nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2008‒05‒10
thirteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. India and the Great Divergence: Assessing the Efficiency of Grain Markets in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century India By Roman Studer
  2. INNOVATIVE CITY IN WEST CHINA CHONGQING By Sigurdson , Jon; Palonka, Krystyna
  3. From Preventative to Permissive Checks: The Changing Nature of the Malthusian Relationship between Nuptiality and the Price of Provisions in the Nineteenth Century By Paul Sharp; Jacob Weisdorf
  4. Cities, Market Integration and Going to Sea: Stunting and the standard of living in early nineteenth-century England and Wales By J.Humphries; T. Leunig
  5. The Human Development Index: A History By Elizabeth Stanton
  6. Competition and Commitment: the Supply and Enforcement of Rights to Improve Roads and Rivers in England, 1600-1750 By Dan Bogart
  7. Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late Eighteenth-Century France By Guillaume Daudin
  8. Real Interest Rates, Intertemporal Prices and Macroeconomic Stabilization A Journey Through the History of Economic Thought By Peter Spahn
  9. Organization and Management Research in Estonia: Quo Vadis? By Raoul Üksvärav
  10. Determinants of the Size and Structure of Corporate Boards: 1935-2000 By Kenneth Lehn; Sukesh Patro; Mengxin Zhao
  11. Persistence in Airline Accidents By Carlos Pestana Barros; João Ricardo Faria; Luis A. Gil-Alana
  12. There is no such thing as an audit society By Maltby, Josephine
  13. Changes in the Competitive Strategy of Estonian Public Companies in the next Five Years: Challenges for Top Managers, Academics and Consultants By Mait Raava

  1. By: Roman Studer (Nuffield College, Oxford)
    Abstract: By analysing a newly compiled data base of grain prices, this article finds that prior to the nineteenth century the grain trade in India was essentially local, while more distant markets remained fragmented. It was only in the second half of the nineteenth century that market integration accelerated, so that by the end of the century a national grain market had emerged. The paper also contributes to the comparative great divergence debate, in that it rejects, for India, the claim of the California School of ‘Asia’ having reached a similar stage of economic development as Europe before the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. In a larger context, this contribution can thus be seen as part of the larger counterrevolution against the iconoclasm of the California School.
    Date: 2008–05–02
  2. By: Sigurdson , Jon (European Institute of Japanese Studies); Palonka, Krystyna (European Institute of Japanese Studies)
    Abstract: This working paper offers insights on science and technology in China with supporting official and interview data. The paper, as evidenced from the title, is indicating the future role of Chongqing and its evolution primarily focusing on the period of rapid development of the Municipality after Chongqing became a political entity on the same level as provinces of China. This has coincided with the planning, construction and completion of the Three Gorges Dam Project involving the resettlement of 1,000,000 people – most them coming to the rural areas Chongqing Municipality. Three major sub-themes are highlighted. First, the city played important role during more than 2000 years of its history (in 1981, for example it became first inland port in China open for foreign commerce). In the XX century Chongqing was national capital during the Second World War and the Japanese invasion (Nationalists government). Since then it enjoyed higher political status and economic independence than any other city of the same size in whole western China. Second, the municipality’s geographical position and demographic condition makes it quite unique in West China. It has a population of 31 million, an area of 82 square km, a population density of 379 persons per km2 and a location at the upper reaches of Chang (Yangtze) River. This makes it the gate of Southwest China. Third, Chongqing has a strong basic multi-faced economy in the region. Central investment since the 1950s has assisted the development of a relatively strong modern industrial base in the city. Despite the post-Mao reform era’s impact on social and economic disparities as between the coastal areas and the west, Chongqing remains one of the China’s strongest city economies. Its industrial output value ranked 11th among the 35 biggest city economies in China in 2000, though it ranked behind the top ten most industrialized coastal cities, all of which had attracted much greater foreign investment during the reform era. The campaign to Open up the West provides Chongqing with the opportunity to act as the growth pole for a number of less industrialized provincial-level units in north-west and south-west China. Fourth, the initiatives by central authorities and the extraordinary task of Three Gorges Dam project required among other great tasks also relocation of over 1,2 million people, the rebuilding of two cities, eleven county towns and one hundred sixteen townships from the site of Three Gorges Dam water reservoir. Until 2005 there were already almost one million residents resettled. Less than 20 per cent moved outside Chongqing municipality and the majority was to be accommodated within the region of Chongqing Municipality.
