nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒03‒17
sixteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Buffalo Hunt: International Trade and the Virtual Extinction of the North American Bison By M. Scott Taylor
  2. Universal Banking Failure? An Analysis of the Contrasting Responses of the Amsterdamsche Bank and the Rotterdamsche Bankvereeniging to the Dutch Financial Crisis of the 1920s By Colvin, Chris
  3. A Comparative Study on Landownership between China and England By Deng, Feng
  4. An Introduction to World Economic Long Wave-Crises and Depressions: From Study to Anticipation By dong, congcong
  5. Losing the Plot: The Strategic Dismantling of White Farming in Zimbabwe 2000-2005 By Angus Selby (QEH)
  6. Radical Realignments: The Collapse of the Alliance between White Farmers and the State in Zimbabwe 1995-2000 By Angus Selby (QEH)
  7. From 'OPEN SEASON' to ROYAL GAME': The Strategic Repositioning of Commercial Farmers across the Independence Transition in Zimbabwe By Angus Selby (QEH)
  8. Research Methods in Negotiation: 1965-2004 By M. BUELENS; M. VAN DE WOESTYNE; S. MESTDAGH; D. BOUCKENOOGHE
  9. From Uneven Ground: The Undermining of the Alliance Between Commercial Farmers and the State in Zimbabwe 1990 – 1996 By Angus Selby (QEH)
  10. Corporate governance and Board Effectiveness : beyond formalism By A. LEVRAU; L.A.A. VAN DEN BERGHE
  11. Density and Dispersion: The Co-Development of Land use and Rail in London By David Levinson
  12. On the Institutional Legacy of Mercantilist and Imperialist Colonialism By Olsson, Ola
  13. Heuristic Twists and Ontological Creeds - Road Map for Evolutionary Economics By U. Witt
  14. Significant Shift in Causal Relations of Money, Income, and Prices in Pakistan: The price Hikes in the Early 1970s By Husain, Fazal; Rashid, Abdul
  15. "Quantity or Quality: The Impact of Labor-Saving Innovation on US and Japanese Growth Rates, 1960-2004" By Ryuzo Sato; Tamaki Morita
  16. The Seismography of Crashes in Financial Markets By Tanya Araujo; Francisco Louçã

  1. By: M. Scott Taylor
    Abstract: In the 16th century, North America contained 25-30 million buffalo; by the late 19th century less than 100 remained. While removing the buffalo east of the Mississippi took settlers over 100 years, the remaining 10 to 15 million buffalo on the Great Plains were killed in a punctuated slaughter in a little more than 10 years. I employ theory, data from international trade statistics, and first person accounts to argue that the slaughter on the plains was initiated by a foreign-made innovation and fueled by a foreign demand for industrial leather. Ironically, the ultimate cause of this sad chapter in American environmental history was of European, and not American, origin.
    JEL: F1 Q2 Q5 Q56
    Date: 2007–03
  2. By: Colvin, Chris
    Abstract: Whilst in some financial systems in the early twentieth century commercial and investment banking activities were carried out by functionally separate firms, in others both kinds of operation were conducted under one roof by “universal banks”. Explaining the evolutionary paths that lead to these divergent banking structures has remained a hot topic of multidisciplinary debate for many years. So has their respective exposure to financial crises. On the one hand, universal banks – which hold both long- and short-term assets – are able to reduce information asymmetries and internalise risk. But on the other hand, their mixed asset structure arguably decreases versatility during an economic downturn and may create a “dual market for lemons” in which information asymmetries cause financially sound clients and banks to exit the market, leaving only the riskier crisis-prone ones behind. This paper analyses these debates using the case study of the Netherlands in the early 1920s. The literature argues that it is during this decade that the Netherlands experienced her one and only traditional banking crisis from 1600 to the present day, and after which her short-lived experiment with a system of universal banking came to an end. By calculating an equitydeposit ratio panel for the Big Five Dutch banks, this paper attempts to measure to what degree the sector evolved to become universal and subsequently returned to functional separation. It then conducts a matched pair comparison of two similar-sized banks operating in the Netherlands in the 1920s: the Amsterdamsche Bank and the Rotterdamsche Bankvereeniging. Whilst the first escaped the crisis relatively unscathed, the second required assistance from the Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank. A new and detailed narrative of one episode of the crisis using as yet unused primary sources is developed for this comparison. This paper finds that the Rotterdamsche Bankvereeniging was more universal than her Amsterdam rival. It concludes that it was primarily this difference that caused her to suffer during the crisis. However, it does so with caution in view of the paucity of data to hand and methodological restrictions.
