New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2009‒05‒16
twenty papers chosen by

  1. A Global Network and its Local Ties. Restructuring of the Benetton Group By Giuseppe Tattara; Paolo Crestanello
  2. The Diffusion of Foreign Cultural Products: The Case Analysis of Japanese Comics (Manga) Market in the US By Takeshi Matsui
  3. Intangible assets and competitiveness in Spain: an approach based on trademark registration data in Catalonia (1850-1946) By Sáiz, J. Patricio; Fernández, Paloma
  5. The Impact of the Asian Miracle on the Theory of Economic Growth By Robert W. Fogel
  6. Half a Century of Public Software Institutions: Open Source as a Solution to Hold-Up Problem By Michael Schwarz; Yuri Takhteyev
  8. Medical Liability Litigation: An Historical Look at the Causes for Its Growth in the United Kingdom By David Chacko
  9. The Military Industrial Complex By J Paul Dunne; Elisabeth Skons
  10. Welfare Spending and Mortality Rates for the Elderly Before the Social Security Era By Adrian Stoian; Price V. Fishback
  11. La Bolsa de comercio de Buenos Aires By Mariana Heredia
  12. El mercado de acciones en Colombia: 1930-1998 By Ignacio Velez-Pareja
  13. Finanzas y genero en Colombia: el caso del Banco Mundial de la Mujer en Cali By Netty Huertas
  14. El tiempo se acabó: El Servicio Postal Mexicano en la encrucijada de su modernización By Noemi Luján Ponce
  15. El Correo en la Republican Dominicana: Vida, Pasion, Muerte (¿y Resurreccion?) de un Servicio Publico By Julio Sánchez Mariñez
  16. The Name of the Rose: Classifying 1930s Exchange-Rate Regimes By Scott Andrew Urban
  17. Instituciones y Desarrollo: El caso de la Aviación Civil en Republica Dominicana By Wilfredo Lozano
  18. México: servicios públicos médicos de atención a población abierta: El caso del Hospital General Manuel Gea González By Miguel Ángel Gómez; Ma. Teresa Ruiz
  19. Instituciones y Desarrollo en América Latina: El Caso del Correo Oficial de la República Argentina By Ana Castellani
  20. The American Health System and Immigration: An Institutional Interpretation By Alejandro Portes; Donald Light; Patricia Fernández-Kelly

  1. By: Giuseppe Tattara (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Paolo Crestanello (CEG, Treviso. University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the change in strategy of the Benetton Group, since the mid nineties, in face of the severe intensive competition in the international fashion market. New competitors, in particular the European brands Zara, Mango and H&M, have challenged the Benetton position in the Italian and the European clothing market and have pushed the Group towards cost reduction through globalization of his suppliers. Benetton is a vertically integrated producer that controls (in different ways) the whole value chain from textile raw materials to the sales to the consumers. Till 2000 Benetton made part of its production in its own factories and through a wide network of domestic sub-contractors, mainly specialized in sewing. Now Benetton has drastically moved to a new strategy, abandoning Italy and organizing production around a dual supply chain: close locations (East Europe and North Africa) for quick production and far away locations (Asia) for more standardised products. The paper discusses also the redefinition of competences for the Treviso clothing district, where Benetton traditional sub-contractors have been in few years, drastically curtailed. Benetton restructuring marks the transition to a new network of competences between agents in the district.
    Keywords: Global value chains, Internationalization, Benetton, Apparel
    JEL: L22 L23 L67
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Takeshi Matsui (Hitotsubashi University and Princeton University)
    Abstract: This paper outlines the historical development of the US manga (Japanese comics) industry from the 1980s through the present in order to address the question why foreign cultural products become popular in offshore markets in spite of cultural difference. This paper focuses on local publishers as “gatekeepers” in the introduction of foreign culture. Using complete data on manga titles published in the US market from 1980 to 2006 (n=1,058), this paper shows what kinds of manga have been translated, published, and distributed for over twenty years and how the competition between the two market leaders, Viz and Tokyopop, created the rapid market growth. This case analysis finds two main reasons for the growth of the manga market in the US. First is the path dependency of market growth: without Viz’s pioneering effort in the localization of manga in the 1980s, Tokyopop’s standardization in the 2000s would not have boosted the market expansion, and vice versa. The second is stigma management by publishers. By selecting proper titles, censoring them, and establishing age rating systems, publishers sought to avoid the stigma attached to American mainstream comics and establish the legitimacy of manga as acceptable entertainment.
