New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2010‒12‒11
eleven papers chosen by

  1. French investment banks and the earthquake of post-war shocks (1944-1946) By Hubert BONIN (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113 - Institut de Sciences Politique de Bordeaux)
  2. From Learning to Rationalization: the Roles of Accounting in the Management of Parisian Great Exhibitions from 1853 to 1902 By Karine Fabre; Céline Michaïlesco
  3. Of similarities and divergences : why there is no continental ideal-type of "activation reforms" By Jean-Claude Barbier; Matthias Knuth
  4. Industrialización regional, café y capital humano en la primera mitad del siglo XX en Colombia By Irina Rosa España Eljaiek; Fabio Sánchez Torres
  5. 'Bed and Board' in Lieu of salary: Women and Girl Children Domestics in Post Partition Calcutta (1951-1981) By Deepita Chakravarty; Ishita Chakravarty
  6. Why Teach History of Economic Thought Today? By Andrés Álvarez; Jimena Hurtado
  7. International Risk Sharing and the Irish Economy By Agustin Benetrix;
  8. Salient Aspects of the Growth Story of Indian Railways 1981-82 through 2007-08 By G. Alivelu
  9. Formal Bureaucracy and the Emergent Forms of the Informal Economy By Keith Hart
  10. Cambio social en Colombia durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX By Alejandro Gaviria
  11. La sociedad del conocimiento, el moderno sujeto laboral y el desarrollo de talentos By Cristina Beatríz Minolli

  1. By: Hubert BONIN (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113 - Institut de Sciences Politique de Bordeaux)
    Abstract: After WWII and when the Libération governments reformed the country, a strong anticapitalist move set up against the powers of money. Arguments focused on the limits to fix for the pending nationalisations of firms by the State, either to punish bankers for their financial relations with German Europe, or to safeguard the State from the power of influence and submission attributed to the 200 Families or the Wall of Money, as they had been perceived since the interwar period where they were suspected of having suborned the political power. But part of the business circles still able to be heard and of parliamentary or administrative experts being aware of the genuine circuits of money, succeeded in convincing a majority at the Parliament to respect the private basis of a large fraction of the flows financing big business. The networks of “trust” which allowed to reach patrimonial assets of well-eased classes and the availabilities of big firms should be preserved, but also the knots of relations with the merchant and investment banks and with the financial places in foreign countries, mainly the Anglo-Saxon ones. This explains that Paribas and Banque de l’union parisienne escaped nationalisation.
    Keywords: Banking ; nationalisations ; pressure groupes ; anticapitalism ; Libération of France ; investment banks ; industrial banking
    JEL: N2 N24 N44 G21
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Karine Fabre (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris Dauphine - Paris IX); Céline Michaïlesco (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris Dauphine - Paris IX)
    Abstract: During the second half of the nineteenth century, five Great Exhibitions took place in Paris. The French state was highly involved in their financing and management which led to the implementation of public finance rules. Because of specific managerial constraints, public accounting systems and practises were adapted to meet project management purposes. This research focuses on the roles that can be fulfilled by this accounting system. For this purpose, the classification system of organizational roles of accounting by Burchell et al. (1980) is used and the potential roles of accounting change over time according to political background and parliamentary control are considered.
    Keywords: Great Exhibitions; public finance; accounting practises; accounting system roles; France; nineteenth century
    Date: 2010–03–01
  3. By: Jean-Claude Barbier (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Matthias Knuth (Institut für Soziologie - Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften)
    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, Bismarckianism, welfare regimes.
