Fernando Carolo
  5. Tripolar century: USA, China and India By Arvind Virmani
  6. Global Power from the 18th to 21st century : Power potential (VIP2), strategic assets & actual power (VIP) By Arvind Virmani
  7. The Long Run Health and Economic Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from China's Great Famine By Meng, Xin; Qian, Nancy
  8. A study of Professionalism during the Falklands/Malvinas war: The Case of the Argentine Marines By Alejandro Luis Corbacho
  9. A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History By Douglass C North; John Joseph Wallis; Barry R. Weingast
  10. Educational Inputs and Outcomes Before the Transition from Communism By John Beirne; Nauro F. Campos
  11. Théorie du système monétaire chez J.-B. Say By André Tiran
  12. "Notes sur Jean-Baptiste Say et les économistes italiens " By André Tiran
  13. La cuestión nacional en el "Manifiesto del Partido Comunista" de 1848 By Samuel Amaral
  14. Vertical Integration and Dis-integration of Computer Firms: A History Friendly Model of the Co-evolution of the Computer and Semiconductor Industries By Franco Malerba; Richard Nelson; Luigi Orsenigo; Sidney Winter
  15. Electricité et gaz naturel : du monopole public à la concurrence réglementée. Une perspective historique By Jean-Pierre Angelier
  16. An Economic History of Fertility in the U.S.: 1826-1960 By Larry E. Jones; Michele Tertilt
  17. Econometrics: A Bird’s Eye View By John Geweke; Joel Horowitz; M. Hashem Pesaran
  18. Pietro Verri, aux origines de la théorie de la valeur et de la loi des débouchés de Jean-Baptiste Say By André Tiran
  19. Will writing and bequest motives: early 20th Century Irish evidence By Leslie McGranahan
  20. The Role of Price and Cost Competitiveness in Apparel Exports, Post-MFA: A Review By Meenu Tewari

  1. By: Botticini, Maristella; Eckstein, Zvi
    Abstract: From the end of the second century C.E., Judaism enforced a religious norm requiring Jewish fathers to educate their sons. We present evidence supporting our thesis that this change in the religious and social norm had a major influence on Jewish economic and demographic history. First, the high individual and community cost of educating children in subsistence farming economies (2nd to 7th centuries) prompted voluntary conversions, which account for a large share of the reduction in the size of the Jewish population from 4.5 million to 1.2 million. Second, the Jewish farmers who invested in education, gained the comparative advantage and incentive to enter skilled occupations during the vast urbanization in the newly developed Muslim Empire (8th and 9th centuries) and they actually did select themselves into these occupations. Third, as merchants the Jews invested even more in education---a pre-condition for the extensive mailing network and common court system that endowed them with trading skills demanded all over the world. Fourth, the Jews generated a voluntary diaspora by migrating within the Muslim Empire, and later to western Europe where they were invited to settle as high skill intermediaries by local rulers. By 1200, the Jews were living in hundreds of towns from England and Spain in the West to China and India in the East. Fifth, the majority of world Jewry (about one million) lived in the Near East when the Mongol invasions in the 1250s brought this region back to a subsistence farming and pastoral economy in which many Jews found it difficult to enforce the religious norm regarding education, and hence, voluntarily converted, exactly as it had happened centuries earlier.
    Keywords: human capital; Jewish economic and demographic history; migration; occupational choice; religion; social norms
    JEL: J1 J2 N3 O1 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Scott A. Carson
    Abstract: Recent modern life expectancy improvements rely heavily on medical intervention; however, before the mid-20th century, increased longevity was primarily the result of improved nutrition and less virulent disease environments. Moreover, 19th century health conditions varied by race, especially in the American South. The body mass index (BMI) reflects health conditions, and male BMIs in Texas State Prison reflected diseases associated with low BMI diseases, i.e., respiratory and infectious diseases, and tuberculosis. When able to work, Southern African-Americans in the 19th century acquired heavier BMIs during prime working ages; however, when they were no longer productive and exited the labor force, their BMIs declined, and older black males became more vulnerable to low BMI diseases.
