New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2011‒06‒04
seventeen papers chosen by

  1. British Relative Economic Decline Revisited By Crafts, Nicholas
  2. Democracy and capitalist revolution By Pereira, Luiz Carlos Bresser
  3. Business Cycles in South-East Europe from Independence to the end of the Cold War By Matthias Morys; Martin Ivanov
  4. The Long Trace of Inequality: Evidence from Cundinamarca, Colombia By Juan Sebastián Galán
  5. What differences does a century make? Considering some crises in the international cooperative movement, 1900 and 2000 By Ian MacPherson
  6. Workers of the World, Unite! Franchise Extensions and the Threat of Revolution in Europe, 1820-1938 By Aidt, T.S.; Jensen, P.S.
  7. On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough By Alberto F. Alesina; Paola Giuliano; Nathan Nunn
  8. Teaching Macroeconomics after the Crisis: A Survey among Undergraduate Instructors in Europe and the U.S. By Gärtner, Manfred; Griesbach, Björn; Jung, Florian
  9. Emerging Stock Markets in Hostorical Perspective: A Research Agenda By Stefano Battilossi; Matthias Morys
  10. Historia del Crédito Hipotecario en Colombia By Miguel Urrutia Montoya; Olga Marcela Namen León
  11. Law and Economy in Traditional China: A "Legal Origin" Perspective on the Great Divergence By Ma, Debin
  12. La Caja de Ahorros: una aproximación a los patrones de ahorro en Bogotá, 1846-1865 By María del Pilar López-Uribe; Diana Marcela Güiza Gómez
  13. Industrial Relations in Britain under New Labour, 1997-2010: a post mortem By Brown, W.
  14. Economics, Control Theory, and the Phillips Machine By Brian Hayes
  15. Ten years of cultural development in Sibiu: The European cultural capital and beyond By Richards, Greg; Rotariu, Ilie
  16. Introduction to the Phillips Machine and the Analogue Computing Tradition in Economics By K. Vela Velupillai
  17. Cooperative credit network: advantages and challenges in italian cooperative credit banks By Mitja Stefancic

  1. By: Crafts, Nicholas
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of competition in productivity perfromance in Britain over the period from the late-nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. A detailed review of the evidence suggests that the weakness of competition from the 1930s to the 1970s undermined productivity growth but since the 1970s stronger competition has been a key ingredient in ending relative economic decline. The productivity implications of the retreat from competition resulted in large part from interactions with idiosyncratic British institutional structures in terms of corporate governance and industrial relations. This account extends familiar insights from cliometrics both analytically and chronologically.
    Keywords: competition; productivity; relative economic decline
    JEL: N13 N14 O52
    Date: 2011–05
  2. By: Pereira, Luiz Carlos Bresser
    Abstract: Democracy became the preferred and consolidated form of government only in the twentieth century. It is not sufficient to explain this change solely by reference to rational motives, nor by detecting processes and leadership. A historical approach is required. The new historical fact that led to the change of preference from aristocratic rule to democracy is the capitalist revolution, which changed the manner of appropriating the economic surplus from violence to the market. This is the first necessary condition for democracy. The disappearance of the fear of expropriation, the rise of middle classes and the pressures of the poor or of the workers are the second, third and fourth new historical facts that opened the way for the transition from the liberal to the liberal-democratic regime. After these four conditions were fulfilled, the elites ceased to fear that they would be expropriated if universal suffrage was granted. Eventually, after the transition, the democratic regime became the rational choice for all classes. The theory presented here does not predict transitions, since countries often turn democratic without fully realized historical conditions, but it predicts democratic consolidation, since no country that has completed its capitalist revolution falls back into authoritarianism.
    Date: 2011–05–16
  3. By: Matthias Morys; Martin Ivanov
    Abstract: Based on a freshly built data set and relying on a Bayesian Dynamic Factor Model, this paper constructs business cycle indices for five South-East European (SEE) countries (Austria(-Hungary), Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Serbia/Yugoslavia) to address two questions: to what extent has there been a common SEE business cycle, and has there been synchronisation of business cycles with England, France and Germany? We find limited but increasing business cycle integration before World War I, both within SEE and vis-à-vis the core economies. The trend towards increasing levels of business cycle synchronisation accelerates in the interwar period and is not even interrupted by the arrival of the Great Depression. The onset of the Cold War almost completely extinguishes regional business cycle integration, but the reorientation of some communist countries towards the West (early on by Yugoslavia, from the mid-1970s also by Romania) also sees the re-emergence of a common business cycle vis-à-vis Austria and Germany. JEL classification:
    Keywords: South-East European business cycle, national historical accounts, common dynamic factor analysis
    JEL: N13 N14 C43 E32
    Date: 2011–05
  4. By: Juan Sebastián Galán
    Abstract: This paper uses historic data from Cundinamarca, Colombia to empirically assess the impact of land inequality persistence, inherited from the colonial rule, on economic development in the long run. Based on the Engerman & Sokoloff hypothesis and the use of GIS, I use plausible exogenous variation in land endowments to design an instrumental variable strategy. In contrast to recent studies, I find that more unequal municipalities in the XIX and XX century are associated with better growth, human capital and public goods provision measures today. Political economy channels instead of agricultural productivity gains can explain these results. In municipalities where land was historically more concentrated, powerful landowners were more successful in solving their collective action problem of accessing political power to influence the allocation economic resources in their interests.
