nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒01‒28
thirteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. The Rich in Argentina over the twentieth century: From the Conservative Republic to the Peronist experience and beyond 1932-2004. By Facundo Alvaredo
  2. The Age of Mass Migration: Economic and Institutional Determinants By Bertocchi, Graziella; Strozzi, Chiara
  3. Against the mainstream, nazi privatization in 1930s Germany. By Germà Bel
  4. Real Exchange Rates in Latin America: what does the 20th Century reveal? By Pablo Astorga
  5. The Sources of Long-run Growth in Spain 1850-2000 By Leandro Prados de la Escosura; Joan R. Roses
  6. Comparative Industrial Evolution and the Quest for an Evolutionary Theory of Market Dynamics By G. Buenstorf
  7. Backing, the Quantity Theory, and the Transition to the U.S. Dollar, 1723-1850 By Peter L. Rousseau
  8. A Neoclassical Analysis of the Postwar Japanese Economy By Keisuke Otsu
  9. Los resultados macroeconómicos y la posición relativa de la economía argentina: 1875-2000 By Isabel Sanz Villarroya
  10. Evolution of the U.S. Housing Finance System: A Historical Survey and Lessons For Emerging Mortgage Markets (English version) By HUD – PD&R
  11. Determinants of Slave Prices: Louisiana, 1725 to 1820 By Ashley N. Coleman; William K. Hutchinson
  12. Grameen Bank II: a possible analysis with a relational perspective By Reggiani, Tommaso
  13. More Pushed than Pulled: Self-employment in rural Mexico ten years after NAFTA By Sindy A. González; Héctor J. Villarreal

  1. By: Facundo Alvaredo
    Abstract: This paper presents series on top shares of income in Argentina from 1932 to 2004 based on personal income tax return statistics. Our results suggest that income concentration was higher during the 1930s and the first half of the 1940s than it is today. The recovery of the economy after the Great Depression, favored by the international trade conditions during and after the Second World War, and the visible effects of the peronist policy between 1945 and 1955 generated an inverted U shape in the dynamics of top shares. The peronist redistributive policy, successful and visible, seemed to have proved limited when compared with the central economies. Since then, and after a new upward movement between 1955 and 1959, the top shares seem to have described the U-shape pattern found in the developed English-speaking economies. The levels of concentration in 1953 were very similar to those found in 1997.
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Bertocchi, Graziella; Strozzi, Chiara
    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; colonial history; democracy; institutions; migration policy
    JEL: F22 F54 K40 N33 O15 P16
    Date: 2007–01
  3. By: Germà Bel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona.)
    Abstract: The Great Depression spurred State ownership in Western capitalist countries. Germany was no exception, the last governments of the Weimar Republic took over firms in diverse sectors. Later, the Nazi regime transferred public ownership and public services to the private sector. In doing so, they went against the mainstream trends in the Western capitalist countries, none of which systematically reprivatized firms during the 1930s. Privatization in Nazi Germany was also unique in transferring to private hands the delivery of public services previously provided by government. The firms and the services transferred to private ownership belonged to diverse sectors. Privatization was part of an intentional policy with multiple objectives and was not ideologically driven. As in many recent privatizations, particularly within the European Union, strong financial restrictions were a central motivation. In addition, privatization was used as a political tool to enhance support for the government and for the Nazi Party.
    Keywords: Privatization, Public Enterprise, Nazi Economy, Germany.
    JEL: G38 L32 L33 N44
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: Pablo Astorga
    Abstract: Using a new data set for the whole period 1900-2005, this paper analyses the behaviour of real multilateral exchange rates in the six largest economies of Latin America. The main aims are to identify any trends or shifts in the equilibrium position and to test for mean reversion. The key findings are the following: i) evidence of real depreciation at the end of the period, compared to the starting position; ii) significant differences in real exchange rates derived using symmetric and asymmetric definitions; iii) a moderate level of intracountry synchronicity, though results vary across periods and pairs of countries; iv) not rejection of the unit-root hypothesis for the series in levels; however, v) the series can be made stationary after allowing for trends structural breaks. For the adjusted series, the half-life of the process ranges from 0.8 to 2.5 years.
    Date: 2007–01
  5. By: Leandro Prados de la Escosura; Joan R. Roses
    Abstract: Between 1850 and 2000, Spain’s real income increased by about 40-fold, at an average rate of 2.5 percent. The sources of this long-run growth are investigated using Jorgenson-type growth accounting analysis. We find that growth upsurges are closely related to increases in TFP. Spanish economic growth went through three successive phases. The century before 1950 was characterized by slow growth driven by factor accumulation. TFP improvements pushed up explosive growth during the Golden Age and mitigated the deceleration during the transition to democracy years (1975-86). Since the accession to the European Union Spain has experienced a dramatic productivity slowdown.
