New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒03‒08
27 papers chosen by

  1. New research methods of business history By Lepore, Amedeo
  2. Russia’s Home Front, 1914-1922: The Economy By Harrison, Mark; Markevich, Andrei
  3. Geography is not Destiny. Geography, Institutions and Literacy in England, 1837-1863 By Gregory Clark; Rowena Gray
  4. The gap between recognition and the 'compensation business' : the claim against Britain for compensation by Kenya's former Mau Mau fighters By Tsuda, Miwa
  5. The Philippine National Bank and Credit Inflation after World War I By Yoshiko Nagano
  6. Culture and the Historical Process By Nathan Nunn
  7. The SO2 Allowance Trading System and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990: Reflections on Twenty Years of Policy Innovation By Gabriel Chan; Robert Stavins; Robert Stowe; Richard Sweeney
  8. Right-Wing Political Extremism in the Great Depression By Alan de Bromhead; Barry Eichengreen; Kevin H. O'Rourke
  9. Rural labour markets and rural conflict in Spain before the Civil War (1931-1936) By Jordi Domenech
  10. Greater Moderations By John W. Keating; Victor J. Valcarcel
  11. On the historical and geographic origins of the Sicilian mafia By Buonanno, Paolo; Durante, Ruben; Prarolo, Giovanni; Vanin, Paolo
  12. Neither So Low Nor So Short: Wages and Heights in Bourbon Spanish America from an International Comparative Perspective By Rafael Dobado-Gonzáles; Héctor García-Montero
  13. Social Policies and the Fall in Inequality in Brazil: Achievements and Challenges By Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza
  14. Engines of Growth: Farm Tractors and Twentieth-Century U.S. Economic Welfare By Richard H. Steckel; William J. White
  15. All Because of Euro? On Some Structural Changes in the Italian Foreign Trade, 1960-2000 By Giorgio Rampa
  16. Does Inequality Lead to a Financial Crisis? By Michael D. Bordo; Christopher M. Meissner
  17. From Property Rights and Institutions, to Beliefs and Social Orders: Revisiting Douglass North’s Approach to Development. By Dellepiane-Avellaneda, Sebastian
  18. Mercati informali del credito agrario nella Palestina di fine Impero Ottomano: un'analisi dell'evoluzione dei contratti bay-wafa, salam e muzaraah nel distretto di Haifa (1890-1915) By Ecchia, Stefania
  19. Western Europe’s Growth Prospects: an Historical Perspective By Crafts, Nicholas
  20. Whatever works: uncertainty and technological hybrids in medical innovation By Barbera, David; Consoli, Davide
  21. Trends in Income and Price Elasticities of Transport Demand (1850-2010) By Roger Fouquet
  22. The Rise and Fall of Unions in the U.S. By Emin Dinlersoz; Jeremy Greenwood
  23. Fiscal Rules: Theoretical Issues and Historical Experiences By Charles Wyplosz
  24. The Incentive Effects of Marginal Tax Rates: Evidence from the Interwar Era By Christina D. Romer; David H. Romer
  25. La finanza pubblica e le imposte sui consumi (1862-1913) By Villani, Salvatore
  26. La valeur psychologique du temps : Une synthèse de la littérature By Hubert De La Bruslerie; Florent Pratlong
  27. Optimization, Path Dependence and the Law: Can Judges Promote Efficiency? By Marciano, Alain; Khalil, Elias L.

  1. By: Lepore, Amedeo
    Abstract: Business history, while not clearly established or widely recognized, is an open framework that can include in addition to issues related to the evolving economy, business, market and business, other areas of institutional, cultural and social, related to contemporary events resulting from the long process of industrialization. The first industrial revolution began in the late eighteenth century, the next highest industrial processing of the second half of the nineteenth century, the mass industrialization of the twentieth century and the new post-Fordist landscape of the twenty-first century are the historical landmarks that anchor the activities of a phenomenon that has accompanied the various stages of development of the world economy and, over time characterized by the primacy of capitalist production Buoyancy. Not to deny that in earlier times there have been significant events or structures and there were also areas of significant value to the business history, but want to say that the central focus for the growth of this area is the spread of the capitalist system within industry, agriculture, services, accounting and finance. In summary, business history is an essential element, in terms of quality, for understanding the economic fabric of a country, consistently dynamic and comparative.
