nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒04‒03
fifteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Strange Birth of Neoliberalism By William Coleman
  2. The Sanguine Science: Historical Contexts of Pigou's Welfare Economics By Norikazu Takami
  3. Labour Markets in Recession and Recovery: The UK and the USA in the 1920s and 1930s. By Timothy J. Hatton; Mark Thomas
  4. The Introduction of Piecework in East Germany, 1945-51 By Wayne Geerling; Gary B. Magee
  5. La competitividad de las exportaciones de vino español y el mercado mundial 1960-2011 By Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo; José M. Martínez-Carrión
  6. Taxation and Development: What Have We Learned from Fifty Years of Research? By Richard M. Bird
  7. Financial crises and financial market regulation: the long record of an ‘emerger’ By Sophia Lazaretou
  8. An Examination of the Work History of Pittsburgh Steelworkers, Who Were Displaced and Received Publicly-Funded Retraining in the Early 1980s By Bednarzik, Robert W.; Szalanski, Joseph
  9. Heidi Tinsman, La tierra para el que la trabaja. Género, sexualidad y movimientos campesinos en la Reforma Agraria chilena. Santiago, Chile. LOM Edici By Diana Maritza Alzate Mejía
  10. Mark Blaug and the Economics of the Arts By Victor Ginsburgh
  11. Corporate Diversification and Firm Value: A Survey of Recent Literature By Stefan Erdorf; Thomas Hartmann-Wendels; Nicolas Heinrichs; Michael Matz
  12. As Good as It Gets ?Blockbusters and the Inequality of Box Office Results Since 1950. By Victor Fernandez-Blanco; Victor Ginsburgh; Juan Prieto-Rodríguez; Sheila Weyers
  13. Relaciones de poder-saber en la doctrina administrativa de Henri Fayol By Diego Adrián Arévalo
  14. Culture Languages and Economics By Victor Ginsburgh; Shlomo Weber
  15. The Role of Speculation in Oil Markets: What Have We Learned So Far? By Fattouh, Bassam; Kilian, Lutz; Mahadeva, Lavan

  1. By: William Coleman
    Abstract: The paper interprets the neoliberalism' of Friedman, Hayek (and others), as a partly successful doctrinal reformulation of 'historical liberalism' that certain material realities had by the mid-20th century proved solvent of. It argues that in the post-War period it was the doctrinal reformulations of political and individual freedom associated with neoliberalism that re-established the potency of ideas of 'free market and 'limited government'.
    Date: 2012–03
  2. By: Norikazu Takami (Institute for International Education, Doshisha University)
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: Timothy J. Hatton; Mark Thomas
    Abstract: We examine the labour market experience of the UK and the US in the recessions of the early 1920s and the early 1930s and the subsequent recoveries. These were deep recessions, comparable to that of 2008-9, but the recoveries were very different. In the UK the recovery of the 1920s was incomplete but that of the 1930s was rather less protracted than in the US. By contrast the US experienced very strong recovery in the 1920s but weaker recovery from the much deeper recession of the 1930s. A key ingredient to understanding these patterns is the interaction between economic shocks and labour market institutions. Here we survey the large literature on interwar labour markets to identify the key elements that underpinned labour market performance. We find that developments in wage setting institutions and in unemployment insurance inhibited a return to full employment in interwar Britain while in the US, New Deal legislation impeded labour market adjustment in the 1930s. We conclude with an assessment of the policy responses to labour market crises in the past and in the present
    JEL: J64 J65 N12 N14
    Date: 2012–03
  4. By: Wayne Geerling; Gary B. Magee
    Abstract: This paper examines the introduction of piecework, a key aspect of the Soviet workplace, in occupied East Germany. As elsewhere, its implementation encountered persistent hostility from the workforce. What made this episode different, though, was that this process occurred within a context of acute economic and political uncertainty. As this paper demonstrates, the party’s various efforts to control the workplace laid the foundations for the Sovietisation of East Germany. This paper utilises a wide range of primary sources to recount this story. It focuses its attention not just on worker resistance, but also on the interactions between party and worker, between different organisations operating within the occupation zone, between the Soviet military and German communists, and within the party itself. It argues that the introduction of piecework was part of a dual process whereby the party acquired control of the economy and then learnt how to direct it. To achieve the latter, it first needed to learn how to control and direct itself. This paper also illustrates the importance of signalling mechanisms in a planned economy.
