nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒06‒18
thirty papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. The Usury Doctrine and Urban Public Finances in Late-Medieval Flanders: Annuities, Excise Taxes, and Income Transfers from the Poor to the Rich By John H. Munro
  2. The Migration of African Americans to the Canadian Football League during the mid-20th Century: An Escape from Discrimination? By Neil Longley; Todd Crosset; Steve Jefferson
  3. James Meade By David Vines
  4. Business Groups and the Big Push: Meiji Japan's Mass Privatization and Subsequent Growth By Randall Morck; Masao Nakamura
  5. Gender Roles and Technological Progress By Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti
  6. Monetary and prudential policies at a crossroads? New challenges in the new century By Claudio E. V. Borio
  7. Proudhon et Smith By Alain Béraud
  8. Corporate governance and corporate ownership: The investment behaviour of Japanese institutional investors By Yener Altunbaş; Alper Kara; Adrian van Rixtel
  9. Rapports de classes et relations inter-ethniques dans le Cambodge précolonial By Maurice Comte
  10. Institution-specific value By Ken Peasnell
  11. Do accounting changes affect the economic behaviour of financial firms? By Anne Beatty
  12. Phoenix miracles in emerging markets: recovering without credit from systemic financial crises By Alejandro Izquierdo; Ernesto Talvi; Guillermo A Calvo
  13. Fair value accounting for financial instruments: some implications for bank regulation By Wayne Landsman
  14. Traditional paradigms for new services? : The Commission Proposal for a 'Audiovisual Media Services Directive' By SCHEUER, Alexander
  15. Including estimates of the future in today's financial statements By Mary Barth
  16. Portugal e a Globalização: um Destino Histórico? By Pereira, Luis Brites
  17. Risk in financial reporting: status, challenges and suggested directions By Claudio E. V. Borio; Kostas Tsatsaronis
  18. A sceptic comment on "A sceptic´s comment on the study of economics" By Jeanette Brosig; Timo Heinrich; Thomas Riechmann; Ronnie Schöb; Joachim Weimann
  19. An application proposal of yardstick competition for the regional markets of the French railway system By Julien Lévêque
  20. The Foundations of the Economics of Innovation By Antonelli Cristiano
  21. The empirics of multinationality and performance By Bowen, H.P.
  22. Labour Market Effects of the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany. By Florian Hagn; Wolfgang Maennig
  23. Productivity of Rural Credit: A Review of Issues and Some Recent Literature By Sriram M.S.
  24. Regional Income and Employment Effects of the 1972 Munich Olympic Summer Games By Stephanie Jasmand; Wolfgang Maennig
  25. Rural Management Education in India: A Retrospect By Sriram M.S.
  26. La grande onda schumpeteriana alla fine del xx secolo. Transizioni tecnologiche e modelli economici nel caso italiano By Antonelli Cristiano; Patrucco Pier Paolo; Quatraro Francesco
  27. The Role of Public Service Broadcasters in the Era of Convergence A Case Study of Televisió de Catalunya By PRADO, Emili; FERNÁNDEZ, David
  28. The effects of technology-as-knowledge on the economic performance of developing countries: An econometric analysis using annual publications data for Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, 1976-2004 By Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich
  29. Techonology Based Strategic Alliances: A Turkish Perspective By Akkaya, Cenk
  30. Poverty, inequality, and social disparities during China ' s economic reform By Dollar, David

  1. By: John H. Munro
    Abstract: The objectives of this paper are three-fold. The first is to rebut Charles Kindleberger’s famous dictum that usury ‘belongs less to economic history than to the history of ideas’; and in particular to demonstrate that the resuscitation of the anti-usury campaign from the early 13th century led to a veritable financial revolution in late-medieval French and Flemish towns: one that became the ‘norm’ in modern European states from the 16th century (in England, from 1693): a shift in public borrowing from interest-bearing loans to the sale of annuities, usually called rentes or renten. That anti-usury campaign had two major features: (1) the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which provided harsh punishments – excommunication -- for both unrepentant usurers and princes who failed to suppress them; and (2) the establishment of the two mendicant preaching orders: the Franciscans (1210) and the Dominicans (1216), whose monks preached hellfire and eternal damnation against all presumed usurers – including, of course, anyone who received any interest on government loans. There is much evidence that from the 1220s, many financiers in many French and Flemish towns, fearing for their immortal souls, preferred to accept far lower returns on buying rentes than the interest they would have earned on loans. These rentes, based on 8th-century Carolingian census contracts, had two basic forms: (1) life-annuities, by which a citizen purchased from the government, with a lump sum of capital, an annual income stream lasting a lifetime, or the lifetime of his wife as well; (2) perpetual annuities, by which the annual income stream was indeed perpetual, or until such time as the government chose to redeem the rentes, at par. Initially, some theologians opposed sales of rentes as subterfuges to cloak evasion of the usury doctrine. But in 1250-1, Pope Innocent IV declared them to be non-usurious contracts, essentially because they were not loans. Subsequent popes in the 15th century confirmed his views and the non-usurious character of rentes, on two conditions: (1) that