nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
thirteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Entrepreneurship, Brands and the Development of Global Business By Teresa da Silva Lopes; Mark Casson
  2. The politics of poor law reform in early twentieth century Ireland By Cousins, Mel
  3. GDP per capita or Real Wages? Making sense of coflicting views on pre-industrial Europe By Luis Angeles
  4. Innovation and Incentives in Japan Focus on pre-Meiji By Reiko Aoki
  5. Monotheism (From a Sociopolitical and Economic Perspective) By Murat Iyigun
  6. Growth, Democracy, and Civil War By Bruckner, Markus; Ciccone, Antonio
  7. Welfare Theory: History and Modern Results By Aronsson, Thomas; Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf
  8. Quantity Versus Quality in the Soviet Market for Weapons By Harrison, Mark; Markevich, Andrei
  9. El ferrocarril en España, siglos XIX y XX: una visión en el largo plazo By Cuéllar Villar, Domingo
  10. Riots, coups and civil war : revisiting the greed and grievance debate By Elbadawi, Ibrahim A.; Bodea, Cristina
  11. The Rural Urban Wage Gap in the Industrialization of Russia, 1884-1910 By Leonid Borodkin,; Brigitte Granville; Carol Scott Leonard
  12. Multiple paper monies in Sweden, 1789-1903: Substitution or complementarity? By Engdahl, Torbjörn; Ögren, Anders
  13. Long-Run Longevity Effects of a Nutritional Shock Early in Life: The Dutch Potato Famine of 1846-1847 By Gerard J. van den Berg; Maarten Lindeboom; France Portrait

  1. By: Teresa da Silva Lopes; Mark Casson
    Abstract: This paper provides an account of how entrepreneurs have contributed to the development of successful global brands in consumer goods industries in the twentieth century and why so few independent brands survived the merger waves of the 1980s. The industries analysed are those where the promotion of the brand relies principally on advertising rather than the technology embodied in the product. Drawing on cross-industry and cross-country comparisons of brands in consumer goods, and using a ‘stretched’ definition of the entrepreneur, the paper highlights the entrepreneurial and innovative strategies pursued by brand managers. It emphasises the role of distinct types of entrepreneurs and marketing knowledge in the creation and development of brands in successful global businesses.
    Date: 2007–09
  2. By: Cousins, Mel
    Abstract: This paper looks at the reform of poor relief in Dublin (the capital city of the then Irish Free State) in the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, it examines the introduction of the Poor Relief (Dublin) Act, 1929 and the role of political parties and interest groups in shaping its final outcome. This study is of particular interest in that it came in the first decade of Irish independence in a transitional phase of political and policy development. As such it took place before the political system took on the more rigid structures to be found in the mature Irish polity. It is one of the very few examples of an initiative by an Irish opposition party leading to significant change in the welfare area. In addition, the reform took place at a time when policies were moving from the more localised model of the nineteenth century to a more centralised approach. This local focus shows very clearly the particular class interests at play in the Dublin reform.
    Keywords: Welfare; poor law; politics; Ireland
    JEL: J61 I38
    Date: 2007–11–01
  3. By: Luis Angeles
    Abstract: This paper studies the apparent inconsistency between the evolution of GDP per capita and real wages in pre-industrial Europe. We show that these two measures will diverge when any of the three following factors are present: changes in income distribution, changes in labour supply per capita and changes in relative prices. We propose a methodology for measuring the e¤ects of these three factors and apply it to the case of 18th century England. For this particular episode the gap between the growth of GDP per capita and real wages can be successfully explained and the main explanatory factor is changes in labour supply per capita. Some further conclusions are drawn from the experience of England during the 19th century and Europe during the early modern period.
    Date: 2007–06
  4. By: Reiko Aoki
    Abstract: This manuscript is based on a chapter to be included in gIntellectual Property - Innovation and Incentivesh by Suzanne Scotchmer, translated by Munetomo Ando, forthcoming from Nihon Hyoronsha. The purpose of the chapter is to shed light on Japanese historical and institutional aspects that corresponds to US aspects in the original book. We particularly focus on innovation and incentives before Meiji period. There was no intellectual property but there were significant innovations. We seek to answer the questions, what is the environment that produced them and how did innovators make a living? We see that there were organizations such as gzah that functioned like guilds in the west while gsenbaih system probably induced a procurement system, much like government of today. This manuscript is not an English translation of the final version (in Japanese) in the book.