    JEL: I10 I32 J15 N11 N30 N37
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Graziella Bertocchi (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, CEPR, CHILD and IZA Bonn); Chiara Strozzi (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)
    Abstract: We study the determinants of 19th century mass migration with special attention to the role of institutional factors beside standard economic fundamentals. We find that economic forces associated with income and demographic differentials had a major role in the determination of this historical event, but that the quality of institutions also mattered. We evaluate separately the impact of political institutions linked to democracy and suffrage and of those institutions more specifically targeted at attracting migrants, i.e., citizenship acquisition, land distribution, and public education policies. We find that both sets of institutions contributed to this event, even after controlling for their potential endogeneity through a set of instruments exploiting colonial history and the quality of institutions inherited from the past.
    Keywords: 19th century international migration, institutions, migration policy, democracy, colonial history
    JEL: F22 P16 N33 O15 K40 F54
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: José António Pereirinha; Daniel Fernando Carolo
    Abstract: This paper aims at the presentation of some preliminary outcomes from the ongoing research project on the history of the Portuguese welfare state and the process of its construction along the 20th century in the period of Estado-Novo. It is part of the research in its quantitative content, intending the presentation of historical statistical series on social protection in the period 1935-1973. The political decisions on social protection made in this period were significant steps towards the construction of the modern welfare state in Portugal. These time series are then intended to characterize the trend of the institutional organisation of social protection (“previdência”), of the extent of social risks covered by the social protection system, the amount of the social spending on these social risks and how it was shared by the several institutions as they evolved in this period. This presentation aims at to fill a gap on the knowledge of the trend of social spending in Portugal in this period, intending further research.
    Keywords: Social Protection; Previdência; Portugal; Estado-Novo; welfare state.
    JEL: N34
  5. By: Arvind Virmani (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
    Date: 2005–03
  6. By: Arvind Virmani (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
    Date: 2005–11
  7. By: Meng, Xin; Qian, Nancy
    Abstract: In the past century, more people have perished from famine than from the two World Wars combined. Many more were exposed to famine and survived. Yet we know almost nothing about the long run impact of famine on these survivors. This paper addresses this question by estimating the effect of childhood exposure to China's Great Famine on adult health and labor market outcomes of survivors. It resolves two major empirical difficulties: 1) data limitation in measures of famine intensity; and 2) the potential joint determination of famine occurrences and survivors' outcomes. As a measure of famine intensity, we use regional cohort size of the surviving population in a place and time when there is little migration. We then exploit a novel source of plausibly exogenous variation in famine intensity to estimate the causal effect of childhood exposure to famine on adult health, educational attainment and labor supply. The results show that exposure to famine had significant adverse effects on adult health and work capacity. The magnitude of the effect is negatively correlated with age at the onset of the famine. For example, for those who were one year old at the onset of the famine, exposure on average reduced height by 2.08% (3.34cm), weight by 6.03% (3.38kg), weight-for-height by 4% (0.01 kg/cm), upper arm circumference by 3.95% (0.99cm) and labor supply by 6.93% (3.28 hrs/week). The results also suggest that famine exposure decreased educational attainment by 3% (0.19 years); and that selection for survival decreased within-region inequality in famine stricken regions.
    Keywords: children; demographic; famine; institutions
    JEL: J1 J24 O15
    Date: 2006–12
  8. By: Alejandro Luis Corbacho
    Abstract: This paper assesses how organizational culture affects the fighting performance of units in the battlefield. By focusing on the behavior of a group of Argentine troops during the Falklands War in 1982. Between May 21 and June 14, Argentine and British troops engaged in a fierce land battle for the possession of a group of islands in the South Atlantic known as the Falkland/Malvinas. In a campaign that a participant characterized as “no picnic,” British Marines, paratroopers, and Guards troops defeated the Argentine garrison comprised mainly of conscripted soldiers. However, Argentine Marine units especially distinguished themselves for their fighting ability. According to the author the main reason for this performance rests on their organizational culture.