    Keywords: piecework, signalling, East Germany, norms, workplace relations, socialist competition, sovietisation
    JEL: D03 J31 J53 N34 N44 P31
    Date: 2012–03
  5. By: Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo (Unitat d'Història Econòmica, Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); José M. Martínez-Carrión (Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Murcia)
    Abstract: Este trabajo analiza la evolución y competitividad de las exportaciones españolas de vino en el mercado mundial desde la década de 1960. Con ello explora las respuestas de la industria vinícola durante la globalización del vino. Analiza el comportamiento evolutivo del sector por tipos de vinos y el peso relativo de las exportaciones en volumen, valor y precios unitarios en el mercado mundial. El estudio de la ventaja comparativa del comercio exterior se realiza a través del índice de Ventaja Competitiva Revelada (VCR) o Índice de Balassa. Demuestra que pese al fabuloso crecimiento de las exportaciones entre 1960 y 2011 la industria española sigue especializada en vinos de bajo coste y en exportaciones a granel. Aunque mejoró la calidad y crecieron las exportaciones de vinos embotellados con denominación de origen, la competitividad del sector muestra serias debilidades que la sitúan entre las más bajas de los países especializados.
    Keywords: Ventaja Competitiva Revelada (VCR), exportaciones de vino, industria vinícola, España, la globalización del vino, comercio exterior, especialización
    JEL: F14 L66 N74 Q17
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Richard M. Bird (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: We have learned a great deal about taxation and development over the last half-century. However, we still have much to learn. Even the best research answers to particular questions have usually turned out to be extremely difficult to apply in practice. Over the past fifty years what might be called the standard approach to tax and development has undergone a number of major model changes over the years but no magical fiscal medicine suitable for all has been found. In this brief paper I first attempt to provide a perspective on a half century of work and then to note some questions that seem to call for more research. I emphasize that even the best research is only one of many inputs in shaping public policy and suggest that to some extent the task we face is perhaps not so much to improve research on tax and development as it is to improve how we market what we learn to those who can, if they wish, put the knowledge to use. What is needed is less a non-existent ‘universal fix’ than a fiscal medicine kit containing a variety of remedies and treatments that may help developing countries to cope with the wide variety of fiscal problems that arise at different times and often in different ways.
    Keywords: taxation; development; technical assistance; history of thought
    Date: 2012–01–13
  7. By: Sophia Lazaretou (Bank of Greece)
    Abstract: The main goal of this paper is to trace the long record of financial crises and financial market regulation from the perspective of an emerging economy. Two questions are addressed: first, what explains the incidence and severity of financial crises in an emerging market economy? And, second, what is the role of learning: how does the country learn from its past experience in financial crises to improve institutions and develop better techniques so as to successfully manage successive crisis events? To answer the above questions, I first present evidence on financial crises in Greece over a long time span. Greece has been chosen as an appropriate case-study since it is a country with a rich history in financial crises. I try to identify a variety of crisis events, thus providing a chronology. Moreover, I present a number of facts about the incidence, frequency and severity of crises events. Second, I discuss the key determinants of the crises, which are closely related to country-specific factors, such as credit expansion, fiscal imbalances, and the limited reserve coverage of the monetary base. And third, I deal with the evolution of the regulation. I place emphasis on the post-crisis regulatory responses that changed the country’s institutional developments.
    Keywords: financial crises; emerging economies; sudden stops; financial market regulation.