    Date: 2007–03
  5. By: Murat Iyigun (University of Colorado, CID, Harvard University and IZA)
    Abstract: The Axial Age, which lasted between 800 B. C. E. and 200 B. C. E., covers an era in which the spiritual foundations of humanity were laid simultaneously and independently in various geographic areas, and all three major monotheisms of Judaism, Christianity and Islam were born between 1200 B. C. E. and 622 C. E. in the Middle East. In this paper, I offer a taxonomy to comprehensively characterize the impact of monotheism on early economic development. Monotheist religions produced a paradigm shift in sociopolitical institutions because they (a) involve a strong degree of increasing returns to scale and the natural monopoly powers commensurate with it, (b) not only personalize the spiritual exchange relationship between the individual and the one deity, but also, due to the fact that this relationship extends into the afterlife as well, enhance individual accountability, and (c) expand their adherents’ time horizon beyond biological life and impact the time discount between one’s lifetime and the after-life. Taken together, these features suggest that the spread of monotheism ought to have promoted sociopolitical stability. Utilizing original historical data between 2500 B. C. E. and 1750 C. E. on 105 limited access orders, such as dynasties, kingdoms and empires, I show that monotheism had a positive and statistically significant impact on the length of reign as well as the average geographical size of social orders. Thus, I find empirical evidence that the birth and adoption of monotheistic religions aided early development both in the West and the Near East until the advent of the Industrial Revolution.
    Keywords: economic development, religion, institutions
    JEL: C72 D74 N33 N43 O10
    Date: 2007–10
  6. By: Bruckner, Markus; Ciccone, Antonio
    Abstract: Are civil wars partly caused by low economic growth? And do democratic institutions attenuate the impact of low growth on the likelihood of civil war? Our approach to answering these questions exploits that international commodity prices have a significant effect on income growth in Sub-Saharan African countries. We show that lower income growth makes civil war more likely in non-democracies. This effect is significantly weaker in democracies. So much so, that we do not find a link between growth and civil war in countries with democratic institutions. Our results therefore point to an interaction between economic and institutional causes of civil war.
    Keywords: civil war; Commodity prices; growth; rainfall
    JEL: O0 P0 Q0
    Date: 2007–11
  7. By: Aronsson, Thomas (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This paper contains a fairly brief, but self-contained, version of the history of welfare economics, as well as the more modern welfare results. We introduce public goods and asymmetric information, and we hint at some of the modern mechanism design results. The paper also contains a section on welfare measures in a dynamic economy.
    Keywords: Welfare Theory;
    JEL: D60
    Date: 2007–11–20
  8. By: Harrison, Mark (Department of Economics, University of Warwick ; Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham ; and Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University.); Markevich, Andrei (Department of Economics, University of Warwick and the Center for Economic and Financial Research, New Economic School, Moscow)
    Abstract: Military market places display obvious inefficiencies under most arrangements, but the Soviet defense market was unusual for its degree of monopoly, exclusive relationships, intensely scrutinized (in its formative years) by a harsh dictator. This provided the setting for quality versus quantity in the delivery of weapons to the government. The paper discusses the power of the industrial contractor over the defense buyer in terms of a hold-up problem. The typical use that the contractor made of this power was to default on quality. The defense ministry’s counter-action took the form of deploying agents through industry with the authority to verify quality and reject substandard goods. The final compromise restored quality at the expense of quantity. Being illicit, it had to be hidden from the dictator.
    Keywords: Contracts ; Dictatorship ; Hold-Up Problem ; Soviet Economy
    JEL: L2 N4 P2
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Cuéllar Villar, Domingo (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid y Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles)
    Abstract: Este texto realiza un recorrido en el largo plazo sobre la trayectoria del ferrocarril en España, analizando aquellas cuestiones que han constituido la base del debate historiográfico, especialmente las referidas a las relaciones económicas, empresariales y territoriales, sin olvidar el papel que ha jugado el Estado como regulador y actor principal de la política ferroviara. Estructurado por capítulos que siguen una lógica temporal y temática se estudian y sintetizan las siguientes cuestiones. En primer lugar, se analiza el arranque del ferrocarril en España en el que se desgranan los aspectos más relevantes sobre los condicionantes del atraso del ferrocarril en España y los debates sobre el ancho de vía y la radialidad de la red.A continuación, el estudio de los ritmos de construcción de la red ferroviaria en España y a los principales argumentos que relacionan al ferrocarril con la economía, en lo que los especialistas han dado en llamar efectos de arrastre hacía atrás y hacia delante.En el siguiente apartado, se hace un balance de la trayectoria de las principales empresas ferroviarias españolas, grandes y medianas, caracterizadas por la fuerte aportación de capital extranjero y la tendencia a la concentración como modo de optimización de la explotación. Este apartado nos abre camino al epígrafe 5 en el que se analiza un momento clave de historia ferroviaria en nuestro país que se conoció como “problema ferroviario” que llevaría a la progresiva intervención del Estado ante la crisis sin retorno que experimentaban las compañías. El estudio de la etapa pública constituye el eje central del epígrafe 6 en el que se constata el paso del periodo anterior de hegemonía en el sistema de transportes terrestres a una situación de marginalidad que fue especialmente aguda en el caso español. El capítulo 7 abarca todo el periodo democrático donde se consolida el ferrocarril como un servicio público garantizado por el Estado y en el que se produce el cambio de ciclo hasta la coyuntura actual de liberalización del transporte ferroviario emanado de las directivas europeas sobre esta materia que buscan una actuación conjunta en todos los países de la Unión Europea. Unas breves conclusiones ponen epílogo a este trabajo.