    Keywords: Regional development; clusters; Regional innovation System (RIS); Development block; competence block; technology system; High Technology Parks; Overview of Science and Technology; FDI
    JEL: I18 I23 L53 O31 O32 R58
    Date: 2008–02–15
  3. By: Paul Sharp (University of Copenhagen); Jacob Weisdorf (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: The Malthusian “preventive check” mechanism has been well documented for preindustrial England through evidence for a negative correlation between the marriage rate and the price of wheat. Other literature, however, speculates that the correlation was in fact positive from the early nineteenth century. This paper uses the cointegrated VAR model and recursive estimation techniques to document the changing relationship between nuptiality and the price of wheat from 1541–1965. The relationship is indeed positive from the early nineteenth century to the First World War. A simple theoretical model shows that this result is not in fact inconsistent with a stylized Malthusian mechanism, and can be understood within the context of an increasing dominance of shocks to aggregate demand rather than to aggregate supply.
    JEL: J1 N3
    Date: 2008–05–02
  4. By: J.Humphries (All Souls, Oxford); T. Leunig (LSE)
    Abstract: A new source, 1840s Admiralty seamen’s tickets, is used to explore three anthropometric issues. First, did being born in a city, with its associated disamenities, stunt? Second, did being born near a city, whose markets sucked foodstuffs away, stunt? Third, did child labour stunt? Being born in a city stunted although the effect was limited except in the largest cities. In contrast, opportunities to trade did not stunt. Finally although adults who went to sea young were shorter than those who did not enlist until fully grown, going to sea did not stunt. Rather the prospect of plentiful food at sea attracted stunted adolescents, who reversed most of their stunting as a result. But child labour at sea was unique: wages were largely hypothecated to the child as food and shelter, rather than paid in cash that might be spent on other family members.
    Date: 2008–05–02
  5. By: Elizabeth Stanton
    Abstract: This article recounts the intellectual history of the UNDP’s Human Development Index. It begins with the early history of welfare economics and follows this field through three successive revolutions in thought, culminating in the theory of human development. The first section traces this history from the origins of economic “utility” theory to Amartya Sen’s human capabilities approach. The second section chronicles past and present measures of social welfare used in the fields of economics and development, including national income and a variety of composite measures, up to and including HDI.
    Keywords: human development; well-being; human development index; economic history of thought; social welfare measurement
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Dan Bogart (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: Prominent theories link political changes in seventeenth century England with greater security of property rights and less regulation. This paper informs these theories by studying the supply and enforcement of monopoly rights to improve roads and rivers between 1600 and 1750. The evidence shows that the King, Commons, and Lords all supplied improvement rights before the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Afterwards the Commons gained a monopoly over the initiation of rights and became increasingly effective. Lastly the evidence shows that Parliament and the King voided or diminished improvement rights, but such instances were less frequent and less arbitrary after 1688.
    Keywords: Property rights; Commitment; Competition; Infrastructure Investment; Pre-Industrial England
    JEL: K23 N43 O43
    Date: 2008–05
  7. By: Guillaume Daudin (OFCE/Sciences Po Paris)
    Abstract: Market size is claimed by various economic traditions to be an important factor in explaining the transition to modern economic growth. This paper examines whether differences in market size might explain the retardation of the Industrial Revolution in France. It uses an exceptional source on French domestic trade in a variety of goods in the late eighteenth century: the Tableaux du Maximum. The first part presents this source and the data. The second part assesses whether the data are plausible using a logit theoretical gravity equation. The third part uses the results of this gravity equation to compute the expected market size of specific supply centres. For all types of high value-to-weight goods, some French supply centres reached 25 million people or more. For all types of textile groups, some French supply centres reached 20 million people or more. Even taking into account differences in real, nominal and disposable income per capita, these supply centres had access to domestic markets that were at least as large as the whole of Britain. Differences in the size of foreign markets were too small to reverse that result.
    JEL: F15 N73
    Date: 2008–05–02
  8. By: Peter Spahn
    Abstract: The notion of a "real rate of interest" has been a centre of confusion in the history of economic thought. In neoclassical economics, real interest rates were designed as relative prices of contemporary and future goods and Böhm-Bawerk believed that misalignments were corrected by market forces, restoring the allocation of saving and investment as well as macroeconomic equilibrium. The intertemporal perspective in goods market analysis was modified in Wicksell and Keynes; the focus shifted to financial markets. According to the new Keynesian theory, monetary policy should be used to support intertemporal consumption smoothing. Because investment is neglected, this approach is unable to grasp the intertemporal coordination problem and delivers poor microfoundations for macroeconomic stabilization.