    Date: 2006–12
  9. By: Douglass C North; John Joseph Wallis; Barry R. Weingast
    Abstract: Neither economics nor political science can explain the process of modern social development. The fact that developed societies always have developed economies and developed polities suggests that the connection between economics and politics must be a fundamental part of the development process. This paper develops an integrated theory of economics and politics. We show how, beginning 10,000 years ago, limited access social orders developed that were able to control violence, provide order, and allow greater production through specialization and exchange. Limited access orders provide order by using the political system to limit economic entry to create rents, and then using the rents to stabilize the political system and limit violence. We call this type of political economy arrangement a natural state. It appears to be the natural way that human societies are organized, even in most of the contemporary world. In contrast, a handful of developed societies have developed open access social orders. In these societies, open access and entry into economic and political organizations sustains economic and political competition. Social order is sustained by competition rather than rent-creation. The key to understanding modern social development is understanding the transition from limited to open access social orders, which only a handful of countries have managed since WWII.
    JEL: A0 K0 K22 N0 N4 N40 O1 O4 P0 P1 P16 P2
    Date: 2006–12
  10. By: John Beirne (Brunel University); Nauro F. Campos (Brunel University, CEPR and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom suggests that the stocks of human capital were one of the few positive legacies from communism. However, if factories under communism were so inefficient, why would the education system not have been? Using the education production function approach and new data on educational inputs and outcomes from 1960 to 1989, we find evidence suggesting that the official human capital stocks figures were "over-estimated" during the communist period. In other words, we find that the official human capital stock numbers are significantly higher than those predicted not only in relation to countries at similar levels of development, but also on the basis of educational systems with comparable features and efficiency levels.
    Keywords: human capital, education, transition economies
    JEL: O11 J24 P27 P39
    Date: 2006–12
  11. By: André Tiran
    Abstract: Les questions abordées dans ce texte concernent la doctrine monétaire classique. J.-B. Say occupe une place originale dans les formulations théoriques de cette époque sur trois questions fondamentales de la théorie économique : 1) la nature de la monnaie, 2) la théorie quantitative, 3) le rôle de la monnaie dans l'inflation et les crises. <br />1) La première thèse présentée est que la valeur de la monnaie chez J.-B. Say n'est pas fondée sur le coût de production mais sur l'offre et la demande de cette marchandise particulière. <br />2) La deuxième porte sur sa formulation de la théorie quantitative.<br />3) La troisième traite du rôle de la monnaie dans les crises.<br />Ces trois points avaient déjà fait l'objet de développements et d'analyses détaillées dans notre thèse soutenue en 1994 . Nous tentons ici une synthèse de l'ensemble de l'approche théorique de J.-B. Say. La totalité des matériaux utilisés dan les citations des éditions du Traité ou du Cours Complet est tirée de notre thèse. Les manuscrits accessibles n'ont pas modifié ce point de vue. Toutefois lorsque la correspondance aura été rassemblée et l'édition du Traité variorum réalisée, certains points pourront et devront sans doute être rediscutés.
    Keywords: monnaie, théorie quantitative, loi des débouchés, crises, valeur
    Date: 2006–12–17
  12. By: André Tiran
    Abstract: L'objet de ce texte est de donner les éléments qui attestent de l'influence des économistes italiens sur J.-B. Say et de l'intérêt soutenu qu'il a manifesté jusque à la fin de sa vie pour leurs écrits. Cette relation, entre J.-B. Say et l'Italie, mérite d'être soulignée car il est sans doute un des derniers économistes français qui se soit intéressé de très près à ce qui s'écrivait de l'autre côté des Alpes. J. A. Schumpeter, dans son Histoire de l'Analyse Economique, présente J.-B. Say comme le continuateur de Turgot et de Cantillon, il ajoute que Turgot et Cantillon sont ceux qui ont probablement le plus marqué l'analyse de J.-B. Say . Si cette appréciation ne paraît pas discutable en terme de filiation, l'influence que Schumpeter attribue à Turgot et à Cantillon doit être fortement nuancée au profit du Comte Pietro Verri qui est un de ceux qui ont le plus marqué la vision de J.-B. Say . Il faut préciser toutefois que J. A. Schumpeter cite Pietro Verri dans la chaîne qui conduit de F. Galiani à Walras en passant par Say . Si l'influence des économistes italiens n'a pas été relevée jusqu'ici, cela tient à une indifférence à l'égard d'auteurs qui, exception faite de quelques uns comme C. Beccaria et F. Galiani, sont rarement cités par les économistes spécialistes de l'histoire de la pensée économique . La plupart des ouvrages en français qui traitent de J.-B. Say font remonter l'origine de sa théorie de la valeur utilité à l'influence de E. Bonnot de Condillac (1715-1780), ou bien encore à Turgot (1766). Tout autant que ces filiations, la véritable origine de sa position sur la théorie de la valeur se trouve chez l'auteur qu'il cite au tout début de la première édition du Traité et qu'il continuera de citer tout au long des rééditions et des ajouts: le comte Pietro Verri. Cela ne contredit en rien le fait que J.-B. Say assume un triple héritage: celui des mercantilistes, des physiocrates et d'Adam Smith [SAY (1972), p. vi].