the buyer of the rente could never demand redemption or repayment, and (2) that the annual annuity payments (and any ultimate redemptions) be in accordance with actual rent contracts: i.e., that the funds be derived from the products of the land. Ecclesiastical authorities soon agreed that taxes on the consumption of the products of the land (and sea) met this test: i.e., taxes on beer and wine (which always accounted for the largest share), bread, textiles, fish, meat, dairy products, etc. The second objective of this paper is to measure the importance of renten in the civic finances of Flemish towns, in terms of both revenues and expenditures: from the annual town accounts Ghent (14th century only), and Aalst (1395-1550), where they had far greater importance. The related third objective is to measure the burden of the excise taxes for master building craftsmen in Aalst, in tables that measure the values of the excise tax revenues expressed in real terms: first, in the equivalent number of ‘baskets of consumables’ (which form of the base of the Consumer Price Index), and second their value in terms of the annual money-wage incomes of master masons (for 210 days). This provides an entirely new look at the late-medieval ‘standard of living’ controversy – with indications that this consumption-tax burden sometimes rose from about 13,200 to almost 30,000 days’ wage income, for a town of perhaps 3600 inhabitants (but obviously less dramatic on a per capita basis). That tax burden rose the most strongly when, by other indications, real wages (RWI = NWI/CPI) were also finally rising; and thus possibly these real wage gains were largely eliminated. That per capita tax burden would have been all the greater if, in the course of the 15th century, Aalst had experienced the same decline as did small towns of Brabant, to the east, on the order of 25%, and some other Flemish towns, in which the population decline varied from 9% to 28 %. In earlier publications I had challenged the widespread view that the era following the Black Death, with a radical change in the land:labour ratio, came to be a ‘Golden Age’ of the artisan and labourer. I contended instead that frequent inflations eroded or eliminated wage gains, and thus that periodic rises in real wages were due essentially to steep deflations combined with pronounced wage-stickiness. As I also calculated, English artisans in the 1340s had earned real wages that were about 50% of the Flemish; but by the 1480s, they had narrowed that gap (with much less inflation) to about 80%. That gap was probably even smaller, until the 1640s, when England’s Parliament finally imposed similar excise taxes on consumption.
    Keywords: Flanders, warfare, urban public finances, building craftsmen, annuities (rentes), excise taxes, consumption, living standards, income transfers
    JEL: B11 D31 E25 E31 E42 E62 H2 H31 H71 J10 J31 J45 J81 N93
    Date: 2007–06–11
  2. By: Neil Longley (Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts); Todd Crosset (Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts); Steve Jefferson (Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts)
    Abstract: The institutional racial discrimination that existed in American professional team sports prior to World War II resulted in African American players effectively being barred from playing in the major professional leagues. Although the NFL color barrier did officially fall in 1946, to be quickly followed by the fall of the MLB color barrier one year later when Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, these events were just the beginning of the struggles for African American athletes. Integration proceeded very slowly during the next two decades, and economists have shown that African Americans continued to suffer from a variety of forms of discriminatory treatment. However, it is the argument of this paper that the literature that examines discrimination during this era is incomplete, in that it ignores the experiences of a small, but relatively significant, group of African American football players who actually chose to leave their own country – and correspondingly leave the racially-charged environment of mid-20th century America – to head north to play professional football in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Beginning in 1946, a steady flow of African Americans began to migrate to the CFL which, at the time, was a legitimate competitor league to the NFL. This paper attempts to test a perception seemingly held by some that, by moving to Canada, African American football players were able to escape the racial injustices they often suffered in the US. This view appears to have its roots in the notion that Canada is a “gentler”, more tolerant society, without the divisive socio-political history that characterizes much of the race relations in the US. This paper tests these notions using a variety of empirical approaches. The results indicate that, while African Americans were better represented in the CFL relative to the NFL, African Americans still faced some level of entry discrimination in the CFL. In particular, African American players in the CFL outperformed their white counterparts on numerous performance dimensions, indicating the overall talent level in the CFL could have been further improved by employing an even greater number of African Americans. Additionally, the paper finds that those CFL teams that employed the highest percentage of African Americans were those teams that had the most on-field success. Finally, the paper analyzes prices of player trading cards from that era, and finds that cards of African Americans were undervalued, relative to white CFL players of equal talent.
