nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒12‒04
twenty-one papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
University of Leicester

  1. The role of technology and institutions for growth: Danish creameries in the late nineteenth century By Ingrid Henriksen; Markus Lampe; Paul Sharp
  2. The Coinages and Monetary Policies of Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547): Contrasts between Defensive and Aggressive Debasements By John H. Munro
  3. L. Walras and C. Menger: Two ways on the path of modern monetary theory By Andrés Alvarez; Vincent Bignon
  4. Business Groups and the Natural State By Richard N. Langlois
  5. Social Class and the Fertility Transition: A Critical Comment on the Statistical Results Reported in Simon Szreter's Fertility, Class and Gender in Britain, 1860-1940 By Geoffrey Barnes; Timothy Guinnane
  6. Agricultural institutions, industrialization and growth: the case of New Zealand and Uruguay in 1870-1940 By Jeorge Àlvarez; Ennio Bilancini; Simone D’Alessandro; Gabriel Porcile
  7. The Last Major Irish Bank Failure: Lessons for Today? By Cormac Ó Gráda
  8. The Origins of Foreign Exchange Policy: The National Bank of Belgium and the Quest for Monetary Independence in the 1850s By Stefano Ugolini
  9. Identifying International Business Cycles in Disaggregate Data: Germany, France and Great Britain By Martin Uebele
  10. Universal Banking and the Development of Secondary Corporate Debt Markets: Lessons from 1830s Belgium By Stefano Ugolini
  11. The international monetary system, 1844-1870: Arbitrage, efficiency, liquidity By Stefano Ugolini
  12. Making sense of immigration policy: Argentina, 1870-1930 By Blanca Sánchez-Alonso
  13. The Nordic Development and Growth Models: The Riddle is Still There but We May be a Little Bit Wiser By Juhana Vartiainen
  14. The Fruit of the Vine? An Augmented Endowments-Inequality Hypothesis and the Rise of an Elite in the Cape Colony By Fourie, Johan; von Fintel, Dieter
  15. Development at the border: a study of national integration in post-colonial West Africa By Denis Cogneau; Sandrine Mesplé-Somps; Gilles Spielvogel
  16. Trends in top income shares in Finland 1966-2007 By Marja Riihelä; Risto Sullström; Matti Tuomala
  17. Social Mechanisms in the Establishment of the European Economic and Monetary Union By Alfio Cerami
  18. Una aproximación histórica y analítica al pensamiento económico de Jovellanos By Vicent Llombart Rosa
  19. The Bounded Creativity of Domestic Appropriation Explaining Selective Flexicurity in Continental Countries By Sascha Zirra
  20. Mutual Interdependence between Elites and the Poor By Chipiliro Kalebe-Nyamongo
  21. Managing irrigation jointly with farmers: history, present status and future: review of participatory irrigation management in Sri Lanka By Jinapala, K.; Premadasa, L.; Somaratne, P. G.; Samad, Madar

  1. By: Ingrid Henriksen; Markus Lampe; Paul Sharp
    Abstract: We consider the relative contributions of changing technology and institutions for economic growth through the investigation of a natural experiment in history: the almost simultaneous introduction of the automatic cream separator and the cooperative ownership form in the Danish dairy industry from around 1880. Using a new database of statistics from creameries and the tool of stochastic frontier analysis, we find that both institutions and technology were important for the success of the Danish dairy industry and, by implication, the growth and early development of the Danish economy.