    Date: 2011–02–27
  5. By: Ian MacPherson
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Aidt, T.S.; Jensen, P.S.
    Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that the extension of the voting franchise was caused by the threat of revolution, as suggested by Acemoglu and Robinson [Quarterly Journal of Economics 115, 1167-1199, 2000]. We approximate the threat of revolution in a given country by revolutionary events happening in neighboring countries. We investigate the relationship between this new measure of the threat of revolution and measures of su¤rage reform in two samples of European countries covering the period from 1820 to 1938. We ?nd strong support for the 'threat of revolution theory'. We also ?nd some evidence that war triggered suffrage reform, whereas other theories of the extension of the franchise, including 'modernization theory', receive little support.
    Keywords: The extension of the voting franchise, democracy, threat of revolution, suffrage
    JEL: D7 P16
    Date: 2011–01–26
  7. By: Alberto F. Alesina; Paola Giuliano; Nathan Nunn
    Abstract: This paper seeks to better understand the historical origins of current differences in norms and beliefs about the appropriate role of women in society. We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historical gender division of labor and the evolution and persistence of gender norms. We find that, consistent with existing hypotheses, the descendants of societies that traditionally practiced plough agriculture, today have lower rates of female participation in the workplace, in politics, and in entrepreneurial activities, as well as a greater prevalence of attitudes favoring gender inequality. We identify the causal impact of traditional plough use by exploiting variation in the historical geo-climatic suitability of the environment for growing crops that differentially benefited from the adoption of the plough. Our IV estimates, based on this variation, support the findings from OLS. To isolate the importance of cultural transmission as a mechanism, we examine female labor force participation of second-generation immigrants living within the US.
    JEL: J16 N30
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: Gärtner, Manfred; Griesbach, Björn; Jung, Florian
    Abstract: An online survey among undergraduate macroeconomics instructors reveals that roughly half of them were scared when the crisis erupted and remain wary that more may be in the offing. As regards teaching, courses feature much the same lineups of models as they did before the crisis. A striking change concerns public debt dynamics, which receives much more emphasis. Regarding the finer fabric of undergraduate macro teaching, exciting things are going on. A host of topics related to financial markets has entered the curriculum, and there is more interest in economic history, the history of economic thought and case studies.
    Keywords: Financial crisis, teaching, undergraduate, macroeconomics.
    JEL: A22 E00
    Date: 2011–05
  9. By: Stefano Battilossi; Matthias Morys
    Abstract: This paper surveys the recent empirical literature on emerging stock markets of the last quarter of the 20th century and elaborates on its theoretical insights and empirical methods to design a research agenda on the “emergence†of equity markets in European peripheries before 1913. We present some preliminary evidence, both qualitative and quantitative, on the timeline and patterns of stock market emergence. The cases of the Madrid and several South-East European stock exchanges (Vienna, Belgrade, Bukarest, Sofia, Athens, and Istanbul) are used to exemplify. In the second part of the paper, we focus on three key empirical issues which should be addressed by financial historians: the determinants of stock market development, the realized return on market indices, and the specific characteristics (higher volatility, persistence, non-normality) of returns.
    Date: 2011–05
  10. By: Miguel Urrutia Montoya; Olga Marcela Namen León
    Abstract: Se hace una breve historia del crédito hipotecario en Colombia. La cuantificación se puede hacer a partir del año 1923, una vez creados el Banco de la República y la Superintendencia Bancaria a raíz de las recomendaciones de la Misión Kemmerer. En los años treinta y cuarenta la principal fuente de crédito para vivienda fue el Banco Central Hipotecario. En los años cincuenta y sesenta esta fuente fue complementada por el Instituto de Crédito Territorial, y el crédito bancario para vivienda diferente al BCH era mínimo. Sólo a partir de los años setenta en la era del UPAC el sector bancario formal financió el crédito de largo plazo para vivienda. A partir de los años noventa el estado da subsidios a familias de bajos ingresos para que estas puedan acceder al crédito para compra de vivienda de interés social. Finalmente, se ensaya promover la construcción durante la crisis económica de 2008 creando un subsidio de tasa de interés para la compra de vivienda popular.
    Date: 2011–02–06
  11. By: Ma, Debin
    Abstract: This article offers a critical review of recent literature on Chinese legal tradition and argues that some subtle but fundamental differences between the Western and Chinese legal traditions are highly relevant to our explanation of the economic divergence in the modern era. This paper seeks to elucidate the fundamental feature of traditional Chinese legal system and the mechanism of dispute resolution within the framework of a disciplinary mode of administrative law within a bureaucratic hierarchy and intermediation within social-networks. By comparing the contrasting development of the legal professions in China and Western Europe, it reveals the importance of political institution, legal regime and the growth of jurisprudence that would ultimately affect property rights, contract enforcement and ultimately long-term growth trajectories.