    Keywords: sports
    JEL: J71 L83
    Date: 2007–06
  3. By: David Vines
    Abstract: This article explains the part that Meade played in the creation of Keynes`s General Theory, describes his work with Keynes during the Second World War in the creation of the IMF and the GATT, and summarizes the ideas in The Theory of International Economic Policy for which Meade was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1977. It also sets out the role that Meade played in the construction of the inflation-targeting regime which became the centrepiece of British macroeconomic policymaking in the 1990s.
    Keywords: Balance of Payments, Inflation Targeting, Heckscher-Ohlin Trade Theory, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation
    JEL: E0 F0
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Randall Morck; Masao Nakamura
    Abstract: Rosenstein-Rodan (1943) and others posit that rapid development requires a 'big push' - the coordinated rapid growth of diverse complementary industries, and suggests a role for government in providing such coordination. We argue that Japan's zaibatsu, or pyramidal business groups, provided this coordination after the Meiji government failed at the task. We propose that pyramidal business groups are private sector mechanisms for coordinating and financing 'big push' growth, and that unique historical circumstances aided their success in prewar Japan. Specifically, Japan uniquely marginalized its feudal elite; withdrew its hand with a propitious mass privatization that rallied the private sector; marginalized an otherwise entrenched first generation of wealthy industrialists; and remained open to foreign trade and capital.
    JEL: G3 L23 L25 N15 N25 O14 O16 O19 O2 O21 O25 O38 O53 P1 P11 P12
    Date: 2007–06
  5. By: Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti
    Abstract: Until the early decades of the 20th century, women spent more than 60% of their prime-age years either pregnant or nursing. Since then, the introduction of infant formula reduced women's comparative advantage in infant care, by providing an effective breast milk substitute. In addition, improved medical knowledge and obstetric practices reduced the time cost associated with women's reproductive role. We explore the hypothesis that these developments enabled married women to increase their participation in the labor force, thus providing the incentive to invest in market skills, which in turn reduced their earnings differential with respect to men. We document these changes and develop a quantitative model that aims to capture their impact. Our results suggest that progress in medical technologies related to motherhood was essential to generate a significant rise in the participation of married women between 1920 and 1950, in particular those with young children.
    JEL: J13 J16 J2 J22 N3 O3
    Date: 2007–06
  6. By: Claudio E. V. Borio
    Abstract: It is hard to find a period in the post-war era in which inflation-adjusted interest rates have been so low for so long and monetary and credit aggregates have expanded so much without igniting inflation (the "Great Liquidity Expansion puzzle"). What lies behind these developments? How benign are they? This paper argues that financial liberalisation, the establishment of credible anti-inflation monetary policies and (real-side) globalisation have resulted in subtle but profound changes in the dynamics of the economy and in the challenges faced by policymakers. In the new environment which has gradually been taking shape, the main "structural" risk may not be so much run away inflation. Rather, it may be the damage caused by the unwinding of financial imbalances that occasionally build up over the longer expansion phases of the economy, typically spanning more than one higher-frequency business cycle. Depending on its intensity, the unwinding can lead to economic weakness, unwelcome disinflation and possibly financial strains. The analysis has implications for monetary and prudential policies. It calls for a firmer long-term focus, for greater symmetry in policy responses between upswings and downswings, with more attention being paid to actions during upswings, and for closer cooperation between monetary and prudential authorities. In recent years, the intellectual climate and policy frameworks have gradually evolved in a direction more consistent with this perspective. At the same time, obstacles to further progress remain. They are of an analytical, institutional and, above all, political economy nature. Removing them calls for further analytical and educational efforts.
    Keywords: business fluctuations, globalisation, prudential and monetary policy, financial imbalances, monetary and financial stability, liquidity
    Date: 2006–09
  7. By: Alain Béraud (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - [CNRS : UMR8184] - [Université de Cergy Pontoise])
    Abstract: Proudhon a lu La Richesse des Nations au début des années 1840. Il a, alors, rédigé des notes qu'Edward Castleton a transcrites. L'analyse de ces notes permet de montrer que cette lecture de Smith est un des facteurs qui explique l'évolution des analyses de Proudhon de Qu'est-ce-que la propriété ? jusqu'au Système des contradictions économiques.