    Date: 2007–01
  6. By: G. Buenstorf
    Abstract: The paper makes the case for an empirically grounded, "bottom-up" approach to theory building in evolutionary industrial economics. This approach is based on studying systematically selected industries that are comparable in key dimensions. It opens up opportunities for testing the relevance, preconditions, and generality of explanatory factors in industry evolution. An illustration of the approach is subsequently given by presenting some findings on the evolution of the historical U.S. farm tractor industry. Length 23 pages
    Date: 2006–12
  7. By: Peter L. Rousseau
    Abstract: Among the thirteen original colonies, Pennsylvania was most successful at issuing paper money with only minimal effects on prices -- so much so that the colony's experience is sometimes seen as violating the classical quantity theory of money. Quantity theorists usually attribute this apparent anomaly to mismeasurement of the money stock. In contrast, I use data on money, prices, and real activity in Pennsylvania from 1723 to 1774 and for the United States as a whole from 1790 to 1850 (when the money stock is better measured) to show that the long-run behavior of money and prices is well explained by the quantity theory in both periods, despite the differences in institutional arrangements, once growth in monetized transactions is taken into account.
    JEL: E31 E42 N11
    Date: 2007–01
  8. By: Keisuke Otsu (Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan (E-mail:
    Abstract: Two key features of the postwar Japanese economy are the delay of catch up during the 50s followed by rapid economic growth during the 60s and early 70s and the consistent decline in labor supply during the rapid growth period. A standard neoclassical growth model can quantitatively account for the Japanese postwar growth patterns of capital, output, consumption and investment taking the destruction of capital stock during the war and postwar TFP growth as given. The decline in labor can be explained by strong income effects caused by subsistence consumption during the rapidly growing period.
    Keywords: Japanese Postwar Growth, Neoclassical Growth Model, TFP
    JEL: E13 O40
    Date: 2007–01
  9. By: Isabel Sanz Villarroya
    Abstract: En este artículo se han pretendido analizar las causas del atraso argentino, comparando la experiencia de este país con respecto a las de Australia y Canadá. Mediante la construcción de un índice de libertad económica, compuestos por variables que miden distorsiones macroeconómicas, y a partir de un análisis de cointegración y de causalidad, los resultados obtenidos muestran que, efectivamente, y tal como se sostiene en la historiografía argentina, los resultados de las políticas económicas implementadas han condicionado la evolución relativa y a largo plazo de este país.
    Date: 2007–01
  10. By: HUD – PD&R
    Abstract: A new release by HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research charts the evolution of our nation's housing finance system. This historical account illuminates the process of linking borrowers with investors/savers and five different financial intermediation models gleaned from the U.S. experience. The authors examine practices that can be of use to nations with emerging mortgage markets which are facing challenges in wholesale funding, risk sharing and management, and affordable lending products. The mortgage market experiences of Mexico, Korea, South Africa, and Poland illuminate lessons learned by the U.S. in the evolution of our housing finance system.
    JEL: G0
    Date: 2006–04
  11. By: Ashley N. Coleman (Wachovia Bank, Charlotte, NC); William K. Hutchinson (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: We utilize a previously untapped data source, Gwendolyn Hall (1999), to examine the market for slaves in Louisiana, both in New Orleans and outside of New Orleans. We are able to study the process of price determination in two separate markets over a period of 95 years for the former and 64 years for the latter. While our findings indicate that both markets valued slave characteristics in a manner that one would expect, we also analyze why particular attributes were valued differently in these two markets. Two shocks to these markets occur in 1808: the Jefferson embargo (December, 1807) and the prohibition of slave imports (January 1, 1808). We analyze how these two shocks differentially affect the value of slave characteristics in these two markets. We find that after the embargo is lifted in 1814, differences in the valuation of slave characteristics between the two regions are greatly diminished.
    Keywords: Slavery, factor prices, market integration
    JEL: N31 N91 F16
    Date: 2006–12
  12. By: Reggiani, Tommaso
    Abstract: After 25 years of effective work against the poverty, "the bank of poors", founded by Muhammd Yunus, has undertaken a new action to the innovation of the practical of microcredit, therefore to render it relationally still fecund and - I think - valuing. In this written, we will pass in review the main innovations - regarding the Grameen Classic System (GCS the original and traditional system of microcredit proposed) - concerning the products and the operating organization, in order to pass to an accurate examination of the implications that this evolution involves to an exquisitely relational level between the agents been involved, developing dynamics and nexuses that emerges inside of the relationship between the single person and the group and viceversa
    Keywords: Grameen Bank; Grameen Bank II; Yunus; Microcredito; Finanza etica
    JEL: R11 O18 O17 G21
    Date: 2005–10–01
  13. By: Sindy A. González; Héctor J. Villarreal
    Abstract: Who are the self-employed in rural Mexico? This paper tries to answer that question with special emphasis on the role of human capital in self-employment decisions. The model presented suggests that the need for leisure/flexibility may have a driving effect once the household framework is considered. Imperfect markets may hinder possible gains of self-employment with particular groups being more vulnerable (e.g. women). Some estimated parameters in this study for propensities to become self-employed and returns to education vary between 1994 and 2004, the first decade of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Pull and push factors emerge in the decision to enter into self-employment in rural area. Being self-employed still may be the best or sole option for a considerable percentage of the population. The alter may suggest that if self-employment in the rural sector is posed as a development strategy, this should come with adequate policy supports.
    Keywords: Mexico, rural, NAFTA, self-employment, leisure, flexibility
    JEL: R10 R13 R11 R15
    Date: 2006–11

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