    Keywords: économistes italiens, Jean-Baptiste Say, Pietro Verri, Galiani, théorie de la valeur
    Date: 2006–12–17
  13. By: Samuel Amaral
    Abstract: En el Manifiesto del Partido Comunista de 1848, Marx y Engels expusieron de manera contundente sus ideas respecto de la evolución de la sociedad en el pasado, en ese presente y hacia el futuro. El motor de la evolución era para ellos la lucha de clases, especialmente la del proletariado con la burguesía, que concluiría con el triunfo del primero y el fin de las clases sociales. Pero, ¿dónde y cómo se iniciaría ese proceso? ¿Se daría en todos los países industrializados al mismo tiempo? ¿Qué pasaría con los países que aun no se habían industrializado? Los autores no dan respuesta a estas preguntas. La ausencia de la dimensión territorial en ese texto es una muestra de las dificultades del marxismo para pasar del plano de las categorías al plano de la realidad.
    Date: 2006–12
  14. By: Franco Malerba; Richard Nelson; Luigi Orsenigo; Sidney Winter
    Abstract: In this paper we present a history-friendly model of the changing vertical scope of computer firms during the evolution of the computer and semiconductor industries. The model is "history friendly", in that it attempts at replicating some basic, stylized qualitative features of the evolution of vertical integration on the basis of the causal mechanisms and processes which we believe can explain the history. The specific question addressed in the model is set in the context of dynamic and uncertain technological and market environments, characterized by periods of technological revolutions punctuating periods of relative technological stability and smooth technical progress. The model illustrates how the patterns of vertical integration and specialization in the computer industry change as a function of the evolving levels and distribution of firms’ capabilities over time and how they depend on the co-evolution of the upstream and downstream sectors. Specific conditions in each of these markets - the size of the external market, the magnitude of the technological discontinuities, the lock-in effects in demand - exert critical effects and feedbacks on market structure and on the vertical scope of firms as time goes by. Length 32 pages
    Date: 2006–12
  15. By: Jean-Pierre Angelier
    Abstract: Les industries de l'électricité et du gaz naturel, en France comme dans la plupart des pays, ont tout d'abord été constituées en monopoles publics. Depuis la seconde guerre mondiale, EDF et GDF ont ainsi rempli leurs missions de doter la France d'une industrie électrique et d'une industrie gazières toutes les deux efficaces.<br />Cette structure est toutefois remise en cause du fait d'un nouvel environnement concurrentiel de ces industries : la concurrence est introduite dans l'offre, les réseaux de transport et distribution restent monopoles publics, le tout étant placé sous la surveillance d'une Commission de Régulation de l'Energie.<br />Des transactions économiques nouvelles apparaissent désormais à trois niveaux : sur le marché de gros de l'électricité et du gaz ; pour ce qui est de l'accès de tiers aux réseaux de transport et de distribution ; les modalités d'achat concurrentiel d'électricité et de gaz par le consommateur final.<br />La nouvelle organisation institutionnelle de ces industries est-elle plus efficace que l'ancienne ?
