nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒03‒03
twenty-two papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Industrial Revolutions and Consumption: A Common Model to the Various Periods of Industrialization By David Flacher
  2. Who Were the Greatest Women Artists of the Twentieth Century? A Quantitative Investigation By David W. Galenson
  3. The state of knowledge regarding tobacco harm, 1920-1964: industry and public health service perspectives By Martin Forster; M Walsh; M Rodgers; Sue Bowden; S Duffy
  4. Long Run Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France By Banerjee, Abhijit; Duflo, Esther; Postel-Vinay, Gilles; Watts, Tim
  5. Real Origins of the Great Depression: Monopolistic Competition, Union Power, and the American Business Cycle in the 1920s By Ebell, Monique; Ritschl, Albrecht
  6. From ‘free’ trade to ‘fair’ trade: protectionism and the regulation of industrial employment in colonial Hong Kong, 1958-62 By David Clayton
  7. Branch Banking as a Device for Discipline: Competition and Bank Survivorship During the Great Depression By Mark Carlson; Kris James Mitchener
  8. Social economy as social science and practice : historical perspectives on France By Danièle Demoustier; Damien Rousselière
  9. The Crash of 1882, Counterparty Risk, and the Bailout of the Paris Bourse By Eugene N. White
  10. The Allocative Cost of Price Ceilings: Lessons to be Learned from the US Residential Market for Natural Gas By Davis, Lucas W; Kilian, Lutz
  11. España: de la emigración a la inmigración By Matilde Alonso; Elies Furio Blasco
  12. Enforcing cooperation among medieval merchants: The Maghribi traders revisited By Harbord, David
  13. Jean-Baptiste SAY, La logique de l'offre By André Tiran
  14. Las políticas económicas y el sector ganadero en Colombia: 1950-1977 By Jorge García García
  15. CRISIS CAMBIARIAS EN COLOMBIA BAJO TIPO DE CAMBIO FIJO:1938-1967. By Fabio Sánchez; Andrés Fernández; Armando Armenta.
  16. The Opportunity of a Disaster: The Economic Impact of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake By ALVARO S. PEREIRA
  17. Brevets et émergence de l'industrie cinématographique, une étude comparative Etats-Unis - Europe (1895-1908) By Pierre-André Mangolte
  18. Monnaie et discours militant : du refus de la monnaie à sa réappropriation dans les systèmes d'échange local By Jérôme Blanc
  19. "Ideas" in Development from George Soros: Power and Influence through Philanthropy? By Saab, Samer
  21. Mergers and Economies of Scale: Volkswagen AG 1976 - 2000 By Rudholm, Niklas
  22. What's good for Toyota…? By Arnold, Ivo J.M.; Galakis, John

  1. By: David Flacher (CEPN - Centre d'économie de l'Université de Paris Nord - [CNRS : UMR7115] - [Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII])
    Abstract: What was the role of consumption structure evolution in the industrialization phases of the Western world since the 18th century? To answer this question, we first ask the économical ad historical literature. We detify the main phases of consumption structure evolution and establish a plausible link between consumption structure evolutions and industrial revolutions. In particular, we show that an industrial revolution starts with a "smithian growth process",<br />which is demand driven, and a "schumpeterian growth process" which is supply driven, one the new techniques adopted. We then model the role of consumption habits evolution in the schumpeterian growth process. Finally, we show that consumption habits evolutions can be endogenously explained if we introduce, in an original way, the concept of "commercial revolution", which appears to be mainly linked to schumpeterian growth processes.
    Keywords: Industrial revolutions, history, consumption
    Date: 2007–02–20
  2. By: David W. Galenson
    Abstract: Recent decades have witnessed an outpouring of research on the contributions of women artists. But as is typical in the humanities, these studies have been qualitative, and consequently do not provide a systematic evaluation of the relative importance of different women artists. A survey of the illustrations of the work of women artists contained in textbooks of art history reveals that art historians judge Cindy Sherman to be the greatest woman artist of the twentieth century, followed in order by Georgia O'Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, and Frida Kahlo. The life cycles of these artists have differed greatly: the conceptual Sherman, Hesse, and Kahlo all arrived at their major contributions much earlier, and more suddenly, than the experimental O'Keeffe and Bourgeois. The contrasts are dramatic, as Sherman produced her greatest work while in her 20s, whereas Bourgeois did not produce her greatest work until she had passed the age of 80. The systematic measurement of this study adds a dimension to our understanding of both the role of women in twentieth-century art and the careers of the major figures.