    Keywords: Financial crises; Netherlands; inter-war history; universal banking
    JEL: N24 N84
    Date: 2007–03
  3. By: Deng, Feng
    Abstract: By comparing the development of landownership in China and England, this paper explores what were behind their different trajectories. In particular, I examined the delineation of property rights, alienation of land, rent and tax, inheritance and accumulation of land. Feudal England was a combination of the Roman system and Anglo-Saxon tradition. From that very strict hierarchical structure England has experienced an evolution toward free land market. In contrast, since very early China has established a unique economic system that allowed free alienation of land, but it has been trying to check the development of land market and private property rights by various means, the most important of which is the strengthening and expanding of patriarchal clan system. The different development paths of China and England show the different responses of two different cultures, which are oriented toward family and individual, respectively, to the same problems related to landownership.
    Keywords: landownership; property rights; culture; institutions; China; England
    JEL: Q15 D23 N95 P52 N50
    Date: 1996–12
  4. By: dong, congcong
    Abstract: As is considered in this paper,none of the ever existing long wave theories can totally describe or correctly explain the chronic fluctuating characters of the capitalist world economy system since the year 1857. Based on Karl Marx’s greatest work “Capital” and combined with considerable quantities of historical materials such as all kinds of writings about economic long wave both at home and abroad,the paper analyzes four inherently identical waves,tries to draw a fluctuating graph of the world economy with the wavelength supposed to be 50 years,and then forecasts the future of the world.
    Keywords: economic crisis; long wave; forecasting
    JEL: E37 E32 E17 E11
    Date: 2006–02–27
  5. By: Angus Selby (QEH)
    Abstract: This paper examines the dismantling of the white farming sector in Zimbabwe after 2000. It argues that although ZANU PF portrayed farm invasions as a demonstrable effort towards populist land reforms, the 'fast-track' strategy was primarily one of political survival, and that this is evident in the pattern of land invasions and land allocations. Farm invasions quickly evolved into a systematic and methodical purge of commercial farms, to undermine support for the MDC from farmers and farm workers. Local contexts and local politics shaped the nature of local invasions, but the overall program was centrally endorsed and centrally co-ordinated. The reallocation of farms and assets were strategically geared towards placating key groups and key individuals within ZANU PF's increasingly militarised patronage system. Finally, this paper explores the reactions, counter strategies and patterns of collapse within the white farming sector. It illustrates how the community and its institutions fragmented along established planes of historical division, re-emphasising the significance of differentiation among farmers, throughout their history.
  6. By: Angus Selby (QEH)
    Abstract: This paper explores the collapse of the alliance between commercial farmers and the state in Zimbabwe. It argues that relations had deteriorated irrevocably by the late 1990s, precluding opportunities for compromise, and concludes that farmer opposition to the constitutional referendum in 2000 was symptomatic of deteriorating relations, rather than the catalyst. These assertions are based on interpretation of several key interacting issues: the reconstitution and politicisation of land demand within Zimbabwe's deteriorating socio-economic climate; the internal reconfiguration of the ruling party under pressure from black empowerment interests and war veterans,; the radicalisation of land policy through ZANU PF's aggressive centralisation of the land issue within the political and economic crises; and finally, a limited awareness of these issues by commercial farmers, donors and the international community, and consequently poor counter-strategising by these groups.
