nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2011‒07‒13
34 papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Usury, Calvinism, and Credit in Protestant England: from the Sixteenth Century to the Industrial Revolution By John H. Munro
  2. Foreign exchange reserve management in the 19th century: The National Bank of Belgium in the 1850s By Stefano Ugolini
  3. Five Crises By Cormac Ó Gráda
  4. Russian Inequality on the Eve of Revolution By Steven Nafziger; Peter Lindert
  5. Micro-Perspectives on Living Standards in Nineteenth-Century Russia By Tracy Dennison; Steven Nafziger
  6. Debt policy under constraints between Philip II, the Cortes and Genoese bankers By Carlos Álvarez Nogal [canogal]; Christophe Chamley
  7. Bairoch revisited : tariff structure and growth in the late nineteenth century. By Tena Junguito, Antonio
  8. The international propagation of the financial crisis of 2008 and a comparison with 1931 By William A. Allen; Richhild Moessner
  9. Big BRICs, Weak Foundations: The Beginning of Public Elementary Education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China By Steven Nafziger; Latika Chaudhary; Aldo Musacchio; Se Yan
  10. Workers of the world, unite! Franchise extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820-1938 By Aidt, Toke S.; Jensen, Peter S.
  11. An Historical Walk Through Recent Financial Crises By Tadeusz Kowalski; Yochanan Shachmurove
  12. Secrecy and Transaction Costs: The Business of Soviet Forced Labour in the Early Cold War By Harrison, Mark
  13. When development meets culture : the contribution of Celso Furtado in the 1970s By Alexandre Mendes Cunha; Gustavo Britto
  14. Inequality, Development, and the Stability of Democracy – Lipset and Three Critical Junctures in German History By Jung, Florian; Sunde, Uwe
  15. What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession? By Michael C. Burda; Jennifer Hunt
  16. Interbank Networks in Prewar Japan: Structure and Implications By Tetsuji Okazaki; Michiru Sawada
  17. Does Parental Education Affect Fertility? Evidence from Pre-Demographic Transition Prussia By Becker, Sascha O; Cinnirella, Francesco; Woessmann, Ludger
  18. Human Capital and the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off during the Demographic Transition: New Evidence from Ireland By Alan Fernihough
  19. Small is beautiful. On the efficiency of credit markets in late medieval Holland By Jaco Zuijderduijn; Tine De Moor; Jan Luiten van Zanden
  20. The Spanish foreign sector 1885-1985. By Tena Junguito, Antonio
  21. Long Term Changes in Croatia’s Wage Inequality: 1970-2006 By Ivo Bićanić; Oriana Vukoja
  22. A Wealth Tax Abandoned: The role of the UK Treasury 1974-6 By Howard Glennerster
  23. British Relative Economic Decline Revisited By Crafts, Nicholas
  24. The Century of Education By Christian Morrisson; Fabrice Murtin
  25. 100 years of educational reforms in Europe: a contextual database By Garrouste, Christelle
  26. An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Nelson & Winter (1982) By Nadia Jacoby
  27. Interview with Nobel Prize Laureates Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides By Diamond, Peter A.; Mortensen, Dale T.; Pissarides, Christopher A.