    Keywords: Business History; Traditional methods of study; New methodologies for research; Open Innovation; Long Tail;
    JEL: N8 N01 N00
    Date: 2012–02–07
  2. By: Harrison, Mark (University of Warwick); Markevich, Andrei (New Economic School, Moscow)
    Abstract: This paper describes the main trends of the Russian economy through the Great War (1914 to 1917), Civil War (1918 to 1921), and postwar famine (1921 to 1922) for the general reader. During its Great War mobilization the Russian economy declined, but no more than other continental economies under similar pressures. In contrast, the Civil War inflicted the greatest economic trauma that Russians suffered in the course of the twentieth century. The paper identifies the main shocks in each period evaluates the relative contributions of circumstances and policy, and sums up their historical significance.
    Keywords: Civil War, Russia, Soviet Union, World War I
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Gregory Clark (University of California, Davis); Rowena Gray (University of Essex)
    Abstract: Geography made rural society in the south-east of England unequal. Economies of scale in grain growing created a farmer elite and many landless labourers. In the pastoral north-west, in contrast, family farms dominated, with few hired labourers and modest income disparities. Engerman and Sokoloff (2012) argue that such differences in social structure between large plantations in the southern Americas, and family farming in the north, explain the rise of schooling in the north, and its absence in the south. We show, however, that rural literacy across England 1810-45 was not determined by geographically driven inequality. There were substantial differences in literacy by region, but driven by culture not geography. Geography is not destiny.
    Keywords: Comparative regional history, European education history, human capital development
    JEL: N93 N33 O15
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Tsuda, Miwa
    Abstract: During the first Kibaki administration (2002-2007), a movement by the former Mau Mau fighters demanded recognition for the role that they had played in the achievement of independence. They began to demand, also, monetary compensation for past injustices. Why had it taken over 40 years (from independence in 1963) for the former Mau Mau fighters to initiate this movement? What can be observed as the outcome of their movement? To answer these questions, three different historical currents need to be taken into account. These were, respectively, changing trends in the government of Kenya, progress in historical research into the actual circumstances of colonial control, and a realization, based on mounting experience, that launching a legal action against Britain could turn out to be a lucrative initiative. This paper concludes that, regardless of the actual purpose of the legal case, neither of their objectives was certain to be achieved. Two inescapable realities remain: the doubts cast on the reputation of the government by its decision to lift the Mau Mau‟s outlaw status – a decision that was widely seen as a latter-day example of the „Kikuyu favouritism‟ policy followed by the first Kibaki administration – and the popular interpretation of the involvement of Leigh Day, well known in Kenya ever since the unexploded bombs case for its success in obtaining substantial compensation payments, as a vehicle for squeezing large amounts of money from the British government for the benefit of the Kikuyu people.
    Keywords: Kenya, Great Britain, Independence movements, Guerrillas, Colonies, Ethnic problem, Compensation, Ethnicity, Kibaki, Colonization, Kikuyu, Mau Mau
    Date: 2012–02
  5. By: Yoshiko Nagano
    Abstract: This paper discusses the mismanagement of the Philippine National Bank during the financial crisis of 1919-1922, with special reference to its extravagant commercial and industrial loans. First, it examines the financial condition of the Bank from about 1913 through the early 1920s against the background of the expansion of loan business and the export boom. Second, the Bank's role is discussed in the light of the development of three major export sectors: Manila hemp (abaca) trading, coconut processing, and sugar processing. Third, the blatant illegitimacy of the Bank's lending is detailed, given the virtual across-the-board direct involvement of the Bank's board members in the ownership and management of the companies active in these businesses.
