nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒06‒26
seventeen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Monetary Theory from a Chinese Historical Perspective By Zheng Xueyi; Yaguang Zhang; John Whalley
  2. Not Just Mad Englishmen and a Dog: The Colonial Tuning of 'Music on Record', 1900-1908 By Vibodh Parthasarathi
  3. Rhetoric of independece: bicentennial Colombia 1810 - 2010 By Estrada, Fernando
  4. Nominal Rigidities and Retail Price Dispersion in Canada over the Twentieth Century By Ross D. Hickey; David S. Jacks
  5. The insurance industry in Brazil: a long-term view By MArcelo de Paiva Abreu; Felipe Tamega Fernandes
  6. International Business Cycle Synchronization in Historical Perspective By Michael D. Bordo; Thomas F. Helbling
  7. Women’s semi-religious life in Rome (15th-17th century) By Mazzonis Querciolo
  8. Technology diffusion and postwar growth By Diego Comin; Bart Hobijn
  9. Colonialism, Elite Formation and Corruption By Luis Angeles; Kyriakos C. Neanidis
  10. U.S. War Costs: Two Parts Temporary, One Part Permanent By Ryan D. Edwards
  11. Violent Conflict and Inequality By Bircan, Cagatay; Brück, Tilman; Vothknecht, Marc
  12. The Political Economy of Fiscal Reform: The Case of Colombia, 1986-2006 By Mauricio Olivera; Monica Pachon; Guillermo Perry
  14. "Does Excessive Sovereign Debt Really Hurt Growth? A Critique of This Time Is Different, by Reinhart and Rogoff" By Yeva Nersisyan; L. Randall Wray
  15. LE PLAN COMPTABLE DE 1942 : UN PLAN « DE » OU « SOUS » L'OCCUPATION ? By Oussama Ouriemmi
  16. An Updated Ranking of Academic Journals in Economics By Pantelis Kalaitzidakis; Theofanis P. Mamuneas; Thanasis Stengos
  17. Research contracts and patents in the Spanish ceramic tile district innovation system By Gabaldón-Estevan, Daniel; Molina-Morales, Francesc Xavier; Fernández-de-Lucio, Ignacio

  1. By: Zheng Xueyi; Yaguang Zhang; John Whalley
    Abstract: We discuss monetary thought in ancient China from the perspective of Western monetary theory. It sets out the structure of economic activity in the various dynasties of ancient China and emphasizes the differences in monetary structure from Europe (and later North America). Imperial China was a politically integrated structure with regional segmentation of economic activities and hence with regional money. Monetary policy was one body conducted at regional level, but overseen naturally politically before national integration under the Ming dynasty (14th century). In various regions different forms of money circulated, with gold, silver, copper, and paper all present at various times. Monetary policy was guided by monetary thought, such as later in Europe. Basic concepts such as monetary function, the velocity of circulation, inflation, interest rate parity and the quantity theory were all present. The economics of Imperial China witnessed boom and bust, inflation and deflation and monetary control much like Europe to follow. Monetary thought thus seemingly preceded Western thought, and had remarkable similarities. Whether much of this thought travelled down the silk road remains unknown, but the possibility is intriguing.
    JEL: N20
    Date: 2010–06
  2. By: Vibodh Parthasarathi
    Abstract: The paper excavates how the advent of commercial audiography, through 'Recording Expeditions' between 1902 and 1907, shaped configurations of the nascent business in, and culture around, 'music on record'. It will weigh the evolving nature of colonial imprints on these configurations by scrutinising three sites: the production of music, including the kinds of business practices shaping it; the popularisation of commodities and ideas through advertising and the meaning accorded to this 'new media' in the everyday life of early 20th century India. [WP No. 02/2008].
    Keywords: music, colonial, media, commodities, culture, productin, advertising, business, India, asia, history, Indian, scholarship, entrepreneurship, entertainment, human activity
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Estrada, Fernando
    Abstract: This paper develops a hypothesis of the economist Albert Hirschman in: The Rhetoric of Reaction, Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy (Harvard 1991) regarding the history of the Independence of Colombia. The Rhetoric of Independence extended the geographical worldview of the people of Spanish American. Finally, the paper develops a dispute with the explanations given by the conventional Colombian historiography
    Keywords: Albert Hirschman; Colombia; Spanish American; Independence; political rhetoric; history; social sciences.