  28. The Modularity of Technology and Organisations. Implications for the Theory of the Firm By Andreas Reinstaller
  29. The Experimental Economics of Religion By Robert Hoffmann
  30. La maraña intervencionista franquista en el fomento de la exportación. el « dumping corchero» By Francisco M. Parejo Moruno
  31. Las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Uruguay en el largo plazo By Paola Azar; Sebastián Fleitas
  32. Innovación y crecimiento de la productividad en España durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX By Antonio Cubel; Vicente Esteve; Juan Sanchis; María Teresa Sanchis
  33. El manejo del gasto público y la protección social: el caso uruguayo en el siglo XX By Paola Azar; Sebastián Fleitas
  34. Estrategias de entrada de la banca española en América Latina: análisis teórico y empírico. By Cardone Riportella, Clara; Cazorla Papis, Leonardo

  1. By: John H. Munro
    Abstract: This study analyses the impact of Protestantism on interest rates in England from the 16th century to the Industrial Revolution. One of many myths about the usury doctrine - the prohibition against demanding anything above the principal in a loan (mutuum) - is that it ceased to be observed in Reformation Europe. As several authors have demonstrated, however, early Protestant Reformers, beginning with Luther, had essentially endorsed the long established Scholastic usury doctrines. The one major exception was Jean Calvin. Though retaining a strong hostility against usury, he permitted interest on commercial loans, while forbidding usury on charitable loans to the needy. That view may have been partly responsible for a crucially important breach in civil support of the usury doctrine. The first, in 1540, was an imperial ordinance for the Habsburg Netherlands permitting interest payments up to 12%, but only for commercial loans. In England, Henry VIII's Parliament of 1545 enacted a statute permitting interest payments up to 10% (on all loans); any higher rates constituted usury. But, in 1552, a hostile Parliament, with radical Protestants, revoked that statute, and revived it only under Elizabeth, in 1571. Since the maximum rate was also taken to be the minimum, subsequent Parliaments, seeking to foster trade, reduced that rate: to 8% in 1624, to 6% in 1651 (ratified 1660-61), and to 5% in 1713: a rate maintained until the abolition of the usury laws in 1854. The consequences of legalizing interest payments, but with ever lower maximum rates, had a far-reaching impact on the English economy, from the 16th century to the Industrial Revolution. The first lay in finally permitting the discounting of commercial bills. Even if medieval bills of exchange had permitted merchants to disguise interest payments in exchange rates, the usury doctrine nevertheless required that they be non-negotiable, held until maturity, since discounting would have revealed the implicit interest. Evidence for the Low Countries and England demonstrates that discounting, with legal transfers either by bearer bills or by endorsement, with full negotiability, began and became widespread only after the legalization of interest payments in both countries. The importance for Great Britain can be seen in the primary role of its banks during the Industrial Revolution: in discounting commercial bills, foreign and domestic, in order to finance most of the working capital needs for both industry and commerce. The second is known as the Financial Revolution; and its late introduction into England, from 1693, was in part due to the limits imposed on interest rates. In its final form (1757), it meant the establishment of permanent, funded, national debt based not on the sale of interest-bearing bonds but on perpetual annuities or rentes. The origins can be found in 13th-century northern France and the Low Countries in reaction to the vigorous intensification of the anti-usury campaign by the new mendicant orders, the Franciscans and Dominicans. Fearing for their mortal souls, many merchants refused to make loans and chose to finance town governments instead by purchasing municipal rentes (annuities). In 1250, Pope Innocent IV ruled that no usury was involved, because those buying rentes could never demand redemptions. Instead, they were licitly purchasing future streams of income. Continuing debates were not finally resolved until the issue of three 15th-century papal bulls (supporting Innocent IV). By the 16th century, the finances of most western Europe states had become largely dependent on selling both life and perpetual annuities. England was thus a late-comer, in importing this system of public finance. Fully immune to the usury laws, this Financial Revolution permitted the English/British governments to reduce borrowing costs from 14% in 1693 to just 3% in 1757, so that the British economy could finance both 'guns and butter', without crowding out private investments. Furthermore, since these annuities (Consols) were traded internationally on both the London and Amsterdam stock exchanges, they were a popular form of secure investments, which became, with land, the most widely-used collateral in borrowing for the fixed capital needs of the Industrial Revolution.
    Keywords: usury, interest, annuities, bonds, public finance, bills of exchange, discounting, Scholastics, Old and New Testaments, Calvin, Luther, Protestant Reformers, Dissenters, Financial Revolution, England
    JEL: B11 G18 G28 H30 N13 N23 N43 N94
    Date: 2011–06–28
  2. By: Stefano Ugolini (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)
    Abstract: As well as the current one, the wave of globalization culminated in 1913 was marked by increasing accumulation of foreign exchange reserves. But what did ‘reserves’ mean in the past, how were they managed, and how much relevant are the differences between then and now? This paper is the first attempt to investigate 19th-century reserve management from central banks’ perspective. Building on a significant case study (the National Bank of Belgium, i.e. the ‘inventor’ of foreign exchange policy, in the 1850s), it shows that risk management practices in the past differed considerably from nowadays. The structure of the international monetary system allowed central banks to minimize financial risk, while poor institutional design enhanced operational risk: this is in stark contrast with the present situation, in which operational risk has been minimized and financial risk has considerably increased. Yet 19th-century reserve management was apparently not conducive to major losses for central banks, while the opposite seems to have been the case in the 21st century.