    Date: 2012–01
  6. By: Nathan Nunn
    Abstract: This article discusses the importance of accounting for cultural values and beliefs when studying the process of historical economic development. A notion of culture as heuristics or rules-of-thumb that aid in decision making is described. Because cultural traits evolve based upon relative fitness, historical shocks can have persistent impacts if they alter the costs and benefits of different traits. A number of empirical studies confirm that culture is an important mechanism that helps explain why historical shocks can have persistent impacts; these are reviewed here. As an example, I discuss the colonial origins hypothesis (Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson, 2001), and show that our understanding of the transplantation of European legal and political institutions during the colonial period remains incomplete unless the values and beliefs brought by European settlers are taken into account. It is these cultural beliefs that formed the foundation of the initial institutions that in turn were key for long-term economic development.
    JEL: B52 N00
    Date: 2012–02
  7. By: Gabriel Chan (Harvard Kennedy School); Robert Stavins (Harvard Kennedy School); Robert Stowe (Harvard Kennedy School); Richard Sweeney (Harvard Kennedy School)
    Abstract: The introduction of the U.S. SO2 allowance-trading program to address the threat of acid rain as part of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 is a landmark event in the history of environmental regulation. The program was a great success by almost all measures. This paper, which draws upon a research workshop and a policy roundtable held at Harvard in May 2011, investigates critically the design, enactment, implementation, performance, and implications of this path-breaking application of economic thinking to environmental regulation. Ironically, cap and trade seems especially well suited to addressing the problem of climate change, in that emitted greenhouse gases are evenly distributed throughout the world’s atmosphere. Recent hostility toward cap and trade in debates about U.S. climate legislation may reflect the broader political environment of the climate debate more than the substantive merits of market-based regulation.
    Keywords: Cap-and-Trade, Market-Based Environmental Policy, Acid Rain, Sulfur Dioxide, Clean Air Act Amendments
    JEL: Q52 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2012–02
  8. By: Alan de Bromhead; Barry Eichengreen; Kevin H. O'Rourke
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the Great Depression on the share of votes for right-wing anti-system parties in elections in the 1920s and 1930s. We confirm the existence of a link between political extremism and economic hard times as captured by growth or contraction of the economy. What mattered was not simply growth at the time of the election but cumulative growth performance. But the effect of the Depression on support for right-wing anti-system parties was not equally powerful under all economic, political and social circumstances. It was greatest in countries with relatively short histories of democracy, with existing extremist parties, and with electoral systems that created low hurdles to parliamentary representation. Above all, it was greatest where depressed economic conditions were allowed to persist.
    JEL: N0 N14
    Date: 2012–02
  9. By: Jordi Domenech
    Abstract: This paper looks at the causes of rural conflict in 1930s Spain. Rather than stressing bottom-up forces of mobilisation linked to poor harvests and rural unemployment or the inability of the state to enforce reformist legislation, this paper explores the role of state policy in sorting out the acute coordination and collective action problems of mobilising rural labourers. I do so by looking at the effects of intervention on rural labour markets in dry-farming areas of Spain (parts of Castile and of Andalusia). Given the difficulties of constructing a conclusive test of my hypothesis, I follow three indirect testing strategies. Firstly, I look at the qualitative evidence on the functioning of labour markets in dry-farming areas of Spain. Secondly, because my argument implies the existence of severe restrictions to the labour supply of rural labourers during the harvest in the early 1930s, I study the evolution of harvest-to-winter wage ratios before and after the passing of legislation. Thirdly, in order to show that alternative hypotheses to explain rural conflict are not consistent with the historical record, I study the diffusion of union offices and general strikes in the early 1930s in several dry-farming provinces of Spain.
