New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒02‒27
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Malthus was right: new evidence from a time-varying VAR By Alexander Rathke; Samad Sarferaz
  2. Slavery and Imperialism Did Not Enrich Europe By McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen
  3. The Limits and Merits of Internationalism. Experts, the State and the International Community in Poland in the First Half of the Twentieth Century By Katrin Steffen; Martin Kohlrausch
  4. History Matters: The Long Term Impact of Colonial Public Investments in French West Africa. By Huillery, Elise
  5. Migration from the Northern Cape By Eldridge Moses; Derek Yu
  6. Reflections on the Jesuit Mission to China By Winston, Kenneth; Bane, Mary Jo
  7. Great Inflation and Central Bank Independence in Japan By Takatoshi Ito
  8. Rural credit cooperatives in spain (1890‐1935): a good start was not enough By Angel Pascual Martínez Soto; Susana Martínez Rodríguez
  10. The Marcoeconomic Aggregates for England, 1209-2008 By Clark, Gregory

  1. By: Alexander Rathke; Samad Sarferaz
    Abstract: Although Unified Growth Theory presumes the existence of the Maltusian mechanism in pre-industrial England recent empirical studies challenged this assumption. This paper studies the interaction of vital rates and real wages in the period from 1540 to 1870 in England. We employ time-varying VARs, an approach which addresses potential shortcomings such as parameter instability and declining volatilities in the previous literature. In contrast to recent studies, the main Malthusian mechanisms - the preventive and the positive check - were both at work until the mid-19th century. The preventive check was decreasing and the positive check increasing in importance. Most remarkably, the positive check dominated after the 1750s. The results indicate that instead of disappearing before the advent of the industrial revolution, the Malthusian mechanism rather changed its face over time.
    Keywords: Industrial revolution, Malthusian trap, time-varying vector autoregression, unified growth theory
    JEL: C32 J13 N13 O11
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen
    Abstract: Since trade was not an engine, neither was a part of trade, such as the trade in slaves. And certainly the profits from the trade did not finance the Industrial Revolution. Imperialism, too, was a mere part of trade, and despite the well-deserved guilt that Europeans feel in having perpetrated it, it was not an engine of their growth. Stealing from poor people is not a good business plan. Certainly the possession of India did little for the great British public, except tax them for the Navy. That Europeans did not benefit from imperialism does not mean that imperialism was good for the imperalized. That a thief kills his victim does not add to the thief’s monetary profit, and some imperialism was certainly killing. The cases of simple theft, such as the Belgian Congo, did nothing to enrich the average Belgian. Nor have internal imperialisms, such as apartheid, been profitable. The episode of economic success in Europe came from domestic sources of innovation, not from exploitation.
    Keywords: trade; industrial revolution; imperialism; England; slavery; europe; innovation; economic innovation
    JEL: N73 N70 N0
    Date: 2009–07
  3. By: Katrin Steffen; Martin Kohlrausch
    Abstract: Employing the example of two Polish technical experts - the metallurgist Jan Czochralski and the architect-urbanist Szymon Syrkus, who both reached the peak of their careers in the Interwar period, the article sketches a particular space of expertise in the newly developing states of Central Europe after 1918 and in Poland in particular. For experts like Czochralski and Syrkus a new and pronounced state activity helped to bring about a space of opportunities but was also a source of severe restrictions and demands for loyalty. With the Second World War and then with the establishment of a socialist regime this space vanished and a particular kind of experts, relying heavily on the transnational structures still being in place in central Eastern Europe before the war almost ceased to exist.
    Keywords: internationalism; knowledge
    Date: 2009–07–15
  4. By: Huillery, Elise (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Cette publication n'a pas de résumé
    JEL: N37 O11 P16
    Date: 2009–04
  5. By: Eldridge Moses; Derek Yu
    Abstract: In South Africa, the causes of migration and its impact on society first became entrenched, institutionalised and studied in the latter decades of the 19th Century as mining activity catapulted the country onto the world economic stage. As South Africa evolved into a more modern, capitalist society and agriculture became a less attractive employment option due to a period of crisis at the end of the 1800s, various population groups started migrating towards urban centres. Rural Afrikaners who had been displaced from their land and Black labour migrants constituted the bulk of migrants to urban centres. These population sub-groups were quite different in the motivations and outcomes of their migration, with many of the rural Afrikaners being absorbed into state employment while Black movers were mostly labour migrants.
    Date: 2009–06
  6. By: Winston, Kenneth (Harvard University); Bane, Mary Jo (Harvard University)
    Abstract: With the explosive growth of transnational dealings, professionals in developed countries have expanding opportunities to spread their particular ways of doing things around the world. However, missionary work, whether religious or secular, raises difficult questions about ends and means. What warrant do missionaries have for inducing others to act and believe as they do? What devices are permissible in the effort to bring about change in a host population? This working paper addresses some of these questions by reflecting on the Jesuit mission to China in the 17th century. The Jesuit mission was the first instance in the modern period of sustained missionary work by westerners in China, and it remains of enduring significance. By focusing on the "ethics of missionary work" in the Jesuit case, we draw some conclusions for 21st century would-be missionaries.