    Date: 2009–01
  3. By: Sáiz, J. Patricio (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Fernández, Paloma (Universidad de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper studies the origins of trademark registration in Spain and offers, for the first time, data across sectors and regions with a long-term perspective. In apparent contradiction to the slow path of industrialization and the economic backwardness of Spain between 1850 and the 1940s, empirical evidence on trademark registration suggests that, in this field, Spanish policies and Spanish firms seemed to be well ahead of other countries. Spain was among the pioneering countries in the Western world in having a state legislation protecting brand registration since 1850. Also, some Spanish regions and industrialized sectors adopted similar strategies to those of its European counterparts in terms of using consistently branding and registered trademarks. Our evidence suggests that firms seem to have used brands and marks, first to fight against fraud and imitation and second to add intangible assets to its products in order to endow them with persistent identity trends regarding origins or quality of the product that were difficult to replicate, as often happened with patents. This created and accumulated, over that period of time, a marketing knowledge among consumers, which may have been useful to maintain the competitiveness of some industrial districts and regions.
    Keywords: Intangible assets; Trade Marks; Brands; Catalonia, Spain.
    JEL: N80 N83 N84 M31 M37
    Date: 2009–05
  4. By: George Grantham
    Abstract: Cognitive obstacles to perception of novelty on the scientific frontier created obstacles to evaluating scientific work and recruiting scientific workers had to be overcome for the scientific enterprise to expand to the point where it could significantly affect factor productivity. The principal problems arise from the idiosyncracy of observations on the research frontier and the exceptional specificity of the human capital employed in identifying and validating scientific novelty. Resolution of these problems was by no means inevitable or predictable, as the scientific institutions which had emerged as the principal institutional support of ‘Open Science’ in the seventeenth and eighteenth century could not be efficiently scaled up to accommodate the requirements of a greatly expanded scientific enterprise. This paper recounts how in the second quarter of the nineteenth century the emergence of decentralized university-based research networks in Germany resolved the problem of scale, laying the foundations for the discoveries that powered the ‘Second Industrial Revolution’ of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
    JEL: D80 D82 D83 D89 O17 O30 O31 O34
    Date: 2009–05
  5. By: Robert W. Fogel
    Abstract: This paper, divided into seven sections, considers the development of economic growth theory in light of the spectacular advances of the economies of China, India, and Southeast Asia. Section 1 reviews the debate over the sources of technological change and the measurement of total factor productivity that emerged during the second half of the 1950s. Section 2, “Convergence and Divergence,†deals with the closing of the economic gap between the U.S. and other OECD nations that existed after World War II and the increasing economic gap between OECD and Third World nations. Section 3, “The Asian Miracle,†describes the new recognition among Western economists that the sustained, very rapid growth in China and Southeast Asia was changing the global economic balance. Section 4, “Endogenous Economic Growth,†deals with the work of a group of mainly verbal theorists, including Simon Kuznets and T.W. Schultz, who sought to define social, political, demographic, religious, and ideological conditions that preceded the epoch of modern economic growth, which began in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. That line of thought was extended by more mathematical economists who studied the invention and modeled the diffusion of new technologies in agriculture (Zvi Griliches) and industry (Edwin Mansfield). Section 5, “Bridges between Two Cohorts of Theorists on Technological Change,†compares the work of Griliches, Richard Nelson, and Dale W. Jorgenson, whose quantitative analysis of endogenous technological change spanned the period from the mid-1950s to the new cohort of growth theorists that emerged during the mid- to late-1980s. Section 6, “The Economic Historians,†focuses on their investigations of the interrelationships of the evolution of social, economic, and political institutions and on findings about the impact of institutional changes on invention, innovation, the process of technological change, and economic growth. Section 7, “The Impact of the Asian Economic Miracle on Growth Theory,†focuses on the theorizing about the likely impact of the rapidly expanding Asian economies on the shaping of the global economy over the next several decades.
    JEL: B2 O4 O53
    Date: 2009–05
  6. By: Michael Schwarz; Yuri Takhteyev
    Abstract: We argue that the intrinsic inefficiency of proprietary software has historically created a space for alternative institutions that provide software as a public good. We discuss several sources of such inefficiency, focusing on one that has not been described in the literature: the underinvestment due to fear of holdup. An inefficient holdup occurs when a user of software must make complementary investments, when the return on such investments depends on future cooperation of the software vendor, and when contracting about a future relationship with the software vendor is not feasible. We also consider how the nature of the production function of software makes software cheaper to develop when the code is open to the end users. Our framework explains why open source dominates certain sectors of the software industry (e.g., the top ten programming languages all have an open source implementation), while being almost none existent in some other sectors (none of the top ten computer games are open source). We then use our discussion of efficiency to examine the history of institutions for provision of public software from the early collaborative projects of the 1950s to the modern "open source" software institutions. We look at how such institutions have created a sustainable coalition for provision of software as a public good by organizing diverse individual incentives, both altruistic and profit-seeking, providing open source products of tremendous commercial importance, which have come to dominate certain segments of the software industry.
