nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2011‒10‒01
nineteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Floating against the tide : Spanish monetary policy, 1870-1931 By Pablo Martín-Aceña; Elena Martínez Ruiz; Pilar Noguer Marco
  2. The contribution of railways to economic growth in Latin America before 1914: a growth accounting approach By Herranz-Loncan, Alfonso
  3. Citation Success: Evidence from Economic History Journal Publications By Gianfranco Di Vaio; Daniel Waldenström; Jacob Weisdorf
  4. A Brief History of Regulations Regarding Financial Markets in the United States: 1789 to 2009 By Alejandro Komai; Gary Richardson
  5. Monthly GDP Estimates for Inter-War Britain By Mitchell, J.; Solomou, S.; Weale, M.
  6. Bringing the Diplomat Back In: Elements of a New Historical Research Agenda By Karen Gram-Skjoldager
  7. Internet, IT-boomen och reklambranschen under andra hälften av nittiotalet - Transkript av ett vittnesseminarium på ABF-huset i Stockholm den 17 februari 2010. By Sjöblom (red.), Gustav; Axelsson (red.), Ann-Sofie; Broberg (red.), Oskar
  8. Decolonization by Europeanization? The Early EEC and the Transformation of French-African Relations By Martin Rempe
  9. Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France By Bignon, Vincent; Caroli, Eve; Galbiati, Roberto
  10. Democracy and violence in Colombia during the Barco administration (1986-1990) By Benedict Hayes
  11. The Contribution of Douglass North to New Institutional Economics By Claude Ménard; Shirley Mary M.
  12. Human development in Africa : a long-run perspective By Leandro Prados de la Escosura
  13. On Envelope Theorems in Economics: Inspired by a Revival of a Forgotten Lecture By Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf
  14. Monetarism By Juravle , Daniel
  15. La escuela de Chicago en Argentina By Juan Carlos de Pablo
  16. A Decade of Editing the European Economic Review By Eckstein, Zvi; Gal-Or, Esther; Gylfason, Thorvaldur; von Hagen, Jürgen; Pfann, Gerard A.
  17. Law & Economics Perspectives on Electricity Regulation By Adrien de Hauteclocque; Yannick Perez
  18. L'encours de la dette publique libellée en rentes sur la ville 1610-1715 By Katia Béguin; Pierre-Charles Pradier
  19. (Petite) histoire de la discrimination (dans les assurances) By Pierre-Charles Pradier

  1. By: Pablo Martín-Aceña; Elena Martínez Ruiz; Pilar Noguer Marco
    Abstract: The gold standard began to emerge as a universal monetary system in the late 1870s, and it had spread throughout the world economy by 1900. It was unusual for nations to be off the gold standard, and it meant that they were detached from the international financial community. Spain never joined the gold standard club in any of its varieties, either before or after 1914. Unlike the vast majority of the European currencies, the peseta’s exchange rate fluctuated, sometimes widely, against gold and gold currencies. Gold convertibility was suspended in 1883 and never resumed. Nevertheless, the monetary authorities were aware that the Spanish economy, off the gold standard, was an outlier in the international economy and made plans to put the peseta on gold both before and after 1914.Why Spain never adopted the gold standard is a complex issue, and our paper offers a possible answer by examining the behaviour of an issuing bank that refused to accept, or resisted, its role as a central bank. Our study also provides a basis for a comparison between the Bank of Spain, some of its features and policies, with other peripheral issuing institutions. Moreover, our paper encompasses both the pre-war and the post-war periods, which allows us to present both the similarities and the differences in the exchange and monetary policies of the Spanish authorities during the era of the classical gold standard and the years of the gold exchange standard
    Keywords: Gold standard, Monetary policy, Bank of Spain
    JEL: E42 E58 N10
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Herranz-Loncan, Alfonso
    Abstract: Railways are usually considered as one of the most important innovations that fostered the transition of Latin America to economic growth before 1914. The social saving estimates that are available for several Latin American countries seem to confirm that view. However, the interpretation of the results of the social saving literature is not straightforward, since the comparison among social savings calculated for different countries and years may be troublesome, and the actual meaning of the social saving estimates is not clear. This paper suggests an alternative approach to the economic impact of railways in Latin America. It presents estimates of the direct growth contribution of the railway technology in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay before 1914, which are calculated on the basis of the growth accounting methodology. The outcomes of the estimation indicate that railway effects on Uruguayan economic growth were very low. By contrast, in the other three cases under study (Argentina, Mexico and Brazil) the railways provided huge direct benefits. In Argentina and Mexico, these amounted to between one fifth and one quarter of the total income per capita growth of the period under analysis. By contrast, in the case of Brazil, the outcomes of the analysis indicate that the direct contribution of railways to growth would have been higher than the whole income per capita growth of the Brazilian economy before 1914. This unexpected result might suggest that the national level is not the most adequate scale to analyse the economic impact of network infrastructure in the case of large, geographically unequal and insufficiently integrated developing economies.