    Keywords: Proudhon, Smith, Propriété, valeur, division du travail
    Date: 2007–06–09
  8. By: Yener Altunbaş (Centre for Banking and Financial Studies, SBARD, University of Wales); Alper Kara (Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University); Adrian van Rixtel (Banco de España)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the investment behaviour of institutional investors in terms of their shareholdings in 2,938 companies listed on the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges at the end of June 2002. By doing so, we provide one of the first detailed empirical analyses of the involvement of institutional investors in the ownership structure of Japanese listed firms. At the same time, we compare this aspect of Japanese corporate governance with the shareholdings of banks in the same group of firms. Our results show that the equity investments of financial investors — institutional investors and banks — in Japanese listed companies at the end of June 2002 were predominantly in the high-tech manufacturing, traditional manufacturing and communications industries. All financial investors combined held more than 60% of the equity capital of the firms listed on the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges, with banks being the largest group of these financial investors. Further analysis shows that on average most financial investors were minority shareholders, holding up to 3% of a firm’s total shares. Domestic financial investors tended to have higher levels of ownership than foreign institutions, and small and minority shareholdings were more common among foreign financial investors than among domestic banks and institutional investors. Finally, the average shareholdings of six large Japanese financial groups in Japanese listed companies were considerable, representing an average ownership level of 3.3% of a firm’s stock. However, they were not as high as to exert a significant degree of corporate control. All in all, we conclude that as of end-June 2002, banks continued to be important shareholders of Japanese listed firms, owing around 34% of the market capitalisation of all listed firms on the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges. At the same time, institutional investors, predominantly investment firms and insurance companies, were important shareholders as well, accounting for around 27% of total market capitalisation. Moreover, we found that foreign investment funds were very important shareholders of Japanese listed firms, which confirms the general perception that foreign ownership of Japan’s corporate sector has become a rather crucial characteristic of the system of corporate governance in Japan.
    Keywords: banks, corporate governance, institutional investors, japan
    JEL: G21 G30 G34
    Date: 2007–05
  9. By: Maurice Comte (LEFI - Laboratoire d'économie de la firme et des institutions - [Université Lumière Lyon 2])
    Abstract: Quels sont les moyens d'une construction scientifique de l'histoire du Cambodge ? Deux aspects étroitement liés l'un à l'autre sont retenus ici. 1 - Examen critique systématique des connaissances léguées par l'histoire coloniale. 2 - Réinterprétation des prétendues "données" dans un cadre théorique adéquat. En particulier, l'étude des relations inter-ethniques ne peut rompre avec les poncifs idéologiques qu'en se situant avec précision à l'intérieur d'une analyse en termes de classes. Cette dernière, afin d'être explicative, ne peut se contenter d'une dichotomie simple exploiteurs/exploités (et/ou dominants/dominés), mais doit permettre de saisir la complexité de la "formation sociale" cambodgienne conçue comme une combinaison spécifique de plusieurs modes de production.
    Keywords: Cambodge; histoire; méthode maxiste; mode de production
    Date: 2007–06–05
  10. By: Ken Peasnell (Lancaster University - Department of Accounting, Finance)
    Abstract: The introduction of a new accounting standard for financial instruments, has raised a number of issues related to the application of fair value principles. This paper discusses some of these issues which are generally related to the fact that "fair values" are not always easily defined or readily available. It concludes that the application of fair value for financial liabilities might present fewer complications if it is matched by similar valuation principles for financial assets. The issue of measurement error is more complicated as it can be related to whether valuations refer to exit value, as postulated by the IASB, or deprival value, which is more closely related to firm-specific valuation. Measurement error is magnified in the income statement and so will be any biases from the application of historical accounting for derivatives. Despite any measurement issues, the problem of institution-specific dimensions of value that looms so large in the case of non-financial enterprises and makes the systematic application of fair value accounting fraud with difficulty there, would seem to be much more manageable for financial institutions because of their familiarity with risk measurement and management techniques for financial instruments.
    Keywords: financial statements, institution-specific value, fair value, financial reporting
    JEL: E58 G15 M41
    Date: 2006–08
  11. By: Anne Beatty (Ohio State University - Department of Accounting & Management Information Systems)
    Abstract: This study examines whether accounting changes result in changes in the economic behaviour of financial institutions. The results of several papers examining how banks respond to accounting changes that affect their regulatory capital ratios are consistent with Furfine's (2000) summary that "capital regulation, broadly speaking, can significantly influence bank decision-making." These papers do not attempt to disentangle the effects of capital regulation versus market discipline. This paper examines banks' response to recent changes in accounting for Trust Preferred Securities that effect how these securities are reported in the balance sheet but do not change the calculation of Tier 1 capital. This provides a good setting to examine whether accounting changes induce changes in banks' economic behaviour in the absence of an effect on regulatory capital. I test five hypotheses related to banks' decisions to issue Trust Preferred Stock during the period from 1997 through 2004. Specifically, I examine whether there was an overall decrease in banks' propensity to issue these securities after the accounting change, whether publicly traded banks and those that access the external debt markets were more likely to issue these securities before the accounting change but not after, and whether banks with low regulatory capital ratios and with high marginal tax rates were more likely to issue these securities both before and after the accounting change. The results suggest that accounting changes can lead to changes in banks' economic behaviour even when the change in accounting does not affect regulatory capital calculations. This is consistent with bank managers acting as if they are concerned with the markets' response to the numbers reported after the accounting change.