    Keywords: Foreign exchange reserves, international monetary systems, central banking, risk management
    JEL: E42 E58 G11 N23
    Date: 2011–07–05
  3. By: Cormac Ó Gráda (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: The paper places Ireland's current economic crisis in historical perspective. It compares it with four others since independence: those of 1934-38, 1939-45, the 1950s, and the 1980s. The present crisis is arguably the gravest of the five.
    Keywords: crises, economic growth, Ireland
    Date: 2011–06–30
  4. By: Steven Nafziger (Williams College); Peter Lindert (University of California-Davis)
    Abstract: Just how unequal were the incomes of different classes of Russians on the eve of Revolution, relative to other countries, to Russia’s earlier history, and to Russia’s income distribution today? Careful weighing of an eclectic data set provides provisional answers. In 1904, on the eve of military defeat and the 1905 Revolution, Russian income inequality was middling by the standards of that era, and less severe than inequality has become today in such countries as China, the United States, and Russia itself. We enrich this emerging story by noting some distinctive fiscal and relative-price features of Imperial Russia. We hope that this report sets the stage for comparisons to Russian before the serf Emancipation of 1861.
    Keywords: Russia, inequality, economic history
    JEL: N30 N33 O15
    Date: 2011–03
  5. By: Tracy Dennison (California Institute of Technology); Steven Nafziger (Williams College)
    Abstract: In recent years economic historians have turned new attention to questions about standards of living in pre-revolutionary Russia. However, most of the studies to date have focused on a narrow range of measures for predominantly urban areas. We expand on the existing literature with a micro-level analysis, which employs a broader set of measures of wellbeing for a small rural region in central Russia. Our findings suggest that living standards were improving over the nineteenth century, even in such seemingly less dynamic rural areas. Income and consumption patterns, human capital development, and the distribution of resources in the countryside were more variegated than a ‘subsistence’ approach has typically allowed. The micro-level context presented here suggests that state and local institutions should be emphasized in future analyses of rural living standards in pre-Soviet Russia.
    Keywords: Russia, livings standards, economic history
    JEL: N33 N93 O12
    Date: 2011–06
  6. By: Carlos Álvarez Nogal [canogal]; Christophe Chamley
    Abstract: The large public debt was created in 16th century Castile. A new view of its fiscal system is presented. The main part of the debt was in perpetual redeemable annuities and its credibility was enhanced by decentralized funding through taxes administered by cities that represented the Realm in the Cortes. Accumulation of short-term debt would be refinanced by long-term debt. Short-term debt crises occurred when the service of the long-term debt reached the revenues of the taxes that funded the domestic long-term debt. They were resolved after protracted negotiations in the Cortes by tax increases and interest rate reductions
    Keywords: Debt funding, Sovereign loan defaults, Financial crises, Parliaments
    JEL: N23 N43 H63 F34
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Tena Junguito, Antonio
    Abstract: This article revisits Bairoch’s hypothesis that in the late nineteenth century tariffs were positively associated with growth, as recently confirmed by a new generation of quantitative studies (see O’Rourke 2000; Jacks 2006; Clemens and Williamson 2002, 2004). This article highlights the importance of the structure of protection in the relation between trade policy and its potential growth-promoting impact. Evidence is based on a new database on industrial tariffs for the 1870s. The results show that income, factor endowment and policy independence are important for explaining regional asymmetries between tariffs and growth. At a global level, increased protection, measured by total and average tariffs on manufactures, implied more unskilled inefficient protection and less growth, and this is especially true for the poor countries in the late nineteenth century. Protection was only positive for a ‘rich club’ if we include in this group new settler countries, which grew rapidly in the late nineteenth century and imposed high tariffs mainly for fiscal reasons
    Keywords: Tariffs and growth; Tariff structure;
  8. By: William A. Allen; Richhild Moessner
    Abstract: We examine the international propagation of the financial crisis of 2008, and compare it with that of the crisis of 1931. We argue that the collateral squeeze in the United States, which became intense after the failure of Lehman Brothers created doubts about the stability of other financial companies, was an important propagator in 2008. We identify some common features in the propagation of the two crises, the most important being the flight to liquidity and safety. In both crises, deposit outflows were not the only important sources of liquidity pressure on banks: in 1931, the central European acceptances of the London merchant banks were a serious problem, as, in 2008, were the liquidity commitments that commercial banks had provided to shadow banks. And in both crises, the behaviour of creditors towards debtors, and the valuation of assets by creditors, were very important. However, there was a very important difference between the two crises in the range and nature of assets that were regarded as liquid and safe. Central banks in 2008, with no gold standard constraint, could liquefy illiquid assets on a much greater scale.