    Keywords: adjudication; common law; disciplinary mode of justice; economic growth; great divergence; jurisprudence; law; rule of law
    JEL: N00 O10
    Date: 2011–05
  12. By: María del Pilar López-Uribe; Diana Marcela Güiza Gómez
    Abstract: La creación de instituciones de ahorro y crédito en Colombia fue indispensable para generar un hábito de ahorro en la población y consolidar un sistema bancario estable durante el siglo XIX. La caja de ahorros de Bogotá fue el primer intento por consolidar una mentalidad previsiva en los bogotanos, especialmente en las clases trabajadoras. Este documento presenta una descripción y análisis de la dinámica de la caja de Ahorros, de su clientela y de los patrones de ahorro de los diferentes pobladores de la ciudad de acuerdo a su grado de calificación durante la existencia del establecimiento. Para estudiar esto, se realizaron comparaciones entre los diferentes grupos de trabajadores y no trabajadores a través de un análisis estadístico simple y del método clusters; con el fin de mostrar el grado de participación y la dinámica de los diferentes grupos frente al ahorro. El documento concluye que la población económicamente inactiva y la población femenina tuvieron una mayor disposición a ahorrar, seguidos de la clase trabajadora (que era la población objetivo de la entidad). Por último, los trabajadores en oficios con mayor calificación fueron los que registraron menores montos de ahorro.
    Date: 2011–03–13
  13. By: Brown, W.
    Abstract: A revival of trade unions was widely expected when Blair’s New Labour government took over from the Conservatives in Britain in 1997. This did not occur. Collective bargaining continued to retreat. The paper discusses the implications of the changing economic context for the government’s legal innovations, notably statutory trade union recognition and a minimum wage. It describes the consequences for industrial relations. It concludes that New Labour’s legacy may lie in its nurturing of the institutions of social partnership and the use of conciliation.
    JEL: J50 J52 J58
    Date: 2011–02–07
  14. By: Brian Hayes
    Abstract: Can the same mathematical control laws that smooth out oscillations in the flight of an airplane also moderate economic cycles of boom and bust? Attempts to bring together the intellectual traditions of control engineering and economics go back at least as far as the hydraulic analog computer of A. W. H. Phillips, circa 1950. Today, economic policymakers remain committed to the ideal of controlling business cycles; it remains an open question whether tools from control theory might help to refine their strategies.
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Richards, Greg; Rotariu, Ilie
    Abstract: This study presents the results of a ten year monitoring programme on cultural and tourism development in the city of Sibiu. Over the ten year research period the programme expanded to cover a wide range of data sources, including resident and visitor surveys, stakeholder interviews and secondary statistical data. The research started at a fairly low level with studies of single events in the cultural agenda of Sibiu. The programme was significantly expanded in 2007 thanks to the staging of the European Capital of Culture in the city. Support from the ECOC allowed the scale of the research to be increased. Since 2007 the Lucian Blaga University has continued to collect data using its own resources. This study is unique as it is probably the first long-term study of the cultural and tourism development of a city in a former Socialist country in Central and Eastern Europe. The data in the current report build on and extend the analysis provided in the earlier report “The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu: A long term perspective”, published in 2010. This research includes a number of different elements: regular surveys of residents and visitors, analysis of tourism flows and other statistics, Interviews with stakeholders in the city, Data from the regular surveys carried out by ATLAS in other parts of Europe. This report provides a summary of some of the major findings of the research to date, mainly based on the resident and visitor surveys.
    Keywords: cultural tourism; European Cultural Capital; Sibiu
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2011–05
  16. By: K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: In this paper I try to argue for the desirability of analog computation in economics from a variety of perspectives, using the example of the Phillips Machine. Ultimately, a case is made for the underpinning of both analog and digital computing theory in constructive mathematics. Some conceptual confusion in the meaning of analog computing and its non-reliance on the theory of numerical analysis is also discussed.
    Date: 2010
  17. By: Mitja Stefancic
    Abstract: This paper provides an outline of both the competitive advantages and challenges currently faced by Italian cooperative credit banks. These banks play an important role for the stability of the financial system at the level of regions. They provide credit to individuals and households, as well as capital to SMEs. Italian cooperative credit banks are integrated into a distinct sui generis network, which grants them an adequate level of competitiveness in the; and Visiting PhD student market. By effectively implementing democratic principles of governance and by focusing on retail banking, these banks foster responsible behaviour, which is crucial in times of crisis. This paper suggests that a better understanding of their specifics highlights their contribution to sound cooperation in economics. Finally, the paper provides policy recommendations for a qualitative supervision of cooperative credit banks to further increase the stability of the cooperative credit network and, thus, of the Italian financial system.
    Keywords: Italian cooperative credit network, competitive advantages; governance, challenges
    JEL: G21 G28 P13
    Date: 2011

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