    Keywords: Railway History; Economic History; Spain; RENFE
    JEL: L92 N7 O5
    Date: 2007–01
  10. By: Elbadawi, Ibrahim A.; Bodea, Cristina
    Abstract: The most influential recent work on the determinants of civil wars found the factors associated with the grievance motivation to be largely irrelevant. Our paper subjects the results of this empirical work to further scrutiny by embedding the study of civil war in a more general analysis of varieties of violent contestation of political power within the borders of the state. Such an approach, we argue, will have important implications for how we think theoretically about the occurrence of domestic war as well as how we specify our empirical tests. In the empirical model, the manifestation of domestic conflict range from low intensity violence and coups to civil war. Our multinomial specification of domestic conflict supports the hypothesis that diversity accentuates distributional conflict and thus increases the risk of civil war. We also find that democracies may be more efficient than autocracies in reducing the risk of civil war.
    Keywords: Post Conflict Reconstruction,Population Policies,Social Conflict and Violence,Peace & Peacekeeping,Hazard Risk Management
    Date: 2007–11–01
  11. By: Leonid Borodkin,; Brigitte Granville; Carol Scott Leonard
    Abstract: This paper presents econometric evidence of integration in rural and urban wages in Russia’s Northwest in the late tsarist era. Using the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) approach to co-integration and error correction modelling, we show the flexibility of the rural wage in response to the lagged rural/urban wage ratio. Applying the model developed by Boyer and Hatton (1994) and Hatton and Williamson (1991a, 1991b, 1992), we show the similarity of the wage gap in northwest Russia in the late tsarist era to that during industrialization in the US, England and Western Europe. Although our evidence does not necessarily describe country-wide trends, it does support for an industrializing region the more positive view of the degree and nature of late tsarist economic growth. Growth was not slowing down, and there is little evidence of constraints on migration by traditional agrarian institutions.
    Date: 2007–09
  12. By: Engdahl, Torbjörn (Department of Economic History Stockholm University); Ögren, Anders (EHFF - Institute for Economic and Business History at the Stockholm School of Economics and HTE EconomiX (UMR 7166) CNRS Université de Paris X - Nanterre)
    Abstract: Complementarity of money mean that two or more kinds of monies together fulfil the demand of the users better than they would without the existence of the other(-s). In this paper we study complementarity between paper monies in Sweden. We address four questions: 1) What was used as money on a macro level (money supply) and on a micro level (monetary remittances)? 2) What was the relative value of different monies in parallel circulation? 3) Was there seasonal variations in use and/or value? 4) Was there geographical variations in use and value? What we find is that the complementarity helped to solve the problem of providing sufficient liquidity domestically over time and space and thus and to keep a stable value of the currency.
    Keywords: Complementarity; Liquidity; Money Supply; Money Remittances; Paper Money; Parallel Circulation of Money; Variations in Money Demand
    JEL: E50 G21 N13 N23
    Date: 2007–11–12
  13. By: Gerard J. van den Berg (Free University Amsterdam, IFAU-Uppsala, CEPR, IFS, Netspar and IZA); Maarten Lindeboom (Free University Amsterdam, HEB-Bergen, Tinbergen Institute, Netspar and IZA); France Portrait (Free University Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: Background: Nutrition in utero and infancy may causally affect health and mortality at old ages. Until now, very few studies have demonstrated long-run effects on survival of early life nutrition, mainly because of data limitations and confounding issues. Methods: This paper investigates whether exposure to nutritional shocks in early life negatively affects longevity at older ages, using unique individual data and exploiting the exogenous variation implied by natural experiments. In particular, early nutritional conditions are instrumented by exposure to the potato famine of unprecedented severity that the Dutch faced in 1846-47. The individual data are from the Historical Sample of the Netherlands and are augmented by food price data and macro-economic data. The sample used in the study covers lifetimes of 398 individuals exposed and 1,342 individuals not exposed to severe famine during gestation and/or till age three. We compare non-parametrically the total and residual lifetimes of treated and controls per gender. We also estimate survival models in which we control for other individual characteristics and additional (early life) determinants of mortality. Results: Men exposed to severe famine during pregnancy (at least four months) and directly after birth have a significant lower residual life expectancy at age 50 than others, but not at earlier ages. We could not demonstrate any long-run effects for men exposed at ages 0-2 and for women. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first evidence suggesting long-run effects of early nutritional stresses on mortality at old ages for men.
    Keywords: nutrition in early life, famine, longevity, natural experiments, survival analysis, mortality, food intake, developmental origins, fetal origins
    JEL: N33 J10 I10
    Date: 2007–10

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