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Irina Rosa España Eljaiek; Fabio Sánchez Torres
    Abstract: El desarrollo industrial colombiano en la primera mitad del siglo XX no solo fue un proceso tardío en el contexto internacional, sino desigual entre sus regiones. Con base en el censo industrial de 1945, utilizando información por municipio y por sector, el presente documento muestra de forma cuantitativa que tanto el surgimiento de la industria manufacturera como las diferencias regionales en la industrialización están explicados por la acumulación de capital humano muy anterior al auge industrial. El trabajo muestra que la acumulación de capital humano a nivel local y regional dependió del grado de libertad de la población al final del periodo colonial, expresado como el porcentaje de la población libre a nivel municipal. Las regiones en donde la proporción de la población libre fue alta durante este periodo acumularon mayor capital humano y en consecuencia tuvieron una fuerza laboral más hábil y mejor preparada para enfrentar los procesos de producción de la industria manufacturera. El artículo discute las hipótesis tradicionales sobre el surgimiento de la industria manufacturera en Colombia que la asocian a las producciones de café y oro, a la geografía, a los mercadospotenciales, las políticas arancelarias o a las coyunturas externas como la Gran Depresión y las Guerras Mundiales.
    Date: 2010–11–09
  5. By: Deepita Chakravarty; Ishita Chakravarty (Centre for Economic and Social Studies)
    Abstract: Research on women's work has attempted to analyse how the interplay of market and patriarchy leads women and men to perform different economic roles in society. This segregation on the basis of gender or the sex-typing of work plays an important role both from the demand and supply sides in determining the work profiles of women and girl children. The present study attempts to see how a particular labour market, i.e. domestic service, a traditionally male domain, became segregated both by gender and age in post partition West Bengal (WB) and mainly in its capital city Calcutta. We have argued that the downward trend in industrial job opportunities in post independence WB accompanied by large scale immigration of women, men and children from the bordering East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, led to an unprecedented increase in labourforce under conditions of stagnant investment. This in turn led to a decline in the wage rate. In such a situation poor refugee women in their frantic search for means of survival gradually drove out the males of the host population engaged in domestic service in urban WB by offering to work in return for a very low and often for no wage at all. Again, poor males from the neighboring states of Bihar, Orissa and UP constituted historically a substantial section of the Calcutta labour market and many of them were employed as domestics in a state known for its prevalence of domestic service in colonial India. The replacement of male domestics by females was further facilitated by the gradual decline in inter-state migration due to lack of employment opportunities in independent WB. The second stage in the changing profile of domestic service in urban WB was arguably set by the migrating girl children from the rural areas of the state to Calcutta city in search for employment between 1971 and 1981.
    Keywords: gender roles, employment, domestic service, India
    JEL: J00 J60 J70
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Andrés Álvarez; Jimena Hurtado
    Abstract: Shorter undergraduate studies, increasing specialization and the priority of applied research in Economics represent threats for the History of Economic Thought (HET) as an integral part of the training of young economists. There are mostly sociological arguments to reduce or eliminate HET courses and contents to which we try to respond in this text. We advance that HET allows developing valuable skills that might help overcome the criticisms against Economics due to its alleged incapacity to offer solutions in times of crisis and to its fascination with quantification and technique. In this context, HET appears as a space for thought, self-criticism and introspection in which new economists may understand that Economics is a process and not a product giving them the abilities necessary to participate in the extended present of their discipline.
    Date: 2010–09–30
  7. By: Agustin Benetrix (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin); (IIIS/ECON, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper studies international risk sharing in Ireland focusing on the 1970-2007 period. To this end, we assess how consumption and national income have been affected by idiosyncratic output shocks. The study of the former shows that private consumption was partially insulated from output shocks and that risk sharing was invariant over time. The analysis of national income provides further evidence for international risk sharing. Here, we find that national income fluctuations were not fully affected by output shocks and that income risk sharing improved as Ireland became more integrated with the international financial system.
    Keywords: Ireland; international risk sharing.