    JEL: J01
    Date: 2007–02
  3. By: Martin Forster; M Walsh; M Rodgers; Sue Bowden; S Duffy
    Abstract: Referencing once-confidential tobacco industry documents, we compare reviews of the epidemiological literature concerning tobacco harm that were carried out by the U.S. Tobacco Industry Research Committee (T.I.R.C.) and the U.S. Public Health Service and related groups during the 1950s and early 1960s. Results show that the T.I.R.C. operated an unbiased and reasonably comprehensive literature review operation which, from 1956 onwards, was providing summaries of published epidemiological studies to its members within an average of 2.3 months of date of publication. Although the epidemiological evidence reviewed by the T.I.R.C. was similar to that reviewed by the U.S. Public Health Service and related groups, public statements assessing the evidence made by the organisations differ significantly. We discuss our results in the light of present-day academic and legal debates concerning the ‘controversy’ surrounding tobacco harm in the mid-twentieth century.
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: Banerjee, Abhijit; Duflo, Esther; Postel-Vinay, Gilles; Watts, Tim
    Abstract: This paper provides estimates of the long-term effects on height and health of a large income shock experienced in early childhood. Phylloxera, an insect that attacks the roots of grape vines, destroyed 40% of French vineyards between 1863 and 1890, causing major income losses among wine growing families. Because the insects spread slowly from the southern coast of France to the rest of the country, Phylloxera affected different regions in different years. We exploit the regional variation in the timing of this shock to identify its effects. We examine the effects on the adult height, health, and life expectancy of children born in the years and regions affected by the Phylloxera. The shock decreased long run height, but it did not affect other dimensions of health, including life expectancy. We find that, at age 20, those born in affected regions were about 1.8 millimetres shorter than others. This estimate implies that children of wine-growing families born when the vines were affected in their regions were 0.6 to 0.9 centimetres shorter than others by age 20. This is a significant effect since average heights grew by only 2 centimetres in the entire 19th century. However, we find no other effect on health, including infant mortality, life expectancy, and morbidity by age 20.
    Keywords: fetal origin; height; military data
    JEL: I12 N32 O12
    Date: 2007–02
  5. By: Ebell, Monique; Ritschl, Albrecht
    Abstract: Most treatments of the Great Depression have focused on its onset and its aftermath. In contrast, we take a unified view of the interwar period. We look at the slide into and the emergence from the 1920-21 recession and the roaring 1920s boom, as well as the slide into the Great Depression after 1929, and attempt to explain these phenomena in a unified framework. The model framework combines monopolistic product market competition with search frictions and bargaining in the labour market, allowing for both individual and collective (unionized) wage bargaining. We attribute the extraordinary macroeconomic and financial volatility of this period to two factors: Shifts in the wage bargaining regime and in the degree of monopoly power in the economy. The pro-union provisions of the Clayton Act of 1914 contributed to the slide in asset prices and the depression of 1920-21, while a series of tough anti-union Supreme Court decisions in late 1921 and 1922 coupled with the lax anti-trust enforcement of the Coolidge and Hoover administrations enabled a major rise in corporate profits and stock market valuations throughout the 1920s. Landmark court decisions in favour of trade unions in the late 1920s, as well as political pressure on firms to adopt the welfare capitalism model of high wages, made the economy increasingly susceptible to collapsing profit expectations. We model the onset of the great depression as an equilibrium switch from individual wage bargaining to (actual or mimicked) collective wage bargaining. The general equilibrium effects of this regime change are consistent with large decreases in output, employment, and stock prices.
