nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒03‒24
thirteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. The Sources of Long-run Growth in Spain 1850-2000 By de la Escosura, Leandro Prados; Rosés, Joan R.
  2. Colonial Origins, Institutions and Economic Performance in the Caribbean: Guyana and Barbados By Michael DaCosta
  3. Three Great American Disinflations By Michael Bordo; Christopher Erceg; Andrew Levin; Ryan Michaels
  4. Comparing the evolution of spatial inequality in China and India: a fifty-year perspective By Gajwani, Kiran; Kanbur, Ravi; Zhang, Xiaobo
  5. Growth accounting in items of turbulence and death: efficiency, technology, capital accumulation and human capital 1929-1950 By Kerstin Enflo; Jörg Baten
  6. El Banco de Francia, el BPI y la creación del Servicio de Estudios del Banco de España a principios de la década de 1930 By Pablo Martín-Aceña
  7. Toward a regionalisation of industrial politics: the case of French aerospace industry in Aquitaine (In French) By Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA-GRES)
  8. Does tariff liberalization promote trade? Latin America in the long run (1900-2000) By Carlo Pietrobelli; Silvia Nenci
  9. Towards a Re-Definition of Technology Management By Jean-Jacques Chanarron; Thierry Grange
  11. Fixed Exchange Rates and the Autonomy of Monetary Policy: The Franc Zone Case By Romain Veyrune
  13. Economic Aspects of the Right to a Compulsory Portion in the (French and German) Law of Succession By Martin Schöpflin

  1. By: de la Escosura, Leandro Prados; Rosés, Joan R.
    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.
    Keywords: factor accumulation; growth accounting; Spain; total factor productivity
    JEL: N13 N14 O47
    Date: 2007–03
  2. By: Michael DaCosta
    Abstract: The countries that were once British colonies in the Caribbean share a common language and a colonial history of slavery, dominance of a plantation-based sugar industry, and broadly similar government and administrative traditions. Following independence in the late-1960s economic strategies and performance across the region diverged. However, by the end of the 1980s, in the face of economic collapse Guyana had abandoned its strategy of "cooperative socialism", and its economic policies converged with those generally supported by the IMF and World Bank. Despite this policy convergence and shared colonial origins, economic performance and social indicators in Guyana and Barbados have continued to diverge. The paper explores some of the origins of this divergence, and, in particular, the deep seated factors that derive from the countries' history, geography, and demographics. In Guyana, while the focus on sound macroeconomic policies and donor support has been important, the most pressing requirement for sustained progress is to strengthen domestic institutions and build consensus on the country's future direction.
    Keywords: Caribbean , Guyana , Barbados , institutions , economic history , Economic conditions , Barbados , Guyana , Caribbean ,
    Date: 2007–02–28
  3. By: Michael Bordo (Rutgers and Cambridge University); Christopher Erceg (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System); Andrew Levin (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System); Ryan Michaels (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine three famous episodes of deliberate deflation (or disinflation) in U.S. history, including episodes following the Civil War, World War I, and the Volcker disinflation of the early 1980s. These episodes were associated with widely divergent effects on the real economy, which we attribute both to differences in the policy actions undertaken, and to the transparency and credibility of the monetary authorities. We attempt to account for the salient features of each episode within the context of a stylized DSGE model. Our model simulations indicate how a more predictable policy of gradual deflation could have helped avoid the sharp post-WWI depression. But our analysis also suggests that the strong argument for gradualism under a transparent monetary regime becomes less persuasive if the monetary authority lacks credibility; in this case, an aggressive policy stance (as under Volcker) can play a useful signalling role by making a policy shift more apparent to private agents.
