New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2008‒11‒18
eight papers chosen by

  1. The agricultural and food trade in the first globalisation: Spanish table wine exports 1871 to 1935 €Ӡa case study By Pinilla, Vicente; Serranoz, Raul
  2. Professionalisation of Australian Agricultural Economics: 1920 - 1970 By Myers, Laurel
  3. The Demographic Transition in Colombia: Theory and Evidence By Daniel Mejía; María Teresa Ramírez; Jorge Tamayo
  4. Luddites and the Demographic Transition By Kevin H. O'Rourke; Ahmed S. Rahman; Alan M. Taylor
  5. Peace, War and International Security: Economic Theories (trial entry) By J Paul Dunne; Fanny Coulomb
  6. A Historical Perspective on Patents and Industry Growth in Finland - Connections and Lags By Tuomo Nikulainen
  7. How Central Bankers See It: The First Decade of ECB Policy and Beyond By Stephen G. Cecchetti; Kermit L. Schoenholtz
  8. The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence By Michalopoulos, Stelios

  1. By: Pinilla, Vicente; Serranoz, Raul
    Keywords: wine trade, economic history, Spain, wine, globalization, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade, Q17, Q18, N53, N54,
    Date: 2008–08
  2. By: Myers, Laurel
    Abstract: Australian agricultural economics was on the verge of professional recognition at the beginning of the 1950s. The discipline had emerged from the Second World War in a strong position due primarily to the work of the State Departments of Agriculture, the Economics Departments of the banks, and the pioneering efforts of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. Agricultural economics as a field of study was being taken up by economics and agricultural science students alike, and research projects in agricultural economics were burgeoning. This paper investigates the factors which contributed to the professionalisation of agricultural economics in Australia after the Second World War. All vocations aspire to professional status but, even when it does receive professional recognition, a vocation is often still questioned regarding the legitimacy of that status. It is therefore significant to explore the origins and evolution of the agricultural economics profession in order to discover the reasons why it came into existence and the process by which the professionalisation occurred. The changed economic environment during and after the Second World War meant that agricultural economists were given opportunities to present a convincing case to pursue the professionalisation of their discipline. The distinguishing and overruling characteristic of a profession is the possession of specialized knowledge which has been acquired as a result of prolonged training. The knowledge is intellectual and based on the exploration of a recognized field of study. The way in which this knowledge is obtained is an important part of the professionalisation process. This paper identifies the economists and scientists who established the discipline of agricultural economics in Australian universities and set it on the path to professionalisation. The second most important aspect of professionalisation is the formation of a professional society for members and the development of a professional journal to disseminate research and other general information to members. The formation of the professional organisation associated with agricultural economics in Australia is examined in this paper. Australian agricultural economics was at the peak of its influence in the 1970s. All the mainland universities had at least one professor of agricultural economics, there was a strong professional association, annual conferences, and bi-annual outlook conferences, and three separate professional journals were in publication. The value of the agricultural economics profession was widely accepted throughout the policy community.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Daniel Mejía; María Teresa Ramírez; Jorge Tamayo
    Abstract: The demographic transition from high to low mortality and fertility rates was one of the most important structural changes during the twentieth Century in most Latin American economies. This paper uses a simple economic framework based on Galor and Weil (2000) for understanding the main forces behind this structural transition; namely, increases in the returns to human capital accumulation driven by continuous advances in productivity led families to reduce the number of offspring and increase the level of investment in their education. As a result, the economy transits from a stage of stagnation subject to Malthusian forces to a stage of sustained economic growth, where increases in productivity lead to improvements in living standards. We use available data for Colombia between 1905 and 2005 to test the main predictions of the model with time series analysis, finding empirical evidence in their favor.
    Date: 2008–11–11
  4. By: Kevin H. O'Rourke; Ahmed S. Rahman; Alan M. Taylor
    Abstract: Technological change was unskilled-labor-biased during the early Industrial Revolution, but is skill-biased today. This is not embedded in extant unified growth models. We develop a model which can endogenously account for these facts, where factor bias reflects profit-maximizing decisions by innovators. Endowments dictate that the early Industrial Revolution be unskilled-labor-biased. Increasing basic knowledge causes a growth takeoff, an income-led demand for fewer educated children, and the transition to skill-biased technological change. The simulated model tracks British industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries and generates a demographic transition without relying on either rising skill premia or exogenous educational supply shocks.