    Keywords: Railways; Latin America; Economic Growth
    JEL: N76
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Gianfranco Di Vaio; Daniel Waldenström; Jacob Weisdorf
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of citation success among authors who have recently published their work in economic history journals. Besides offering clues about how to improve one’s scientific impact, our citation analysis also sheds light on the state of the field of economic history. Consistent with our expectations, we find that full professors, authors appointed at economics and history departments, and authors working in Anglo-Saxon and German countries are more likely to receive citations than other scholars. Long and coauthored articles are also a factor for citation success. We find similar patterns when assessing the same authors’ citation success in economics journals. As a novel feature, we demonstrate that the diffusion of research – publication of working papers, as well as conference and workshop presentations – has a first-order positive impact on the citation rate.
    Keywords: Citation Analysis, Scientific Impact, Bibliometrics, Research Diffusion, Poisson Regression
    Date: 2011–09
  4. By: Alejandro Komai; Gary Richardson
    Abstract: In the United States today, the system of financial regulation is complex and fragmented. Responsibility to regulate the financial services industry is split between about a dozen federal agencies, hundreds of state agencies, and numerous industry-sponsored self-governing associations. Regulatory jurisdictions often overlap, so that most financial firms report to multiple regulators; but gaps exist in the supervisory structure, so that some firms report to few, and at times, no regulator. The overlapping jumble of standards; laws; and federal, state, and private jurisdictions can confuse even the most sophisticated student of the system. This article explains how that confusion arose. The story begins with the Constitutional Convention and the foundation of our nation. Our founding fathers fragmented authority over financial markets between federal and state governments. That legacy survives today, complicating efforts to create a financial system that can function effectively during the twenty-first century.
    JEL: G2 G21 G22 G28 N2 N21 N22
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Mitchell, J.; Solomou, S.; Weale, M.
    Abstract: We derive monthly and quarterly series of UK GDP for the inter-war period from a set of monthly indicators that were constructed by The Economist at the time. The monthly information is complemented with data for quarterly industrial production, allowing us to employ mixed-frequency methods to produce monthly estimates of GDP and of industrial production. We proceed to illustrate how the new data compare with existing high frequency data and how they can be used to contribute to our understanding of the economic history of the UK in the inter-war period and to draw comparisons between recession profiles in the inter-war and the post-war period.
    JEL: N34 C82
    Date: 2011–09–14
  6. By: Karen Gram-Skjoldager
    Abstract: In the 20th century and since 1945 in particular the institution of diplomacy has changed. While traditional bilateral diplomatic relations have expanded rapidly as a consequence of decolonisation, other developments have challenged the very nature of existing diplomatic practices. The overall aim of this paper is to reflect on how, from a historical starting point, one can grapple with the changes diplomacy has undergone in an increasingly interconnected and institutionally integrated world. It argues that in order to do so it is necessary to bring the historical study of diplomacy into dialogue with recent transnational perspectives and to draw inspiration from the political and social sciences. It tentatively attempts to develop such a new historical approach and it conducts a pilot study into how increased regional European economic cooperation in the 1950s and 1960s contributed to reshaping diplomatic roles and patterns of actions in the Danish Foreign Service.
    Keywords: Denmark
    Date: 2011–02–15
  7. By: Sjöblom (red.), Gustav (Chalmers); Axelsson (red.), Ann-Sofie (Chalmers); Broberg (red.), Oskar (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This publication is a commented transcript of a witness seminar in February 2010 within the research project ”The Swedish digital wonder in the advertising industry”. The purpose of the seminar, which was open to the public, was to document the shifting boundaries between the advertising, media, and information technology industries in the wake of the breakthrough of the Internet from the mid-1990s. We invited six persons, who at that time were centrally placed in these industries, to share their reminiscences and comment on testimonies of the other participants. The seminar was moderated by two researchers in the project. The transcript has been edited prudently in order to improve the readability while preserving the colloquial character. We have moreover provided the transcript with explanatory footnotes and a short introduction. The purpose of publishing the transcript in this series is twofold: to create an oral history source and make it accessible, but also to introduce the witness seminar as an historical documentation method in economic history and business history.<p>
    Keywords: advertising; economic history; information technology; internet; media; methodology; oral history; witness seminars
    JEL: L22 L26 L82 L86 M13 M37 N01 N74 O33
    Date: 2011–09–23
  8. By: Martin Rempe
    Abstract: Françafrique, Francophonie, l’état franco-africain and Mafiafrique – all these terms are commonly used if one comes to talk about French-African relations after the severing of colonial ties in 1960. Even though they bear slightly different meanings, they share the notion of a very close, stable, and continuous if not to say colonially-styled relationship. According to the relevant literature, the European Economic Community (EEC) acted thereby as a stabilizing instrument. Against this backdrop, the paper tries to present new perspectives on the complex relationship between the EEC, France and its former African colonies associated to the community since 1958. The paper explores to what extent France’s belonging to the EEC triggered Europeanization processes that directly affected French-African relations and eventually acted in favor of decolonization of metropolitan France. I will argue that in the course of the 1960s, emulation of community procedures as well as supranational legal coercion to a certain extent transformed French development co-operation and trade relations with the Francophone African states and in the end fostered France’s regional reconfiguration towards Europe.