    Keywords: Creameries, Dairies, Denmark, Development, Economic growth, Institutions, Technology, Stochastic frontier analysis
    JEL: L2 N5 O3 Q1
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp10-13&r=his
  2. By: John H. Munro
    Abstract: The renown or infamy of Henry VIII’s Great Debasement (1542 - 1553), which the government of his successor, Edward VI, continued for another six years after his death, has unfairly obscured his earlier and far more modest coinage changes and public-spirited monetary policies. Furthermore, despite the renown of and the ample literature devoted to the Great Debasement this unusual episode in early-modern monetary history still lacks a fully accurate exposition and explanation. For example, did it begin in 1542 or 1544? How did it work, and why and how did it prove to be successful or ‘profitable’. This study seeks to provide such an accurate exposition and explanation, and thus to provide a proper contrast with Henry VIII’s earlier coinage changes and monetary policies – while also providing a brief comparison with those of Edward IV, whose debasements of 1464-65 were the last undertaken before those of Henry VIII. The subject of coinage debasements remains an arcane subject, ill understood not only by students of European history but also by many of the historians and economists who have published on topics in monetary history. A major problem is that historians have not clearly asked one fundamental question: were debasements fundamentally aggressive or defensive in nature? The second question to be asked is the nature of the goals sought from debasement: were they fundamentally monetary or fiscal? The fiscal aspect of coinage debasements is derived from the fact that in pre-modern western Europe minting was a princely or government monopoly from which the prince or government derived a fee known as seigniorage. The central thesis of this study is that ‘aggressive’ coinage debasements were undertaken primarily as fiscal policies to increase mint profits: profits from an increased mint output and from a increased seigniorage rate. In most, of not all cases, the fiscal motive was to finance warfare, even if indirectly. As this study shows, aggressive coinage debasements worked best if the offending mint could lure coinage and bullion from not only domestic but also foreign sources. Since neighbouring lands were thus affected and afflicted by such coinage debasements, their rulers were so often forced to respond with retaliatory if purely defensive coinage debasements, to protect their own mints and also their domestic money supplies from the effects of Gresham’s Law. Indeed, some variant of Gresham’s Law can be found as an excuse for coinage debasements in western Europe, especially from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries – so that it is often difficult to tell from an ordinance whether a debasement is aggressive or defensive. The other defensive aspect of such coinage debasement was the consequence of long-term ‘wear and tear’, ‘clipping’, ‘sweating’, counterfeiting, and other factors that over time diminished the mean precious metal contents of the circulating coinage. The result was that legal-tender coins lost their agio over bullion – an agio justified by circulating coins at ‘tale’, rather than measuring them, thus saving on transaction costs. The loss of that agio prevented bullion from being delivered to the mints; and the consequences were another variant of Gresham’s Law (as examined in this paper). In sum this paper explains why Henry VIII’s two related coinage debasements of August and November 1526 were purely defensive, and as such monetary policies, while the Great Debasement was an aggressive fiscal policy, and one highly effective in financing Henry VIII’s wars with France and Scotland. The Great Debasement was not, however, medieval England’s only aggressive debasement, for the same can be shown of Edward IV’s debasements of 1464-65. The proof for these assertions lies in the mint accounts and the evidence for the mintage fees: low with purely defensive debasements; high with aggressive debasements (a factor that would not have been true if aggressive debasements were monetary in their motivations). Finally, this study also presents proof that the extent of inflation during the Great Debasement (1542-1553) was less than that anticipated by monetary formulae, so that inflation did not nullify the merchants’ gains from spending debased coins (a reason some have cited to challenge the logic and utility of medieval coinage debasements).
    Keywords: coinage debasements, gold, silver, bullion, bullionist policies, mints, mint outputs, seigniorage, brassage, inflation, deflation, fiscal policies, warfare, taxation
    JEL: E E41 E42 E51 E52 E62 F33 H11 H27 N13 N23 N43
    Date: 2010–11–26
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-417&r=his
  3. By: Andrés Alvarez; Vincent Bignon
    Abstract: This paper shows that modern monetary theory can be better understood through the differences between Menger and Walras. Since the 1980s attempts to establish coherent microfoundations for monetary exchange have brought Menger's theory of the origin of money to the forefront and sent walrasian methods to the backstage. However, during the first decade of the XXIth century models inspired on mengerian monetary theory, mainly represented by the search monetary approach, are trying to reintroduce neowalrasian elements. This paper aims at clarifying the main theoretical implications of this movement, through an analysis of the Menger‐Walras divide on money. This divide allows us to show new proof of the deep theoretical differences among the so‐called marginalist authors and of the richness of this historical period as a source for modern economics.
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:drm:wpaper:2010-25&r=his
  4. By: Richard N. Langlois (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Recent revisionist accounts of corporate governance in both business history and finance are challenging the tradition narrative, associated with Berle and Means (1932) and Alfred Chandler (1977), in which the American model of diffuse ownership and coherent diversification is both an inevitable outcome of economic development and perhaps a normative standard for the world to follow. This essay is an attempt to rethink that narrative in light of the continued significance of the pyramidal business group as a governance structure around the world. Drawing on the North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009) theory of the state, I argue that the evolution of corporate governance can be understood only in institutional terms and that institutional development is driven by the coalitional structure of the polity. This is true as much in open-access orders like the U. S. as in the “natural states†that rule most of the world. In the end, I endorse the view that the much-discussed and oft-misunderstood exceptionalism of the U. S. in corporate governance has its roots of the differential effect on the U. S. of the collapse of globalization during the middle years of the twentieth century.