    Keywords: Agricultural labour markets, collective action, conflict, unions, wage differentials, migration, Spain
    JEL: N34 K31 J22 J31 J38 J43 J51 J52 J61
    Date: 2012–01
  10. By: John W. Keating (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas); Victor J. Valcarcel (Department of Economics, Texas Tech University)
    Abstract: We decompose a 219 year sample of U.S. real output data into permanent and transitory shocks. We find reductions in volatility of output growth and inflation, starting in the mid 1980s, consistent with the “Great Moderation” noted by many others. More importantly, we find periods of even more substantial reduction in volatilities. Output growth and inflation volatilities fell by 60% and 76%, respectively, from shortly after World War II until the mid 1960s. We label this period the Postwar Moderation. Also, the largest reduction in inflation volatility occurred during the Classical Gold Standard period. Results from our empirical model suggest that aggregate supply shocks account for most of the changes in output growth volatility while aggregate demand shocks account for most of the changes in inflation volatility. The timing of the Postwar Moderation, which began almost immediately after passage of the Employment Act of 1946, suggests that policy played a crucial role in this period’s impressive decline in volatilities.
    Keywords: The Great Moderation, stochastic volatility, structural VAR
    JEL: E30 E31 E65
    Date: 2012–02
  11. By: Buonanno, Paolo; Durante, Ruben; Prarolo, Giovanni; Vanin, Paolo
    Abstract: This research attempts to explain the large differences in the early diffusion of the mafia across different areas of Sicily. We advance the hypothesis that, after the demise of Sicilian feudalism, the lack of publicly provided property-right protection from widespread banditry favored the development of a florid market for private protection and the emergence of a cartel of protection providers: the mafia. This would especially be the case in those areas (prevalently concentrated in the Western part of the island) characterized by the production and commercialization of sulphur and citrus fruits, Sicily's most valuable export goods whose international demand was soaring at the time. We test this hypothesis combining data on the early incidence of mafia across Sicilian municipalities and on the distribution of sulphur reserves, land suitability for the cultivation of citrus fruits, distance from the main commercial ports, and a variety of other geographical controls. Our empirical findings provide support for the proposed hypothesis documenting, in particular, a significant impact of sulphur extraction, terrain ruggedness, and distance from Palermo's port on mafia's early diffusion.
    Keywords: Organized crime; Mafia; Private protection; Persistence; Trade shocks; Sulfur; Citrus fruits
    JEL: F10 N93 O13 K42
    Date: 2011–05–01
  12. By: Rafael Dobado-Gonzáles (Universidad Complutense); Héctor García-Montero (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: This paper offers new quantitative evidence on living standards in Bourbon America through the study of wages and heights. Neither were wages low nor were heights short by the international standards of the period. Thus, living standards of the Spanish Americans compare favourably with those of other regions of the world, including Europe. As in many parts of the West, a trend towards deterioration of real wages is observed in Spanish America at the end of the period. Our findings suggest that the Great Divergence in living standards between Spanish America and the developed Western countries might have taken place mainly after the Independence.
    Date: 2012–02
  13. By: Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza (Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA))
    Abstract: By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the most usual international depiction of Brazil is that of a burgeoning, upcoming country. Although in many ways frankly exaggerated, this marks a stark contrast with a not-so-distant past. This turnaround has had a lot to do with favourable international circumstances, but it also owes a lot to extensive reforms that made possible something that was almost unprecedented in Brazil: pro-poor growth. (?)
    Keywords: Social Policies and the Fall in Inequality in Brazil: Achievements and Challenges
    Date: 2012–02
  14. By: Richard H. Steckel; William J. White
    Abstract: The role of twentieth-century agricultural mechanization in changing the productivity, employment opportunities, and appearance of rural America has long been appreciated. Less attention has been paid to the impact made by farm tractors, combines, and associated equipment on the standard of living of the U.S. population as a whole. This paper demonstrates, through use of a detailed counterfactual analysis, that mechanization in the production of farm products increased GDP by more than 8.0 percent, using 1954 as a base year. This result suggests that studying individual innovations can significantly increase our understanding of the nature of economic growth.