    Keywords: Bank capital, taxation, trust preferred securities, financial reporting
    JEL: G21 G32 M41
    Date: 2006–08
  12. By: Alejandro Izquierdo; Ernesto Talvi; Guillermo A Calvo
    Abstract: Using a sample of emerging markets that are integrated into global bond markets, we analyse the collapse and recovery phase of output collapses that coincide with systemic sudden stops, defined as periods of skyrocketing aggregate bond spreads and large capital flow reversals. Our findings indicate the presence of a very similar pattern across different episodes: output recovers with virtually no recovery in either domestic or foreign credit, a phenomenon that we call Phoenix Miracle, where output "rises from its ashes", suggesting that firms go through a process of financial engineering to restore liquidity outside the formal credit markets. Moreover, we show that the US Great Depression could be catalogued as a Phoenix Miracle. However, in contrast to the US Great Depression, EM output collapses occur in a context of accelerating price inflation and falling real wages, casting doubts on price deflation and nominal wage rigidity as key elements in explaining output collapse, and suggesting that financial factors are prominent for understanding these collapses.
    Keywords: Output collapse, systemic crises, Balance of Payments crisis, Sudden Stop, capital flows, Phoenix Miracle, credit crunch, Great Depression
    JEL: F31 F32 F34 F41
    Date: 2006–12
  13. By: Wayne Landsman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Accounting Area)
    Abstract: I identify issues that bank regulators need to consider if fair value accounting is used for determining bank regulatory capital and when making regulatory decisions. In financial reporting, US and international accounting standard setters have issued several disclosure and measurement and recognition standards for financial instruments and all indications are that both standard setters will mandate recognition of all financial instruments at fair value. To help identify important issues for bank regulators, I briefly review capital market studies that examine the usefulness of fair value accounting to investors, and discuss marking-to-market implementation issues of determining financial instruments' fair values. In doing so, I identify several key issues. First, regulators need to consider how to let managers reveal private information in their fair value estimates while minimising strategic manipulation of model inputs to manage income and regulatory capital. Second, regulators need to consider how best to minimise measurement error in fair values to maximise their usefulness to investors and creditors when making investment decisions, and to ensure bank managers have incentives to select investments that maximise economic efficiency of the banking system. Third, cross-country institutional differences are likely to play an important role in determining the effectiveness of using mark-to-market accounting for financial reporting and bank regulation.
    Keywords: fair values, financial instruments, information asymmetry
    JEL: E58 G15 M41
    Date: 2006–08
  14. By: SCHEUER, Alexander
    Abstract: For over 10 years the European Community has strived to develop suitable and proportionate answers to the phenomenon of convergence in its audiovisual regulatory policy. This article outlines the regulatory process at an EU level since the early 1980s as far as media, telecommunications and Information Society services are concerned, and analyses some of the most relevant policy papers specifically related to the adoption of the EC legal framework for the media in the digital age, before focusing on the preparatory phase leading up to the adoption of the Commission proposal for a Directive on "Audiovisual Media Services", issued in December 2005. In addition, the core of this proposal for a revised "Television without Frontiers" Directive, i.e. the extension of its scope to cover new media services provided in a non-linear manner and the introduction of a graduated regime of regulation with a lighter-touch approach in view of such services, is presented along with the main lines of debate among stakeholders.
    Keywords: Convergence; digital television; new audiovisual media services; EU media regulatory policy; revision of TWF Directive; electronic communications; broadcasting
    JEL: L82 L51 K23 L41 L96 D82
    Date: 2006–06
  15. By: Mary Barth (Stanford Graduate School of Business)
    Abstract: This paper explains why the question is how, not if, today's financial statements should include estimates of the future. Including such estimates is not new, but their use is increasing. This increase results primarily because standard setters believe asset and liability measures that reflect current economic conditions and up-to-date expectations of the future will result in more useful information for making economic decisions, which is the objective of financial reporting. This is why standard setters seem focused on fair value accounting. How estimates of the future are incorporated in financial statements depends on the asset and liability measurement attribute, and on financial reporting definitions of assets and liabilities. The present definitions depend on identifying past transactions or events that give rise to expected inflows or outflows of economic benefits and, for inflows, control over the expected benefits. Thus, not all expected inflows or outflows of economic benefits are recognised. Note disclosures can help users understand recognised estimates, and can provide information about unrecognised estimates. Including more estimates of the future in today's financial statements would result in an income measure that differs from today's income, but arguably provides better information for making economic decisions.