    Keywords: financial crisis, liquidity, international monetary system, Great Depression
    Date: 2011–07
  9. By: Steven Nafziger (Williams College); Latika Chaudhary (Scripps College); Aldo Musacchio (Harvard Business School); Se Yan (Peking University)
    Abstract: Our paper provides a comparative perspective on the development of public primary education in four of the largest developing economies circa 1910: Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). These four countries encompassed more than 50 percent of the world’s population in 1910, but remarkably few of their citizens attended any school by the early 20th century. We present new, comparable data on school inputs and outputs for BRIC drawn from contemporary surveys and government documents. Recent studies emphasize the importance of political decentralization, and relatively broad political voice for the early spread of public primary education in developed economies. We identify the former and the lack of the latter to be important in the context of BRIC, but we also outline how other factors such as factor endowments, colonialism, serfdom, and, especially, the characteristics of the political and economic elite help explain the low achievement levels of these four countries and the incredible amount of heterogeneity within each of them.
    Keywords: Brazil, Russia, India, China, economic history, education, political economy, elites
    JEL: N30 O15 I22 I28
    Date: 2011–06
  10. By: Aidt, Toke S. (Faculty of Economics); Jensen, Peter S. (Department of Business and Economics)
    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 (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 suffrage reform in two samples of European countries covering the period from 1820 to 1938. We find strong support for the ‘threat of revolution theory’. We also find some evidence that war triggered suffrage reform, whereas ‘modernization theory’ receives little support.
    Keywords: The extension of the voting franchise; democracy; threat of revolution; suffrage
    JEL: D70 P16
    Date: 2011–10–18
  11. By: Tadeusz Kowalski (Poznan University of Economics); Yochanan Shachmurove (Department of Economics, University of Pennsyslvania and The City College of The City University of New York)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the causes and implications of recent financial crises. Financial crises in general lead to changes in both theory and practice of economics. The paper takes an historical overview. The global consensus of economic theory during the 20th century is discussed. The paper describes the Bretton Woods regime after World War II, details the era of adaptive expectations and motivates the emerging of the rational expectations school of thoughts. Various perspectives on the causes of the financial crisis are incorporated. The paper provides some policy suggestions and remarks on the consequences of ever-changing capital markets.
    Keywords: Financial crises; The United States Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission; The 2010 Economic Report of the United States President; Keynsian Theory; Adaptive Expectations; Rational Expectations; Monetary and Fiscal Policies; Business Cycles; Regulations; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); World Trade Organization (WTO); Trade Liberalization; United States; China; Euro; Econometric Policy Evaluation
    JEL: B0 E0 E3 E4 E5 E6 F0 F3 F4 G0 H3 H6 K2 O51 P1 R3
    Date: 2011–07–06
  12. By: Harrison, Mark (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: In 1949 the Cold War was picking up momentum. The Soviet state had entered its most secretive phase. The official rationale of secrecy was defense against external enemies. One of the Gulag’s most important secrets was the location of its labour camps, scattered across the length and depth of the Soviet Union. As this secret was guarded more and more closely, the camps began to drop out of the Soviet economic universe, losing the ability to share necessary information and do business with civilian persons and institutions without disclosing a state secret: their own location. For some months in 1949 and 1950, the Gulag’s camp chiefs and central administrators struggled with this dilemma without achieving a resolution. This episode teaches us about the costs of Soviet secrecy and raises basic questions about how secrecy was calibrated.
