nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒10‒09
fourteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Before the Great Divergence? Comparing the Yangzi Delta and the Netherlands at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century By Li, Bozhong; van Zanden, Jan Luiten
  2. Production and Marketing Activities of the Agricultural Co-operatives Association in Aomori Prefecture between the l870s and l920s By Izumi Shirai
  3. A new perspective on the genealogy of collective action through the history of religious organizations. By Vaujany, François-Xavier de
  4. Longitudinal Studies of Human Growth and Health: A Review of Recent Historical Research By Kris Inwood; Evan Roberts
  5. La economía de Valladolid, 1830-2000. Una perspectiva histórica By Javier Moreno Llázaro
  6. Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800 By Clark, Gregory; Cummins, Neil
  7. Mejorar y quedarse. La cesión de tierra a rentas por debajo del equilibrio en la Valencia del siglo XIX By Samuel Garrido
  8. The Surprising Wealth of Pre-industrial England By Clark, Gregory; Cummins, Joe; Smith, Brock
  9. 1381 and the Malthus Delusion By Clark, Gregory
  10. The Consumer Revolution: Turning Point in Human History, or Statistical Artifact? By Clark, Gregory
  11. How do Japanese and French firms in steel industry address the institutional change and the globalization? Employment adjustment and age management in a downsizing context By Emilie Lanciano; Michio Nitta
  12. Series anuales de algunos agregados económicos y demográficos regionales, 1955-2009 (RegDat versión 2.3) By Angel de la Fuente
  13. Datos climáticos históricos para las regiones españolas (CRU TS 2.1) By Goerlich Gisbert Francisco J.
  14. Promoting Learning and Industrial Upgrading in ASEAN Countries By Thorbecke, Willem; Lamberte, Mario; Komoto, Ginalyn

  1. By: Li, Bozhong; van Zanden, Jan Luiten
    Abstract: The debate about the long-term economic development of China compared with Europe has taken a new turn with the publication of Kenneth Pomeranz’ book on ‘The Great Divergence’, in which he maintains that before the Industrial Revolution the most advanced parts of China (in particular the Yangzi Delta) was in terms of real incomes on par with the richest regions in Western Europe (Great Britain, the Netherlands). His tentative results were very different from the estimates produced by Maddison (2001) who concluded that there was already a large gap in real per capita GDP between these two extreme parts of Eurasia. Using the method of historical national accounting, this paper tests these ideas on the basis of a detailed comparison of the structure and level of GDP in part of the Yangzi Delta and the Netherlands in the 1820s, also taking into account differences of purchasing power of the two currencies involved. The results are that Dutch GDP per capita was already almost twice the level in the Yangzi Delta, which is more or less consistent with Maddison’s point of view. The level of agricultural productivity in this part of China was, however, at about the same level as in the Netherlands (and England), but large productivity gaps existed in industry and services (with the exception of government services). We also attempt to explain the patterns found, and conclude that differences in factor costs may have been behind the observed differences in labour productivity.
    Keywords: economic development; labour productivity; real incomes
    JEL: N3 O1 O4
    Date: 2010–09
  2. By: Izumi Shirai (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This article analyzed the production and marketing activities of the Agricultural Co-operatives Association established in Takedate Village in the Tsugaru district of Aomori Prefecture in 1907. In the early stages of the Meiji period, this area was considered as backward in terms of commodity production and circulation. However, the Agricultural Co-operatives Association, Takedate-kumiai had been highly evaluated for its business marketing across the nation, and had built a brand name for itself. Takedate-kumiai was the cutting-edge case of the industrial associations which is supposed to have spread out in earnest in the 1930s. We obtained the followings results. (1) By means of production inspection before packaging, the association made an effort toward not only the production of high-quality apples but also their trusted shipment in accordance with the brand name and standards established for itself. All these were extremely advanced efforts in agricultural commodity transactions. (2) However, until the early 1910s, the business sales of the association encountered certain problems. One problem was that the association partners had illegally sold apples to merchants and therefore, could not gather enough apples to sell. Another problem was that the specification wholesalers in the great city did not make all their payments smoothly. While being such status, the association thought much of the trust and the autonomy at the partners and the wholesales. It supported without laying down compulsion and a penalty regulation. (3) The problems mentioned in the above point were solved in the latter half of 1910s. The association received special awarding in 1916 and became flagrant nationwide and succeeded in establishing a brand name image. The partners recognized that apples sold on behalf of the association should be done so at favorable prices. As the associationfs apples became famous in the markets of consuming regions, wholesalers came to recognize special wholesale contracts with this association as an honor. Consequently, the association grew to be an economic organization that took the initiative in product sales to wholesalers even in important cities such as Tokyo.
    Keywords: Japanese Economic History, Agricultural Co-operatives Association, Brand, Marketing, Market
    JEL: N55 N75 N85
    Date: 2010–09
  3. By: Vaujany, François-Xavier de
    Abstract: This article puts forwards a “reorientationist” perspective about the genealogy of collective action and artefacts deployed for its orientation. It draws on the history of religion and religious organizations as elaborated by several promoters of the so-called “new history” in France. These historians (mainly medievalist) can be helpful in writing a different genealogy of contemporary models of collective action (i.e. ways of reaching a goal together) and their institutional context in western countries. They can also facilitate a critical understanding of long-range organizational dynamics.