    Keywords: Business groups, corporate governance, diversification, pyramids, theory of the state.
    JEL: G38 H10 K22 L22
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:uct:uconnp:2010-29&r=his
  5. By: Geoffrey Barnes (Yale University); Timothy Guinnane (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: Simon Szreter’s book Fertility, Class, and Gender in Britain, 1860-1940 argues that social and economic class fails to explain the cross-sectional differences in marital fertility as reported in the 1911 census of England and Wales. Szreter’s conclusion made the book immediately influential, and it remains so. This finding matters a great deal for debates about the causes of the European fertility decline of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For decades scholars have argued whether the main forces at work were ideational or social and economic. This note reports a simple re-analysis of Szreter’s own data, which suggests that social class does explain cross-sectional differences in English marital fertility in 1911.
    Keywords: fertility transition, 1911 Census of England and Wales
    JEL: J13 N33
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:egc:wpaper:993&r=his
  6. By: Jeorge Àlvarez; Ennio Bilancini; Simone D’Alessandro; Gabriel Porcile
    Abstract: In this paper we apply a model of early industrialization to the case of New Zealand and Uruguay in 1870-1940. We show how differences in agricultural institutions may have produced different development paths in two countries which were similar under many respects. While in New Zealand the active role of the Crown in regulating the land market facilitated access to land, in Uruguay land was seized by a small group of large landowners. Our model shows that land concentration may have negatively infuenced industrialization and growth by impeding the formation of a large group of middle-income landowners and, as a consequence, the development of a domestic demand for basic manufactures. We support this view with a comparative analysis of agricultural institutions and industrial development in New Zealand and Uruguay.
    Keywords: Agricultural Institutions, Industrialization, Growth, New Zealand, Uruguay, Functional Distribution, Agricultural surplus
    JEL: D33 O14 P52 Q15
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:mod:recent:053&r=his
  7. By: Cormac Ó Gráda (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper describes Ireland last major bank failure before the collapse of Anglo-Irish Bank in 2008. It points to resonances between that earlier failure and the events that led to the downfall of Ireland's banking system in 2008-2010.
    Keywords: banking, Ireland, moral hazard, crony capitalism
    Date: 2010–11–23
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201038&r=his
  8. By: Stefano Ugolini (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva))
    Abstract: Can the central bank of a small open economy be mandated with the maintenance of both fixed exchange rates and monetary independence, and still succeed in the long term? Looking at a pioneering experiment put in place by the National Bank of Belgium, this article shows how foreign exchange policy allowed for persistent violations of the predictions of the trilemma in the 1850s. Success was based on four main ingredients. First, the credibility of the peg was not built through the stabilisation of exchange rates, but through the stabilisation of central bank liquidity (i.e. the ‘margin of manoeuvre’ available for countercyclical action): based on constructive ambiguity, this strategy positively influenced market expectations. Second, the stock of bullion circulating in the country acted as a buffer for central bank reserves. Third, the banking system had a structural liquidity deficit towards the central bank. Fourth, the central bank was big enough to meet the domestic demand of credit and accumulate foreign reserves at the same time. These findings shed new light on the nature of monetary policy and its implementation in the 19th century.
    Keywords: Foreign exchange policy, monetary policy implementation, reserve management
    JEL: E52 E58 F31 N23
    Date: 2010–11–23
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bno:worpap:2010_22&r=his
  9. By: Martin Uebele
    Abstract: This article analyzes international business cycles in Europe 1862-1913 using disaggregated data and Dynamic Factor Analysis. In comparison with estimates of real national product there is more evidence for international business cycles in disaggregated data of Germany, France and Great Britain before World War I. This is because data used to construct historical national accounts are often not sufficient to date business cycles, and especially because little is known about general price fluctuations. Thus, national products in current prices show higher degrees of international correlation than deflated ones although price indices themselves are not very well correlated across countries.