    Keywords: Cold War, Forced Labour, Secrecy, Transaction Costs, Soviet Union
  13. By: Alexandre Mendes Cunha (Cedeplar-UFMG); Gustavo Britto (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: The article assesses the work of Celso Furtado (1920-2004) in the 1970s, when the author promotes an ambitious attempt to redefine the field of development economics. Furtado's works have recently been revisited by several authors, including in the field of history of economic thought. The text is devoted to explore how the author challenges development theory’s perceived failure to explain the reality of underdeveloped nations in the late 1970s by expanding the scope of analysis and giving culture a pivotal role in the dynamics of development and underdevelopment. This theoretical movement happens at the time in which development economics begins to drift out of the mainstream of economic theory. Hence, unlike the concept of underdevelopment introduced in the 1950s, the discussion of creativity and dependence encounters an adverse intellectual landscape, even though it represents one of the author’s most original contributions.
    Keywords: Celso Furtado, development, underdevelopment, creativity, culture.
    JEL: B20 O14
    Date: 2011–07
  14. By: Jung, Florian; Sunde, Uwe
    Abstract: This paper studies the endogenous emergence of political regimes, in particular democracy, oligarchy and mass dictatorship, in societies in which productive resources are distributed unequally and institutions do not ensure political commitments. The political regime is shown to depend on resource inequality as well as on economic development, reflected in the production structure. The main results imply that for any level of development there exists a distribution of resources such that democracy is the political outcome. This distribution is even independent of the particular development level if the income share generated by the poor is sufficiently large. On the other hand, there are distributions of resources for which democracy is infeasible in equilibrium irrespective of the level of development. The model also delivers results on the stability of democracy. Variations in inequality across several dimensions due to unbalanced technological change, immigration or changes in the demographic structure affect the scope for democracy or may even lead to its breakdown. The results are consistent with the different political regimes that emerged in Germany after its unification in 1871.
    Keywords: Income inequality, development, democracy, coalition formation, factor endowments, demographic structure.
    JEL: P16 O10 H10
    Date: 2011–07
  15. By: Michael C. Burda; Jennifer Hunt
    Abstract: Germany experienced an even deeper fall in GDP in the Great Recession than the United States, with little employment loss. Employers’ reticence to hire in the preceding expansion, associated in part with a lack of confidence it would last, contributed to an employment shortfall equivalent to 40 percent of the missing employment decline in the recession. Another 20 percent may be explained by wage moderation. A third important element was the widespread adoption of working time accounts, which permit employers to avoid overtime pay if hours per worker average to standard hours over a window of time. We find that this provided disincentives for employers to lay off workers in the downturn. Although the overall cuts in hours per worker were consistent with the severity of the Great Recession, reduction of working time account balances substituted for traditional government-sponsored short-time work.
    JEL: E24 E32 J6
    Date: 2011–06
  16. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Michiru Sawada (Nihon University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the structure and implications of interbank networks in prewar Japan, focusing on director interlocking. We find that approximately half the banks had at least one connection with another bank through director interlocking, and that a bank that had connections with other banks was less likely to fail than a bank without a network. The quality of networks also matters in the sense that the failure probability of a bank with a network was negatively associated with the profitability of the connected banks. On the other hand, there is no strong evidence of financial contagion through networks. In addition, networks of director interlocking contributed to the stabilization of the financial system through coordinating bank mergers.