    Keywords: collective bargaining; Great Depression; trade unions
    JEL: E24 J51 J64 N12 N22
    Date: 2007–02
  6. By: David Clayton
    Abstract: The late 1960s was a ‘major watershed’ for the evolution of labour laws in Hong Kong because social disturbances during 1966 and 1967 caused a ‘crucial shift of establishment attitudes’. Employers, who were ‘severely jolted’ by the events, quickly accepted thereafter the need for ‘legislative reform’.1 Legal rights extended to workers before this watershed, but, because local bureaucrats had sought the consent of employers’ organisations before legislating, ‘labour legislation was slow to emerge and, when it did emerge, was often in an emasculated form’.2 In the pre-war period the state regulated industrial employment by women and children and policed ‘industrial safety’; and the Governor gained the power (never subsequently used) to set minimum wages.3 In 1959, an existing ordinance that regulated the hours of factory work undertaken by women and young persons was amended. 4 The maximum hours of industrial work by women was set at sixty per week (ten per day), and all women and young persons (aged between 14-16) gained the right to one rest day per week.5 From March 1962, industrial workers had the statutory right to six days paid holiday and twelve days paid sick leave each year. These entitlements were, however, limited in scope,6 and did not cover all industrial workers. Factories registered with the state and were subject to inspections, but small workshops did not register with, and were not regulated by, the state.7 By the end of the 1950s, statutory protections did not therefore extend to a large proportion of the industrial work force. From 1952-57 (a period for which estimates exist), factory employment grew by fifty per cent, from 100,000 to 150,000; employment in unregistered workshops, however, expanded by one hundred per cent, from 50,000 to 100,000.8
    Date: 2006–12
  7. By: Mark Carlson; Kris James Mitchener
    Abstract: Because California was a pioneer in the development of intrastate branching, we use its experience during the 1920s and 1930s to assess the effects of the expansion of large-scale, branch-banking networks on competition and the stability of banking systems. Using a new database of individual bank balance sheets, income statements, and branch establishment, we examine the characteristics that made a bank a more likely target of a takeover by a large branching network, how incumbent unit banks responded to the entry of branch banks, and how branching networks affected the probability of survival of banks during the Great Depression. We find no evidence that branching networks expanded by acquiring "lemons"; rather those displaying characteristics of more profitable institutions were more likely targets for acquisition. We show that incumbent, unit banks responded to increased competition from branch banks by changing their operations in ways consistent with efforts to increase efficiency and profitability. Results from survivorship analysis suggest that unit banks competing with branch bank networks, especially with the Bank of America, were more likely to survive the Great Depression than unit banks that did not face competition from branching networks. Our statistical findings thus support the hypothesis that branch banking produces an externality in that it improves the stability of banking systems by increasing competition and forcing incumbent banks to become more efficient.
    JEL: E44 G21 L1 N22
    Date: 2007–02
  8. By: Danièle Demoustier; Damien Rousselière (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Economie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - [CNRS : FRE2664] - [Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II])
    Abstract: This article aims to investigate the multiple meanings of "économie sociale" ("social economy"), a term which first appeared in France at the founding moment of modern capitalism, both as a concept in the framework for the creation of a social science in close relation with the tradition of classical, Christian and socialist economists, and also to establish an ensemble of social practices and institutions. A historical perspective shows the close yet ambivalent relationship between these two principal connotations. Stemming from this, the conclusion presents some new research orientations towards social economy as a social science and social practice.
    Keywords: social economy ; social science ; France
    Date: 2007–02–13
  9. By: Eugene N. White
    Abstract: The rapid growth of derivative markets has raised concerns about counterparty risk. It has been argued that their mutual guarantee funds provide an adequate safety net. While this mutualization of risk protects clients and brokers from idiosyncratic shocks, it is generally assumed that it also offers protection against systemic shocks, largely based on the observation that no twentieth century exchange has been forced to shut down. However, an important exception occurred in 1882 when the crash of the French stock market nearly forced the closure of the Paris Bourse. This exchange's structure was very similar to today's futures markets, with a dominant forward market leading the Bourse to adopt a common fund to guarantee transactions. Using new archival data, this paper shows how the crash overwhelmed the Bourse's common fund. Only an emergency loan from the Bank of France, intermediated by the largest banks, prevented a closure of the Bourse.
    JEL: E58 G18 N23
    Date: 2007–02
  10. By: Davis, Lucas W; Kilian, Lutz
    Abstract: Following a Supreme Court decision in 1954, natural gas markets in the U.S. were subject to 35 years of intensive federal regulation. Several studies have measured the deadweight loss from the price ceilings that were imposed during this period. This paper concentrates on an additional component of welfare loss that is rarely discussed. In particular, when there is excess demand for a good such as natural gas for which secondary markets do not exist, an additional welfare loss occurs when the good is not allocated to the buyers who value it the most. We quantify the overall size of this allocative cost, its evolution during the post-war period, and its geographical distribution, and we highlight implications of our analysis for the regulation of other markets. Using a household-level, discrete-continuous model of natural gas demand we estimate that the allocative cost averaged $8.1 billion annually in the U.S. residential market for natural gas during 1950-2000, effectively doubling previous estimates of the total welfare losses from natural gas regulation. We find that these allocative costs were borne disproportionately by households in the Northeast, Midwest, and South Atlantic states. Costs were largest in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts with 70% of all costs borne by the ten states affected most.
