nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒10‒30
seventeen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. Property and subjective rights in Juan de Mariana By FERNANDEZ, ANGEL
  2. The promise and performance of the federal reserve as lender of last resort 1914-1933 By Michael D. Bordo; David C. Wheelock
  3. Economic Development in Pre-Independence Botswana, 1820-1966: Historical Trends, Contributing and Countervailing Factors By Hlavac, Marek
  4. Economic Theory in Historical Perspective By Lefteris Tsoulfidis
  5. Der Institutionalisierungsprozess des Lohnarbeitsverhältnisses vom Ersten bis zum Zweiten Weltkrieg in Deutschland By Kendzia, Michael J.
  6. The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists By Timothy W. Guinnane
  7. The Decline and Rise of Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa Since 1961 By Steven Block
  8. Fifty years of urban accessibility: the impact of the urban railway network on the land gradient in Berlin 1890-1936. By Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M.; Wendland, Nicolai
  9. The Rationale and the Result of the Current Stabilisation Programme By Pulapre Balakrishnan
  10. The Effect of Social Security, Demography and Technology on Retirement By Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti; Santos, Marcelo Rodrigues dos
  11. "Revisiting "New Cambridge": The Three Financial Balances in a General Stock–flow Consistent Applied Modeling Strategy" By Claudio H Dos Santos; Antonio C. Macedo e Silva
  12. Mozambique’s Elite – Finding its Way in a Globalized World and Returning to Old Development Models By Hanlon, Joseph; Mosse,, Marcelo
  13. Finance of Modern Economic Growth - The Historical Role of Agricultural Resources By Ashoka Mody
  14. Real wages, working time, and the Great Depression By Hart, Robert A.; Roberts, J. Elizabeth
  15. Of similarities and divergences : why there is no continental ideal-type of 'activation reforms'. By Jean-Claude Barbier; Matthias Knuth
  16. A primer of international migration: The Latin American experience and a proposal for a research agenda By Garcia, Pablo M; Rodriguez-Montemayor, Eduardo
  17. Reassessing the Demography Hypothesis: the Great Brazilian Crime Shift By João Manoel Pinho de Mello

    Abstract: This working paper aims to point out the ideas defended by the Spaniard Juan de Mariana in the early XVII century in his book “De Rege et Regis Institutione” and in his monetary treatise “De Monetae Mutatione”. Juan de Mariana not only summarized the ideas of the Spanish scholastics in such books, but also added powerful arguments to the defense of private property against the different forms of State coercion, a key concept in the political economics of an open society. That is to say, he bravely defended the strict protection of citizen's private property and subjective rights against the reason of State and tyrants. As a result of it, his book “De Rege et Regis Institutione” was burned in public in the year 1610 by order of the French Parliament. Furthermore, due to his monetary treatise, he was investigated by the court of Inquisition, which ordered his preventive imprisonment for one year. His work "De Monetae Mutatione" was persecuted in Europe by the Spanish ambassadors, who were ordered to recover and destroy all copies of his monetary masterpiece. There is no doubt that he was well known throughout Europe in the early decades of the XVII century, which was precisely when he clearly explained the main economic concepts which have been reflected in the works of later authors. ENGLISH VERSION.
    Keywords: History of Economic Thought; School of Salamanca; Property Rights; Subjective Rights; Law and Economics.