    Date: 2011–07
  17. By: Becker, Sascha O; Cinnirella, Francesco; Woessmann, Ludger (University of Warwick, University of Munich)
    Abstract: While  women’s  employment  opportunities,  relative  wages,  and  the  child quantity quality trade-off have been studied as factors underlying  historical fertility limitation, the role of parental education has received  little  attention.  We  combine  Prussian  county  data  from  three  censuses—1816,  1849,  and  1867—to  estimate  the  relationship  between women’s education and their fertility before the demographic  transition.  Despite  controlling  for  several  demand  and  supply  factors,  we  find  a  negative  residual  effect  of  women’s  education  on  fertility.  Instrumental variable estimates, using exogenous variation in women's education driven by differences in landownership inequality, suggest that the effect of women's education on fertility is casual.
    Keywords: Demographic transition; female education; fertitility; Nineteenth Century Prussia
  18. By: Alan Fernihough (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: In this article I measure the child quantity-quality relationship in 1911 Ireland. My analysis shows that sibship size had a strong impact on the probability of school enrollment in both Belfast and Dublin. However, the magnitude of the relationship varied considerably across different cohorts, most noticeably between the two cities. The existence of this relationship shows how the demographic transition played a vital role in the expansion of human capital and is highly consistent with the theoretical foundations of various long-run growth theories.
    Keywords: Quantity-Quality, Human Capital, Demographic Transition, Unified Growth Theory
    Date: 2011–07–05
  19. By: Jaco Zuijderduijn; Tine De Moor; Jan Luiten van Zanden (Utrecht University)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the functioning of private capital markets in Holland in the late medieval period. We argue that in the absence of banks and state agencies involved with the supply of credit, entrepreneurs access to credit was determined by two interrelated factors. The first was the quality of property rights protection and the extent to which property could be used as collateral. The second was the level of interest in borrowing money at the time, as well as such borrowing compared with the interest rates on risk-free investments. For our case study, the small town of Edam, and its hinterland, De Zeevang, in the fifteenth and sixteenthcentury, we demonstrate that properties were used as collateral on a large scale, and that interest rates on both small and large loans were relatively low (about six per cent). As a result, many households (whether headed by men or women) owned financial assets and/or debts, and the degree of financial sophistication was relatively high.
    Keywords: credit markets, Holland, late Middle Ages, NIE, micro-credit
  20. By: Tena Junguito, Antonio
    Abstract: Section 1 offers an analysis of the evolution in the external orientation of the Spanish export and import series in the contex of the international economy. Section 3 studies the structural changes produced in the export and import series in relation to Spanish economic growth. The paper ends with some brief conclusions of the main results analysed in the preceding sections
    Keywords: Crecimiento económico; Importaciones; Exportaciones; España;
  21. By: Ivo Bićanić; Oriana Vukoja
    Date: 2009–10
  22. By: Howard Glennerster
    Abstract: The distribution of wealth is widening in many countries and with it the importance of inherited wealth. In 1974 a Labour Government came to power in the United Kingdom committed to introducing an annual wealth tax. It left office without doing so. Using the official archives of the time and those of a key advisor this paper traces both the origins of the policy and its fate in Whitehall. It explores two related questions. What does this experience tell us about the role of the civil service in the policy process in the UK and what lessons might be learned by those wishing to tackle the issue of widening wealth disparities today?
    Keywords: wealth tax, policy process, UK Treasury
    JEL: H27
    Date: 2011–06
  23. By: Crafts, Nicholas (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of competition in productivity performance 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
  24. By: Christian Morrisson; Fabrice Murtin
    Abstract: This paper presents a historical database on educational attainment in 74 countries for the period 1870-2010, using perpetual inventory methods before 1960 and then the Cohen and Soto (2007) database. The correlation between the two sets of average years of schooling in 1960 is equal to 0.96. We use a measurement error framework to merge the two databases, while correcting for a systematic measurement bias in Cohen and Soto (2007) linked to differential mortality across educational groups. Descriptive statistics show a continuous spread of education that has accelerated in the second half of the twentieth century. We find evidence of fast convergence in years of schooling for a sub-sample of advanced countries during the 1870-1914 globalization period, and of modest convergence since 1980. Less advanced countries have been excluded from the convergence club in both cases.