    Keywords: allocative cost; deadweight loss; natural gas; price ceiling; regulation
    JEL: D45 L51 L71
    Date: 2007–02
  11. By: Matilde Alonso (GI-EA Nº 19 - Economia, treball i territori - [Universitat de Valencia]); Elies Furio Blasco (GI-EA Nº 19 - Economia, treball i territori - [Universitat de Valencia])
    Abstract: En un tiempo récord España ha pasado de ser un país netamente emisor de emigrantes a ser receptor de un intenso flujo migratorio por motivos económicos en ambos casos. La emigración española en la era moderna se desarrolló en dos etapas principales. La primera se inicia en las décadas finales del siglo XIX y finaliza en la crisis del 1929. Casi 5,5 millones de españoles cruzaron el Atlántico para “hacer las Américas”. La segunda oleada migratoria revistió una gran intensidad en la década de los 60. Entre 1961 y 1973, entorno a un millón y medio de personas abandonaron España, para dirigirse a países del norte y centro de Europa. Ya a finales del siglo XX, España vive un proceso de intenso dinamismo de su economía, favorecida por el ingreso en la Unión Europea y por la adopción del euro, lo que supone un gran atractivo para la mano de obra extranjera y se ha traducido en un fuerte crecimiento de la inmigración, cifrada actualmente en más de cuatro millones de personas.
    Keywords: España, Economía, Sociología, Inmigración, Inmigración marroquí.
    Date: 2007–02–10
  12. By: Harbord, David
    Abstract: We revisit Greif's (1993) analysis of trade between the 11th-century Maghribi traders and present two different models which bring into play, in an essential way, historical features of the Maghribi's organization which had no role in Greif's own analysis. Our reformulation of the Maghribi's "punishment strategies" incorporates principal components of their actual historical practice and explains why they may have been necessary to sustain cooperation, especially in the presence of uncertainty or imperfect information. We also model "formal friendships," or trade through bilateral and multilateral partnerships, and predict the Maghribi's practice of providing agency services without pecuniary compensation. We are thus able to provide a richer and more accurate picture of how that organization facilitated trade between widely-dispersed traders in the absence of a reliable legal system to enforce merchant contracts.
    Keywords: cooperation; enforcement; trade; institutions
    JEL: J41 N75 C72 D23
    Date: 2006–11–08
  13. By: André Tiran (Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - [CNRS : UMR5206][IEP LYON] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines])
    Abstract: Les écrits de Say se distinguent par le grand intérêt qu'il porte aux conséquences morales du comportement économique. La loi des débouchés structure de vastes parties du Traité. Cette note montre que c'est en critiquant Smith que Say formule ce qui va devenir la loi des débouchés. Le processus de production-distribution est en dernière analyse pour Say un échange mutuel de services productifs : "le coût des produits n'est autre que la valeur des services productifs consommés dans la production et leur valeur n'est rien d'autre que la valeur des marchandises produites " par ces mêmes services. Le véritable moteur de la production est celui des besoins illimités, face à des moyens de production existant en quantité limitée. Les Economistes se sont emparés de cette idée et en ont fait un des principes fondamentaux de leur doctrine. L'échange de deux produits est au fait l'échange de leurs services productifs ; les quantités demandées et offertes ne sont donc en dernière analyse, que des quantités de services productifs". Pour Say, le premier et le dernier terme de l'échange, ce sont les produits, et non la monnaie. Le but de la production est la satisfacti on des besoins, la consommation.Say plaide aussi pour une politique d'encouragement du travail qui inclue même des programmes d'activité gouvernementaux pour lutter contre le chômage du fait de la mécanisation.