    JEL: F36 F41
    Date: 2010–11
  8. By: G. Alivelu (Centre for Economic and Social Studies)
    Abstract: This paper makes an attempt to provide a broad overview of the salient aspects of the growth story of Indian Railways (IR) since independence. More specifically, the study aims to analyse the trends of output and employment for the period 1981-82 through 2007-08. The entire study period is divided into three sub-periods - Period I (1981-82 to1991-92);PeriodII(1992-93-2002-03);PeriodIII(2003-04to2007-08). Inaddition, the study also looks at the 'turnaround' story of IR. The output of IR is categorised as freight (NTKM) and passenger (PKM) outputs. Labour is divided into three categories - skilled management personnel (group A&B), semi-skilled employees (group C) and unskilled employees (group D). The data on freight output reveal that while the average annual growth rates of NTKM declined in the second period over the first period, high average annual growth rates of freight output were registered in the third period. The rate of growth of PKMs increased over the study period across IR. The employment scenario across IR shows that the percentage share of the skilled management personnel (group A&B) remained more or less the same over the entire study period, while the percentage share of the semi-skilled labour (group C) increased from around 51 percent in the first period to nearly 63 percent in the third period. The percentage share of the unskilled labour (group D) registered a decline from the first period to the third period (from nearly 49 percent to 36 percent respectively). The rate of growth of labour productivity registered an increase in all the three periods over IR. The contribution made by the skilled management personnel to output is more when compared to the semi-skilled labour. The turnaround story tells us that the high growth rates of output and earnings on IR were made possible through the implementation of various strategies already in place.
    Keywords: India, railroads, output, employment
    JEL: D24 J21
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Keith Hart
    Abstract: The following essay has three parts. The first is a story about fluctuations in the balance of the relationship between impersonal and personal principles of social organization. This draws heavily on Max Weber’s interpretation of western history. The second part reviews the concept of an ‘informal economy/sector’ from its origin in discussions of the Third World urban poor to its present status as a universal feature of economy. The third part asks how we might conceive of combining the formal/informal pair with a view to promoting development. In conclusion it is suggested how partnerships between bureaucracy and the people might be made more equal. [Research Paper No. 2005/11]
    Keywords: social organization, development, bureaucracy, democracy
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Alejandro Gaviria
    Abstract: Este artículo describe las principales transformaciones experimentadas por la sociedad colombiana durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Los cambios descritos fueron sustanciales. La esperanza de vida, la alfabetización y la urbanización convergieron hacia los valores observados en el mundo en desarrollo. La pobreza disminuyó de manera significativa. La condición de la mujer mejoró ostensiblemente, mucho más que en otros países latinoamericanos. La educación creció de manera rápida, especialmente durante los años sesenta. Y la movilidad social también parece haber aumentado. Todo a pesar de un mediocre desempeño económico. A finales de siglo, sin embargo, la violencia, la desigualad y el desempleo habían alcanzado niveles muy altos tanto históricamente como en comparación con otros países de la región.
    Date: 2010–10–11
  11. By: Cristina Beatríz Minolli
    Abstract: La idea de progreso es inherente a la especie humana y ha cambiado tanto históricamente como culturalmente. La obtención de riqueza sirve de hilo conductor para analizar a lo largo de los tiempos y a lo ancho de las diferentes culturas cómo diferentes tipos de trabajadores han contribuido al progreso de las organizaciones, amoldándose a los grandes cambios de paradigmas que la evolución de diferentes sistemas de producción generó. El presente trabajo hace entonces el correspondiente recorrido histórico dando cuenta del pasaje de la era agraria a la revolución industrial, de ésta a la sociedad de la información y desembocando finalmente en la actual sociedad del conocimiento y poniendo en relación las características de los distintos sujetos laborales que sirvieron a los diversos paradigmas. Por último hace referencia a la concepción del talento en la sociedad del conocimiento, íntimamente ligado a las especificidades de los trabajadores de las organizaciones siglo XXI
    Keywords: sujetos laborales, talentos, era agraria, revolución industrial. sociedad de la información, sociedad del conocimiento, riqueza, progreso, trabajo, transgresión.
    Date: 2010–09

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