    Date: 2006–12–18
  16. By: Larry E. Jones; Michele Tertilt
    Abstract: In this paper, we use data from the US census to document the history of the relationship between fertility choice and key economic indicators at the individual level for women born between 1826 and 1960. We find that this data suggests several new facts that should be useful for researchers trying to model fertility. (1) The reduction in fertility known as the Demographic Transition (or the Fertility Transition) seems to be much sharper based on cohort fertility measures compared to usual measures like Total Fertility Rate; (2) The baby boom was not quite as large as is suggested by some previous work; (3) We find a strong negative relationship between income and fertility for all cohorts and estimate an overall income elasticity of about -0.38 for the period; (4) We also find systematic deviations from a time invariant, isoelastic, relationship between income and fertility. The most interesting of these is an increase in the income elasticity of demand for children for the 1876-1880 to 1906-1910 birth cohorts. This implies an increased spread in fertility by income which was followed by a dramatic compression.
    JEL: J1 J11 N30
    Date: 2006–12
  17. By: John Geweke; Joel Horowitz; M. Hashem Pesaran
    Abstract: As a unified discipline, econometrics is still relatively young and has been transforming and expanding very rapidly over the past few decades. Major advances have taken place in the analysis of cross sectional data by means of semi-parametric and non-parametric techniques. Heterogeneity of economic relations across individuals, firms and industries is increasingly acknowledged and attempts have been made to take them into account either by integrating out their effects or by modeling the sources of heterogeneity when suitable panel data exists. The counterfactual considerations that underlie policy analysis and treatment evaluation have been given a more satisfactory foundation. New time series econometric techniques have been developed and employed extensively in the areas of macroeconometrics and finance. Non-linear econometric techniques are used increasingly in the analysis of cross section and time series observations. Applications of Bayesian techniques to econometric problems have been given new impetus largely thanks to advances in computer power and computational techniques. The use of Bayesian techniques have in turn provided the investigators with a unifying framework where the tasks of forecasting, decision making, model evaluation and learning can be considered as parts of the same interactive and iterative process; thus paving the way for establishing the foundation of “real time econometrics”. This paper attempts to provide an overview of some of these developments.
    Keywords: history of econometrics, microeconometrics, macroeconometrics, Bayesian econometrics, nonparametric and semi-parametric analysis
    JEL: C10 C20 C30 C40 C50
    Date: 2006
  18. By: André Tiran
    Abstract: J.A. Schumpeter dans son Histoire de l'Analyse Economique présente Say comme le continuateur de Turgot et de Cantillon. Il ajoute que Turgot et Cantillon sont ceux qui ont probablement le plus marqué l'analyse de J.B. Say . Si cette appréciation ne nous paraît pas discutable en termes de filiation, l'influence que Schumpeter attribue à Turgot et à Cantillon doit être nuancée au profit du Comte Pietro Verri qui est sans doute celui qui a le plus influencé la vision de J.B. Say . Pour être tout à fait juste, il faut préciser que Schumpeter cite Verri dans la chaîne qui conduit de Galiani à Walras en passant par Say
    Keywords: Valeur, utilité, Jean-baptiste Say, Pietro Verri, F. Galiani
    Date: 2006–12–17
  19. By: Leslie McGranahan
    Abstract: This paper develops a simple model of the decision to write a will prior to death and tests the implications of the model using data from Ireland prior to the advent of state provided old age support. The model assumes that individuals write wills in order to change the distribution of their assets from the distribution that would occur in the absence of a will and that individuals incur will writing costs. The model leads to the predictions that individuals whose desired distribution differs most dramatically from the default and those who face the lowest costs will be the most likely to write wills. A data set that matches individual Irish estate records from 1901 to 1905 to household records from the 1901 Irish Census is used to test these implications. I find that age, wealth, and landholding influence will writing. I also find that individuals, particularly women and non-landholders, who appear to be dependent on others in old age are more likely to write wills. This result suggests that will writers may be writing wills in order to repay the relatives who provided for them in old age and is consistent with a strategic bequest motive. The data provide little evidence that the characteristics of potential beneficiaries influence the will writing decision. In contrast to studies using modern data that find little evidence of altruistic or strategic bequest motives, I find some evidence that exchange motives partly governed the will writing decision.
    Date: 2006
  20. By: Meenu Tewari (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
    Date: 2005–11

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