nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒03‒06
nine papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. The Great Recession versus the Great Depression: stylized facts on siblings that were given different foster parents By Aiginger, Karl
  2. Long-Term Economic Growth and the Standard of Living in Indonesia By Pierre van der Eng; Joerg Baten; Mojgan Stegl
  3. The political dimension of inequality during economic development By Denis Cogneau
  4. Leaving the parental home in post-war Japan: social, economic and demographic determinants By Setsuya Fukuda
  5. Living Conditions in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Western Africa 1925-1985: What Do Survey Data on Height Stature Tell Us? By Denis Cogneau; Léa Rouanet
  6. Stabilization and growth under dictatorship: the experience of Franco's Spain By Leandro Prados de la Escosura; Joan R. Rosés; Isabel Sanz Villarroya
  7. BREAKING THE STERLING LINK: IRELAND’S DECISION TO ENTER THE EMS By Patrick Honohan; Gavin Murphy
  8. The Market for Bank Stocks and the Rise of Deposit Banking in New York City, 1866-1897 By Peter L. Rousseau
  9. Which Parts of Globalization Matter for Catch-up Growth? By Paul M. Romer

  1. By: Aiginger, Karl
    Abstract: This paper compares the depth of the Recent Crisis and the Great Depression. We use a new data set to compare the drop in activity in the industrialized countries for seven activity indicators. This is done under the assumption that the Recent Crisis leveled off in mid-2009 for production and will do so for unemployment in 2010. Our data indicate that the Recent Crisis indeed had the potential to be another Great Depression, as shown by the speed and simultaneity of the decline in the first nine months. However, if we assume that a large second dip can be avoided, the drop in all indicators overall will have been smaller than during the Great Depression. This holds true specifically for GDP, employment and priced, and least for manufacturing output. The difference in the depth in the crises concurs with differences in policy reaction. This time monetary policy and fiscal policy were applied courageously, speedily and partly internationally coordinated. During the Great Depression for several years fiscal policy tried to stabilize budgets instead of aggregate demand, and either monetary policy was not applied or was rather ineffective insofar as deflation turned lower nominal interest rates into higher real rates. Only future research will be able to prove the exact impact of economic policy, but the current tentative conclusion is that economic policy prevented the Recent Crisis from developing into a second Great Depression. This is also a partial vindication for economists. The majority of them might not have been able to predict the crisis, but it shows that the science did learn its lesson from the Great Depression and was able to give decent policy advice to at least limit the depth of the Recent Crisis. --
    Keywords: Financial crisis,business cycle,stabilisation policy,resilience
    JEL: E20 E30 E32 E44 E60 G18 G28
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:20109&r=his
  2. By: Pierre van der Eng; Joerg Baten; Mojgan Stegl
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between economic growth and improvements in the standard of living, indicated by average heights. It uses four sets of anthropometric data to construct time series of average human height since the 1770s. The paper observes a significant decline of heights in the 1870s, followed by only modest recovery during the next three decades. Both are related to a sequence of disasters. Average heights increased from the 1900s, accelerating after World War II. The Japanese occupation and war of independence in the 1940s were a set-back. Average height growth is related to improvements in food supply and the disease environment, particularly hygiene and medical care. GDP per capita and average height followed each other in broad terms, but the correlation is far from perfect. The paper offers several hypotheses to explain this fact.
    JEL: N35 O15 I31
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2010-514&r=his
  3. By: Denis Cogneau (Paris School of Economics, DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: European Enlightenment thinkers were right in stressing the political dimension of inequality, rather than referring to "natural differences" as some others did after them in the 19th or 20th centuries. Drawing from recent theoretical and empirical contributions in social sciences and in particular in economics, I try to sketch the lines of a research program dedicated to the politics of inequality on the one hand, to political inequalities on the other hand. _________________________________ Les penseurs européens des Lumières avaient raison de mettre en avant la dimension politique de l’inégalité, plutôt que de la renvoyer à l’expression de différences naturelles, comme d’autres l’ont fait après eux aux XIXè et XXè siècle. En m’appuyant sur des contributions théoriques et empiriques récentes en sciences sociales et particulièrement en économie, j’essaie d’esquisser les lignes d’un programme de recherche consacré à la politique des inégalités d’une part, et aux inégalités politiques d’autre part.
    Keywords: Inequality, Development, Political economy, Long-term history, Inégalité, Développement, Economie Politique, Histoire longue.
    JEL: B2 N3 O1
    Date: 2009–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200910&r=his
  4. By: Setsuya Fukuda (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between home-leaving intensities of young adults and the rapid social, economic, and demographic changes that took place in post-World War II Japan. By using event-history modeling, the study shows that the declines in sibling numbers and in rural residence discourage young adults from leaving home before marriage. The practice of stem-family norms helps to explain the delay to some extent. Finally, marriage delay has a substantial impact on later home-leaving as leaving home is closely linked with marriage in Japan.
