nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2009‒01‒24
seven papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. A hidden duel: Gunnar Myrdal and Dag Hammarskjöld in Economics and International Politics 1935-1955 By Appelqvist, Örjan
  2. Technological Change and the Roaring Twenties: A Neoclassical Perspective By Sharon Harrison; Mark Weder
  3. Tariffs and the Expansion of the American Pig Iron Industry, 1870-1940 By Kanda Naknoi
  4. Comparative Output and Labour Productivity in Manufacturing for China, Japan, Korea and the United States in Circa 1935 by a Production PPP Approach By Kyoji Fukao; Harry X. Wu; Tangjun Yuan
  5. Economic Growth and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Italy, 1861-2003 By Annicchiarico, Barbara; Bennato, Anna Rita; Costa, Andrea
  6. Income Security and Stability During Retirement in Canada By Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté; John Myles; Garnett Picot
  7. World-Leading Research and its Measurement By Oswald, Andrew J.

  1. By: Appelqvist, Örjan (Dept. of Economic History, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Characterizes conflict and cooperation in the intertwined careers of Gunnar Myrdal and Dag Hammarskjöld as economists, actors in Swedish policy 1940-1947 and international civil servants, Myrdal being Executive Secretary of the UN ECE 1947-1957 and Hammarskjöld being General Secretary of the UN 1951-1961. In economics the difference between dynamic and neoclassical approaches are noted. It contrasts Myrdal’s very early formulation of growth oriented financial policy with the very lasting refusal of counter-cyclical policies of the Swedish government under the influence of Hammarskjöld. In regard to official US postwar policies their differences are highlighted from the pre-cold war period as well as from the early fifties, Myrdal defending a ‘universalist’ position trying to defend the ECE against power policy intrusion whereas Hammarskjöld wanted to ‘proceed with caution’ in regard to what he considered to be ‘a friendly government’. <p>Their differences are traced to personal backgrounds while at the same time expressing principal dilemmas facing civil servants in international organisations in a political climate of strong tensions between national interests.
    Keywords: Swedish economic policy; history of economic ideas; intellectual history of United Nations; Gunnar Myrdal; Dag Hammarskjöld
    JEL: B25 B31
    Date: 2008–12–27
  2. By: Sharon Harrison; Mark Weder
    Abstract: In this paper, we address the causes of the Roaring Twenties in the United States. In particular, we use a version of the real business cycle model to test the hypothesis that an extraordinary pace of productivity growth was the driving factor. Our motivation comes from the abundance of evidence of signi?cant technological progress during this period, fed by innovations in manufacturing and the widespread introduction of electricity. Our estimated total factor productivity series generate arti?cial model output that shows high conformity with the data: the model economy sucessfully replicates the boom years from 1922-1929.
    Keywords: Real Business Cycles, Roaring Twenties.
    JEL: E32 N12
    Date: 2009–01
  3. By: Kanda Naknoi
    Abstract: This study quantifies dynamic learning effects behind the tariff wall in the American pig iron industry in 1870-1940. First, we present new datasets to argue that imported and domestic pig iron were close substitutes. Next, we provide evidence for dynamic learning effects. Finally, we use the estimated learning rate to simulate the hypothetical free trade regime starting in 1870. Despite substantial learning at the early stage of development, free trade would have wiped out the domestic industry by 1881. This would be caused by unfavorable shocks on demand, input costs and transport costs.
    Keywords: Pig iron trade, protection, dynamic learning effects
    JEL: F13 N71
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Kyoji Fukao; Harry X. Wu; Tangjun Yuan
    Abstract: Following the standard methodology for measuring industry-of-origin or production-side PPPs, this study compares the unit values of manufacturing products in China, Japan, Korea and the US to calculate unit value ratios (UVRs) and hence estimates PPPs for individual manufacturing industries using the US as the base country in circa 1935. Based on the products that could be matched between these countries, the estimated manufacturing production PPPs for China, Japan and Korea are only from half to two thirds of the prevailing market exchange rates, suggesting much lower cost of production in manufacturing in these countries than in the US. The estimated PPPs are used to calculate industry-level output and labour productivity in China, Japan and Korea relative to those of the US in circa 1935. The results show that the size of factory manufacturing in Japan was 12 percent of the US level whereas in China it was only one percent and even lower in Korea. In terms of comparative labour productivity, measured as PPP$ per hour worked with the US as the reference, Japanese and Korean manufacturing was 24 and 23 percent of the US level, whereas Chinese manufacturing was only 7 percent of the US level.
    Keywords: Production (industry-of-origin) purchasing power parity (PPP), unit value ratio, comparative output and labour productivity, comparative advantage, economic development
    JEL: L60 O47 P52
    Date: 2008–12
  5. By: Annicchiarico, Barbara; Bennato, Anna Rita; Costa, Andrea
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between economic growth and carbon dioxide emissions in Italy for the period 1861-2003. Using cointegration, rolling regression and error correction modeling techniques, we find that growth and carbon dioxide emissions are strongly interrelated, and elasticity of pollutant emissions with respect to income has been decreasing over time. For the period 1960-2003 EKC estimates provide evidence for the existence of a reasonable "turning point". However, given the heavy dependence of Italian economy upon fossil fuels, meeting the emissions targets in the accomplishing of the Kyoto Protocol is a very challenging task.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve; Carbon Dioxide Emissions; Time Series Analysis; Italian Economy
    JEL: Q50 C22
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté; John Myles; Garnett Picot
    Abstract: Post-war policies and subsequent debates had two policy targets: reducing old-age poverty and enhancing income security for the “average worker” after retirement. While we know a lot about the first issue, the second has received less attention as a result of data limitations. We take advantage of unique longitudinal data based on Canadian tax files (the LAD) to examine income replacement rates of older Canadians relative to their economic status when they were in their mid-fifties. In 2005, the replacement income of retired individuals in their mid-seventies who were in the middle of the income distribution at age 55 (in the early 1980s) was between 70 and 80 percent of their previous incomes some 20 years earlier This figure is at the high end of the range (65 to 75 percent) that experts generally consider “adequate” for middle-income retirees to maintain their pre-retirement living standards. However, we also show that there is considerable variation in replacement rates. By age 75, about a quarter of middle-income persons had retirement incomes of less than 60 percent of the income they were receiving in their mid-fifties, a result of differential access to private pension income. We also ask whether income replacement rates have been rising or falling among more recent cohorts of retirees but find little change. Finally, we report results about the stability of incomes in the retirement years. We conclude that year to year instability in family income declines for both high and low income earners as they age, largely because of the stabilizing effect of public pension income sources.
    Keywords: retirement, income security
    JEL: J14 J26 D60 D63 H19 H55 I30
    Date: 2008–12
  7. By: Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Journalists and others have asked me whether the favourable RAE 2008 results for UK economics are believable. This is a fair question. It also opens up a broader and more important one: how can we design a bibliometric method to assess the quality (rather than merely quantity) of a nation’s science? To try to address this, I examine objective data on the world’s most influential economics articles. I find that the United Kingdom performed reasonably well over the 2001-2008 period. Of 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles, the UK produced 10% of them -- and was the source of the most-cited article in each of the Journal of Econometrics, the International Economic Review, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Rand Journal of Economics, and of the second most-cited article in the Journal of Health Economics. Interestingly, more than a quarter of these world-leading UK articles came from outside the best-known half-dozen departments. Thus the modern emphasis on ‘top’ departments and the idea that funding should be concentrated in a few places may be mistaken. Pluralism may help to foster iconoclastic ideas.
    Keywords: Science ; evaluation ; peer-review ; citations ; research assessment exercise.
    Date: 2009

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