    JEL: O43 K12 K11 B15 P16
    Date: 2010–10–15
  2. By: Michael D. Bordo; David C. Wheelock
    Abstract: This paper examines the origins and early performance of the Federal Reserve as lender of last resort. The Fed was established to overcome the problems of the National Banking era, in particular an “inelastic” currency and the absence of an effective lender of last resort. As conceived by Paul Warburg and Nelson Aldrich at Jekyll Island in 1910, the Fed’s discount window and bankers acceptance-purchase facilities were expected to solve the problems that had caused banking panics in the National Banking era. Banking panics returned with a vengeance in the 1930s, however, and we examine why the Fed failed to live up to the promise of its founders. Although many factors contributed to the Fed’s failures, we argue that the failure of the Federal Reserve Act to faithfully recreate the conditions that had enabled European central banks to perform effectively as lenders of last resort, or to reform the inherently unstable U.S. banking system, were crucial. The Fed’s failures led to numerous reforms in the mid-1930s, including expansion of the Fed’s lending authority and changes in the System’s structure, as well as changes that made the U.S. banking system less prone to banking panics. Finally, we consider lessons about the design of lender of last resort policies that might be drawn from the Fed’s early history.>
    Keywords: Lenders of last resort ; Banks and banking, Central ; Federal Reserve Act
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Hlavac, Marek
    Abstract: This paper examines the trajectory of economic development in Botswana between the years 1820 and 1966, when it achieved independence. First, I review the historical trends in the country’s economic and social development indicators. I then proceed to analyze what factors have encouraged or hindered economic development in Botswana: In particular, I focus on the roles of physical geography, climate, disease ecology, economic and political institutions, geopolitical relations, demographic trends, as well as on ethnic divisions and cultural belief systems. Finally, I discuss how prepared Botswana was for modern economic growth when it gained independence in 1966.
    Keywords: Botswana; economic development; economic history; institutions; economic growth; economic geography
    JEL: N57 N47 O43
    Date: 2010–10–20
  4. By: Lefteris Tsoulfidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: On the methodological plain this paper outlines the conditions that contribute to the development of economic theories and it continues with an examination of the concrete circumstances that gave rise to modern neoclassical macroeconomic theories. The paper further claims that the current impasse in macroeconomics is indicative of the need for new directions in economic theory which becomes imperative in the long economic downturn that started in 2007 and concludes by suggesting the need for a synthesis between the classical analysis and the theory of effective demand.
    Keywords: economic history
    JEL: N10
    Date: 2010–10
  5. By: Kendzia, Michael J. (IZA)
    Abstract: The paper provides a historical overview of the institutional development of the structural elements of the standard employment contract in Germany from the beginning of World War I until the outbreak of World War II. For this purpose, a model of the standard employment contract including certain structural elements is used, which represents the standard employment contract in the early 1970s. The analysis deals with the determining factors of the emergence and adjustment of these elements and traces back the intentions of each actor involved. The focal point is the legal arrangement of employment contracts between employees and employers. The historical perspective shows that the legal structure of the working relationship depends on the particular social and political balance of power of the time. The relation between the position of each interest group within society and its implications is especially observed during periods of severe political disruption.
    Keywords: Lohnarbeitsverhältnis, Normalarbeitsverhältnis, Weimarer Republik, Hilfsdienstgesetz, Arbeitslosenversicherung, Ruhreisenstreit
    JEL: J50 J40
    Date: 2010–10
  6. By: Timothy W. Guinnane (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: The historical fertility transition is the process by which much of Europe and North America went from high to low fertility in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This transformation is central to recent accounts of long-run economic growth. Prior to the transition, women bore as many as eight children each, and the elasticity of fertility with respect to incomes was positive. Today, many women have no children at all, and the elasticity of fertility with respect to incomes is zero or even negative. This paper discusses the large literature on the historical fertility transition, focusing on what we do and do not know about the process. I stress some possible misunderstandings of the demographic literature, and discuss an agenda for future work.
    Keywords: fertility transition, long-run growth, Malthusian models, quantity-quality trade-off
    JEL: N3 O1 O4
    Date: 2010–10
  7. By: Steven Block
    Abstract: Agricultural productivity growth in sub-Saharan Africa has been a qualified success. Total factor productivity growth has increased rapidly since the early 1980s. By the early 2000s, average annual TFP growth was roughly four times faster than it had been 25 years earlier. This period of accelerated growth, however, followed nearly 20 years of declining rates of TFP growth subsequent to independence in the early 1960s. Average agricultural TFP growth for sub-Saharan Africa was 0.14% per year during 1960 – 84, and increased to 1.24% per year from 1985 – 2002. The average over this period was approximately 0.6% per year, which accounts for 36% of the increase in total crop output over this period. These highly aggregated results conceal substantial regional and country-level variation. Expenditures on agricultural R&D, along with the reform of macroeconomic and sectoral policies shaping agricultural incentives, have played a substantial role in explaining both the decline and the rise in agricultural productivity. The case study of Ghana clearly reflects these broader findings.