    Keywords: Japan, adulthood, economic growth, employment, event history analysis, household, marriage, modernization, school enrolment
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2010-007&r=his
  5. By: Denis Cogneau (Paris School of Economics, DIAL, IRD, Paris); Léa Rouanet (Paris School of Economics, ENSAE)
    Abstract: We find with survey data that the increase in height stature experienced by successive cohorts born in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana during the late colonial period (1925-1960) is almost as high as the increase observed in France and Great-Britain over the 1875-1975 period, even when correcting for the bias arising from old-age shrinking. In contrast, the early post-colonial period (1960-1985) is characterized by stagnation or even reversion, not only in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana but also in other countries in Western Africa. We argue that the selection effects linked to the interactions between height and mortality cannot give account of these figures. We then disaggregate these national trends by parental background and district of birth, and match individual data with district-level historical data on export crop (cocoa) expansion, urban density and colonial investment in health and educations. We provide evidence that a significant share of the increase in height stature may be related to the progresses of urbanization and of cocoa production. _________________________________ A partir de données d’enquêtes, nous trouvons que l’accroissement de la stature de cohortes successives nées en Côte d’Ivoire et au Ghana pendant la période coloniale tardive (1925-1960) se compare à l’accroissement observé en France et en Grande-Bretagne sur la période 1875-1975, même après avoir corrigé des biais liés au tassement des âges élevés. En revanche, le début de la période post-coloniale (1960-1985) est caractérisé par une stagnation voire une régression, non seulement en Côte d’Ivoire et au Ghana mais aussi dans d’autres pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Nous argumentons que les effets de sélection liés aux interactions entre taille et mortalité ne peuvent rendre compte de ces faits. Nous désagrégeons ensuite ces tendances nationales par origine sociale et région de naissance, et apparions les données individuelles avec des données historiques régionales sur l’expansion de la culture d’exportation (cacao), la densité urbaine, et les investissements coloniaux en santé et en éducation. Une part importante de l’accroissement de la stature physique semble pouvoir être reliée aux progrès de l’urbanisation et de la production de cacao.
    Keywords: West Africa, Economic History, Anthropometry, Afrique de l’Ouest, Histoire économique, Anthropométrie.
    JEL: N3 O1
    Date: 2009–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200912&r=his
  6. By: Leandro Prados de la Escosura; Joan R. Rosés; Isabel Sanz Villarroya
    Abstract: Stabilizing and liberalizing policies are key elements of the Washington Consensus. This paper adds a historical dimension to the ongoing debate by assessing the economic impact of market-oriented reforms undertaken during General Franco’s dictatorship, the 1959 Stabilization and Liberalization Plan. Using an index of macroeconomic distortions (IMD) the relationship between economic policies and the growth record is examined. Although a gradual reduction in macroeconomic distortions was already in motion during the 1950s, the 1959 Plan opened the way to a new institutional design that favoured a free-market allocation of resources and allowed Spain to accelerating growth and catching up with Western Europe. Without the 1959 Plan, per capita GDP would have been significantly lower in 1975.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic policy, Stabilization, Liberalization, Growth, Dictatorship, Anti-market policies, Spain
    JEL: E65 F43 N14 N44 O43
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp10-02&r=his
  7. By: Patrick Honohan; Gavin Murphy (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Ireland had been considering a break in the long-standing currency link with sterling for some time when the ideal opportunity of a new exchange rate regime – potentially retaining the sterling link while stabilizing other exchange rates – seemed to offer itself in the form of the “zone of monetary stability in Europe” proposed by France and Germany in April 1978. Based on newly released archives, this paper reviews the evolving attitude of Irish officials and the Irish Government over the following months as the decision gradually shifted to one of breaking the sterling link and rejoining what was little more than an expanded “Snake” arrangement; the UK having decided to stay out. While financial issues were to the fore in the discussions, the final decision to join was based on a strategic vision that Ireland’s economic and political future lay with Europe rather than with the former colonial power.
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp317&r=his
  8. By: Peter L. Rousseau
    Abstract: The rapid growth of deposits in New York City over the three decades following the Civil War is often attributed to the release of pent-up demand for the services that transactions accounts could provide. I advance a complementary explanation that centers on the existence of an increasingly efficient market for bank shares. The stock market was important because it generated price and dividend quotations that signaled depositors about the soundness of individual banks, thereby directing the expansion. At the same time, innovations within the city’s banks created conditions under which stock prices became more informative, reducing asymmetries between banks and depositors to a point where confidence in banks could grow. Using a new database of stock prices, dividends, and balance sheet items for traded New York City banks from 1866 to 1897, a series of dynamic panel data models supports the proposed mechanism.
    JEL: E44 N11 N21
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15770&r=his
  9. By: Paul M. Romer
    Abstract: Economists devote too much attention to international flows of goods and services and not enough to international flows of ideas. Traditional trade flows are an imperfect substitute for flows of the underlying ideas. The simplest textbook trade model shows that a welfare-enhancing move toward freer flows of ideas should be associated with a reduction in conventional trade. The large quantitative effect from the flow of ideas is evident in the second half of the 20th century as the life expectancies in poor and rich countries began to converge. Another example comes from China, where authorities dramatically reduced accident rates by adopting rules of civil aviation that were developed in the United States. All economists, including trade economists, would be better equipped to talk about international flows of technologies and rules if they adopted a consistent vocabulary based on the concepts of nonrivalry and excludability. An analysis of the interaction between rules and technologies may help explain important puzzles such as why private firms have successfully diffused some technologies (mobile telephony) but not others (safe municipal water.)
    JEL: F1 I1 O1 O33
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15755&r=his

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