    Keywords: Mediterranean; Mediterranean; Europeanization; Europeanization
    Date: 2011–05–02
  9. By: Bignon, Vincent; Caroli, Eve; Galbiati, Roberto
    Abstract: Using department level administrative data from 1826 to 1936 we document the evolution of crime rates in 19th century France and we estimate the impact of a negative income shock on crime. Our identification strategy exploits the phylloxera crisis. Between 1863 and 1890, phylloxera destroyed about 40% of French vineyards. Using the departmental variation in the timing of this shock we instrument wine production and we identify the effects of the shock on property and violent crime rates. Our estimates suggest that the phylloxera crisis did not significantly impact on violent crimes but caused a strong increase in property crimes. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the phylloxera crisis caused an increase in property crime rates of about ten percent.
    Keywords: crime; income shock; phylloxera; 19th century France
    JEL: K42 N33 R11
    Date: 2011–09
  10. By: Benedict Hayes
    Abstract: With its longstanding democratic institutions and high levels of contemporary violence, Colombia represents an anomaly within Latin America. Using a contemporary historical approach, this article examines the administration of President Virgilio Barco (1986-1990) both in terms of its democratic and institutional reforms and national security responses. It discusses how the government managed to push for democratic reforms, in spite of the unprecedented levels of violence.
    Date: 2011–04–30
  11. By: Claude Ménard (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Shirley Mary M. (RCI - Ronald Coase Institute - Ronald Coase Institute)
    Abstract: Douglass North, along with Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, transformed the early intuitions of new institutional economics into powerful conceptual and analytical tools that spawned a robust base of empirical research. NIE arose in response to questions not well explained by standard neoclassical models, such as make or buy and why rich or poor? Today NIE is a success story by many measures: four Nobel laureates in under 20 years, increasing penetration of mainstream journals, and significant impact on major policy debates from anti-trust law to development aid. This paper provides a succinct overview of North's evolving ideas about institutions and explains how North's work shaped the emerging field of new institutional economics and had a potent impact on economics and the social sciences more broadly. North provides a powerful example of how persistent and well placed confidence and hard work can productively transform the status quo. North's influence continues strong and his enthusiasm for exploring new frontiers and cooperating across artificial academic boundaries has never waned.
    Keywords: New Institutional Economics, institutions, transaction costs, development and growth
    Date: 2011–06
  12. By: Leandro Prados de la Escosura
    Abstract: Long-run trends in Africa’s well-being are provided on the basis of a new index of human development, alternative to the UNDP’s HDI. A sustained improvement in African human development is found that falls, nonetheless, short of those experienced in other developing regions. Within Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa has fallen steadily behind the North since mid-20th century. Human development improvement is positively associated to being coastal and resource-rich and negatively to politicaleconomy distortions. Contrary to the world experience, in which life expectancy dominated, education has driven progress in African human development during the last half-a-century and, due to the impact of HIV/AIDS on life expectancy and the arresting effect of economic mismanagement and political turmoil on growth, advances in human development since 1990 have depended almost exclusively on education achievements. The large country variance of the recovery during the last decade suggests being cautious about the future’s prospects
    Keywords: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Human Development, HDI, Life Expectancy, Education
    JEL: O15 O55 I30 N37
    Date: 2011–09
  13. By: Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This paper studies how envelope theorems have been used in Economics, their history and also who first introduced them. The existing literature is full of them and the reason is that all families of optimal value functions can produce them. The paper is driven by curiosity, but hopefully it will give the reader some new insights.