    JEL: D45 D62 D64 H4 H44 L17 L3 N8 O3 O31 O43
    Date: 2009–05
  7. By: George Grantham
    Abstract: Between 1300 and 1500 the French agricultural economy was subjected to massive demographic, political, fiscal and monetary shocks. Despite these shocks, the seigniorial system of property rights governing the ownership and use of land remained largely unchanged. This paper describes the shocks and analyes the responses to them.
    JEL: N13 N33 N54
    Date: 2009–05
  8. By: David Chacko (School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: The frequency and severity of medical liability litigation in the United Kingdom have increased since the middle of the twentieth century. Recent estimates of settling out-standing negligence claims hover around at least 10 percent of the National Health Service’s total annual budget. This paper argues that the frequency and severity of these claims have increased as patients have been increasingly dissatisfied with the established complaints procedures and regulation of physicians and as doctors have seen their influence in the doctor–patient relationship decrease. The current litigation situation compared to the past is three pronged: doctors are being sued more often; when sued, they are more likely to lose; and when losing, the claims awarded against them are increasing in size. As patients become increasingly aware that doctors are more likely to lose when sued and that the courts are more likely to award larger set-tlements, the frequency with which doctors are sued will almost certainly escalate. This paper concludes by discussing no-fault compensation as an alternative to litigation that would likely reduce physicians’ susceptibility to litigation.
    Date: 2009–04–01
  9. By: J Paul Dunne (Department of Economics, British University in Egypt and UWE, Bristol); Elisabeth Skons (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI))
    Abstract: This paper reviews the origin and theoretical foundation of the concept Military-Industrial Complex and explains the key issues involved in the literature on the MIC in the Cold war context. It then considers the implications for the MIC of some main post-Cold War developments, with particular emphasis on the arms industry, its structure and effects. It then assesses the degree to which the end of the Cold War may result in a fundamental change of the MIC.
    Keywords: Arms Industry; MIC
    JEL: H56 D4
    Date: 2009–05
  10. By: Adrian Stoian; Price V. Fishback
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of the original means-tested Old Age Assistance (OAA) programs on the health of the elderly prior to the first Social Security pension payments. Before 1935 a number of states had enacted their own OAA laws. After 1935 the federal government began offering matching grants and thus stimulated the adoption of OAA programs by the states. A new panel data set of 75 cities for each year between 1929 and 1938 combines mortality rates for older age groups with three measures of the OAA programs, spending on non-age-specific relief and a rich set of correlates. The data are analyzed using difference-in-difference-in-difference and instrumental variables methods. Our results suggest that Old Age Assistance in the 1930s had little impact on the death rate of the elderly. Our sense is that the OAA programs in the 1930s transferred the elderly from general relief programs without necessarily increasing the resources available to them.
    JEL: H51 H75 I1 N32
    Date: 2009–05
  11. By: Mariana Heredia (UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN MARTÍN)
    Abstract: Creada en 1854, la Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires se erige como la más antigua de América Latina.1 No obstante, contrariamente a lo que puede deducirse de esta creación temprana, el mercado bursátil argentino presenta un desarrollo muy poco significativo en relación a la envergadura del producto nacional. En efecto, tras su primigenia centralidad, la Bolsa de Buenos Aires conoció, a lo largo del siglo XX, los embates de un contexto político y económico particularmente inestable. La sucesión de autoridades civiles y militares que signó al país entre 1930 y 1983 así como la diversidad y hasta la contradicción de las políticas públicas implementadas durante este período conspiraron contra el desarrollo del mercado bursátil y su posibilidad de canalizar ahorros hacia la expansión de la inversión productiva. Para principios del siglo XXI, y aún luego de varios años de crecimiento sostenido, la principal Bolsa Argentina se encontraba muy por detrás de sus pares latinoamericanas.