    JEL: O13 O4 Q16
    Date: 2010–10
  8. By: Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M.; Wendland, Nicolai
    Abstract: As the first to use an archival data set on historical land values in Berlin, Germany, from 1890 to 1936, we investigate the impact of the rapid transport system on urban decentralization, using comparative statics of classical rent theory as a benchmark. We find that the monocentric model performs well over the entire period studied, revealing gradients that – although diminishing over time – turn out to be relatively steep in international comparison. Travel time to CBD measures incorporating the rapid transport network, however, clearly outperform traditional distance to CBD measures in terms of explanatory power. The evolution of the rapid transit network, and the subsequent changes in travel times to the CBD, explain almost three quarter of the overall trend in decentralization. Endogeneity concerns are addressed in an IV framework using a counterfactual transport network as an instrument
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Pulapre Balakrishnan
    Abstract: Apart from the episode of the mid-sixties, macroeconomic crises have not played a major part in India's economic development. A certain sort of stability had accompanied the lack-lustre growth of the economy. Through the Eighties, while many of the economies of the developing world were being forced into the strait-jacket of adjustment programmes, India's policy makers actually availed of the luxury of the most irresponsible kind of macro management. [Working Paper No. 253]
    Keywords: episode, macroeconomic, stability, growth, economy, developing world, India
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti; Santos, Marcelo Rodrigues dos
    Abstract: This article investigates the causes in the reduction of labor force participation ofthe old. We argue that the changes in social security policy, in technology and indemography may account for most of the changes in retirement over the second partof the last century in the U.S. economy. We develop a dynamic general equilibriummodel with endogenous retirement that embeds social security legislation. The modelis able to match very closely the increase in the retirement rate of males aged 65 andolder. It also quanti es the isolated impact on retirement and on the solvency of thesocial security system of the di¤erent factors. The model suggests that technologicaland demographic changes had a strong in uence on retirement, so that it would haveincreased signi cantly even if the social security rules had not changed. However, asthe latter became much more generous in the past, changes in social security policycan account not only for a sizeable part of the expansion of retirement, but also for themost of the observed increase in the social security expenses as a share of GDP.
    Date: 2010–10–21
  11. By: Claudio H Dos Santos; Antonio C. Macedo e Silva
    Abstract: This paper argues that modified versions of the so–called "New Cambridge" approach to macroeconomic modeling are both quite useful for modeling real capitalist economies in historical time and perfectly compatible with the "vision" underlying modern Post–Keynesian stock–flow consistent macroeconomic models. As such, New Cambridge–type models appear to us as an important contribution to the tool kit available to applied macroeconomists in general, and to heterodox applied macroeconomists in particular.
    Keywords: Stock-flow Consistent Models; New Cambridge; Aggregate Financial Balances; Heterodox Applied Macroeconomics
    JEL: B50 C82 E12
    Date: 2010–05
  12. By: Hanlon, Joseph; Mosse,, Marcelo
    Abstract: What makes elites developmental instead of predatory? We argue that Mozambique’s elite was developmental at independence 35 years ago. With pressure and encouragement from international forces, it became predatory. It has now partly returned to its developmental roots and is trying to use the state to promote the creation of business groups that could be large enough and dynamic enough to follow a development model with some similarities to the Asian Tigers, industrial development in Latin America, or Volkskapitalisme in apartheid South Africa. But Mozambique’s elite has also returned to two other traditions – that development is done by the elite and by foreigners. There is little support for development of local SMEs and agricultural development has been left to foreign-owned plantations.
    Keywords: Mozambique, elite, corruption, development, Guebuza, national capital
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Ashoka Mody
    Abstract: The importance of an 'agricultural surplus' for the structural transformation accompanying economic growth is often stressed in development literature. 'Agricultural surplus', defined as the physical marketed surplus of food and raw materials, has an evident role in the expansion of non-farm employment. [Working Paper No. 121]
    Keywords: agriculture, surplus, structural, economic, food, raw materials, employment
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Hart, Robert A.; Roberts, J. Elizabeth
    Abstract: We have assembled two British data sets to re-examine the behaviour of real wages over the 1927-1937 cycle that contained the Great Depression. Both provide a degree of micro detail that greatly exceeds previous studies. The first consists of annual wages for 36 manufacturing industries. The second is based on blue-collar workers' company payroll data within engineering and metal working firms. It allows us to distinguish between pieceworkers and timeworkers, 14 occupations and 51 travel-to-work geographical districts. We measure the cycle using national unemployment rates as well as rates that match our industrial and district breakdowns. The roles of standard and overtime hours are found to be crucial to the behaviour of real pay during the Depression. Real weekly earnings are strongly procyclical. Real hourly earnings of pieceworkers are also significantly procyclical. Otherwise, real wage measures that do not fully reflect hours changes produce either weak procyclical or acyclical wage responses.
