nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒03‒13
eight papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Conceptual Foundations of the Balanced Scorecard By Robert S. Kaplan
  2. Reversal of fortune in a small, open economy: regional GDP in Belgium, 1896-2000. By Buyst, Erik
  3. The economic consequences of population and urbanization growth in Italy: from the 13th century to 1900. A discussion on the Malthusian dynamics By Bruno Chiarini
  4. Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism By Alpar Lošonc
  5. The Long Road to Normalcy By Popov, Vladimir
  6. Demand Matters: German Wheat Market Integration 1806-1855 in a European Context By Martin Uebele
  7. Money in the Soviet Administrative Command Economy: A Quantitative Analysis By Yasushi Nakamura
  8. The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815–2007 By Marc Flandreau; Juan H. Flores; Norbert Gaillard; Sebastián Nieto-Parra

  1. By: Robert S. Kaplan (Harvard Business School, Accounting and Management Unit)
    Abstract: David Norton and I introduced the Balanced Scorecard in a 1992 Harvard Business Review article (Kaplan & Norton, 1992). The article was based on a multi-company research project to study performance measurement in companies whose intangible assets played a central role in value creation (Nolan Norton Institute, 1991). Norton and I believed that if companies were to improve the management of their intangible assets, they had to integrate the measurement of intangible assets into their management systems. After publication of the 1992 HBR article, several companies quickly adopted the Balanced Scorecard giving us deeper and broader insights into its power and potential. During the next 15 years, as it was adopted by thousands of private, public, and nonprofit enterprises around the world, we extended and broadened the concept into a management tool for describing, communicating and implementing strategy. This paper describes the roots and motivation for the original Balanced Scorecard article as well as the subsequent innovations that connected it to a larger management literature.
    Date: 2010–03
  2. By: Buyst, Erik
    Abstract: In this paper we present estimates of regional GDP per capita for certain benchmark years during the first half of the 20th century using the method proposed by Geary and Stark (2002). After testing the robustness of the Geary and Stark methodology for the Belgian situation, these estimates are linked to the official regional GDP figures, available since 1955, so that we can cover the whole 20th century. Next we test the contrast put forward by many historians between a ‘poor Flanders’ and a relatively ‘prosperous Wallonia’ around 1900. For the remainder of the analysis Belgium’s nine provinces are used as a geographical unit to take a broader view than just the Flanders/Wallonia controversy. It shows a dramatic reversal of fortune between the northern and southern provinces. Finally, it is investigated whether the 20th century witnessed a process of convergence.
    Date: 2009–09
  3. By: Bruno Chiarini (-)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the quantitative relation between population, real wages and urbanization in the Italian economy during the period 1320-1870. In this period the prevailing conditions were those of a poor, mainly agricultural economy with limited human capital and rudimentary technology. However, these centuries witnessed the considerable growth of urban centers, which was not only a significant demographic phenomenon in itself. The multiplication of such agglomerations had a striking influence on mortality and hence on the general course of the economy in this period. We present two main results i) the positive check is strong and statistically significant and it explains an important part of the dynamic of mortality but the other equilibrating mechanism in the Malthusian model -the preventive check- based on the positive relationship between fertility and real wages does not operate; ii) the urbanization process and the flows of rural immigrants which fuelled it, had profound, complex implications on productivity in agriculture and on wages and population dynamics.
    Keywords: Malthusian dynamics, Urbanization, Pre-industrial labor productivity, Poulation trend, Demographic changes.
    JEL: N33 N53 N93 J11 C32
    Date: 2010–01–30
  4. By: Alpar Lošonc (Faculty of Technical Sciences, Department for Social Sciences, Novi Sad, Serbia)
    Date: 2009–11
  5. By: Popov, Vladimir
    Abstract: The goal of this study is to reveal the long-term trajectory of Russian economic development and to make predictions for the future. The study starts with a much discussed question: why Russia did worse economically during transition than most other countries in Europe and Asia? It is argued that it was partly caused by objective circumstances before transition (distortions in industrial structure and in trade patterns accumulated during the era of central planning), but mostly by the weakening of the institutional capacity of the state during transition.
    Keywords: Economic transition, institutional trajectories, Russia, China
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Martin Uebele
    Abstract: This study analyzes annual wheat prices in 13 German cities in the years 1806 to 1855, together with wheat price series from 44 other European and American cities. The method used is a dynamic factor model, which allows for distinguishing common price uctuations on international and national levels. I find a significant increase of price synchronization between German cities and international markets, between the first and the second quarter of the 19th Century. This is probably mainly due to the increased demand for food imports in Britain and the disappearance of political barriers, as well as economies of scale and gradual improvements to existing transportation technology. Within Germany, I find increasing common price uctuations in Mannheim and Munich, which arguably refl ects a customs union effect. Tree ring records as indicators of general plant growth conditions indicate that comovement was not driven by exogenous shocks.
    Keywords: market integration, 19th Century, dynamic factor analysis, wheat prices, Germany
    JEL: N70 N71 N73 C32 F15 E32
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Yasushi Nakamura
    Abstract: This paper quantitatively examined the relation between money and real economy in the Soviet economy. The institutional and historical analysis of the Soviet monetary management yielded the tasks of quantitative analysis. The quantitative analysis showed that the institutional division of cash and non-cash was effective, demand for cash was not predictable, and there was no significant relation between money and real production. This result suggested that the Soviet monetary management relying on some vague money supply target could not function well and only the control on wage which was supported by the division of cash and non-cash could weakly ceil money supply. A fundamental problem of the Soviet economy seemed that a mechanism to bridge between money and real economy was lacked, while money was used. It is, therefore, difficult to regard the Soviet economic system as an complete economic system equivalent to the market economy.
    Date: 2010–02
  8. By: Marc Flandreau (Graduate Institute of international and Development Studies in Geneva and CEPR); Juan H. Flores (Department of Economic History, University of Geneva.); Norbert Gaillard (Sciences Po, Paris); Sebastián Nieto-Parra (Development Centre, OECD, Paris)
    Abstract: We provide a comparison of salient organizational features of primary markets for foreign government debt over the very long run. We focus on output, quality control, information provision, competition, pricing, charging, and signaling. We find that the market setup experienced a radical transformation in the recent period, and we interpret this as resulting from the rise of liability insurance provided by rating agencies. Underwriters have given up their former role as gatekeepers of liquidity and certification agencies to become aggressive competitors in a new Speculative Grade market.
    Keywords: certification, primary bond market, sovereign debt crises, banks competition
    JEL: F34 G14 G24 N2
    Date: 2009–07

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