    Date: 2008–09
  12. By: Ignacio Velez-Pareja
    Abstract: This article explores the behavior of the stock market in Colombia with the information given by the Bolsa de Bogotá Index (Indice de la Bolsa de Bogotá, IBB). The index is analyzed from January, 1930 to December, 1998. The inflation rate covers the same period; the inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index. This exploratory paper does not intend to present conclusive remarks: in fact, there more questions than answers. They are just ideas to work on. The trends of this analysis show that monthly and per annum return -nominal and real- are well below from the expected return of any financial investor. A first hypothesis to explain this is that the investor and entrepreneurs receive benefits that are nonmeasurable in terms of economic return. Also it can be said that inflation is negative to the return at the stock market, thus: the larger the inflation rate, the smaller the real return. It is shown that the market does not anticipate the future inflation, and of course it is not included in the actual price. Probabilities for selected real return values are presented. The probability to obtain a real return greater than 0% and other values (5%, 10%. 12% and 18%) as well, is much less than 50%. This might show that investing at the stock market is just gambling. The translation of this article into Spanish has been made more than 10 years after it was written and on occasion of the actual financial crisis the world is living today. The original version was written in English while the author was teaching at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia in December, 1998.
    Date: 2009–05–11
  13. By: Netty Huertas
    Abstract: Este trabajo busca revisar el microcrédito, en particular el caso del Banco Mundial de la Mujer de Cali. El documento está organizado a partir de generalidades, comenzando con la historia del microcrédito y haciendo énfasis en la definición de microcrédito; luego se traslada el tema a Colombia, se describe cómo inicialmente se creía que era una responsabilidad exclusiva del Estado, y cómo, con el paso del tiempo, el sector privado ha ido tomando parte en esta responsabilidad. Es así que en la historia reciente del microcrédito el gobierno forma parte activa pero más como ente regulador y no como único responsable. Posteriormente se profundizó en el objeto de este estudio, el Banco Mundial de la Mujer (identificado como WWB, por sus siglas en inglés) de la ciudad de Cali, se describieron su historia, sus procesos y sus indicadores de desempeño. Finalmente, las conclusiones resaltan el reto de las instituciones microfinancieras para fomentar el crecimiento del microcrédito.
    Date: 2009–05–02
  14. By: Noemi Luján Ponce (Universidad Autonomo Metropolitana)
    Abstract: Si bien es cierto que la existencia del correo se remonta a épocas remotas, esta actividad adquiere una relevancia inédita como parte del proceso de construcción de un estado nacional. En la medida que el correo se transforma en un servicio público que acompaña el crecimiento de los sistemas de transporte y que contribuye en forma significativa a la consolidación de sistemas modernos de comunicaciones, se ha convertido en una actividad estratégica para el desarrollo nacional y en un indicador del mismo. Por ser una institución con larga historia, el correo acompaña los principales acontecimientos de la historia nacional, se ve afectado por ellos y transforma en varias ocasiones su función y su estructura institucional. En comparación con otras instituciones, el correo en México ha sido muy poco analizado. La mayor parte de los estudios se concentran en su historia, algunos otros, sobre todo tesis de licenciatura, han abordado cuestiones como el sindicato o la implantación de los códigos postales. No encontré estudios sobre el correo desde un enfoque institucional. Por ello, lo que aquí se desarrolla es un ejercicio en buena medida solitario de lectura de la información histórica, jurídica y periodística respecto a la institución, y de reflexiones elaboradas a partir de las entrevistas con trabajadores, directivos y clientes.
    Date: 2008–09
  15. By: Julio Sánchez Mariñez (Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo)
    Abstract: El presente estudio de caso forma parte del proyecto Institucionalidad y Desarrollo que se realiza bajo la dirección del Dr. Alejandro Portes, del Center for Migration and Development en Princeton University. Este proyecto comprende el estudio de casos en cinco países, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, México y República Dominicana, con el propósito de realizar un análisis comparativo las mismas en términos del desarrollo institucional y la correspondencia entre este y el funcionamiento organizativo de entidades públicas en estos países, así como de su posible aporte al desarrollo económico-social. Dicho análisis se inscribe en la tradición neo-institucional en sociología y sociología económica, particularmente en el marco de referencia desarrollado dentro de dicha tradición por el Dr. Portes. En su enfoque Portes intenta clarificar la definición de “institución”, diferenciando, al mismo tiempo que relacionando la misma otros elementos de su contexto más amplio de la cultura y la estructura social.
