New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2011‒04‒16
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Trade, Exchange Rate Regimes and Output Co-Movement: Evidence from the Great Depression By Gabriel P. Mathy; Christopher M. Meissner
  2. Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades and the emergence of Social Assistance in Latin America By Miguel Nino-Zarazua
  3. Acumulación y Sectores productivos en la segunda mitad del siglo XX en Colombia By Alcidez Gómez Jimenez
  4. An Overview of The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World Since 1700 By Robert W. Fogel; Nathaniel Grotte
  5. The Costs of Class Actions: Allocation and Collective Redress in the U.S. Experience By Calabresi, Guido; Schwartz, Kevin S.
  6. Do management accounting systems influence organizational change or vice-versa? Evidence from a case of constructive research in the Healthcare Sector By Lino Cinquini; Cristina Campanale; Andrea Tenucci
  7. Redistribution and Reelection under Proportional Representation: The Postwar Italian Chamber of Deputies By Golden, Miriam; Picci, Lucio
  8. Population and Migration: Understanding the Numbers By Commission, Productivity
  9. Marx in 1869: Notebook B113, The Economist and The Money Market Review By João Antonio de Paula; Hugo E. A. da Gama Cerqueira; Alexandre Mendes Cunha; Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak; Leonardo Gomes de Deus; Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque; Guilherme Habib Santos Curi; Marco Túlio Vieira
  10. Taming Manias: On the Origins, Inevitability, Prediction and Regulation of Bubbles and Crashes By Jeffrey SATINOVER; Didier SORNETTE
  11. La competitividad...¿a qué se refiere? By Luis Francisco Ramírez Díaz

  1. By: Gabriel P. Mathy; Christopher M. Meissner
    Abstract: A large body of cross-country empirical evidence identifies monetary policy and trade integration as key determinants of business cycle co-movement. Partially consistent with this, many argue that the re-emergence of the gold standard allowed for the global transmission of a deflationary shock in 1929 that culminated in the Great Depression. It is puzzling then to see decreased co-movement between 1920 and 1927 when international integration increased and nations returned to the gold standard. Fixed exchange rates and global trade were also on the rise after 1932, but co-movement declined again. Our empirical results shows that exchange rate regimes and trade were associated with higher co-movement at the bilateral level while common shocks and exchange control policies also mattered. Much of the fall after 1932 was driven by the rise of smaller blocs of monetary and trade cooperation and an inter-bloc fall in co-movement.
    JEL: E32 E42 F42 N1 N12 N14
    Date: 2011–04
  2. By: Miguel Nino-Zarazua
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the political and economic context under which Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades was introduced to prelude the emergence of social assistance in Latin America. The paper identifies four distinctive features of the programme that were revolutionary in their own right. First, the Progresa-Oportunidades embraced a multidimensional approach to poverty, linking income transfers with simultaneous interventions in health, education and nutrition. Second, the programme focused on the poor. This is in clear contrast to generalised food subsidies and other targeted interventions that dominated the antipoverty agenda in the past. Third, the programme followed a complex system of identification and selection of beneficiaries to prevent discretionary political manipulation of public funds. Finally, an independent impact evaluation protocol proved to be critical for both improving the programme’s effectiveness and strengthening its legitimacy across different political factions and constituencies. The paper concludes that the success of Progresa-Oportunidades must be understood in a broader context, where harsh economic and political environment, coupled with a rapid democratisation and increasing political competition, laid down the foundations for the introduction and then sustained expansion of the programme.
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Alcidez Gómez Jimenez
    Abstract: En este artículo se señala que al diagnosticar erronéamente tanto el problema básico de la economía colombiana, como su situación actual, las autoridades economicas gubernamentales mal pueden plantear políticas adecuadas para superar el subdesarrollo. El interes está centrado en comprender la lógica interna y externa presente en la periodización que acompañará el cambio de paradigmas en la conducción del desarrollo económico y social a partir de los años setenta del siglo pasado, con un largo periodo de gestación entre los setenta y ochenta y a partir de los noventa una inserción en la economía internacional en sintonía con las transformaciones que allí tenían lugar, pero con el sello propio que imponía en (sub)desarrollo.