    Keywords: Education, school enrolment, inequality
    Date: 2009–09
  25. By: Garrouste, Christelle
    Abstract: This report presents the macro data on educational reforms collected for the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The first and chore part provides an analytical overview of the educational reforms that may have affected the skill level of Europe’s elderly population. More specifically, it targets the national institutional plans or movements that have brought (or attempted to bring) systemic change in educational practices during the last century (e.g., pedagogical theories, curriculum reforms and operational structures). Furthermore, through a simple application correlating compulsory education laws and the evolution of the number of years of education, this report demonstrates the scope and potentialities of the database. Finally, the appendix lists all the data collected by country and level of education.
    Keywords: SHARELIFE; contextual data; education reforms
    JEL: I2 Y1 J1 J24 H52
    Date: 2010
  26. By: Nadia Jacoby (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: Avec cet ouvrage paru en 1982, Nelson & Winter posent les bases d'une nouvelle théorie économique : la théorie évolutionniste. Cet ouvrage séminal est le fruit de près de 20 années de recherches, initiées avec l'article de Winter " Economic "natural selection" and the theory of the firm " paru en 1964 dans Yale Economic Essays. Partant d'une critique fondamentale de l'orthodoxie économique, et plus particulièrement d'une critique du principe de maximisation et de la recherche de solutions optimales, Nelson & Winter proposent une théorie alternative du changement économique. Pour cela, ils empruntent à la fois des idées simples à la biologie mais se réfèrent également à Schumpeter et à Simon envers qui ils expriment leur plus grande dette intellectuelle.
    Date: 2010
  27. By: Diamond, Peter A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Mortensen, Dale T. (Northwestern University); Pissarides, Christopher A. (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Interview with the 2010 Laureates in Economic Sciences Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides, 6 December 2010. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Editorial Director of Nobel Media.
    Keywords: Search frictions;
    JEL: E24 J64
    Date: 2010–12–06
  28. By: Andreas Reinstaller (WIFO)
    Abstract: This paper gives a selective overview on contributions studying issues of complexity, near-decomposability and modularity in relation to economic behaviour and the theory of the firm. In the first part the paper reviews contributions studying the relationship between human problem solving in the face of complex problems and the emergence of specific technological and organisational designs. The second part of the paper reviews recent research that has studied the impact of modular designs in the organisation of production at the firm level on industrial organisation and dynamics. The paper draws some conclusions on future avenues of research.
    Keywords: Innovation decision, catching up, distance to frontier
    Date: 2011–06–28
  29. By: Robert Hoffmann (Nottingham University Business School)
    Abstract: This article surveys the experimental economics approach to the study of religion. The field has a place in the context of the scientific study of religion generally and the social psychology of religion in particular, but employs distinct economic methods which promise new and different insights. In particular, certain features of the experimental approach as used by economists such as incentive compatibility are particularly appropriate for studying the effect of religion on individual behaviour. The paper discusses results obtained so far in terms of two roles of religion in shaping individual behaviour, i.e. as a social group identifier and as a set of values.
    Keywords: Religion, Religiosity, Experiments
    Date: 2011–06–28
  30. By: Francisco M. Parejo Moruno (Universidad de Extremadura)
    Abstract: The main objective of this work is to analyze the measures implemented during the Franco dictatorship over the period 1939㈀1959 to revive the exports of cork products, which had fallen sharply since the beginning of the crisis of 1929. The first measure, implemented in 1939 and 1940, was granting tax reliefs to exporters of several cork products; its impact on commercial traffic of cork was very low. The second measure was the establishment, between 1946 and 1950, of a subsidies system for cork exports, which allowed the recovery of the Spanish cork exports. Yet, these were classified as dumping by the United States and created a trade conflict, which forced its repeal. Immediately after this repeal, cork products were incorporated into the multiple exchange rates mechanism in force in Spain since 1948, a system of hidden subsidies that allowed an improvement in cork exports during the 1950's. The work also examines whether the objective of protecting domestic industry, through the promotion of cork manufactures exports, was limited by the need of obtaining foreign exchange from exports. The incentives that the dictatorship applied for the export of raw cork that was in turn needed by the industry to work with, seems to point to such limit. (Main text in Spanish)
    Keywords: cork, cork industry, dumping export subsidies
    JEL: N00 N50 N70
    Date: 2011–06
  31. By: Paola Azar (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Sebastián Fleitas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: During 2004 and 2005, the United States became the main importer of Uruguayan goods, which was unusual when compared to the recent past. This gave raise to a public debate about the future of commercial (and non-commercial) relationships with this important trade partner. The aim of this paper is to analyze the path of the commercial relationship between Uruguay and the United States during 1930-2005 in order to identify historical episodes when it acquired more significance. The evidence reported four main episodes in which both countries became closer during the period. Each one was featured by a particular institutional arrangement, based on the interaction of both strategic interests of the United States and the internal circumstances prevailing in Uruguay.