    Keywords: Loi des débouchés, Valeur, Loi de say, chômage
    Date: 2007–02–20
  14. By: Jorge García García
    Abstract: Una mirada al sector ganadero colombiano (producción de carne y leche) de los 25 años entre 1950 y 1975 plantea muchos interrogantes, algunos de carácter económico, otros de naturaleza social y política. En lo económico se preguntaría ¿por qué un sector que en esa época aportaba el 10% de la economía exportaba tan poco, y por qué existía un conflicto permanente en torno al precio y la política comercial lecheros? ¿Por qué los ganaderos practicaban la ganadería extensiva cuando podían copiar de otros países el uso más intensivo de capital, que significaba mayor rendimiento por animal? ¿Por qué los ganaderos se manifestaban tan “retrógrados” y poco progresistas, mientras que los algodoneros registraban rápida expansión y los arroceros adoptaban las nuevas variedades tan pronto éstas se inventaban? ¿Por qué los ganaderos empleaban tan pocos trabajadores? ¿Por qué criaban ganado en grandes extensiones de tierra? ¿Por qué los ganaderos hacen uso de mano de obra en vez de maquinaria? Son incontables las preguntas, pero las respuestas a la mayoría de las aquí planteadas, y a otras más, giran alrededor de incentivos económicos para los ganaderos. Los incentivos económicos, la tecnología y la dotación en factores productivos explican muchas de las actuaciones de los ganaderos. En el presente estudio, me centro en los incentivos económicos, examinando tres temas que contribuyen a responder a algunas de esas preguntas, y a explicar tanto el comportamiento de los ganaderos como el desempeño del sector. En primer lugar, miro cómo las políticas económicas relativas a la ganadería y la lechería, en particular, y las relativas al tipo de cambio y el régimen comercial, en general, incidieron en los incentivos económicos para el sector. En adelante llamo intervenciones directas a las políticas relativas al sector ganadero en particular (precios, crédito, restricciones a la exportación e importación de carne vacuna y de leche), e intervenciones indirectas a las políticas relativas al tipo de cambio y a la política comercial general de Colombia. En segundo lugar, miro cómo los incentivos económicos afectaron los ingresos de productores, consumidores y gobierno, identifico a los ganadores y perdedores de las intervenciones y calculo la magnitud de sus ganancias y pérdidas. Por último, miro cómo los incentivos económicos influyeron en las decisiones de los ganaderos de aumentar o reducir sus hatos, y cuán rápido y en qué medida los ganaderos reaccionaron a variaciones en los incentivos. El estudio de este tema se complica por la insuficiencia y poca confiabilidad de la información sobre el sector ganadero. Antes de entrar en el análisis, algunas cifras del sector, indicando con hechos su importancia en la economía nacional así como los problemas informativos que encara quien lo estudie. En la Sección 2 se exponen los hechos fundamentales del sector. En la Sección 3 se describen las políticas que en materia de comercio, precios y crédito afectan al sector ganadero. En la Sección 4 se examina la capacidad de competencia internacional del sector. En la Sección 5 se miden las transferencias de ingresos ocasionadas por las intervenciones directas en el sector y de las indirectas en la economía. En la Sección 6 se calcula la reacción de la oferta del sector. La Sección 7 trae las conclusiones.
    Date: 2006–12–31
  15. By: Fabio Sánchez; Andrés Fernández; Armando Armenta.
    Abstract: Entre 1938 y 1967, lo cual incluye el período de Bretton Woods después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Colombia fijó su tipo de cambio al dólar. A pesar de que el régimen cambiario operó bajo el esquema de fijación del tipo de cambio, el peso fue devaluado oficialmente en más de 12% en seis ocasiones. Los episodios de devaluación fueron complejos, traumáticos, con un alto componente político e implicaron ajustes macroeconómicos costosos. El acuerdo de Bretton Woods sostenía que los países podían devaluar sus monedas sólo en presencia de desequilibrios fundamentales como resultado, por ejemplo, de caídas estructurales de sus términos de intercambio. Sin embargo, este trabajo sostiene que los desequilibrios en el mercado monetario fueron determinantes en la explicación de las crisis cambiarias durante el período de cambio fijo. El ensayo está organizado en tres partes. Primero, se plantea un modelo teórico simple para una economía pequeña y abierta con movilidad imperfecta de capitales en el que se puedan analizar las posibles causas de las devaluaciones nominales. En segundo lugar, se emplea un enfoque narrativo para describir las circunstancias económicas que rodearon cada una de las devaluaciones: así como la revisión de evidencia cualitativa de la época. Finalmente, se realiza un conjunto de ejercicios econométricos para identificar las variables determinantes de los desequilibrios macroeconómicos que precedieron cada crisis cambiaria. Los resultados muestran que los desajustes externos estuvieron primordialmente asociados con desequilibrios en el mercado monetario. Los movimientos adversos en los términos de intercambio explican sólo una pequeña porción de las crisis cambiarias.