    Keywords: Zinsspannentheorie, Neukeynesianische Makroökonomik, Realzins
    JEL: E4 B1
    Date: 2007–12
  9. By: Raoul Üksvärav (School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology)
    Abstract: In this paper some principal possibilities and developments for the future research activities on organization and management, and dilemmas connected with that area are analysed and discussed. The author’s position is that the fundamentals in this field were cleared up and finally established in the last century. On that account, there does not exist any chance to discover brand new basic truths in that field. On the contrary, as organization and management are subjects to consistent changes in practice, this field is wide-opened to discovering new approaches, treatments, solutions, etc. on that ground. Dilemmas confronting researchers have been set forth (global opportunities vs. local needs, original ideas vs. modified ones, pure research activity vs. research plus application).
    Keywords: Organization and management theory; management research dilemmas; management consulting
    JEL: M00 M19
    Date: 2008
  10. By: Kenneth Lehn; Sukesh Patro; Mengxin Zhao
    Abstract: We argue that the size and composition of corporate boards are determined by tradeoffs involving the information that directors bring to boards versus the coordination costs and free rider problems associated with their additions to boards. Our hypotheses lead to predictions that firm size and growth opportunities are important determinants of these board characteristics. Using a sample of 82 U.S. firms that survived over the period of 1935 through 2000, we find strong support for the hypotheses. The hypotheses also find support in the relation between changes in board size and firms’ merger and divestiture activity, and changes in the geographical diversification of firms. We find no robust relation between firm performance and either board size or composition after accounting for the determinants of these board characteristics.
    Keywords: Board size, board composition, mergers and acquisitions, firm size, growth opportunities, diversification, geographical diversification, firm performance, and endogeneity
    JEL: G32 G34
    Date: 2007–12
  11. By: Carlos Pestana Barros; João Ricardo Faria; Luis A. Gil-Alana
    Abstract: This paper analyses airline accident data from 1927-2006, through fractional integration. It is shown that airline accidents are persistent and (fractionally) cointegrated with airline traffic. There exists a negative relation between air accidents and airline traffic, with the effect of the shocks to that relationship disappearing in the long run. Policy implications are derived for countering accident events.
    Keywords: Accidents; airline; Time series; Persistence; Long memory; Cointegration.
    JEL: D79 H56
    Date: 2008–03
  12. By: Maltby, Josephine
    Abstract: Tny discussion of Power’s Audit Society paper of 1994 has to start by acknowledging that it has enjoyed an extraordinary degree of success for an academic paper, let alone for an academic paper about audit. His terms audit society and audit explosion have gained very wide currency within the social sciences and on the wider stages of quality journalism and serious-minded websites. Some of this is, admittedly, due to Power’s own copious output on the topic (Power, 1994a,1994b, 1997, 2000a, 2000b, 2000c, 2000d, 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2005a, 2005b), some to exegeses of it (see for instance Bowerman et al 2000, Humphrey and Owen 2000 and Courville, Parker, and Watchirs 2003)) but a great deal to admirers from all sorts of disciplines.
    Date: 2007
  13. By: Mait Raava (Department of Management, Estonian Business School)
    Abstract: To create a sustainable competitive advantage, the firm must adapt its strategy in accordance with changes in industry. The purpose of this survey is to reveal how top managers see major changes in strategic management over the next five years. Companies from the Tallinn OMX Market were chosen as a sample of leading companies. Structured interviews were conducted with thirteen top managers. This revealed highly plausible changes in strategic management over the next five years as predicted by top managers of Estonian public companies – these were in the areas of the value chain, corporate structure, planning and control systems, motivation schemes and external opportunities. The major challenges for top managers in the near future are to successfully align the organizational structure with the value chain in accordance with emerging opportunities in foreign markets and define and invest enough in distinctive competencies to achieve sustainable profitable growth. This result is in accordance with the reflections of top mangers that their main priorities in strategic research and development are to facilitate the strategy development process, implement management tools, and research into and share knowledge and experience of doing business in foreign markets. These results suggest specific challenges for academics and consultants for achieving better collaboration in strategic management and development.
    Keywords: competitive advantage, strategic management, future challenges, research and development, collaboration
    JEL: M12 L32
    Date: 2008

This nep-his issue is ©2008 by Bernardo Batiz-Lazo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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