    Keywords: financial statements, fair value, financial reporting
    JEL: E58 G15 M41
    Date: 2006–08
  16. By: Pereira, Luis Brites
    Abstract: O fenómeno da globalização económica e financeira iniciou-se no século XV com a era dos descobrimentos portugueses, que conduziram à afirmação progressiva da hegemonia da Europa Ocidental e Atlântica, em geral, e de Portugal, em particular, sobre o resto do mundo neste período. Desde então, verifica-se uma integração nas dinâmicas de mundialização económica de praticamente todas as zonas do globo, com os seus recursos materiais e humanos, na generalização e intensificação a todos os níveis das trocas de mercadorias e dos movimentos de capitais e no incremento das inovações tecnológicas e institucionais.3 Para Portugal, o mérito de ser a primeira “nação globalizadora" derivou de um conjunto de inovações geo-económicas e geo-políticas criadas pela liderança portuguesa da altura. É de salientar o papel que as políticas activas de promoção da inovação tecnológica tiveram neste processo de afirmação de hegemonia, designadamente ao nível das técnicas de navegação. A criação de um sistema global de frotas, bases, alianças e rotas de comércio; a organização de um projecto colectivo de 'descobertas', e, acima de tudo, a implantação de uma instituição de liderança global permitiu aos portugueses serem os primeiros a olhar "para fora", para o mundo, em geometria variável, tirando dessa situação um enorme proveito económico.
    Date: 2007
  17. By: Claudio E. V. Borio; Kostas Tsatsaronis
    Abstract: Advances in risk measurement technology have reshaped financial markets and the functioning of the financial system. More recently, they have been reshaping the prudential framework. Looking forward, they have the potential to reshape financial reporting too. Recent initiatives to improve financial reporting standards have brought to the fore significant differences in perspective between accounting standard setters and prudential authorities. Building on previous work, we argue that risk measurement and management technology can be instrumental in bridging this gap and, by the same token, in improving financial reporting. Risk measurement plays a crucial role in the measurement, verification and validation of valuations. It is the basis for giving more prominence to risk and measurement error information in public disclosures. And it could act as more of a focal point in the design of accounting standards, as greater consistency between sound risk management practices and accounting standards can help to narrow the wedge between accounting and underlying economic valuations.
    Keywords: risk measurement and management, accounting, regulation, financial reporting
    JEL: D52 G00 G12 G28 M41
    Date: 2006–08
  18. By: Jeanette Brosig (Department of Economics, University of Cologne); Timo Heinrich (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Thomas Riechmann (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Ronnie Schöb (Department of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin); Joachim Weimann (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)
    Abstract: This paper provides a critical re-examination of Rubinstein’s survey in which he questions the way of teaching economics. The observations obtained in our new survey cast some doubts on the original findings, and in particular, question Rubinstein’s conjecture that our students’ views on economic issues are influenced by the way we teach economics.
    Keywords: Survey, Economics Education, Teaching of Economics
    JEL: A2 C9
    Date: 2007–06
  19. By: Julien Lévêque (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: Inherited from the mid-20th century, the European organization of national railways in state-owned, integrated and few regulated monopolies is not relevant anymore. Although this has been an interesting answer to the problems of externalities, investments and regulation, changes have occurred in technology, demand and economical analysis. In particular, economists have proposed many regulation schemes, which lead the regulators to increase the efficiency of the firms operating on the market. Because of the high costs of rail transportation, governments decide to liberalize the market; in particular, the European Commission and the European Parliament wish the passenger rail market opening. However, some countries, like France, still have not opened their passenger rail market, which is currently monopolized by the historic and national operator, the SNCF. In this paper, we assume that for social, political and economical (economies of density, network externalities) reasons, the regional passenger traffic will remain operated by the SNCF, in the coming years. However, we propose a regulation framework, based on yardstick competition (comparisons of performances), which could encourage the SNCF to improve the efficiency of its regional trains. Yardstick competition consists in estimating what should be the best prices and subsidies, by comparing the performance of several similar and regulated firms, operating on several monopoly markets. If an operator seems to be relatively efficient according to comparisons, it has to be rewarded. On the other hand, an inefficient operator has to be punished, so that the comparison mechanism promotes competition. The paper aims at analysing the introduction of yardstick competition on the French market of regional rail transport operation. We show that the implementation of yardstick competition permits the local regulators to preserve the monopoly of the SNCF and to develop a virtual competition between its local activities. This leads to improve the efficiency of the regional operators and to increase the expertise of the