    Keywords: DSGE Model, Credibility, Deflation
    JEL: E31 E32 E52
    Date: 2007–02–09
  4. By: Gajwani, Kiran; Kanbur, Ravi; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: "In the second half of the last century, both India and China have undergone major transitions and have moved to more liberalized economies. This paper relates the observed patterns in regional inequality to major events during this period. Because of China's institutional barriers to migration, regional inequality is much higher than in India. Also, China's decentralization and opening up are closely related to the observed regional inequality – particularly the inland-coastal disparity – since the reform period. From the Green Revolution age to the period of economic liberalization in India, the evolution of regional comparative advantage has shifted from the quality of land to the level of human capital as India integrates with the international market. Therefore, India's states have become clustered into two clubs: more educated and less educated ones." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Liberalization, Liberalized economies, Regional inequality, Migration, Decentralization, Green Revolution, Economic conditions, International economic relations, Human capital, Spatial inequality,
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Kerstin Enflo; Jörg Baten
    Abstract: We employ a non-parametrical approach to growth accounting (Data Envelopment Analysis, DEA) to disentangle the proximate sources of labour productivity growth in 41 nations between 1929 and 1950 by decomposing productivity growth into four components: technological change; efficiency catch-up (movements towards the production frontier), capital accumulation and human capital accumulation. We show that efficiency catch-up generally explains productivity growth, whereas technological change and factor accumulation were limited and distorted by the effects of war. War clearly hampered efficiency. Moreover, an unbalanced ratio of human capital to physical capital (a gap to the technological leader) was crucial for efficiency catching-up.
    Keywords: DEA, growth accounting, productivity, interwar period
    JEL: N10 N40 O47
  6. By: Pablo Martín-Aceña (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares)
    Abstract: El Servicio de Estudios del Banco de España se creó en diciembre de 1930, fecha tardía teniendo en cuenta que la mayoría de bancos centrales de países europeos ya tenían un servicio de investigaciones y de estudios. Esta innovación en la organización interna del Banco de España está ligada a la determinación de los poderes públicos de la época de estabilizar el tipo de cambio de la peseta e implantar el patrón oro. Sin embargo, quien concibió el plan de estabilización de la moneda española y recomendó la creación de un servicio de estudios fue el economista francés Pierre Quesnay, director general del Banco de Pagos Internacionales y antiguo director del Servicio de Estudios del Banco de Francia. Otra persona que desempeñó un papel fundamental en este asunto fue Michel Mitzakis, joven inspector del instituto emisor francés, quien, en el transcurso de una prolongada estancia en Madrid, colaboró estrechamente con el gobernador del Banco de España en la organización y puesta en marcha del nuevo servicio.
    Keywords: servicio de estudios, banco de españa, banco de francia, banco de pagos internacionales
    Date: 2006–04
  7. By: Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA-GRES)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the hypothesis of the increasing role of regional level for designing and driving industrial politics in France. We consider the case of aerospace industry and Aquitaine region. We adopt a historical approach, and consider three key periods. The first corresponds to the initial localizations of aerospace plants in Aquitaine: between WWI and sixties. Then we consider the nineties when the Aquitaine industry –essentially defence oriented- enters into crisis. The third period concerns the current years. This historical approach shows that the region is now a key actor for the local aerospace plants. It’s a new phenomenon. In the two first periods, the State oriented closely the development of this strategic industry; now the Aquitaine institutions are major sources for supporting the local enterprises. In conclusion, we stress some limits of the regionalisation process.
    Keywords: Aerospace industry, Aquitaine, Industrial policy, Regional development
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Carlo Pietrobelli; Silvia Nenci (Department of Law, Università degli Studi Roma Tre)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of trade liberalisation on import performance of selected Latin American countries. The novelty of this study is that it applies a long-term approach covering the whole XX century using times series and panel data analyses. The empirical exercise shows that the relationship between tariffs and import growth in Latin America cannot be taken for granted - as it often happens – and anyway that it is not always quantitatively substantial. In particular, our analysis shows the existence of a long run relationship between tariffs and imports only from the second half of the XX century. It follows that trade liberalisation appears effective in fostering Latin America’s trade growth only when integrated within a wider process, implying a multilateral and negotiated approach to trade policy. In this sense, multilateral and regional agreements (e.g. Mercosur) appear to have played a key role not only through tariff reduction but remarkably thanks to the creation of a rule-based system governing global trade relations. This result would confirm the thesis of those who endorse the existence of a formalized trading system to guarantee tariff liberalization and foster trade growth.
