nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒09‒30
fourteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Weather forecast or rain-dance? On inter-war business barometers By Giovanni Favero
  2. The Treasury, Britain's post-war reconstruction and the industrial intervention of the Bank of England, 1921-1929 By Valerio Cerretano
  3. "Role of Courts in Economic Development: A Case of Prewar Japan" By Masaki Nakabayashi; Tetsuji Okazaki
  4. The Sources of Long-term Economic Growth for Turkey, 1880-2005 By Altug, Sumru G.; Filiztekin, Alpay; Pamuk, Sevket
  5. "From Peasant Economy to Urban Agglomeration : The Transformation of 'Labour-intensive Industrialization' in Modern Japan" By Masayuki Tanimoto
  6. Institutions and U.S. Regional Development: A Study of Massachusetts and Virginia By Sukkoo Kim
  8. Policy vs. Consumer Pressure: Innovation and Diffusion of Alternative Bleaching Technologies in the Pulp Industry By David Popp; Tamara Hafner; Nick Johnstone
  9. Vertical Adjustment under the Classical Gold Standard (1870s-1914): How Costly did the External Constraint Come to the Europen periphery? By Matthias Morys
  10. Presentación de la Escuela de Estadística Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín By Yañez Sergio
  11. Stock Market Development, Capital Accumulation and Growth in India since 1950 By Sarkar, Prabirjit
  12. Housing IS the Business Cycle By Edward E. Leamer
  13. Reconstrucción histórica del Departamento de Estadística de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia By Soto Oscar Freddy
  14. Non Market Valuation in New Zealand:1974 through 2005 By Richard Yao; Pamela Kaval

  1. By: Giovanni Favero (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: In this paper, I use the materials of the debate on the reliability and the utility of “business barometers” of the Twenties in order to show that the theoretical reflexions of the time could be used by economic historians as a working hypothesis to analyze the influence exerted by circulating statistical data on the decisions of economic operators and institutions. I offer a short illustration of the origins and circulation of economic trends forecasting in the first decades of 20th century, paying particular attention to the critical attitude shown by Corrado Gini and Oskar Morgenstern and to the debate arisen inside the Harvard Committee for Economic Research on the inefficiency of its “index of economic conditions” during the 1929 crisis. I finally suggest that thorough research on the circulation and the influence exerted by the Harvard index on the business world, still after the slump in prices of New York Stock Exchange, could contribute to explain the behaviour of American businessmen and investors during the first Thirties, and the deepening of the crisis.
    Keywords: Economic forecasts, 1930s crisis, US
    JEL: N22 N42 N82 B23
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Valerio Cerretano
    Abstract: This article describes how the Trade Facilities Act (TFA) and the liquidation of certain government-owned assets spurred the industrial intervention of the Bank of England in the 1920s. What emerges is a much greater role of the Treasury in the Bank of England's industrial intervention than has been hitherto suggested. This essay places the theme of the Bank of England's industrial intervention within the broader discussions about Treasury history and Britain's post-war reconstruction, and refines the argument that the original involvement of the Bank of England with industry merely represented an extension of its pre-war operations of branch banking and its duties as a central bank.
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Masaki Nakabayashi (Department of Economics, University of Tokyo); Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the role of courts in the Japanese economic development, using prefecture-level litigation statistics. Since the late nineteenth century, the Japanese people brought many cases before the courts. The dominant part of the cases dealt with monetary issues, which implies that the court played a substantial role in arbitrating disputes related to economic transactions. Through regression analyses of prefecture-level panel data, it was found that frequency of law suits was positively correlated with the scale of economic activities, but that it was only in case economic development was accompanied by urbanization or decline of local communities. At the same time, it is found that increase of the capacity of the legal system enhanced financial development. In this case also, the importance of the capacity of legal system was conditional on the function of local communities.
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Altug, Sumru G.; Filiztekin, Alpay; Pamuk, Sevket
    Abstract: This paper considers the sources of long-term economic growth for Turkey over the period 1880-2005. The period in question covers the decline and eventual dissolution of the former Ottoman Empire and the emergence of the new Turkish Republic in 1923. Hence, the paper provides a unique look at the growth experience of these two different political and economic regimes. The paper examines in detail the evolution of factors that led to growth in output across broad periods, including the post WWII period and the era or globalization beginning in the 1980's. It also considers output growth in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors separately and allows for the effects of sectoral re-allocation. The lessons from this exercise have important implications for Turkey's future economic performance, for its ability to converge to per capita income levels of developed countries, and for the viability of its current bid for European Union membership.