    Date: 2011–04–05
  4. By: Robert W. Fogel; Nathaniel Grotte
    Abstract: This summary of The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700 (Cambridge) was prepared for presentation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health in March 2011. The book is built on the authors’ work with 300 years of height and nutrition data and discusses their findings in the context of technophysio evolution, a uniquely modern form of rapid physiological development, the result of humanity’s ability to control its environment and create technological innovations to adapt to it.
    JEL: I1 N31 N33
    Date: 2011–04
  5. By: Calabresi, Guido; Schwartz, Kevin S.
    Abstract: Once a preserve of the American legal landscape, the class action device today transcends geographic boundaries. In the past decade, efforts have intensified to establish collective litigation instruments in diverse legal terrains outside the United States - including Europe - often with the common goal of allowing some form of collective legal redress while avoiding perceived disadvantages of class actions in the American experience. Today more than ever, from legislators to litigants to scholars, European reformers face the challenge - and the opportunity - of making fundamental choices about the scope and shape of the collective legal remedies they wish to make available. Choices about the shape of the class action device reflect foundational judgments about the proper allocation of costs, and there is much from the U.S. experience that can inform Europe's prospective reformers. This article describes the history and current status of class action rules in the U.S., and then compares class actions and another form of extra-compensatory damages - one type of punitive damages — as means of doing the same thing. Although neither punitive damages of this sort nor class actions generally have traditionally existed in civil law systems, they both - and especially this particular form of punitive damages - can, from an economic view, be made to vindicate the same kind of social cost accounting goals. By considering these legal devices together, we hope to shed light on crucial choices facing Europe as it grapples with how best to provide collective legal redress in light of the lessons of the U.S. experience with class actions.
    Keywords: Class actions, Collective legal redress, Punitive damages, Extra-compensatory damages, Allocation of costs, Deterrence
    JEL: K00
    Date: 2011–03
  6. By: Lino Cinquini (Laboratorio MeS, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy); Cristina Campanale (Laboratorio MeS, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy); Andrea Tenucci (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy)
    Abstract: The paper aims to analyze the process of change of management accounting system (MAS) as a consequence of changes in the complexity of organizational structure in healthcare. It analyzes the process of change of MAS according with the theoretical frameworks of Habermas (1987) and Laughlin (1991).In this organizational changes are seen as the consequence of the interaction between tangible and intangible elements of the organization and between the organization and the external environment. The process of change was not studied from an external standpoint, but through an active participation and contribution of the researchers in the process of change itself. Using a constructive approach, the researchers were actively involved with the actors of the change in developing the process of change, and in facilitating the overcoming of some cultural gaps and resistance which could arise in professional organization. The paper provides empirical insights of the characteristics of the process of change of MAS in a Heath Care setting with a particular focus on aspects characterizing the process of change itself. Finding suggests the importance of putting high attention in the development of the process of change and underlines how the attention to peculiarities of the organization, in to this phase, could make the MAS able to impact on the behaviours and culture of professionals.
    Keywords: Management Accounting Change, Healthcare Accounting, Habermas
    Date: 2010–06–01
  7. By: Golden, Miriam; Picci, Lucio
    Abstract: We study incumbency advantage and the electoral returns to pork and patronage over ten legislative periods from 1948 to 1992 for two political parties — the Christian Democrats (DC) and the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) — in Italy’s lower house of representatives, the Chamber of Deputies. Adapting a regression discontinuity design to Italy’s open-list system of proportional representation, we show that parliament comprised two groups: a small elite, whose members enjoyed an incumbency advantage, and the average deputy, who benefitted from no such incumbency advantage. Elite legislators affiliated with Italy’s two main parties of government received significantly more preference votes when pork and patronage were steered to their districts, although the effect is small. We interpret this to indicate that their incumbency advantage was linked to their ability to claim credit for these allocations. We also show that the two parties won more list votes when districts received more resources and that when districts received more resources, the abilities of these parties to persuade their electors to use preference votes improved. This form of electoral mobilization, in turn, enlarged the number of ministerial positions secured by the district. Our analysis depicts a political environment severely segmented between a small, powerful elite group of deputies and backbenchers.