  7. By: Angus Selby (QEH)
    Abstract: This paper explores the strategic repositioning of commercial farmers across the Independence transition, from a close proximity to the Rhodesian Front to an alliance with the Mugabe regime. It argues, contrary to most analyses, that commercial farmers were instrumental in leading white Rhodesia towards negotiations, compromise and settlement, and that this positioned them well to retain their privileged access to land and the decision making process after Independence. Whilst recognising that ZANU PF compromised significantly, it illustrates that incomplete reconciliation and ongoing distortions in access to resources kept the racial aspects of the new alliance unsteady.
    Abstract: This study provides insight into the dominant methodological practices that have shaped the field of negotiation over the past four decades, and sheds light on possible gaps and trade-offs. We content analyzed 941 peer reviewed negotiation articles (published between 1965-2004) for methodology. We distinguished key issues in negotiation research and identified methodological trends over time (1965-2004). The results reveal significant changes in reliability, validity and triangulation issues. In addition, the rise of multivariate statistics and multiple data-sources displays a positive evolution towards more sophisticated methodologies. However, more attention is needed to address the enduring lack of longitudinal designs and qualitative techniques in negotiation research. KEYWORDS: negotiation; research methodology; review; validity; triangulation
    Date: 2007–01
  9. By: Angus Selby (QEH)
    Abstract: This paper explores the deterioration of the strategic alliance between commercial farmers and the state in Zimbabwe after 1990. Expiry of the Lancaster House constitution, the implementation of a structural adjustment program and the formal emergence of a black 'empowerment' lobby combined with severe drought had significantly altered the nature of Zimbabwe's land debate by the mid 1990s. The deadlock in land redistribution during this period is often vaguely attributed to a combination of state apathy and white farmer resistance, but interest group dynamics were far more complex both internally and externally. This comprehensive analysis of the relative policies, positions and internal reconfigurations of key stakeholders explains the polarisation of the land debate, the collapse of the alliance and the slowdown in land transfers.
    Abstract: This study provides insight into the dominant methodological practices that have shaped the field of negotiation over the past four decades, and sheds light on possible gaps and trade-offs. We content analyzed 941 peer reviewed negotiation articles (published between 1965-2004) for methodology. We distinguished key issues in negotiation research and identified methodological trends over time (1965-2004). The results reveal significant changes in reliability, validity and triangulation issues. In addition, the rise of multivariate statistics and multiple data-sources displays a positive evolution towards more sophisticated methodologies. However, more attention is needed to address the enduring lack of longitudinal designs and qualitative techniques in negotiation research.
    Keywords: negotiation; research methodology; review; validity; triangulation
    Date: 2007–01
  11. By: David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This paper examines the changes that occurred in the rail network and density of population in London during the nineteenth and twenti- eth centuries. It aims to disentangle the Óchicken and eggÓ problem of which came first, network or land development, through a set of statisti- cal analyses using clearly distinguishing events by order. Using a panel of data representing the 33 boroughs of London over each decade from 1871 to 2001, the research finds that there is a positive feedback effect between population density and network density. Additional rail stations (either underground or surface) are positive factors leading to subsequent increases in population in the suburbs of London, while additional popu- lation density is a subsequent factor in deploying more rail. These effects differ in central London, where the additional accessibility produced by rail led to commercial development and led to a depopulation. There are also few differences in the effects associated with surface rail stations and underground stations, as the underground was able to get into central London in a way that surface rail could not. However the two networks were weak (and statistically insignificant) substitutes for each other in the suburbs, but the density of surface rail stations was a complement to the Underground in the center, though not vice versa.