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Takatoshi Ito
    Abstract: Japan suffered a very high inflation rate in 1973-74. The CPI inflation rate rose to near 30% in 1974, the highest rate in the postwar Japanese history after the chaotic hyperinflation following the end of the Second World War. Traditionally, the oil crisis is blamed for the 1973-74 high inflation. However, due to monetary policy decisions in 1972-73, the inflation rate had already exceeded 10% before the onset of the oil crisis in October 1973. These decisions include the interest rate cut of June 1972 and the interest rate hike of April 1973, which in retrospect proved too small. Concern about the rapid yen appreciation produced political pressure on the Bank of Japan to continue easing. The Bank of Japan came out of the Great Inflation of 1973 with a stronger voice. The Bank successfully argued that its recommendation to tighten monetary policy should not be overruled or the high inflation would be repeated. By this logic, the Bank of Japan obtained /de facto/ independence after 1975. When faced with the next economic recovery in 1979, again accompanied by oil price increases, the Bank of Japan was able to tighten monetary policy and to contain the inflation rate under 10 percent. The interest rate in the 1972-75 period was well below, by as much as 25 percentage points in 1973, the interest rate suggested by a modified monthly Taylor rule regression.
    JEL: E31 E58 N15
    Date: 2010–02
  8. By: Angel Pascual Martínez Soto (University of Murcia); Susana Martínez Rodríguez (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York)
    Abstract: The spread of agrarian credit cooperativism in Spain (1890‐1934) was done under a variety of ideological and economic orientations. This article focuses on the construction of a few tools and indicators to explain the characteristics of agricultural credit cooperatives. An analysis of financial operations of rural savings banks is related with socio‐political aspects that influenced their development; this analysis helps us to explain the relative success of German credit cooperative models adopted in the context of Spanish agriculture, as happened on European periphery.
    Keywords: Agrarian credit cooperativism, rural savings banks, denominational movement.
    JEL: G29 N53 Q13
    Date: 2010–01
  9. By: Andrés Alvarez
    Abstract: This paper presents Léon Walras and Augustin Cournot views on monetary regulation. Important differences can be found in their views about the convenience of the issuing of paper money and fiat money in general. Whereas Walras is against bank notes, even if coming from a central bank, Cournot has a moderate position. He accepts the need for bank notes even without a strict adjustment to metal reserves. It can be ascertained that Cournot believes discretionary monetary regulation is convenient and acceptable, while Walras believes the only acceptable monetary system is one based exclusively on the stability of the value of money under a monetary rule following the strict equivalence between metallic reserves and a pure medium of exchange form of money. This paper shows Cournot’s ability to understand more clearly than Walras the evolution of the monetary system of his days. Whereas Walras is trying to guarantee the coherence of his pure theory with his applied theory, and he is then unable to accept the evolution toward a monetary system based on fiat money and he proposes very rigid and complex system of quasi-bimetallic circulation where banks are simple mediators between entrepreneurs and savings.
    Date: 2010–02–11
  10. By: Clark, Gregory (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: Estimates are developed of the major macroeconomic aggregates--wages, land rents, interest rates, prices, factor shares, sectoral shares in output and employment, and real wages--for England by decade between 1209 and 2008. The efficiency of the economy 1209-2008 is also estimated. One finding is that the growth of real wages in the Industrial Revolution era and beyond was faster than the growth of output per person. Indeed until recently the greatest recipient of modern growth in England has been unskilled workers. The data also creates a number of puzzles, the principle one being the very high levels of output and efficiency estimated for England in the medieval era. This data is thus inconsistent with the general notion that there was a period of Smithian growth between 1300 and 1800 which preceded the Industrial Revolution, as expressed in such recent works as De Vries (2008).
    Date: 2009–10
  11. By: Stan du Plessis (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The Accra Declaration offers a narrowly ideological interpretation of the modern economy and proceeds to reject neoliberalism as the ideological foundation thereof. This article argues for a less ideological approach to public theology in its comment on the economy in a two-step argument. Firstly, Neoliberalsim is neither a coherent ideology nor a plausible historical narrative. Economists, who are the presumed architects of neoliberalism do not recognise the propositions attributed to them by either the Accra Declaration or the critical literature on Neoliberalism. Secondly, the Accra Declaration’s ideological framework causes it to misrepresent both the nature of modern economies and their objective results. An alternative, less ideological approach, would allow the Church to appreciate both the strengths and the many problems of market economies and would allow it to work with economists in resolving these, instead of rejecting the insights of modern economics.
    Keywords: Accra declaration, Neoliberalism, Economics, Public theology, Market economies
    JEL: Z12
    Date: 2010

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