    Keywords: determinants of growth; growth accounting; sectoral re-allocation
    JEL: E60 N15 O40 O50 O57
    Date: 2007–09
  5. By: Masayuki Tanimoto (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: The argument of "labour intensive industrialization" in East Asia, which has been raised by Kaoru Sugihara and Kenneth Pomeranz, seems to rest on the "peasant economy" as a concept. In deed, the plural employment strategy of peasant household has often been regarded as the typical examples of the "industrious" behaviour that characterizes "labour-intensive industrialization". In other words, the argument has emphasized the agrarian bases of the "labour-intensive industrialization" in East Asia. The notion of industrialization, however, intrinsically implies the process of de-agriculturization. How can we extend the notion of "labour-intensive industrialization" originally based in an agrarian setting to the non-agrarian sphere? The paper explores this question by analyzing the foundation of the small scale industries in 19th and 20th century Japan, during the transformation of the economy's base from peasant economy to urban agglomeration. The weaving and the export-oriented "miscellaneous" industries, particularly toy industry, will exemplify the argument. Besides the centralized factory system, the development of the dispersed production system based on the household economy including a certain level of skill formation played the significant role in the industries. Reiterating the relatively high proportion of small and medium enterprises in the industrial organization, as well as the high self-employment rate among the working population in the contemporary Japan, the analysis is expected to show an another path of industrialization in East Asia.
    Date: 2007–09
  6. By: Sukkoo Kim
    Abstract: The development of the American economy was accompanied by significant spatial income inequalities between the northern and southern regions. While many factors contributed to northern industrialization and southern stagnation, an important factor was differences in their institutions. In the North, a democratic institution fostered growth whereas in the South, an oligarchic institution favored status quo. To gain some insights on the nature and causes of the divergence of these institutions, this paper examines the development of political and legal institutions in Massachusetts and Virginia, the two leading states in the North and the South.
    JEL: H11 H70 N41
    Date: 2007–09
  7. By: batiz-lazo, bernardo
    Abstract: Through case study research this paper illustrates opportunities presented by IT-based technological change in British retail bank markets (1985-1995). For the managers of the Royal Bank of Scotland IT appeared to lower entry barriers, exit barriers and deliver high sustainability of competitive advantage. The strategic intent behind diversification patterns of the Royal Bank of Scotland suggested competitive considerations were at a premium because unsolicited take-over bids in the early 1980s put pressure on managers to create growth opportunities. Direct Line Insurance was a subsidiary from the Royal Bank of Scotland. Direct Line was also the first retail finance institution to establish a clear competitive advantage based on information technology. The success of Direct Line enabled an increase in the market share of British retail financial services of The Royal Bank of Scotland. Direct Line is a case of planned success that questions the extent to which banks’ competencies must change to master alternative delivery channels. The success of Direct Line also suggested more effective execution than other activities explored by managers of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
    Keywords: Financial institutions; technological change; corporate strategy.
    JEL: N24 L10
    Date: 2007–09
  8. By: David Popp; Tamara Hafner; Nick Johnstone
    Abstract: In the late 1980s and early 1990s, concern over dioxin in both paper products and wastewater led to the development of techniques that reduced the use of chlorine in the pulp industry. Both regulatory and consumer pressure motivated this change. We use patent data to examine the evolution of two completing bleaching technologies in five major paper-producing countries, both of which reduce the use of chlorine in the pulping process. By the end of the 1990s, nearly all pulp production in these countries used one of these technologies. Unlike other papers using patents to study environmentally-friendly innovation, we focus on a process innovation, rather than on end-of-the-pipe solutions to pollution. Moreover, while previous studies emphasize the importance of regulation for inducing innovation, here we find substantial innovation occurring before regulations were in place. Instead, pressure from consumers to reduce the chlorine content of paper drives the first round of innovation. However, while some companies choose to adopt these technologies in response to consumer pressure, not all firms will differentiate their product in this way. Thus, governments need to regulate if their goal is broad diffusion of the environmental technology.