    Date: 2005–06–10
    Abstract: By combining new archival and existing data, this paper provides estimates of the economic impact of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the largest ever-recorded natural catastrophe in Europe. The direct cost of the earthquake is estimated to be between 32 and 48 percent of the Portuguese GDP. In spite of strict controls, prices and wages remained volatile in the years after the tragedy. The recovery from earthquake also led to a rise in the wage premium of construction workers. More significantly, the earthquake became an opportunity for economic reform and to reduce the economic semi-dependency vis-à-vis Britain.
    Keywords: Lisbon 1755 earthquake; natural disasters, economic development
    JEL: N13 Q54 O52
    Date: 2006–12
  17. By: Pierre-André Mangolte (CEPN - Centre d'économie de l'Université de Paris Nord - [CNRS : UMR7115] - [Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII])
    Abstract: Cet article porte sur l'émergence historique de l'industrie cinématographique aux Etats-Unis et en Europe entre 1895 et 1908, et sur le rôle de l'institution des patents (ou « brevets d'invention ») dans l'essor et la définition des nouvelles activités économiques. Il porte aussi sur les théories et justifications économiques de l'institution. Cette période est dominée par les revendications de l'inventeur Thomas Edison, ce qui conduisit à une guerre des patents prolongée aux Etats-Unis qui handicapa fortement la production et donna finalement naissance à un monopole (la Motion Picture Patents Company). A l'inverse, en Europe et plus particulièrement en France, on constate un essor rapide de l'industrie dans une forme directement concurrentielle. L'analyse comparative systématique mettra alors en évidence les causes de ces évolutions si dissemblables, c'est-à-dire deux configurations historiques différentes des droits de propriété intellectuelle et deux définitions différentes de l'institution elle-même. L'étude peut ainsi éclairer le débat théorique récurrent (et contemporain) sur la définition (largeur, profondeur, renforcement, etc.) de l'institution des brevets.
    Keywords: industrie du cinéma; brevets; patents; Edison
    Date: 2007–02–06
  18. By: Jérôme Blanc (LEFI - Laboratoire d'économie de la firme et des institutions - [Université Lumière - Lyon II])
    Abstract: La monnaie est fondamentalement associée, dans l'opinion commune, à l'organisation marchande de la société et au capitalisme. A ce titre, les propositions historiques de réforme de la société sont passées par des propositions de réforme voire<br />de suppression de la monnaie. Il reste quelque chose de ces propositions dans les formes contemporaines de localisme monétaire que sont les systèmes d'échange local (SEL), ou cercles d'échange locaux articulés autour d'une monnaie locale. Ils ont émergé depuis le début des années 1980 au point d'atteindre une dimension jamais connue dans l'histoire des mouvements alternatifs en Occident. Or ces formes de localisme monétaire reposent sur une vision ambiguë de ce qu'est la monnaie et de son<br />rôle, ce qui conduit fréquemment à l'évincer dans les discours tandis que la réalité est celle de son maintien sous une forme nouvelle. Tout l'intérêt de cette ambiguïté est d'illustrer la nécessité logique d'un principe monétaire au coeur d'échanges complexes.<br />Ce texte s'interroge sur le rapport entre discours militant et pratiques effectives au sein des SEL et sur la façon dont s'élabore et se modifie ce discours militant compte tenu de la difficulté à admettre qu'intervient un principe monétaire dans les SEL. Toute la<br />question est celle de la légitimation du discours monétaire dans ce contexte marqué par une certaine idéologie et par des représentations communes non scientifiques.
    Keywords: Monnaies sociales, discours militant, argent
    Date: 2007–01–31
  19. By: Saab, Samer
    Abstract: This paper mainly examines the economic ideas and models brought forward by the always controversial global financier George Soros. The aim is to first explore whether in fact Soros has developed over time a well- articulated model for development based on a coherent system of beliefs and (economic, social, political, and philosophical) ideas, and second examine the notion that the world's wealthiest (including Soros) wield enough power and influence (through philanthropy and other means) to shape the economic landscape of countries. The latter point poses a more problematic question: if indeed the world's wealthiest wield unlimited powers in shaping the global development landscape, it could then be assumed that the quality of their "ideas" does not matter much. How do the resources they control ultimately facilitate the transformation of their beliefs and practices into valid economic "ideas"? Do wealth, power and influence validate ideas? The flip side to this coin is that time (hopefully) eventually weeds out the bad ideas, and only the good ones prevail and propagate in the world, and that the Soros's of the world do not matter much in the long run. A lot has been said and written about Soros's controversial financial dealings but very few attempted to systematically explore his system of ideas and evalua te their cohesiveness. He is too often dismissed as a philosophe manqué. The paper will briefly review the written works of Soros and his publicly stated positions on some of the more significant issues in development and economics today, and at times offer a light critique or praise) where due. A parallel with Keynes on some of the issues is also drawn. The paper will also offer insight on the question of whether philanthropy is conducive to the germination (and, most importantly, diffusion) of ideas.