    Date: 2008–09
  16. By: Scott Andrew Urban (St Antony’s College, Oxford University, Oxford OX2 6JF)
    Abstract: There is an implicit consensus that 1930s exchange-rate regimes can be characterised as some variant of ‘floating’. This paper applies an adaptation of modern methodologies of exchange-rate regime classification to a panel of 47 countries in weekly observations between January 1919 and August 1939. On the basis of modern benchmarks, the 1930s world monetary system would not be considered ‘floating’ or even ‘managed floating’. One implication is that today’s fiat-based, managed-floating international financial architecture is unprecedented.
    Keywords: Fixed Exchange Rate, International Reserves, Intervention
    JEL: F31 F33 N10
    Date: 2009–04–01
  17. By: Wilfredo Lozano (Universidad Iberoamericana)
    Abstract: El presente documento es un producto parcial de un estudio de tipo comparativo que coordina el profesor Alejandro Portes del Centro para la Migración y el Desarrollo de la Universidad de Princeton sobre la contribución de las instituciones al desarrollo en el escenario latinoamericano. En República Dominicana el estudio es coordinado por el Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios sociales de la Universidad Iberoamericana. El objetivo del proyecto, concentrándose en instituciones reales, a través de su expresión organizacional, es analizar el potencial de contribución de las instituciones sociales y económicas al desarrollo, analizando las condiciones y factores que estimulan o desfavorecen esa contribución. El proyecto se concentra en cuatro países: Chile, Colombia, México y República Dominicana y en cada uno se estudian cuatro instituciones específicas: bolsa de valores o sistemas de impuestos internos, salud, aviación civil y correos. El presente documento analiza el caso de la aviación civil dominicana. En el equipo dominicano, además del autor del presente trabajo, participaron Rolando Guzmán que elaboró un estudio sobre tributación interna, Pedro Castellanos que preparó un documento sobre el sector salud y Julio Sánchez que elaboró un documento sobre correos.
    Date: 2008–09
  18. By: Miguel Ángel Gómez (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana); Ma. Teresa Ruiz (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana)
    Abstract: En la literatura sobre las reformas estructurales en salud en Latinoamérica, el caso mexicano no solo se distingue por la magnitud demográfica o económica1 sino por el hecho de que el punto de partida de estas reformas es un Sistema Nacional de Salud estructurado en torno a una amplia y añeja presencia del Estado.2 En relación a lo anterior, se ha señalado que la reforma estructural ha sido comparativamente prolongada, pues la implementación de un sistema de atención, acorde a los lineamientos de los organismos internacionales, esta tomando más de tres décadas, y aún tiene muchos aspectos por definir. Al inicio de esta transición, en los años ochenta, cuando la idea de constituir un SNS3 entró en la agenda, se hablaba de un sector privado poco desarrollado, situación que se ha venido revirtiendo con el desarrollo y diversificación de un sector privado que ha ganado capacidad de interlocución. Análoga observación puede hacerse en torno al gremio médico.4 El aspecto más singular es el de la presencia de un actor colectivo sui generis, la Fundación Mexicana para la Salud (Funsalud) del cual es difícil encontrar un correlato en otros países de AL.
    Date: 2008–09
  19. By: Ana Castellani (Universidad Catolica de Chile)
    Abstract: En la actualidad, la empresa Correo Oficial de la República Argentina (CORASA) es la prestadora del servicio público postal, telegráfico y monetario, nacional e internacional. Además, es la encargada de representar al país ante la Unión Postal Universal (UPU) y la única obligada a prestar el Servicio Postal Básico Universal (SPBU); servicio que cumple una gran importancia en la comunicación e integración de la población a lo largo del extenso y heterogéneamente ocupado territorio nacional. La empresa cuenta para ello con una vasta red integrada por más de 5.000 puestos de servicios ubicados en todo el país (considerando agencias y sucursales propias, estafetas y unidades administrativas concesionadas a terceros), y emplea a más de 12.800 agentes, cuya representación está en manos de cuatro sindicatos.
    Date: 2008–09
  20. By: Alejandro Portes (Princeton University); Donald Light (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey); Patricia Fernández-Kelly (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We examine the institutions that comprise the American health system and their relationship to a surging immigrant population. The clash between the system and this human flow originates in the large number of immigrants who are unauthorized, poor, and uninsured and, hence, unable to access a system largely based on ability to pay. Basic concepts from sociological theory are brought to bear on the analysis of this clash and its consequences. Data from a recently completed study of health institutions in three areas of the United States is used as empirical basis to illustrate various aspects of this complex relation. Implications of our results for theory and future health policy are discussed.
    Date: 2009–04

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