rail regulators. In the first part of the paper, we discuss the implementation of yardstick competition on the French market of regional rail transport operation. First we describe what is called yardstick competition and how it could be implemented on this market. Then, we show that paradoxically to the preservation of the SNCF monopoly, the new market structure of the regional passenger rail transport (regionalized in 2002) is suitable for such an implementation of yardstick competition. In the second part, we examine some theoretical, economical models. On the one hand, we explain why the use of comparisons benefits to the rail regulators (reduction of its capture by the operator, reduction of uncertainty...). On the other hand, we review and discuss some limits of the mechanism (external heterogeneity of the compared operators, investment incentives, and collusion...). In the third part, we present the results of an econometric treatment, estimating the efficiency scores of the regional operators. First, we describe the cost-data base used, before resolving the question of external heterogeneity between the operators. It appears that the only explanatory variable of the external inefficiency is the delinquency rate: in some regions, the operator has to employ more ticket inspectors due to the delinquency. Then we explain the followed methodology and discuss the outcomes of the model. Operators' efficiency scores vary from 0.8 (for the worst) to 1 (for the best). Those internal inefficiencies may be due to sub-optimal spatial organization or employee rotations, the operation of rural trains with two agents although one is sufficient, informational rent or local strikes. Hence, we conclude that yardstick competition could be an original and efficient way of introducing “intramodal” competition in the regional passenger rail market.
    Keywords: Yardstick Competition ; Efficiency ; French Railway System ; Regional Markets
    Date: 2007–06–07
  20. By: Antonelli Cristiano (University of Turin)
    Date: 2007–02
  21. By: Bowen, H.P.
    Abstract: The relationship between a firm’s degree of multinationality and its performance is perhaps the most studied relationship in the field of international business. In this paper I address issues concerning the empirical estimation of this relationship. I argue for greater delineation of the underlying nature of firms’ multinationality and I point to several statistical issues regarding estimation that appear to need resolution, but which appear to have been largely neglected in the international business literature. Among these are endogeneity of the multinationality construct in the performance relationship and the likelihood that the multinationality-performance relationship is heterogeneous across firms.
    Date: 2007–06–14
  22. By: Florian Hagn; Wolfgang Maennig (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: Olympic Games may have impacts on income and employment in the host city, but no ex post study has been carried out for European Olympic host cities to date. The present study closes this gap using the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The data period examined in this study allows for analysis of long-term effects. In addition, the methodology avoids overestimating the significance of the effects. Finally, we report results for all possible combinations of pre- and post-Olympic periods. The results: income in Olympic regions grew significantly faster than in other German regions. In contrast, no employment effects were identified.
    Keywords: Labour market, regional economics, sports economics, World Cup, Stadium Impact
    JEL: L83 R53 R58
    Date: 2007–06
  23. By: Sriram M.S.
    Abstract: The policy intervention in agriculture has been credit driven. This is even more pronounced in the recent interventions made by the State, in doubling agricultural credit, providing subvention and putting an upper cap on interest rates for agricultural loans, the package announced for distressed farmers. We use existing literature and data to argue that the causality of agricultural output with increased doses of credit cannot be clearly established. We argue that Indian agriculture is undergoing fundamental change wherein the technology and inputs are moving out of the hands of the farmers to external suppliers. This, over a period of time may have resulted in the de-skilling of farmers and without adequate public investments in support services and without appropriate risk mitigation products has created a near-crisis in agriculture. Thus, we argue that policy interventions have to be necessarily patient and holistic. Looking specifically at the rural financial markets, using some primary data we argue that it is necessary to understand the rural financial markets from the demand side. We conclude the paper by identifying some directions in which the policy intervention could move, keeping the overall rural economy in view rather than being unifocal about agriculture.
    Date: 2007–06–07
  24. By: Stephanie Jasmand; Wolfgang Maennig (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: Olympic Games may have impacts on income and employment in the host city, but no ex post study has been carried out for European Olympic host cities to date. The present study closes this gap using the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The data period examined in this study allows for analysis of long-term effects. In addition, the methodology avoids overestimating the significance of the effects. Finally, we report results for all possible combinations of pre- and post-Olympic periods. The results: income in Olympic regions grew significantly faster than in other German regions. In contrast, no employment effects were identified.
