nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒02‒08
five papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. From divergence to convergence: re-evaluating the history behind China’s economic boom By Brandt, Loren; Ma, Debin; Rawski, Thomas G.
  2. Hand looms, power looms, and changing production organizations: the case of the Kiryu weaving district in the early 20th century Japan By Hashino, Tomoko; Otsuka, Keijiro
  3. Un aperçu historique de l’économie expérimentale : des origines aux évolutions récentes By Daniel Serra
  4. Economic Determinants of Third-Party Intervention in Civil War By Bove, Vincenzo; Sekeris, Petros
  5. Econophysics of a religious cult: the Antoinists in Belgium [1920-2000] By Marcel R. Ausloos

  1. By: Brandt, Loren; Ma, Debin; Rawski, Thomas G.
    Abstract: China’s long-term economic dynamics pose a formidable challenge to economic historians. The Qing Empire (1644-1911), the world’s largest national economy prior to the 19th century, experienced a tripling of population during the 17th and 18th centuries with no signs of diminishing per capita income. In some regions, the standard of living may have matched levels recorded in advanced regions of Western Europe. However, with the Industrial Revolution a vast gap emerged between newly rich industrial nations and China’s lagging economy. Only with an unprecedented growth spurt beginning in the late 1970s has the gap separating China from the global leaders been substantially diminished, and China regained its former standing among the world’s largest economies. This essay develops an integrated framework for understanding this entire history, including both the long period of divergence and the more recent convergent trend. The analysis sets out to explain how deeply embedded political and economic institutions that had contributed to a long process of extensive growth subsequently prevented China from capturing the benefits associated with new technologies and information arising from the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, the gradual erosion of these historic constraints and of new obstacles created by socialist planning eventually opened the door to China’s current boom. Our analysis links China’s recent economic development to important elements of its past, while using the success of the last three decades to provide fresh perspectives on the critical obstacles undermining earlier modernization efforts, and their removal over the last century and a half.
    JEL: B1 O53 N0
    Date: 2012–01
  2. By: Hashino, Tomoko; Otsuka, Keijiro
    Abstract: This study finds that the development process of the Kiryu silk weaving district in Japan from 1895 to 1930 can be divided at least into the two phases, i.e., Smithian growth based on the inter-firm division of labor using hand looms and Schumpeterian development based on factory system using power looms. Weaving manufacturers-cum-contractors led Smithian growth by organizing sub-contracts with out-weavers in rural villages and grew faster than factory production systems. Newly emerged joint stock firms played a role of genuine entrepreneurs by realizing significant scale economies. During this new phase, weaving manufacturers-cum-contractors survived and also introduced new production system.
    Keywords: industrial district; production organizations; weaving industry; 20th century Japan; economic development
    JEL: B1 O53 N0 R14 J01
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: Daniel Serra
    Abstract: L’économie a longtemps été considérée comme une science non expérimentale. En quelques décennies seulement, le paysage de la recherche économique s’est radicalement transformé : la méthode expérimentale occupe désormais une place reconnue dans la boîte à outils de l’économiste. Une histoire complète et cohérente de l’économie expérimentale reste à écrire. L’article vise simplement à en donner un aperçu qui respecte la chronologie, mentionne les moments forts de son évolution et identifie les pionniers de la discipline en même temps que les représentants des principaux programmes de recherche qui l’innervent. Il propose de fragmenter artificiellement l’histoire de l’économie expérimentale en quatre grandes étapes aux frontières peu précises qualifiées ainsi : (i) l’émergence : de la fin de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale au tout début des années 1960 (ii) un lent démarrage : les décennies 1960 et 1970 (iii) le décollage : les années 1980 (iv) la maturité : depuis le milieu de la décennie 1990.
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Bove, Vincenzo (University of Essex); Sekeris, Petros (University of Namur)
    Abstract: Our paper explores the economic conditions that lead third parties to intervene in ongoing internal wars. We develop a formal model that ties together some of the main forces driving the decision to interfere in a civil war, including the economic benefits accruing from the intervention and the potential costs associated with such choice. We predict that third party interventions are most likely in civil conflicts where the country at war harbors a profitable industry as a consequence of its high levels of peace-time production and state strength, while the opposition forces’ strength reduces the likelihood of intervention. We also present novel empirical results on the role of valuable goods, i.e. oil, in prompting third party military intervention in contexts of high state stability, by using a dataset on intrastate conflicts on the period 1960-1999.
    Keywords: Intrastate Conflict; Third party intervention
    JEL: D74 D82 H56
    Date: 2011–12–01
  5. By: Marcel R. Ausloos
    Abstract: In the framework of applying econophysics ideas in religious topics, the finances of the Antoinist religious movement organized in Belgium between 1920 and 2000 are studied. The interest of investigating financial aspects of such a, sometimes called, sect stems in finding characteristics of conditions and mechanisms under which definitely growth AND decay features of communities can be understood. The legally reported yearly income and expenses between 1920 and 2000 are studied. A three wave asymmetric regime is observed over a trend among marked fluctuations at time of crises. The data analysis leads to propose a general mechanistic model taking into account an average GDP growth, an oscillatory monetary inflation and a logistic population drift.
    Date: 2012–01

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