    Keywords: Tariffs liberalization, trade growth, trade integration process, time series, Latin America
    JEL: C22 F13 F15 N7
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Jean-Jacques Chanarron (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - [CNRS : UMR5824] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines], EMSI - Ecole de Management des Systèmes d'Information - [Ecole de Management de Grenoble]); Thierry Grange (EMSI - Ecole de Management des Systèmes d'Information - [Ecole de Management de Grenoble])
    Abstract: The paper is proposing an historical approach of the definition and constitution of technology management as a discipline leading to a re-visited approach more in line with contemporary issues and problems facing businesses. It is suggested to expand its scope to the strategic management of technology and innovation.
    Keywords: technology management
    Date: 2007–03–16
  10. By: A Feduzi
    Abstract: A number of scholars have noted that Ellsberg’s seminal 1961QJE critique of the subjective expected utility model bears certain resemblances to ideas expressed in J. M. Keynes’s earlier 1921 A Treatise on Probability. Ellsberg did not mention Keynes’s work in his article, but did do so in his doctoral dissertation submitted in 1962 and recently published in 2001. This gives rise to a number of interesting questions concerning the relationship between the contributions of the two authors. The present paper, drawing in part on a conversation with Ellsberg, attempts to answer these questions. The main conclusions that emerge are that Ellsberg formulated the ideas advanced in the QJE article before having read, and thus independently of, Keynes’s work, and that, even though he later recognised the importance and originality of Keynes’s work in his PhD dissertation, he did not fully appreciate the constructive part of Keynes’s analysis. 1. Introduction The last twenty years have seen a revival of
  11. By: Romain Veyrune
    Abstract: This paper compares monetary policy of currency boards with that of the franc zone during the period 1956-2005. It concludes that monetary policy in the zone was more autonomous than under a currency board, even though both systems faced the same exchange rate constraint. So far, the contingency line provided by the French treasury and capital controls have allowed the zone to combine a fixed exchange rate and a relatively autonomous monetary policy. Financial development and zone enlargement would challenge this relative autonomy for two reasons: (1) the potential cost to the French treasury would increase; and (2) residents would potentially be able to avoid capital controls. For the zone to maintain its fixed exchange rate, close targeting of foreign reserves would become important.
    Keywords: Franc zone , currency boards , monetary policy , fixed exchange rate , Exchange rate policy , Monetary unions , Currency boards , Monetary policy ,
    Date: 2007–02–21
  12. By: Matilde Alonso (EA-GI 19 - Economie, Treball i Territori - [Universitat de Valencia]); Elies Furio Blasco (EA-GI 19 - Economie, Treball i Territori - [Universitat de Valencia])
    Abstract: En el ámbito de la economía, el régimen que Franco impuso en sus primeros años, la doctrina falangista con un rechazo total a todo lo que significaba una relación con el exterior. La nefasta situación económica impuso la necesidad de una apertura económica internacional, a pesar de la firmeza de ciertas ideas muy conservadoras. El punto de inflexión entre el primer periodo franquista y la apertura externa fue el Plan de Estabilización de 1959. <br />La crisis energética coincidió con la crisis política del agotamiento del franquismo y a la transición democrática que concluirá con la incorporación de España a las Comunidades Europeas en 1986 que completa la liberalización y apertura de la economía española<br />En este trabajo se estudia la evolución de la economía española desde el aislamiento económico del primer periodo franquista con la autarquía hasta la incorporación de la moneda única. Consiguientemente se estudian también la apertura de la economía española con el Plan de Estabilización y el contexto en el que se realiza la adhesión a la Comunidad Económica Europea y los efectos de la misma sobre el ciclo económico español.
    Keywords: Economía, España, Franquismo, Autarquía, Plan de Estabilización Integración en la CEE, Euro.
    Date: 2007–03–22
  13. By: Martin Schöpflin (Niedersächsische Fachhochschule für Verwaltung und Rechtspflege)
    Abstract: This paper shows that the German legislator thought of the economic effects of sussession law in the year 1879. Equally, the French legislator and the French discussion considered some aspects that are econmomically relevant. The economic considerations concerned the right to a compulsory portion (German: Pflichtteilsrecht; French: la réserve). The legislator's objective was to distribute wealth. The current criticism of this objective in Germany is not justified. The right to a compulsory portion implies several further economic aspects. It generates incentives for economic cooperation between family members and prevents them from externalizing costs (onto the social system). It reduces transaction costs and implifies the legal relationships between the members of the family. The fact that the right to a compulsory portion constitutes binding law does not necessarily decrease efficiency.

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