    Keywords: Genealogy of collective action; history of religious organizations; history of managerial practices; new history; Catholic Church;
    JEL: M1
    Date: 2010–02
  4. By: Kris Inwood (Department of Economics,University of Guelph); Evan Roberts (Department of History, University of Minnesota.)
    Abstract: This paper reviews recent literature using stature and weight as measures of human welfare with a particular interest in cliometric or historical research. We begin with an overview of anthropometric evidence of living standards and the new but fast-growing field of anthropometric history. This literature is always implicitly and often explicitly longitudinal in nature. We then discuss (i) systematic empirical research into the relationship between conditions in early life and later life health and mortality and (ii) historical evidence on the relationship between body mass, morbidity and mortality. We conclude with a discussion of the importance of historical sources and understandings to health economics and population health.
    Keywords: Anthropometric history; Biological standard of living; Height; Obesity; Physical stature; Well-being
    JEL: I12 J11 N30 N31 N32 N33 O15
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Javier Moreno Llázaro (Universidad de Valladolid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales)
    Abstract: This paper offers an overview of the modern Economic History of an interior Spanish province (Valladolid). It investigates the reasons of the economic retardation of this central region in contrast with the periphery of the country. It also presents the unknown attempts of the local business class to exploit large industrial conglomerates. The evidence shows that the region did not lack of entrepreneurial spirit. Actually, in spite the adverse agricultural conditions, the Government protection, the little modernisation of its capital market and its large risk aversion, Valladolid became the main industrial district of the region thanks to its specialization in food production and metallurgy
    Keywords: Valladolid, economic history, business entrepreneurship
    JEL: N83 N84 N93 N94
    Date: 2010–09
  6. By: Clark, Gregory; Cummins, Neil
    Abstract: English fertility history is generally regarded as having been composed of two re-gimes: an era of unregulated marital fertility, from at least 1540 to 1890, then the modern era, with regulated marital fertility, lower for higher social classes. We show there were in fact three fertility regimes in England: a Malthusian regime which lasted from at least 1500 until 1780, where fertility was substantially higher for the rich, an intermediate regime from 1780 to 1890 with fertility undifferentiated by class, and finally the modern regime. Wealthy English men produced substantially fewer children within a generation of the onset of the Industrial Revolution, over 100 years before the classic demographic transition. At the same time the fertility of the poor increased. Determining what triggered this change, however, and why it coincided with the Industrial Revolution, will require further research.
    Keywords: Demographic Transition in England
    JEL: J13 N3 J1
    Date: 2010–06–10
  7. By: Samuel Garrido (Departament d'Economia, Universitat Jaume I. Castellón (Spain))
    Abstract: By custom, in several different regions of Europe tenants were the owners of the improvements they carried out on the farm. As a result of such customs, rents usually remained below the Ricardian equilibrium over long periods of time and therefore cannot be used to calculate the total factor productivity in agriculture. This paper examines the logic underlying the functioning of the custom that came into being in nineteenth-century Valencia. This is followed by a brief comparison between the Valencia custom, the Irish tenant right and the French mauvais gré.
    Keywords: tenants, improvements, property rights, Valencia, mauvais gré
    JEL: N53 N54 Q15 D23
    Date: 2010–09
  8. By: Clark, Gregory; Cummins, Joe; Smith, Brock
    Abstract: Occupations listed in wills reveal that as early as 1560 effectively only 60% of the English engaged in farming. Even by 1817, well into the Industrial Revolution, the equivalent primary share, once we count in food and raw material imports, was still 52%. By implication, incomes in pre-industrial England were close to those of 1800. Urbanization rates are not a good guide to pre-industrial income levels. Many rural workers were engaged in manufacturing, services and trade. The occupation shares also imply pre-industrial England was rich enough in 1560 to rank above the bottom fifth of countries in 2007.
    Keywords: Long Run Growth England
    JEL: N3 N13 O4
    Date: 2010–07–04
  9. By: Clark, Gregory
    Abstract: What were income trends before the Industrial Revolution? Clark (2007b) argued on both theoretical and empirical grounds that pre-industrial income was fluctuating but trendless, a position Gunner Persson has labeled “the Malthus Delusion.” Steve Broadberry and Bruce Campbell, in support of the Persson position, have recently estimated that English per capita income grew more than three-fold between 1270 and 1800. Here I use the Poll Tax returns to estimate income in 1379-81 from the farming share of employment. England in 1381, with only 55 percent of the population engaged in farming, was at income levels close to those of 1817.