    Keywords: incumbency effect; distributive politics; patronage; proportional representation; Italy; regression discontinuity
    JEL: C14 H11 H41 H83 H76
    Date: 2011–03–25
  8. By: Commission, Productivity (Productivity Commission)
    Abstract: Australia is largely a nation of immigrants. From the First Fleet to the post-war wave of assisted passages, to the present day, migration has always been at the centre of this country’s development. As time has passed, however, and our population has grown and spread, it is natural that the consensus that we must ‘populate or perish’ would give way to more diverse and nuanced perspectives about migration and population growth, and the policy implications.<p> Debate has ebbed and flowed over the years and flared up again in the lead-up to the federal election. However, that debate arguably was not as well informed by the facts as the topic deserves. Many numbers were cited, drawing on various demographic concepts, but these often appeared contradictory or based on only part of the story. As a consequence, the public is likely to have been left confused, bemused or misled on what is a key public policy issue.<p> In this Research Paper, the Commission has sought to improve the information base for public discussion by describing the main demographic trends and what lies behind them. That said, it does not seek to be exhaustive, but rather to focus on those features that seem most important.
    Keywords: immigration; population; migration; population growth
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2010–12
  9. By: João Antonio de Paula (Cedeplar-UFMG); Hugo E. A. da Gama Cerqueira (Cedeplar-UFMG); Alexandre Mendes Cunha (Cedeplar-UFMG); Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (Cedeplar-UFMG); Leonardo Gomes de Deus (Cedeplar-UFMG); Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque (Cedeplar-UFMG); Guilherme Habib Santos Curi (Cedeplar-UFMG); Marco Túlio Vieira (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper presents Notebook B113, one of Marx’s unpublished manuscripts, and suggests its importance for highlighting the monetary and financial issues which Marx was investigating after 1867. A combination of deciphering an index prepared by Marx and reading the 1868 editions of The Economist and The Money Market Review may help to improve the understanding of Part Five, Volume III of Capital. A preliminary investigation of Marx’s references to the crisis of 1866 in Notebook B113, and the lack of references to this same crisis in Volume III of Capital supports the conjecture of this paper.
    Keywords: Karl Marx; Friedrich Engels; MEGA
    JEL: B14 B31
    Date: 2011–04
  10. By: Jeffrey SATINOVER (ETH Zurich and the King’s College); Didier SORNETTE (ETH Zurich and Swiss Finance Institute)
    Abstract: Chapter Summary: We consider the recent financial crisis as an overlapping sequence of interdependent financial bubbles followed by their collapse. Governments and regulatory agencies have made it a prime goal to moderate future crises. Many attempts at financial, economic and social engineering are plagued by an “illusion of control” typical of complex systems for which we offer some suggestive mathematical models. The “illusion of control” presents a significant challenge to effective resilience engineering. Furthermore, control may not only yield no benefit, but at times may exact perverse new costs. We argue that some markets almost always; almost all markets sometimes; and economies in general are truly “complex systems” in a technical sense; that as such, they are intrinsically characterized by periods of extremity and by abrupt state-transition; that they spend much time in a largely unpredictable state, but on the other enter periods of pre-crisis when they are predictable. In consequence of a system phase (or regime) transition, we argue that the most extreme events—the most influential ones—are susceptible to (probabilistic) prediction. In light of this analysis, we offer a small number of perhaps counter-intuitive suggestions, for example, that many of the present interventions in the “liquidity crisis” are ill-advised and possibly dangerous—e.g., the widespread attempts to artificially stimulate consumption in the absence of precautionary reserves and in the presence of huge liabilities; as an example of real-world, large-scale resilience engineering we suggest that bubble-prediction should be a mainstay of financial regulation.
    Keywords: financial bubbles; positive feedbacks; illusion of control; unintended consequences; dragon-kings; outliers; prediction; systemic instabilities
    JEL: G18
    Date: 2010–07
  11. By: Luis Francisco Ramírez Díaz
    Abstract: Este trabajo, hace un análisis a cerca de la definición de competitividad, invita a la refleción en torno a este tema y propicia una crítica que se basa en la facilidad con que se aborda, sin dimensionar adecuadamente sus alcances. Se trata de establecer una diferencia conceptual entre competitividad y competencia, viendo este último aspecto desde la perspectiva del mercadeo. El trabajo finalmente concluye con la cosideración de la empresa como parte de un sector, escenario que propicia las condiciones para la medición de la competitividad.
    Date: 2011–04–05

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