    JEL: N52 O30 Q16
    Date: 2012–03
  15. By: Giorgio Rampa (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Pavia)
    Abstract: Using a long-run series of I-O tables, some simple facts are explored with respect to the Italian trade balance in the period 1960-2000. The analysis confirms that the Italian economy underwent a de-specialisation process before the Euro era. This phenomenon weakened our export capacity, and in addition worsened significantly our dependence on non-oil imports.
    JEL: C67 E01 F14
    Date: 2011–06
  16. By: Michael D. Bordo; Christopher M. Meissner
    Abstract: The recent global crisis has sparked interest in the relationship between income inequality, credit booms, and financial crises. Rajan (2010) and Kumhof and Rancière (2011) propose that rising inequality led to a credit boom and eventually to a financial crisis in the US in the first decade of the 21st century as it did in the 1920s. Data from 14 advanced countries between 1920 and 2000 suggest these are not general relationships. Credit booms heighten the probability of a banking crisis, but we find no evidence that a rise in top income shares leads to credit booms. Instead, low interest rates and economic expansions are the only two robust determinants of credit booms in our data set. Anecdotal evidence from US experience in the 1920s and in the years up to 2007 and from other countries does not support the inequality, credit, crisis nexus. Rather, it points back to a familiar boom-bust pattern of declines in interest rates, strong growth, rising credit, asset price booms and crises.
    JEL: E51 N1
    Date: 2012–03
  17. By: Dellepiane-Avellaneda, Sebastian
    Abstract: Douglass North is a uniquely creative and inspiring social scientist. The impact of North’s ideas in the area development cooperation can hardly be overstated. By stressing the role of institutions, this scholar has immensely influenced development thinking and practice, providing intellectual underpinnings to the dominant good governance paradigm. North’s landmark Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance is one of the most cited books in the social sciences. This paper contends, however, that North’s ideas are widely cited, but not always properly understood. Moreover, some of his core arguments have been overlooked, ignored, or misrepresented, not least by the aid community. This paper provides a systematic assessment of the content and evolution of North’s writings, from his pioneering works on property rights and institutions in the 1970s, to his recent scholarship on beliefs and political violence. The focus is on identifying the key analytical problems and remaining challenges of the institutional approach to development. The paper also takes issue with the inconsistencies and policy gaps of the good governance consensus. In doing so, it also reflects upon the future of the research program on institutions and development. Would the renewed emphasis on politics, conflict, inequality, and context lead to an improved governance agenda or to a shift towards a post-institutionalist paradigm?
    Date: 2012–01
  18. By: Ecchia, Stefania
    Abstract: The paper examines the role of the informal rural credit markets in the palestinian agricultural development at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The analysis starts from the long term effects of the legal reforms, particularly the Ottoman Land Code, on the performance of these markets. Such effects are evident in the evolution of bay-wafa, salam and muzaraah contracts, typical of the rural credit markets, that are recorded in the acts of the Public Notary of Haifa during the years 1890-1915. These contracts show an emerging network of interlinked credit markets, managed by the local notables, at the core of the agricultural growth of late Ottoman Palestine.
    Keywords: Ottoman Palestine; informal rural credit markets; Ottoman Land Code
    JEL: N45 N55 N0 N25
    Date: 2012–02
  19. By: Crafts, Nicholas (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper surveys the recent history of Western European growth. It concludes that this experience has been disappointing and that further reforms are desirable in many countries. The requirement for reform comes both from achieving ‘close-to-frontier’ status and from the opportunities provided by the new technological era. The paper goes on to consider the effects that the current crisis may have on medium-term growth rates. The lesson from the 1930s is that, if the current crisis leads to a similarly bad downturn, the policy reaction in terms of greater state intervention will not be conducive to improved growth prospects.