    Keywords: International Business Cycles, Historical National Accounting, Disaggregate Data, Dynamic Factor Models
    JEL: E31 E32 F15 N13 N73
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cqe:wpaper:1610&r=his
  10. By: Stefano Ugolini (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva))
    Abstract: This paper proposes a reassessment of the old-age debate on universal banking and growth by putting it on a different plan. Modern financial economics are used to provide new theoretical foundations to Gerschenkron’s (1962) hypothesis: universality is interpreted as a strategy for banks to reach the critical size needed in order to perform successful securitization of corporate debt. A relevant natural experiment in universal banking and industrialization (Belgium in the 1830s) illustrates the argument. The conclusion is that creating a new financial market also implies establishing intermediaries to supply crucial functions such as underwriting, certification, and liquidity provision.
    Keywords: Universal banking, stock markets, intermediation, financial development
    JEL: G24 G32 N23 O16
    Date: 2010–11–23
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bno:worpap:2010_21&r=his
  11. By: Stefano Ugolini (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva))
    Abstract: This paper analyses the architecture of the international monetary system which preceded the international gold standard (1844-1870). It builds on a newly-created database made up of more than 100,000 weekly observations on exchange rates, interest rates, and bullion prices in the world’s six most important financial centers of the time. Market integration, substitutability of money market instruments, choice of the correct monetary standard reference, and currency liquidity are tested; moreover, an historical analysis is run, with special reference to financial crises. Contrary to received wisdom, the results point to a trend towards increasing multipolarism in the international monetary system before 1870.
    Keywords: International monetary system, financial integration, money markets, bimetallism
    JEL: E42 F31 N20
    Date: 2010–11–23
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bno:worpap:2010_23&r=his
  12. By: Blanca Sánchez-Alonso
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to disentangle the different forces shaping Argentine immigration policy from 1870 to 1930. Although immigration restrictions increased over time Argentina remained relatively open to mass migration until the 1930s in contrast with the United States. The quantitative evidence presented here suggests that there were economic reasons to restrict immigration prior to the 1930s, namely rising inequality and a declining demand for workers. Labour in Argentina would have been better off with a more restrictive immigration policy since 1900. However, labour interests could not be translated into Parliament in a direct way as in countries with a wide electoral franchise and high political participation like the United States. In Argentina a large share of workers did not have the right to vote simply because they were foreigners. Those negatively affected by massive immigration developed alternative actions: general strikes, labour unrest and violence. Political and social fear finally pushed those who had more to gain from an abundant supply of labour to introduce immigration restrictions.
    Keywords: Immigration policy, Argentina, Political economy, International migration
    JEL: N4 N36 J61 O24
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp10-14&r=his
  13. By: Juhana Vartiainen
    Abstract: The Nordic countries are often bundled together, as representatives of a ‘model’ which combines high living standards and an open market economy with social insurance and ambitious public services. Yet, the economic and political development of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden towards this model has taken quite different roads. Sweden’s economic development from the late nineteenth century onwards can be seen as a rather spontaneous industrial breakthrough, whereas the state has in both Norway and Finland assumed a more active and interventionist role in mobilizing resources and managing natural endowments. However, the four countries are quite similar in their acceptance of the market economy, technical progress and economic openness, coupled with a pursuit of equality and a state that has alleviated resistance to change by signalling a will to share the gains and losses due to structural change.
    Keywords: Nordic economic development
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-116&r=his
  14. By: Fourie, Johan; von Fintel, Dieter
    Abstract: The arrival of European settlers at the Cape in 1652 marked the beginning of what would become an extremely unequal society. Comparative analysis reveals that certain endowments exist in societies that experience a ‘persistence of inequality’. This paper shows that the emphasis on endowments may be overstated. A more general explanation allows for ‘non-tropical products’ to contribute to the rise and persistence of an elite, and consequently inequality. The focus shifts to the production method used in the dominant industry – in this case, slave labour in viticulture – and the subsequent ability of the elite to extend these benefits to products that were typically not associated with elite formation in other societies (such as wheat). The Cape Colony is used as a case study to show how the arrival of French settlers (with a preference for wine-making) shifted production from cattle farming to viticulture. A large domestic and foreign market for wine necessitated an increase in production volume. Given differences in fixed and variable costs, this resulted in knecht (wage) labour being supplanted by slave labour, an event which institutionalized the elite and ensured that the Cape remained a highly unequal society, with ramifications for present-day South Africa.