    Keywords: Envelope theorems; names and history; value functions
    JEL: B16 B21 B40
    Date: 2011–09–16
  14. By: Juravle , Daniel
    Abstract: The monetarism, as I have tried to outline in this work is based on the ideas of the American professor Milton Friedman, who tried to revitalize and reconfigure the old quantity theory of money. These ideas were transposed and discussed by authors like Ion Pohoață, Tiberiu Brăilean or Al. Tașnadii and Claudiu Doltu in the works that I have guided the construction of this essay. Thus we observ that one of the basic principles of Friedman’s conceptions was related on budget actions rejection. Actions which in the absence of such money, have little influence on total spending, output and prices, on the significant variables such as macroeconomic. So find a substantive argument in favor of interlocking key economic policies, which can not exist without the other and some which ensures sustainability of state institutions and the economy.
    Keywords: money; prices; liberalism; inflation; unemployment
    JEL: N1 E42 P24 E52 E4 E41
    Date: 2011–09–25
  15. By: Juan Carlos de Pablo
    Abstract: Este trabajo fue escrito por alguien que nunca pisó la universidad de Chicago, y estudió en Harvard. Quienes dedican sus energías a pegarle a los economistas encuentran facilitada su tarea en el caso de la universidad de Chicago. No solamente porque fue fundada por un Rockefeller, y contó entre sus profesores a Milton Friedman, sino también gracias al aporte de muchos egresados de las escuelas de economía de las otras universidades. La presentación busca superar el plano de la caricatura, para ubicarse en la realidad.
    Date: 2011–08
  16. By: Eckstein, Zvi (Tel Aviv University); Gal-Or, Esther (University of Pittsburgh); Gylfason, Thorvaldur (University of Iceland); von Hagen, Jürgen (University of Bonn); Pfann, Gerard A. (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: This story describes the circumstances that led to all five of us starting as editors at the same time, the unexpected things we have found, the unanticipated reactions we have encountered, how we worked as an editorial team, the central role of the editorial office manager, how we managed to work with five different publishers in ten years, the various initiatives we have developed to involve associate editors and referees, the early electronic editing system, and the creation of the essential database of potential referees. We will also describe the difficulties we have encountered in reaching one of our early goals to reduce the median time of first response to less than four months. Along the way, we will share a few anecdotes to illustrate the work of an academic journal editor.
    Keywords: journal, editing, economics
    JEL: A11 A14
    Date: 2011–09
  17. By: Adrien de Hauteclocque; Yannick Perez
    Abstract: This paper first reviews some of the main contributions of the new institutional economics to the analysis of the process of competitive transformation of network industries. It shows that neoinstitutional analysis is complementary to the microeconomics of rational pricing, since it accounts for the decisive role of an institutional framework adapted to new transactions. It emphasizes the importance of the political reform process, which draws on the conditions of attractiveness and feasibility to define an initial reorganization of property rights in these industries. The paper then analyzes in this light some of the main challenges ahead for electricity regulation: the question of investment in generation capacities and the link to long term contracts, the regulation of wholesale market power, the support to Renewable Energy Sources for Electricity (RES-E) and the design of new regulatory authorities.
    Keywords: Electricity Markets; New Institutional Economics; Law & Economics
    Date: 2011–03–31
  18. By: Katia Béguin (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - CNRS : UMR8533 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I - Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis - Université de Paris X - Nanterre - École normale supérieure de Cachan - ENS Cachan, modernité et révolution - EA127 - centre de recherche en histoire moderne - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I : EA127); Pierre-Charles Pradier (SAMM - Statistique, Analyse et Modélisation Multidisciplinaire (SAmos-Marin Mersenne) - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: L'objet de ce texte est strictement limité au comptage de l'encours de la dette publique libellée en RHVP à partir de la liste d'émissions dressée par Katia Béguin (Financer la guerre au XVIIe siècle. La dette publique et les rentiers de l'absolutisme, à paraître, Champ Vallon, 2012) et de quelques hypothèses.
    Keywords: dette souveraine ; france ; louis xiv ; dix-septième siècle ; rentes sur l'hôtel de ville
    Date: 2011–09–15
  19. By: Pierre-Charles Pradier (SAMM - Statistique, Analyse et Modélisation Multidisciplinaire (SAmos-Marin Mersenne) - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: Une étude de l'histoire de la discrimination dans l'assurance montre que les données actuarielles sont rarement suffisantes pour justifier dans le public cette discrimination. On étudie en particulier la discrimination à l'égard des femmes à l'aide de deux exemples. Le premier est emprunté aux assurances sur la vie, le second à l'assurance automobile. Ces exemples de non-application des connaissances actuarielles qui doivent nous conduire à nous interroger sur les conditions d'acceptabilité sociale de la discrimination dans les assurances.
    Keywords: assurance ; assurance-vie ; assurance automobile ; discrimination
    Date: 2011–09–12

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