    JEL: J13 J24 N10 O31 O33
    Date: 2008–11
  5. By: J Paul Dunne (School of Economics, University of the West of England, Bristol); Fanny Coulomb (University Pierre Mendes, Grenoble.)
    Abstract: This paper considers the economic theories that are relevant for the study of peace war and international security . It presents different levels of generality, starting with the big questions of international security, which are usually the domain of international relations, before moving to general economic theoretical perspectives and then focusing on some specific developments in economics and security. More specifically it reviews the economics of security, distinguishing neoclassical theories, Keynesian and institutional, Marxist, and monopoly capital, before discussing the issues involved in the debate between the schools of thought. The economics of conflict is then considered, starting with the approach economists have taken –mainly neoclassical, before considering more general political economy perspectives.
    Keywords: Economics; Peace; war; security;
    JEL: H56 B20
    Date: 2008–01
  6. By: Tuomo Nikulainen
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : This paper aims to establish how the innovative activity in Finland has changed over time in the transition from a resource-driven economy to a knowledge-driven economy. The paper first takes a historical perspective on innovation and industrial activity in Finland through a descriptive analysis. The aim is to identify technological trends in both specific technological areas as well as in different industries. Patent data provides a long time-series of innovative activity from 1842 to 2005 covering 164 years overall. This data is complemented with industry data from 1948 to 2007. The industry data allows a comparative descriptive analysis between the main industries and their respective technological development. The descriptive analysis is complemented with a statistical analysis, in which the interaction between growth in industrial volumes and growth in patent stock is empirically examined taking into account the industry specificities and lag-structures. This approach reveals whether patenting activity, used to approximate innovative activities, can be used to predict the growth of industrial activity. This aspect has received surprisingly little attention in prior research. The regression analyses show that there is a positive connection between industry growth and patent growth. In addition, the patent growth lags, both backward and forward in time, are positively connected to the industrial growth. This finding suggests that there might exist a positive cycle where innovation induces industry growth, which in turn induces innovative activities. Furthermore, patent growth seems to have a weak positive impact on industry growth with a lag of 13 years. This indicates that patent growth might provide weak signals of future industry growth
    Keywords: patents, industry growth, lags, technological change
    JEL: L60 O11 O14 O33
    Date: 2008–11–03
  7. By: Stephen G. Cecchetti; Kermit L. Schoenholtz
    Abstract: In this history of the first decade of ECB policy, we also discuss key challenges for the next decade. Beyond the ECB's track record and an array of published critiques, our analysis relies on unique source material: extensive interviews with current and former ECB leaders and with other policymakers and scholars who viewed the evolution of the ECB from privileged vantage points. We share the assessment of our interviewees that the ECB has enjoyed many more successes than disappointments. These successes reflect both the ECB's design and implementation. Looking forward, we highlight the unique challenges posed by enlargement and, especially, by the euro area's complex arrangements for guarding financial stability. In the latter case, the key issues are coordination in a crisis and harmonization of procedures. As several interviewees suggested, in the absence of a new organizational structure for securing financial stability, the current one will need to function as if it were a single entity.<br><br><i><b><font size="3">Note to readers: The final version of this paper was completed in June 2008. </i></b></font>
    JEL: E42 E58
    Date: 2008–11
  8. By: Michalopoulos, Stelios
    Abstract: This research examines theoretically and empirically the economic origins of ethnolinguistic diversity. The empirical analysis constructs detailed data on the distribution of land quality and elevation across contiguous regions, virtual and real countries, and shows that variation in elevation and land quality has contributed …significantly to the emergence and persistence of ethnic fractionalization. The empirical and historical evidence support the theoretical analysis, according to which heterogeneous land endowments generated region specific… human capital, limiting population mobility and leading to the formation of localized ethnicities and languages. The research contributes to the understanding of the emergence of ethnicities and their spatial distribution and offers a distinction between the natural, geographically driven, versus the artificial, man-made, components of contemporary ethnic diversity.
    Keywords: Ethnic Diversity; Geography; Technological Progress; Human Capital; Colonization
    JEL: O1 O43 Z13 J24
    Date: 2008–10–19

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