    Keywords: Elites, South Africa, inequality, VOC, role of government, Engerman and Sokoloff
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-112&r=his
  15. By: Denis Cogneau (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Gilles Spielvogel (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, UMR 201)
    Abstract: In Africa, boundaries delineated during the colonial era now divide young independent states. By applying regression discontinuity designs to a large set of surveys covering the 1986-2001 period, this paper identifies many large and significant jumps in welfare at the borders between five West-African countries around Cote d'Ivoire. Border discontinuities mirror the differences between country averages with respect to household income, connection to utilities and education. Country of residence often makes a difference, even if distance to capital city has some attenuating power. The results are consistent with a national integration process that is underway but not yet achieved. _________________________________ Les frontières actuelles des pays africains ont été tracées durant la période coloniale et délimitent dorénavant des Etats indépendants. Ces frontières séparent des zones dont les caractéristiques géographiques, anthropologiques et précoloniales sont sensiblement identiques. En appliquant la méthode des régressions avec discontinuité à un large ensemble d'enquêtes auprès des ménages couvrant la période 1986-2001, nous identifions de grands écarts de bien-être aux frontières de cinq pays africains (Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinée et Mali). Ces discontinuités aux frontières reflètent les écarts entre moyennes nationales que ce soit en termes de niveau de vie des ménages, d'éducation ou d'accès à l'électricité. Le pays de résidence fait une différence, même si la distance à la capitale exerce un pouvoir d'atténuation. Ces résultats sont cohérents avec un processus d'intégration nationale en cours quoiqu'inachevé.
    Keywords: Institutions, geography, Africa, Institutions, géographie, Afrique.
    JEL: O12 R12 P52
    Date: 2010–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201012&r=his
  16. By: Marja Riihelä; Risto Sullström; Matti Tuomala
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence about the evolution of top incomes in Finland over the period 1966?2007. Using micro data we construct estimates of shares of top income groups. The paper shows how the proportion of income earned by the very richest one per cent has changed over time. It shows a U-shaped pattern over this period. The total share of the highest earners fell consistently between the mid 1960s and the beginning of the 1990s but then began to rise. The results bring out clearly how the major equalization from the mid 1960s to the mid 1990s has been reversed, taking the shares of top income groups back to levels of inequality or even higher found 40 years ago. The main factor that has driven up the top one per cent income share in Finland after the mid 1990s is in an unprecedented increase in the fraction of capital income which is in 2007 62 per cent of incomes in the top one per cent group. In 1990 this fraction was 14 per cent. Therefore the composition of high incomes at the end of period considered is very different from those earlier years of this period. We argue in this paper that the 1993 tax reform has contributed to this trend. Our results suggest that tax reform has declined tax progressivity and increased top income shares in Finland.
    Keywords: Top income shares, inequality, taxation, income mobility
    Date: 2010–09–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:fer:resrep:157&r=his
  17. By: Alfio Cerami
    Abstract: This paper investigates the reasons, the transformative processes and the social mechanisms involved in the establishment of the European economic and monetary union (EMU). Contrary to commonly accepted theories and approaches used to explain institutional change, it argues that the establishment of the EMU has not simply been the product of historical paths, the rational choices of actors, or social construction of new economic ideas and preferences, as new-institutionalists or social constructivists would emphasize, but also and, perhaps, even more importantly, it has been the product of self-fulfilling prophecies that have facilitated and accelerated the process of institutional change. By adopting a Sociology of European Integration perspective, this paper also discusses the role of four crucial forces that initiating a causal chain of social mechanisms have helped in the establishment of the EMU: context-bounded rationality, embodied institutions, reflexivity and double-contingency.