    Keywords: Transport, land use, London Underground, London railways, network growth, induced demand, induced supply
    JEL: R42 R31 R21 N73 N74
    Date: 2007–02
  12. By: Olsson, Ola (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The article features a temporal approach to modelling the social impact of Western colonialism. We collect a data set for all former colonies and dependencies that are regarded as countries today (143 observations). Our data, as well as existing theory, suggest that the very heterogeneous era of colonization might be divided into an early ’mercantilist’ wave and a much later ’imperialist’ wave with quite different characteristics. We demonstrate that a commonly used determinant of institutional quality - colonial settler mortality - had a much weaker effect on institutional outcomes during the imperialist scramble for Africa. When we broaden the analysis, it is shown that the positive effect of colonial duration on democracy is strongest among countries colonized during the imperialist era. Controlling for colonial duration, our results further indicate that a long history of statehood is bad for democracy while there is almost no effect of the national identity of the colonizer. <p>
    Keywords: colonialism; democracy; institutions; development; settler mortality
    JEL: N40 N50 P33
    Date: 2007–03–09
  13. By: U. Witt
    Abstract: What is special about the evolutionary approach? This question is given quite different, and partly incommensurable, answers in evolutionary economics. The present paper shows how the different answers correspond with, on the one hand, the particular heuristic twists by which the corresponding authors arrive at their hypotheses (e.g. by borrowing analogies from evolutionary biology). On the other hand, the answers hinge on different ontological assumption (i.e. on whether or not evolution in nature and in the economy are viewed as belonging to the same sphere of reality and, hence, as mutually dependent processes). By distinguishing these two dimensions a road map for evolutionary economics is drawn up that helps to better understand where, and why, the competing interpretations differ. In order to assess their achievements and their potential for future research, some results of an opinion poll among evolutionary economists are presented and discussed.
    Keywords: Length 28 pages
    Date: 2007–03
  14. By: Husain, Fazal; Rashid, Abdul
    Abstract: This study extends the analysis of casuality by Husain and Rashid by taking care of the shift in the variables due to the price hikes in the early 1970s. We investigate the casual relations between real money and real income, between nominal money and nominal income, and between nominal money and prices using using the annual data set from 1959-60 to 2003-04, examining the stochastic properties of the variables used in the analysis and taking care of the expected shifts in the series through dummies. The analysis indicates significant shifts in the variables during the sample period. In this context, the shift of the early 1970s seems to be more important to be incorporated in the analysis. The study finds an active role of money in the Pakistani economy, as it is found to be the leading variable in changing prices without any feed back. In the case of income, the study finds the feed back mechanism of money, which is generally missing in the earlier studies probably because of not taking care of the shift in the macroeconomic variables in Pakistan in the early 1970s.
    Keywords: Money; Income; Prices; Price hikes; Casual relations; Pakistan
    JEL: E3 N4 E4
    Date: 2006
  15. By: Ryuzo Sato (The Center for Japan-US Business and Economic Studies, New York University and Faculty of Economis, University of Tokyo); Tamaki Morita (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: This article deals with both theoretical and empirical analyses of the post-war period (1960-2004) for the United States and Japan. We investigated three factors contributing to growth: the growth rates of capital, labor, and labor-saving innovation. It is shown that in Japan, the growth rate of the labor force has been much less important than its quality improvement-i.e., labor-saving technical change-while in the US, the growth rate of labor and population has contributed more than their quality improvement. The policy implication here is Japan's declining population can be compensated for by additional quality improvement of the existing labor force.
    Date: 2007–03
  16. By: Tanya Araujo; Francisco Louçã
    Abstract: This paper investigates the dynamics of stocks in the S&P500 for the last 33 years, considering the population of all companies present in the index for the whole period. Using a stochastic geometry tech- nique and defining a robust index of the dynamics of the market struc- ture, which is able to provide information about the intensity of the crises, the paper proposes a seismographic classification of the crashes that occurred during the period. The index is used in order to inves- tigate and to classify the impact of the twelve crashes between July 1973 and March 2006 and to discuss the available evidence of change of structure after the fin de sicle.
    Keywords: Keywords: financial markets; stochastic geometry; complexity; market spaces; market structures.
    JEL: C0 G1

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