    Keywords: the Great Depression; timework; piecework; working time; Real wage cyc licality
    Date: 2010–09
  15. By: Jean-Claude Barbier (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Matthias Knuth (Institut für Soziologie - Universität Duisburg Essen)
    Abstract: In matters of "activation of social protection" as in other policy areas, one would expect that three types of welfare regimes would be identifiable. However, with the hindsight of 20 years of the deployment of "activation strategies", it is still impossible to draw the stylized characters of a "Bismarckian" or " conservative-corporatist" type to compare with the Scandinavian and Liberal ones. In the domain, Germany and France have reformed, each with their own pace and timing, according to their institutional systems, systems of actors and political culture. They have much in common, but also persistent dissimilarities that can be ascribed to their long term history. The empirically detailed survey (from the 1960's) contributes to confirming that a "broad view" comparison leaves aside many crucial explanatory factors. It also shows the limits of an analysis in terms of welfare regimes, when it comes to explaining change and reform. Finally, both societies have implemented policies and reforms that have fostered an amazing fragmentation of situations, a much more complex situation that the simple opposition between "insiders" and "outsiders" is unable to capture, while it postulates a "dualization" of their social protection systems.
    Keywords: Activating social protection, welfare, social protection comparison France-Germany.
    JEL: J68 J69 I38
    Date: 2010–10
  16. By: Garcia, Pablo M; Rodriguez-Montemayor, Eduardo
    Abstract: Although the phenomenon of international migration has been around for a while, in the last decades there has been a world-wide resurgence of it, which is larger in scale, wider is scope and is frequently accompanied by large flows of monetary remittances. These tendencies have revived the debate in the academic and policy spheres over their potential social and economic consequences. In this paper we develop a ‘Primer’ that presents the ‘state of the art’ in the study of international migration and make special emphasis on how the Latin American experience fits in it. We first present an overview of migration patterns in the region and highlight the importance of the United States as the prime destination for Latin American migrants. We then develop the core of the paper which reviews the different theories that have been proposed in the academic literature for explaining both the determinants of migration and its potential impacts, particularly from the perspective of the source country. In the process, we accentuate the central role played by international remittances. Finally, based on the current knowledge frontier in the subject, we propose a research agenda in order to fill some of the current shortages in the analysis of migration in the region.
    Keywords: Migration; Remittances; Latin America
    JEL: F22 O15 F24
    Date: 2010–07–09
  17. By: João Manoel Pinho de Mello (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: Mimicking the US in 1980 and 1990s, Brazil is a remarkable case of a major shift in homicides. After increasing steadily throughout the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, homicides reached a peak in 2003, and then fell. I show a strong time-series co-movement between homicide rates and the percentage of the population in 15-24 age bracket. Using a panel of states, I find a very high elasticity of homicide with respect to changes in the 15-24 year-old population (2.4), after controlling for income, income inequality, and state and year fixed effects. I then focus on the case of São Paulo, the largest state in the country, and whose shift in homicides has been particularly acute. City-level panel elasticities are similar to the state-level estimates. Furthermore, the demographic shift in São Paulo was more pronounced than the national one, explaining the particularly large shift in homicides in São Paulo. The large cohort born from the mid 1970 through the early 1980 is the result of a sharp reduction in infant mortality only belatedly followed by acceleration in the reduction of fertility. In line with the Easterlin Hypothesis (Easterlin [1980]), this large cohort faced tough economic conditions. Educational attainment ceased to improve for this cohort, and unemployment rates upon entering the job market were exceptionally high. Thus, the large homicide shift in Brazil is produced by a particularly large and socially fragile cohort.
    Keywords: Age Structure, Demographic Change, Homicides
    Date: 2010–09

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