    Keywords: Europeanization; neo-institutionalism; negative integration; EMU; EMU; Euro; Single Market; economic integration; Amsterdam Treaty; Maastricht Treaty; Nice Treaty
    Date: 2010–11–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:erp:scpoxx:p0003&r=his
  18. By: Vicent Llombart Rosa (Universidad de Valencia)
    Abstract: El siguiente texto tiene dos objetivos complementarios: por un lado, revisar los múltiples estudios realizados sobre el pensamiento económico de Jovellanos desde la publicación del Informe de Ley Agraria en 1795 hasta el presente y, por otro, exponer nuestra propia visión sobre el entramado analítico y el significado del pensamiento del asturiano. El trabajo se ordena en cinco secciones: la reseña de las reacciones iniciales al Informe, la primera; las reflexiones aparecidas desde las Cortes de Cádiz hasta las de la década de 1980, la segunda; los estudios actuales, destacando la obra Economía y economistas españoles, la tercera; y, por último, en las dos secciones finales, se presenta nuestro propio análisis, sin duda favorecido por las visiones anteriores. Se concluye destacando que Jovellanos no fue un liberal en sentido estricto ni un epígono de Adam Smith; la letra y el espíritu de sus escritos económicos, le caracterizan como un “liberal intervencionista”, bien alejado de las usuales nociones de mercantilismo, fisiocracia y liberalismo económico
    Keywords: Pensamiento económico, Jovellanos, Adam Smith, Informe de Ley Agraria, liberalismo económico, intervencionismo
    JEL: B12 B31 H50 N50
    Date: 2010–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1012&r=his
  19. By: Sascha Zirra
    Abstract: In complementing the insights of historical institutionalism by accounting for the role ofstrategic action in domestic employment policy reforms, this paper aims to unravel themechanisms of domestic Europeanization. We argue that creative appropriation constitutes apivotal strategy of skilled social actors seeking to increase the relevance and legitimacyascribed to their change project within institutionalized domestic fields. However, theircreativity is institutionally framed. In comparing France, Germany and Italy in a most-similar systemdesign, we provide evidence that the domestic opportunity structure for craftinginstitutional connectivity and forming a dominant coalition is an important factor for explainingnot only the scope but the mechanisms and policy fields of domestic Europeanization.
    Keywords: France; Germany; Italy; Europeanization; neo-institutionalism; unemployment; employment policy; social policy
    Date: 2010–06–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:erp:scpoxx:p0001&r=his
  20. By: Chipiliro Kalebe-Nyamongo
    Abstract: There has been a growing recognition among scholars that politics matters in the distribution of resources in society. However, attempts to use a political economy ‘lens’ with which to explore causes of poverty and strategies for poverty alleviation have largely ignored elites. By failing to embrace the crucial role elites play in the implementation of pro-poor policy, existing research has not produced a holistic understanding of the underlying factors which inhibit or promote action towards propoor policy. Historical accounts of the evolution of welfare states in the UK and USA inform us that elites prioritization of poverty reduction is driven by the extent to which elites and the poor are interdependent, such that the presence of the poor has a positive or negative impact on elite welfare. Drawing on research into elite views of poverty and the poor in Malawi, this paper argues that in formulating effective, responsive, and comprehensive strategies for poverty reduction, the role of elites must be considered in addition to the adoption of democratic, economic, and social institutions.
    Keywords: Malawi, elites, politics of poverty, pro-poor policy
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-117&r=his
  21. By: Jinapala, K.; Premadasa, L.; Somaratne, P. G.; Samad, Madar
    Abstract: Agriculture development has been the main strategy for the socioeconomic development in the country since time immemorial, even though its contribution to GDP has been declining recently. Successive governments of Sri Lanka since independence have invested heavily in the irrigated agriculture sector to address the food security concerns of the country. The continuous investment in irrigation was required to address problems such as spatial and temporal variations in monsoonal rainfall in the country, which has a serious negative impact on food production and livelihoods of people. The need for pursuing irrigation development and management has become more important in the country in the face of rapid population growth and increasing food prices in the world market. In this context, managing irrigation schemes for productivity increase is becoming increasingly important and different irrigation management models have also emerged through attempts made in this direction by countries including Sri Lanka, where irrigation plays a leading role in food production and nation development. Farmers’ active involvement in irrigation management, especially operation and maintenance (O&M) and decision-making as well, has been identified as a key requirement to attain productivity goals and the sustainability of irrigation systems. This paper aims at reviewing participatory irrigation management approaches adopted in medium and major irrigation systems in Sri Lanka with a view to identifying their past and present trends and future directions. The review will contribute to an improved understanding by policymakers, managers of irrigation schemes and farmers of the role of participatory irrigation management, its past and present including institutional structures, responsibilities and performance and the directions it should take to meet future challenges as a dynamic institutional mechanism. As all the medium and major irrigation schemes in the country are jointly managed by farmers and government agencies, the inferences drawn from the review would be important for the agencies and farmers alike to introduce necessary changes in their programs to address future needs and requirements.Length: pp.35-63
    Keywords: Participatory management; Irrigation management; Farmers organizations; Indicators; History; Irrigation schemes
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iwt:conppr:h042804&r=his

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