    JEL: Z1 B0 N9 A1 A20 Z10 A2 A10 B00 A13 B59 N96 B5
    Date: 2010–06
  4. By: Ross D. Hickey; David S. Jacks
    Abstract: We introduce a new data set on over 230,000 monthly prices for 10 goods in 50 Canadian cities over the 40 year period from 1910 to 1950. This coupled with previously published price information from the late twentieth century allows us to present one of the first comprehensive views of nominal rigidities and retail price dispersion over the past 100 years. We find that nominal rigidities have been conditioned upon prevailing rates of inflation with a greater frequency of price changes occurring in the 1920s and the 1970s. Additionally, the process of retail market integration has surprisingly followed a U-shaped trajectory, with many domestic markets being better integrated—as measured by the average dispersion of retail prices—at mid-century than in the 1990s. We also consider the linkages between nominal rigidities and price dispersion, finding results consistent with present-day data.
    JEL: E31 L11 N82
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: MArcelo de Paiva Abreu (Department of Economics PUC-Rio); Felipe Tamega Fernandes (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: This paper surveys the formation and development of insurance business in Brazil. It describes its very first steps, from the colonial times and imperial era to recent events. Particular attention is given to regulatory changes, showing how they evolved in response to macroeconomic shocks that affected the Brazilian economy during this period.
    Keywords: Insurance, Brazil, Regulation. JEL Code: G22, G38, L50, N46.
    Date: 2010–03
  6. By: Michael D. Bordo; Thomas F. Helbling
    Abstract: In this paper, we review and attempt to explain the changes in business cycle synchronization among 16 industrial countries and the over the past century and a quarter, demarcated into four exchange rate regimes. We find that there is a secular trend towards increased synchronization for much of the twentieth century and that it occurs across diverse exchange rate regimes. This finding is in marked contrast to much of the recent literature, which has focused primarily on the evidence for the past 20 or 30 years and which has produced mixed results. We then examine the role of global shocks and shock transmission in the trend toward synchronization. Our key finding here is that global (common) shocks generally are the dominant influence.
    JEL: F0 N0
    Date: 2010–06
  7. By: Mazzonis Querciolo
    Date: 2010–07
  8. By: Diego Comin; Bart Hobijn
    Abstract: In the aftermath of WorldWar II, the world's economies exhibited very different rates of economic recovery. We provide evidence that those countries that caught up the most with the U.S. in the postwar period are those that also saw an acceleration in the speed of adoption of new technologies. This acceleration is correlated with the incidence of U.S. economic aid and technical assistance in the same period. We interpret this as supportive of the interpretation that technology transfers from the U.S. to Western European countries and Japan were an important factor in driving growth in these recipient countries during the postwar decades.
    Keywords: Technology - Economic aspects
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Luis Angeles; Kyriakos C. Neanidis
    Abstract: This paper argues that corruption in developing countries has deep historical roots; going all the way back to the characteristics of their colonial experience. The degree of European settlement during colonial times is used to di¤erentiate between types of colonial experience, and is found to be a powerful explanatory factor of present-day corruption levels. The relationship is non-linear, as higher levels of European settlement resulted in more powerful elites (and more corruption) only as long as Europeans remained a minority group in the total population.
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Ryan D. Edwards
    Abstract: Military spending, fatalities, and the destruction of capital, all of which are immediately felt and are often large, are the most overt costs of war. They are also relatively short-lived. The costs of war borne by combatants and their caretakers, which includes families, communities, and the modern welfare state, tend instead to be lifelong. In this paper I show that a significant component of the public costs associated with U.S. wars are long-lived. One third to one half of the total present value of historical war costs have been absorbed by benefits distributed over the remaining life spans of veterans and their dependents. The half-life of these benefits has averaged more than 30 years following the end of hostilities. Estimates of the value of injuries and deaths, while uncertain, suggest that the private burden of war borne by survivors, namely the uncompensated costs of service-related injuries, are also large and long-lived.
    JEL: H56 H68 J17 N41 N42
    Date: 2010–06
  11. By: Bircan, Cagatay (University of Michigan); Brück, Tilman (DIW Berlin); Vothknecht, Marc (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the distributive impacts of violent conflicts, which is in contrast to previous literature that has focused on the other direction. We use cross-country panel data for the time period 1960-2005 to estimate war-related changes in income inequality. Our results indicate rising levels of inequality during war and especially in the early period of post-war reconstruction. However, we find that this rise in income inequality is not permanent. While inequality peaks around five years after the end of a conflict, it declines again to pre-war levels within the end of the first post-war period. Lagged effects of conflict and only subsequent adjustments of redistributive policies in the period of post-war reconstruction seem to be valid explanations for these patterns of inequality. A series of alternative specifications confirms the main findings of the analysis.