    JEL: O31 O33 Q53 Q55
    Date: 2007–09
  9. By: Matthias Morys
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom has that peripheral economies had to `play by the rules of the game` under the Classical Gold Standard (1870s-1914), while core countries could get away with frequent violations. Drawing on the experience of three core economies (England, France, Germany) and seven peripheral economies (Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Norway, Serbia, Sweden), my paper argues for a more nuanced perspective on the European periphery. While the conventional view might be true for some countries - most notably the Balkan countries - our findings, based on a VAR model and impulse response functions, suggest that the average gold drain that a specific peripheral economy was exposed to differed substantially from country to country. We also show that some of the peripheral economies, most notably Austria-Hungary, always enjoyed enough "pulling power" via discount rate policy to reverse quickly any such gold outflow. In sum, while the experience of some peripheral economies under gold was poor and hence normally short-lived, the experience of other peripheral countries resembled more those of the core economies.
    JEL: E52 E58 N13
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Yañez Sergio
    Abstract: Se trata del discurso de apertura de la Escuela de Estadística de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia,Sede Medellín. Se presentan ideas generales sobre lo aleatorio y sobre el surgimiento de la estadística como ciencia. Se comenta sobre la historia en Colombia y en la región de Antioquia. Se reafirma la importancia de la estadística .
    Date: 2007–09–22
  11. By: Sarkar, Prabirjit
    Abstract: This study examines whether there exists a long-term relationship between Indian share price movements and growth through capital accumulation over more than half a century period since 1951. Using the Autoregressive Distributive Lag (ARDL) approach to cointegration developed by Pesaran and Shin, our study shows that no long-term relationship exists between the gross-fixed capital formation (total as well as private) as percentage of GDP and nominal or real share price. There is also no relationship between the growth rate and share prices (both nominal and real). There is also no relationship if we consider the growth rates in share price.
    Keywords: Globalisation; Liberalisation; Stock Market; India and Development
    JEL: E43 O16 G11 O53
    Date: 2006–09–28
  12. By: Edward E. Leamer
    Abstract: Of the components of GDP, residential investment offers by far the best early warning sign of an oncoming recession. Since World War II we have had eight recessions preceded by substantial problems in housing and consumer durables. Housing did not give an early warning of the Department of Defense Downturn after the Korean Armistice in 1953 or the Internet Comeuppance in 2001, nor should it have. By virtue of its prominence in our recessions, it makes sense for housing to play a prominent role in the conduct of monetary policy. A modified Taylor Rule would depend on a long-term measure of inflation having little to do with the phase in the cycle, and, in place of Taylor's output gap, housing starts and the change in housing starts, which together form the best forward-looking indicator of the cycle of which I am aware. This would create pre-emptive anti-inflation policy in the middle of the expansions when housing is not so sensitive to interest rates, making it less likely that anti-inflation policies would be needed near the ends of expansions when housing is very interest rate sensitive, thus making our recessions less frequent and/or less severe.
    JEL: E17 E3 E32 E52
    Date: 2007–09
  13. By: Soto Oscar Freddy
    Date: 2007–09–22
  14. By: Richard Yao (University of Waikato); Pamela Kaval (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Non-market valuation (NMV) is recognized as an essential tool in policy decision making worldwide. In this paper, we investigate the history of NMV, specifically in relation to New Zealand (NZ), by compiling and analyzing all available published studies. Results show a significant increase in the number of studies, specifically those requested by government agencies, following the passage of the NZ Resource Management Act of 1991. Studies were found to be concentrated in three major areas: outdoor recreation, environmental conservation/management, and travel time savings. These three areas covered eight environmental commodities, the value of which totaled NZ$72 billion, or 50% of NZ GDP, with the highest valued commodity being biodiversity services. While our analysis yielded many positive results, we did discover, however, a severe lack of studies in many areas including pest control, water resources and outdoor recreation.
    Keywords: non-market valuation; New Zealand; consumer surplus; Resource Management Act
    JEL: B4 Q2 Q26
    Date: 2007–09–19

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