    Keywords: catch-up growth; general purpose technology; social capability; supply-side policy
    Date: 2012
  20. By: Barbera, David; Consoli, Davide
    Abstract: The persistent uncertainty that looms over the search for solutions to health problems offers important conceptual insights for the study of technological change. This paper explores the notion of hybridization, namely the embodiment of multiple competing operational principles within a single medical device, as strategy to deal with the practical shortcomings due to said uncertainty. The history of the development of the hybrid artificial disk affords the elaboration of an alternative view of hybridization and, at the same time, the articulation of a dualism between medical science as area of basic research (e.g. what disease is) and as practical knowledge (e.g. how disease can be tackled).
    Keywords: Medical innovation; Hybridization; Uncertainty; Technological evolution; Implantable medical devices
    Date: 2011–12–16
  21. By: Roger Fouquet
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to estimate trends in income and price elasticities and to offer insights for the future growth in transport use, with particular emphasis on the impact of energy and technological transitions. The results indicate that income and price elasticities of passenger transport demand in the United Kingdom were very large (3.1 and -1.5, respectively) in the mid-nineteenth century, and declined since then. In 2010, long run income and price elasticity of aggregate land transport demand were estimated to be 0.8 and -0.6. These trends suggest that future elasticities related to transport demand in developed economies may decline very gradually and, in developing economies, where elasticities are often larger, they will probably decline more rapidly as the economies develop. Because of the declining trends in elasticities, future energy and technological transitions are not likely to generate the growth rates in energy consumption that occurred following transitions in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, energy and technological transitions, such as the car and the airplane, appear to have delayed and probably will delay declining trends in income and price elasticity of aggregate land transport demand.
    Keywords: Energy Services, Demand, Transport, Economic Development, Rebound Effect.
    Date: 2012–02
  22. By: Emin Dinlersoz (Bureau of the Census); Jeremy Greenwood (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Union membership displayed an inverted-U-shaped pattern over the 20th century, while the distribution of income sketched a U. A model of unions is developed to analyze these phenomena. There is a distribution of firms in economy. Firms hire capital, plus skilled and unskilled labor. Unionization is a costly process. A union decides how many firms to organize and its members' wage rate. Simulation of the developed model establishes that skilled-biased technological change, which affects the productivity of skilled labor relative to unskilled labor, can potentially explain the above facts. Statistical analysis suggests that skill-biased technological change is an important factor in de-unionization.
    Keywords: Computers; Distribution of Income; Flexible Manufacturing; Mass Production; Numerically Controlled Machines; Panel-Data Regression Analysis; Relative Price of New Equipment; Skill-Biased Technological Change; Simulation Analysis; Union Coverage; Union Membership; Deunionization
    JEL: J51 J24 L23 L11 L16 O14 O33
    Date: 2012–02
  23. By: Charles Wyplosz
    Abstract: Fiscal indiscipline is a feature of many developed countries. It is generally accepted that the source of the phenomenon lies in the common pool problem, the fact that recipients of public spending to fail to fully internalize the costs that taxpayers must assume. As a result, democratically elected governments are led to postpone tax collection, or to cut spending. Solving the fiscal discipline problem requires internalizing this externality. This calls for adequate institutions or for rules, or both. This paper reviews the various types of solutions that have been discussed in the literature and surveys a number of experiments. With the European debt crisis in mind, the paper pays particular attention to the common pool problem that emerges in federal states. The main conclusions are the following. First, rules are unlikely to exist unless they come with supporting institutions. Second, fiscal institutions are neither necessary nor sufficient to achieve fiscal discipline, but they help. Third, because institutions must bind the policymakers without violating the democratic requirement that elected officials have the power to decide on budgets, effective arrangements are those that give institutions the authority to apply legal rules or to act as official watchdogs.
    JEL: E61 E62 H62 H77
    Date: 2012–03
  24. By: Christina D. Romer; David H. Romer
    Abstract: This paper uses the interwar period in the United States as a laboratory for investigating the incentive effects of changes in marginal income tax rates. Marginal rates changed frequently and drastically in the 1920s and 1930s, and the changes varied greatly across income groups at the top of the income distribution. We examine the effect of these changes on taxable income using time-series/cross-section analysis of data on income and taxes by small slices of the income distribution. We find that the elasticity of taxable income to changes in the log after-tax share (one minus the marginal rate) is positive but small (approximately 0.2) and precisely estimated (a t-statistic over 6). The estimate is highly robust. We also examine the time-series response of available indicators of investment and entrepreneurial activity to changes in marginal rates. We find suggestive evidence of an impact on business formation, but no evidence of an important impact on other indicators.