    Keywords: trade, United States of America, Uruguay, institutional arrangements
    JEL: N76 N72 F50
    Date: 2010–05
  32. By: Antonio Cubel (Universidad de Valencia); Vicente Esteve (Universidad de Valencia y Universidad de la Laguna); Juan Sanchis (Universidad de Valencia y ERI-CES); María Teresa Sanchis (Universidad de Valencia)
    Abstract: Este trabajo analiza el impacto de la innovación, tanto doméstica como extranjera, sobre la evolución de la Productividad Total de los Factores (PTF) de la economía española en la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Para ello se estima una versión revisada de la especificación empírica de Coe y Helpman (1995), en la que el stock de conocimiento doméstico y extranjero se aproximan a partir de datos de gasto en I+D. Además, también controlamos por la evolución del capital humano. Nuestros resultados sugieren que la entrada de tecnología extranjera ha tenido un impacto positivo y significativo sobre la evolución de la PTF en España, siendo este impacto superior al efecto de la innovación doméstica. El análisis también concede un papel destacado a la inversión en capital humano como determinante de la evolución de la PTF.
    Keywords: España: segunda mitad del siglo XX; transferencia internacional de tecnología; patentes; productividad; técnicas de cointegración
    Date: 2011–06
  33. By: Paola Azar (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Sebastián Fleitas (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This article discusses the public expenditure management in Uruguay between 1910 and 2000, in relation to the government resources oriented to social protection. It considers the domestic long run income-elasticity of the public expenditure. Then, it studies the cyclical performance of the total and social public expenditure in order to determine whether the country has “protected” its social spending in times of cyclical downturns and fiscal constraints. Taking historic stages corresponding to different fiscal regimes during the period it concludes that, despite the traditional focus of public policy on social protection, the fiscal management has not been especially attentive to stabilize the social public expenditure.
    Keywords: social expenditure, business cycle, fiscal imbalances
    JEL: N36 N16 E62
    Date: 2009–09
  34. By: Cardone Riportella, Clara; Cazorla Papis, Leonardo
    Abstract: Desde una perspectiva dinámica y temporal, este trabajo pretende aportar luz sobre las estrategias de internacionalización y modos de entrada desplegados por los cuatro grupos bancarios españoles que tienen una mayor presencia física en el continente -Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Banco de Santander, Banco Central-Hispano, y ARGENTARIA-. Entre las principales conclusiones del trabajo, podemos señalar que el inicio de la década de los años 90 constituye el punto de inflexión del proceso, pudiendo diferenciar en función del modelo de internacionalización empleado "un antes" y "un después". Observamos que teniendo en cuenta la "percepción del riesgo" y el "nivel de recursos a comprometer", las entidades bancarias españolas han adoptado en el tiempo dos estrategias de internacionalización diferenciadas: un modelo "lineal o gradual" y un modelo "oportunista o contingente". Por último, indicar que la decisión de efectuar Inversión Directa en el Exterior, además del nivel de recursos comprometidos y del nivel de riesgo percibido, ha estado condicionadas en el tiempo por variables relativas al sector y factores de localización del país destino de la inversión.
    Keywords: Proceso de internacionalización; Decisiones de entrada en mercados extranjeros; Internacionalización de los servicios; Internacionalizaci6n de la banca española;

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