    Keywords: Long Run Growth England
    JEL: N1 N3 O4
    Date: 2010–07–31
  10. By: Clark, Gregory
    Abstract: A Farewell to Alms argued based on wages, rents and returns on capital that the English by 1800 were no wealthier than in 1400. An argument against this has been the supposed consumer revolution of 1600-1750. Since ordinary families by 1750 begin routinely consuming former luxury goods, income must have risen much faster than wages through a concomitant industrious revolution. This paper argues that the consumer and industrious revolutions of 1600-1750 are artifacts created by misinterpreting the major source on consumption in these years, probate inventories. Properly interpreted there is no conflict between wages, income and consumption in England 1600-1750.
    Keywords: Consumer Revolution Pre-Modern
    JEL: E2 N3 O4
    Date: 2010–07–04
  11. By: Emilie Lanciano (COACTIS - Université Lumière - Lyon II : EA4161 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne); Michio Nitta (Shaken - Social Science Departement - University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Steel industry has been engaged for a very long time in a downsizing process which has deeply transformed social and industrial relations, work and employment management. Once, these industry was owned and managed by big national groups (sometimes public) and employed a lot of workers at different levels of qualification. Now, a large movement of concentration leads to the emergence of transnational leader. Steel industry has become more and more a footloose industry, with high technological level. After several downsizing operations, firms must adopt now more flexible strategies which integrate the aging of workforce (with the retirement of baby- boom generation), and the question of transmission of skills. The age management represents now the main way – and the cheapest one in the short term– to reduce and optimize the firm workforce, but also a crucial issue for the preservation of knowledge and skills, required by the activity. In these conditions, how do firms manage the new context of financial and economic crisis? What are the consequences on labour and industrial relations, and work organisation in two important plants belonging to two international leaders? We intend to discuss the hypothesis of the convergence of firms strategy and employment system. We will wonder if, and how, historical background and the nature of labour market in which firms are embedded, influence the downsizing strategy and the age management of firms. We will focus our comparative analysis on two steel plants, localised in France and in Japan. We will examine changes that have occurred in labour and industrial relations and human resource development in two steel industry plants after the 1980s, in Japan and in France. The paper presents the intermediate results of a comparative research on new dynamics of labour markets in France and in Japan . It has been led both by Japanese and French researchers which used statistical databases on Japanese and French Steel industry and qualitative methodology (semi-directive interviews).
    Keywords: downsizing, steelmaking industry, labour markets, age management, comparison, France, Japan
    Date: 2010–09–13
  12. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: En una serie de trabajos anteriores he construido series largas de diversos agregados económicos regionales enlazando las distintas bases de la Contabilidad Regional de España entre sí y con las series históricas elaboradas por la Fundación BBVA. Puesto que esta última fuente sólo ofrece datos para años impares, las series enlazadas heredan esta característica desde 1955 hasta 1989. En la presente nota se construyen series anuales completas de las variables de interés utilizando un sencillo procedimiento de interpolación que incorpora la información anual disponible a nivel nacional para estas variables.
    Date: 2010–09
  13. By: Goerlich Gisbert Francisco J. (Ivie; Universidad de Valencia)
    Abstract: This working paper translates the global database of the Climate Research Unit from the University of East Anglia (<>), known as CRU TS 2.1, into regional data for Spain. This transform is carried out at the level of both autonomous regions (comunidades autónomas, NUTS 2) and provinces (NUTS 3). The original database, in grid form, is not suitable for social scientists and historians. On the one hand, they are not yet familiar with the GIS (geographical information system) techniques needed to manage such data structures. On the other, and more importantly, GIS data in grid form cannot be directly combined with the kind of data which they normally have available. Hence the above transformation allows us to perform a double task: firstly, to compare the database directly with statistics from meteorological stations and examine the consistency between data sources; and, secondly, to combine the transformed database with demographic and socioeconomic data normally available in formats that depend on a country's administrative and political structure.
    Keywords: Climatology, database, historical statistics.
    JEL: Q54 Y10
    Date: 2010–09
  14. By: Thorbecke, Willem (Asian Development Bank Institute); Lamberte, Mario (Asian Development Bank Institute); Komoto, Ginalyn (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper traces the effects of the "East Asian Miracle," the 1997-1998 Asian Crisis, the recovery, and the 2008-2009 global financial crisis on ASEAN countries. It also considers how ASEAN countries can sustain growth by leveraging production networks to facilitate technology transfer. To achieve this, ASEAN countries need to maintain an environment friendly to foreign investment by resisting corruption, providing consistent and coherent enforcement of laws and regulations at all governmental levels, and maintaining stable macroeconomic fundamentals. This paper then emphasizes that ASEAN countries should focus on climbing the value chain by investing in human capital. They can do this by providing children with adequate nutrition, healthcare, and primary education, providing high school students with a high quality education in science and math, and providing university students with scientific and engineering training. The educational system should also be careful to provide students with marketable skills that businesses need. Finally, the paper argues that ASEAN should promote regional financial integration to help channel savings to high-yielding investments in the region.
    Keywords: East asian economic history; sustainable growth; global financial crisis; ASEAN; technology transfer
    JEL: J24 O16
    Date: 2010–09–27

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