nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2008‒12‒01
eight papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. "Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School": Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition, and Student Achievement across Countries By West, Martin R.; Woessmann, Ludger
  2. Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia By Becker, Sascha O.; Woessmann, Ludger
  3. Did Active Labour Market Policies Help Sweden Rebound from the Depression of the Early 1990s? By Anders Forslund; Alan B. Krueger
  4. "Impact of Natural Disasters on Industrial Agglomeration: A Case of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake" By Asuka Imaizumi; Kaori Ito; Tetsuji Okazaki
  5. The Effects of Unification: Markets, Policy and Cyclical Convergence in Italy, 1861-1913 By Carlo Ciccarelli; Stefano Fenoaltea; Tommaso Proietti
  6. Globalization and Business Cycle Transmission By Michael Artis; Toshihiro Okubo
  7. Why It Is So Hard? A History of Highway Concession Contracts in Poland By Waldemar Karpa; Barbara Despiney
  8. L’évolution des relations contractuelles dans le domaine pétrolier By Jean-Pierre Angelier

  1. By: West, Martin R. (Brown University); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Nineteenth-Century Catholic doctrine strongly opposed state schooling. We show that countries with larger shares of Catholics in 1900 (but without a Catholic state religion) tend to have larger shares of privately operated schools even today. We use this historical pattern as a natural experiment to estimate the causal effect of contemporary private competition on student achievement in cross-country student-level analyses. Our results show that larger shares of privately operated schools lead to better student achievement in mathematics, science, and reading and to lower total education spending, even after controlling for current Catholic shares.
    Keywords: private school competition, student achievement, Catholic schools
    JEL: I20 L33 N30 Z12
    Date: 2008–11
  2. By: Becker, Sascha O. (University of Stirling); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Martin Luther urged each town to have a girls' school so that girls would learn to read the Gospel, evoking a surge of building girls' schools in Protestant areas. Using county- and town-level data from the first Prussian census of 1816, we show that a larger share of Protestants decreased the gender gap in basic education. This result holds when using only the exogenous variation in Protestantism due to a county's or town's distance to Wittenberg, the birthplace of the Reformation. Similar results are found for the gender gap in literacy among the adult population in 1871.
    Keywords: gender gap, education, Protestantism
    JEL: I21 J16 N33 Z12
    Date: 2008–11
  3. By: Anders Forslund (Uppsala University); Alan B. Krueger (Princeton University and NBER)
    Abstract: In the early 1990s the Swedish labour market was hit by the worst shock it experienced since the 1930s, with the unemployment rate rising to 10 percent. This development stands out in light of Sweden’s performance in the post-war period. Between the mid 1940s and the crisis of the 1990s, the Swedish unemployment rate oscillated between one percent and just under four percent (Figure 1). Unemployment even remained low in the 1970s despite oil price shocks that led to persistently high unemployment elsewhere in Europe. A natural question is what, if anything, in Swedish institutions and policies explains why Sweden’s unemployment rate did not follow the same pattern as in most western European countries? A factor often mentioned for this envious performance is Sweden’s active labour market policies (cf e.g. Layard, Nickell and Jackman, 1991).
    Date: 2008–03
  4. By: Asuka Imaizumi (Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo); Kaori Ito (Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science); Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: In this paper, the effect of a temporary shock on the industrial agglomeration was investigated, focusing on the case of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. Using the ward and county-level data of Tokyo Prefecture, the persistence of the effect caused by the earthquake was examined. It was confirmed that the effect would finally dissipate, which is consistent with preceding literature. In addition, this paper investigated the persistence differences across industries, specifically the differences between the linkage-intensive industries, and the non-linkage-intensive industries. It was found that the effect of the temporary shock was more persistent in the linkage-intensive industries, which suggests that the there was at least an endogenous portion in the mechanism of industrial agglomeration.
    Date: 2008–11
  5. By: Carlo Ciccarelli (Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Stefano Fenoaltea (Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Tommaso Proietti (Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: This paper examines the convergence of regional business cycles in the decades that followed Italy's Unification. The aggregate construction series point to cyclical convergence, but a sectorlevel analysis traces this result to the decline in differentiated "regional-policy" shocks. The regional market cycles diverged, as the regions specialized in different sectors of production; market-cycle convergence is observed only within the "industrial triangle," the regions of which also developed different specializations. This suggests that the balance between growing interdependence and growing differentiation is not general, as the current literature presumes, but specialization-specific.
    Date: 2008–11–18
  6. By: Michael Artis (Institute for Political and Economic Governance, Manchester University); Toshihiro Okubo (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University)
    Abstract: The paper uses long-run GDP data for developed countries drawn from Maddison (2003) to generate deviation cycles for the period from 1870 to 2001. The cyclical deviates are examined for their bilateral cross-correlation values in three separate periods, those of the first globalization wave (1870 to 1914), the period of the“bloc economyâ€(1915 to 1959) and for the period of the second globalization (1960-2001). Cluster analysis is applied and the McNemar test is used to test for the relative coherence of alternative groupings of countries in the three periods. The bloc economy period emerges as one that features some well-defined sub-global clusters, where the second globalization period does not, the first globalization period lying between the two in this respect. The second globalization period shows a generally higher level of cross correlations and a lower variance than the other two periods. The features uncovered suggest that the second globalization period is indeed one that comprises a more inclusive world economy than ever before.
    Keywords: Globalization, Bloc economy, Business cycle, Cluster analysis, McNemar test
    JEL: F02 F15 F41 N10 E32
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Waldemar Karpa (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Barbara Despiney (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the early stages of the highway construction program in Poland. We argue that the whole investment process could be accelerated if much attention was paid to establishing a better legal framework. Investigating the bids for the A2 highway and the implementation of the concession agreement, we highlight the excessive red tape and poor monitoring system which led to a serious slowdown in the construction process. We also stress the necessity of choosing the best adapted financing method for infrastructure investments, as the use of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme has partially failed because of its financial weakness.
    Keywords: Franchising, Contractual Design, Concession Contract, Public-Private
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Jean-Pierre Angelier (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Économie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - CNRS : UMR5252 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II)
    Abstract: Depuis le début du XXe siècle, les contrats pétroliers ont progressivement évolué vers une répartition de la rente plus favorable aux États du Sud, en particulier lorsque la concession a laissé place au contrat de partage de production et lorsque la concurrence s’est installée dans l’industrie pétrolière internationale. Désormais, deuxdimensions peuvent encore améliorer l’efficacité de ces contrats : la transparence dans les flux financiers, et la prise en compte effective de l’environnement.
    Date: 2008–09

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