    Keywords: Olympic Games, mega events, income, employment
    JEL: L83 O18 R11 R53 R58
    Date: 2007–06
  25. By: Sriram M.S.
    Abstract: The paper reviews the state of rural management education in India. Using the setting up of the Institute of Rural Management Anand [IRMA] as a pivot, the paper examines the difficulties in establishing specialized management schools, the design of the curriculum and the management of the expectations of both the students who come in and the recruiters. It then identifies the problems in running rural management programmes particularly the dilemma between explicit value orientation towards the betterment of the poor and the value neutral optimization approach of conventional management education. The paper then examines the paradigm shift that has happened in the marketplace for rural managers, and concludes with some further questions on how the future of rural management education can be addressed.
    Date: 2007–04–05
  26. By: Antonelli Cristiano (University of Turin); Patrucco Pier Paolo (University of Turin); Quatraro Francesco (University of Turin)
    Date: 2007–01
  27. By: PRADO, Emili; FERNÁNDEZ, David
    Abstract: The development of the convergence process has several implications in the reconfiguration of the media landscape. Public services broadcasters have new opportunities to fulfil their public service duties in a new competitive environment, which involves developing new applications on new platforms. Televisió de Catalunya, the public service broadcaster (PSB) of Catalonia, has developed a clear strategy in this new convergent environment, applying its traditional know-how to new interactive and digital media according to its public mission and getting positive feedback.
    Keywords: convergence; public service broadcasting; interactive TV; bandwidth; 3G services; multimedia and digital divide.
    JEL: L82 K23 L96 D82
    Date: 2006–06
  28. By: Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich
    Abstract: Extant literature indicates that technology, and by implication its underlying knowledge base, determines long-run economic performance. Absent from the literature with respect to developing countries are quantitative assessments of the nexus between technology as knowledge and economic performance. This paper imposes a simple production function on annual pooled observations on Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa over the 1976-2004 period to estimate the marginal impacts of technology as knowledge on economic performance. It finds that capital (k), openness to trade (τ), and even the share of government expenditure of GDP (G) among other factors, influence economic performance. However, the economic performance of countries like Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa depends largely on technology, technological change, and the basic knowledge that forms the foundation for both. For instance, measured as a homogenous “manna from heaven”, technology is the strongest determinant of real per capita income of the three nations. The strength of technology as a determinant of performance depends on the knowledge underpinnings of technology measured as the number of publications (Q, q). Both Q and q are strongly correlated with the countries’ performance. This suggests that the “social capability” and “technological congruence” of these countries are improving, and that developing countries like Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa gain from increased investment in knowledge-building activities including publishing. Obviously there is room for strengthening results, but this analysis has succeeded in producing a testable hypothesis.
    Keywords: knowledge; technology; economic performance
    JEL: D80 O55 C51 O41 D83 C22 O47 O33 C33 I29
    Date: 2007–06–10
  29. By: Akkaya, Cenk
    Abstract: Strategic alliances can be as simple as two companies sharing their technological and/or marketing resources. In this context, strategic alliances help firms in an entrepreneurial way by allowing them to reorganize their value chain activities more effectively. Business alliances can assist organizations to acquire the means to compete within an ever complex and changing environment and it provide firms with market knowledge, open up access to know-how and technology. This study focuses on the technology related alliances from 2002 to 2005 in Turkey.
    Keywords: Strategic Alliances; Techology Based Alliances; Compatitive Power
    JEL: O32 O3
    Date: 2007
  30. By: Dollar, David
    Abstract: China has been the most rapidly growing economy in the world over the past 25 years. This growth has fueled a remarkable increase in per capita income and a decline in the poverty rate from 64 percent at the beginning of reform to 10 percent in 2004. At the same time, however, different kinds of disparities have increased. Income inequality has risen, propelled by the rural-urban income gap and by the growing disparity between highly educated urban professionals and the urban working class. There have also been increases in inequality of health and education outcomes. Some rise in inequality was inevitable as China introduced a market system, but inequality may have been exacerbated rather than mitigated by a number of policy features. Restrictions on rural-urban migration have limited opportunities for the relatively poor rural population. The inability to sell or mortgage rural land has further reduced opportunities. China has a uniquely decentralized fiscal system that has relied on local government to fund basic health and education. The result has been that poor villages could not afford to provide good services, and poor households could not afford the high private costs of basic public services. Ironically, the large trade surplus that China has built up in recent years is a further problem, in that it stimulates an urban industrial sector that no longer creates many jobs while restricting the government ' s ability to increase spending to improve services and address disparities. The government ' s recent policy shift to encourage migration, fund education and health for poor areas and poor households, and r ebalance the economy away from investment and exports toward domestic consumption and public services should help reduce social disparities.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Pro-Poor Growth and Inequality,Inequality,Health Monitoring & Evaluation
    Date: 2007–06–01

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