    JEL: E62 H24 H31 N42
    Date: 2012–02
  25. By: Villani, Salvatore
    Abstract: In questo lavoro, s’intende mostrare come le decisioni adottate in materia di finanza pubblica all’indomani dell’unificazione politica dello Stato italiano, o per meglio dire del Regno d’Italia, abbiano influito negativamente sui meccanismi della produzione e della redistribuzione della ricchezza, contribuendo ad accrescere, piuttosto che a ridurre, gli storici squilibri esistenti fra gli ex-Stati della nostra penisola. La diminuzione della pressione tributaria sulla terra (oltre alla sua non uniforme distribuzione) ed il contemporaneo accrescimento del peso esercitato dalle imposte indirette, in special modo dai dazi comunali di consumo, appaiono al riguardo sintomatici. Dall’analisi effettuata nel lavoro risulta, in particolare, come la differenziazione dei dazi interni di consumo abbia prodotto effetti perversi, sia sul consumo sia sulla produzione (ripercussioni sui salari, sui costi di produzione; riduzione dei consumi; turbative per l’industria e per la libera circolazione delle merci sul territorio nazionale; incentivo al contrabbando e all’evasione fiscale), ma soprattutto ingiuste disparità di trattamento fiscale, danneggiando i ceti più poveri, le classi agricole del Mezzogiorno continentale e quelle regioni del Paese ove erano concentrati i centri più popolati (come il Napoletano e alcuni Comuni dell’Italia centrale).
    Keywords: Public Finance; Consumption Taxes; State and Local Government; National Unity
    JEL: H70 H20
    Date: 2011–05–20
  26. By: Hubert De La Bruslerie (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine); Florent Pratlong (PRISM-Sorbonne - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Cet article procède à une synthèse de la littérature sur la question de la valeur psychologique du temps. Il discute des différents déterminants du taux d'actualisation et la possibilité d'avoir une fonction d'escompte de type hyperbolique. L'approche historique permet de retracer les origines du concept de valeur psychologique du temps. Ce concept est ensuite rediscuter dans le cadre de la théorie des perspectives, en considérant que l'utilité ressentie de l'agent vient modifier la structure de leur valeur psychologique du temps. L'analyse des résultats empiriques et des méthodologies d'identification permet de mettre en évidence que motifs individuels et psychologiques conditionnent le caractère intertemporel des choix.
    Keywords: Taux d'actualisation; choix intertemporel; actualisation hyperbolique; préférence pour le présent
    Date: 2012
  27. By: Marciano, Alain; Khalil, Elias L.
    Abstract: The thesis that judges could (voluntarily or not) promote efficiency through their decisions has largely been discussed since Posner put it forward in the early 1970s. There nonetheless remains a methodological aspect that has never (to our knowledge) been analyzed and that we address in this paper. We thus show that both promoters and critics of the judge-and-efficiency thesis similarly use a definition of optimization in which history, constraints and path-dependency are viewed as obstacles that must be removed to reach the most efficient outcome. This is misleading. Efficiency cannot be defined in absolute terms, as a “global ideal” that would mean being free from any constraint, including historically deposited ones. That judges are obliged to refer to the past does not mean that they are unable to make the most efficient decision because constraints are part of the optimization process; or optimization is necessarily path- dependent. Thus, the output of legal systems cannot be efficient or inefficient per se. This is what we argue in this paper.
    Keywords: Judicial decision making; Historical inertia; Inefficiency; Adaptationism; Spandrelism; Global ideal; Rationality; Lock-in institutions.
    JEL: B40 B52 K00
    Date: 2012–02

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