    Keywords: economic development; philanthropy; Soros
    JEL: O1 P0
    Date: 2005–11
  20. By: Fabio Sánchez; Mario Chacón
    Abstract: El objetivo de este trabajo es determinar las variables que explican la actividad armada de los grupos irregulares desde mediados de los años setenta y establecer las posibles causas de expansión hasta el año 2002, teniendo en cuenta particularmente el papel de la descentralización entendida coma la mayor autonomía política, presupuestal y administrativa de los gobiernos locales. En los últimos treinta años el país experimentó profundos cambios a nivel económico, social e institucional. No solo se consolidó el proceso de urbanización a la vez que disminuyó la participación del sector agropecuario en la producción nacional sino que se profundizó fuertemente el proceso de descentralización desde mediados de los años ochenta. El presente trabajo sostiene que la descentralización trasladó el conflicto a una disputa por el poder local, lo que se manifiesta en el uso de la violencia ya sea para apropiarse de los bienes y recursos públicos, para influenciar los resultados políticos y electorales de conveniencia para los grupos irregulares y/o para consolidar su dominio territorial desde lo local. El análisis de la actividad temprana (1974-1982) de los grupos guerrilleros muestra que ella está explicada en mayor medida por variables socioeconómicas (pobreza, desigualdad). Sin embargo, su evolución desde mediados de los ochenta está ligada al proceso de descentralización el cual creó incentivos a los grupos irregulares para el dominio de lo local a través del uso de la violencia. Dada la debilidad del Estado en lo relativo al monopolio de la fuerza y a la administración de justicia, se facilitó la expansión e intensificación de la actividad armada de los grupos guerrilleros y de las autodefensas ilegales. Los distintos resultados estadísticos y econométricos revelan un nexo fuerte entre la intensificación de la acción armada y la mayor independencia política y fortaleza fiscal de los gobiernos locales. Esto trabajo contó con nuevos datos históricos sobre el conflicto e información económica, fiscal, social y política a nivel municipal. Se utilizó la información recientemente recopilada a nivel municipal por el IEPRI sobre la actividad y acciones de armadas de los distintos grupos guerrilleros (FARC, ELN. M-19) para el período 1974-1982 y las bases de datos municipales de la Fundación Social, Departamento Nacional de Planeación y Presidencia de la República sobre acciones y ataques de grupos guerrilleros, de autodefensas y de delincuentes para el período 1985 a 2002.
    Date: 2005–06–15
  21. By: Rudholm, Niklas (The Swedish Retail Institute (HUI))
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to study if the acquisitions of the SEAT and Skoda has lead to increased economic efficiency for Volkswagen AG due to economies of scale. This is achieved by estimation of the VAG cost function, using a translog specification. The results indicate that the merger with SEAT did increase the economies of scale available as production volumes increased due to the merger. No such effects was, however, found for the aquisition of Skoda.
    Keywords: Automobile production; economies of scale; technological change
    JEL: D21 D24 L25
    Date: 2006–10–01
  22. By: Arnold, Ivo J.M.; Galakis, John (Nyenrode Business Universiteit)
    Abstract: Since long the auto industry has been a valued source of leading business cycle indicators. While practitioners continue to use data on new car registrations to forecast economic activity, the predictive performance of auto industry related stock returns has deteriorated in the past decades. For the US this can be traced to the advent of Japanese manufacturers. The increased US market penetration by Japanese automakers coincides with a decline in the predictive ability of domestic auto returns. We are, however, able to recover a role for auto returns in business cycle forecasting by employing Japanese data. No such result can be found for European countries. We do conclude, however, that what’s good for Toyota, is good for the world economy
    Keywords: Forecasting, Business Cycle, Financial Markets
    Date: 2006

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