    Keywords: conflict, war, inequality, reconstruction, income distribution
    JEL: O11 O15
    Date: 2010–06
  12. By: Mauricio Olivera; Monica Pachon; Guillermo Perry
    Abstract: This paper explores the characteristics of the political economy process that conditioned the scope and success of the combination of fiscal reforms before and after Colombia’s 1991 constitutional reforms. Using formal analysis of reforms and interviews with actors, reforms in taxation, decentralization, the budgetary process and pensions are examined in times of political crisis, economic crisis, and economic boom. The results generally confirm the hypothesis that increased political fragmentation and limited unilateral executive power after the 1991 reforms restricted the extent of reforms, particularly in tax law. Nonetheless, the enactment of piecemeal reforms was encouraged by crisis conditions.
    Keywords: Policymaking process, Political economy, Structural reform, Colombia
    JEL: H20 H71 H77
    Date: 2010–05
  13. By: James A. Robinson (Harvard University, Department of Government and IQSS)
    Abstract: The extent of inequality in society is determined by the distribution of assets, the rates of returns on different assets, and government policy. All of these things are deeply political and reflect the balance of political power in society and the institutions to which this balance gives rise. I illustrate this perspective on the determination of inequality by a case study of the Sudan and argue that in the Middle East and North African countries it suggests a paradox - inequality is much lower than one might anticipate. I make some conjectures about why this might be based on a comparison with the historical development of inequality in Latin America.
    Date: 2009–06
  14. By: Yeva Nersisyan; L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: The worst global downturn since the Great Depression has caused ballooning budget deficits in most nations, as tax revenues collapse and governments bail out financial institutions and attempt countercyclical fiscal policy. With notable exceptions, most economists accept the desirability of expansion of deficits over the short term but fear possible long-term effects. There are a number of theoretical arguments that lead to the conclusion that higher government debt ratios might depress growth. There are other arguments related to more immediate effects of debt on inflation and national solvency. Research conducted by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff is frequently cited to demonstrate the negative impacts of public debt on economic growth and financial stability. In this paper we critically examine their work. We distinguish between a nation that operates with its own floating exchange rate and nonconvertible (sovereign) currency, and a nation that does not. We argue that Reinhart and Rogoff’s results are not relevant to the case of the United States.
    Keywords: Government Debt; Government Deficit; Sovereign Default; Reinhart and Rogoff; Economic Growth; Inflation; Modern Money
    JEL: E60 E61 E62 E64 E69 E31 E32 O40
    Date: 2010–06
  15. By: Oussama Ouriemmi (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272)
    Abstract: En France, entre 1941 et 1942, un premier Plan comptable est conçu en pleine période de l'occupation allemande. A la Libération, ce Plan est épuré ainsi que Jacques Chezleprêtre, le secrétaire général de la commission qui l'a mis au monde. Si dès le lendemain de la Libération l'idée dominante est que ce Plan est une oeuvre de l'autorité allemande à Paris, ou du moins conçu à son instigation, il est aujourd'hui possible, à l'aide des archives de la Commission Interministérielle du Plan comptable, de démontrer le contraire.
    Keywords: Le Plan comptable de 1942, Le Plan comptable Göring, l'occupation allemande, Jacques Chezleprêtre
    Date: 2010
  16. By: Pantelis Kalaitzidakis (University of Crete); Theofanis P. Mamuneas (University of Cyprus); Thanasis Stengos (University of Guelph)
    Abstract: We conduct an update of the ranking of economic journals by Kalaitzidakis, Mamuneas and Stengos (2003). However, our present study differs methodologically from that earlier study in an important dimension. We use a rolling window of years between 2003 and 2008, for each year counting the number of citations of articles published in the previous ten years. This allows us to obtain a smoother longer view of the evolution of rankings in the period under consideration and avoid the inherent randomness that may exist at any particular year. Using this framework we proceed to examine the relative ranking of the Canadian Journal of Economics over time. We find the Canadian Journal managed not only to maintain its relative position, but to also improve it over time.
    Date: 2010–01
  17. By: Gabaldón-Estevan, Daniel; Molina-Morales, Francesc Xavier; Fernández-de-Lucio, Ignacio
    Abstract: This work applies the systemic approach to analyze the innovation process in an industrial district through the notion of the District Innovation System. We are particularly interested in the analysis of the interactions between the productive-technological and the scientific environments through the analysis of research contracts and patents. The empirical section of the paper develops a quantitative analysis of the interactions between different actors of the system included in the district. This analysis was used to indicate the special features of the innovation system in a territorially bounded industrial district. Findings suggest relevant conclusions about specific characteristics of the inter-organizational environments in the industrial district which have to be considered.
    Keywords: innovation systems; industrial districts, tile industry; agglomeration; research contracts; patents
    Date: 2009–06–26

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