    JEL: E5 N2
    Date: 2011–10
  8. By: Bednarzik, Robert W. (Georgetown University); Szalanski, Joseph (affiliation not available)
    Abstract: A gap in the displaced worker-training literature is that the post-retraining period has not been studied over the long term. The approach here will be to examine in-depth the experience of a selected few displaced worker trainees over a 20 to 25 year period following their training. With our small sample, but in-depth examination, we will begin to remedy this gap in the literature. To understand better the training programs available for displaced steelworkers, we also interviewed people involved with the development and delivery of training. Further, when we discovered the grass roots growth of organizations to help displaced workers generally, we interviewed them as well. Our findings of the experience of 30 displaced steelworkers in Pittsburgh confirm those in the literature of training program attributes that increase the likelihood of their leading to a job. They include programs that are small scale, linked to the local job market, and focus on developing analytical skills. Two other key components perhaps helping account for the retraining success were assessment and auditing. Entrance into the training program required an intensive screening or assessment process to ensure that (1) the program was right for them, and (2), more importantly, they were capable of handling and grasping the content of the training. Helping displaced workers with tuition payments at a community college also has merit.
    Keywords: training, displaced workers
    JEL: J24 J68
    Date: 2012–03
  9. By: Diana Maritza Alzate Mejía
    Abstract: El libro, al que el presente texto hace referencia, fue escrito por la Doctora en Historia Heidi Tinsman, que en su versión en inglés se titula “Partners in conflicto. The politics of gender, sexuality and labor in the Chilean agrarian reform”.
    Date: 2011–11–30
  10. By: Victor Ginsburgh
    Date: 2012–03
  11. By: Stefan Erdorf (University of Cologne); Thomas Hartmann-Wendels (University of Cologne); Nicolas Heinrichs (University of Cologne); Michael Matz (Bain & Company)
    Abstract: We survey the recent literature on corporate diversification. How does corporate diversification influence firm value? Does it create or destroy value? While, until the beginning of this century, the predominant thinking among researchers and practitioners was that corporate diversification leads to an average discount on firm value, several studies cast doubt on the diversification discount. In the last decade, there has been no clear consensus of whether there is a discount or even a premium on firm value. However, the recent literature concludes that the effect on value differs from firm to firm, and that corporate diversification alone does not drive the discount or premium. Rather, the effect is heterogeneous across certain industry settings, economic conditions, and governance structures.
    Keywords: corporate diversification, firm valuation, internal capital markets, discount, premium
    JEL: G11 G34 L25
    Date: 2012–01
  12. By: Victor Fernandez-Blanco; Victor Ginsburgh; Juan Prieto-Rodríguez; Sheila Weyers
    Date: 2012–03
  13. By: Diego Adrián Arévalo
    Abstract: La doctrina administrativa científica fundada por el ingeniero Henri Fayol, propuso llevar adelante el despliegue, desde el último cuarto del siglo XIX hacia finales del primer cuarto del siglo XX, de un proceso de racionalización sobre el campo administrativo en su totalidad, tanto en su esfera teórica como en su esfera práctica. Por medio de un proceso de normalización, por un lado, se produjo la refundación del fragmentado cuerpo teórico de la administración como una doctrina científica positiva, y por otro, se procedió a llevar a cabo el proyecto permanente de estructuración disciplinaria bajo el modelo de “organización” de cada uno de los patológicos cuerpos sociales de las empresas y de otras instituciones. Éste trabajo se centra exclusivamente en el desarrollo de un análisis foucaultiano general de la justificación epistemológica de la doctrina fayoliana, que funciona como patrón fundamental, como “polo ideal”, en el proceso de normalización del campo administrativo.
    Date: 2011–11–30
  14. By: Victor Ginsburgh; Shlomo Weber
    Date: 2012–03
  15. By: Fattouh, Bassam; Kilian, Lutz; Mahadeva, Lavan
    Abstract: A popular view is that the surge in the price of oil during 2003-08 cannot be explained by economic fundamentals, but was caused by the increased financialization of oil futures markets, which in turn allowed speculation to become a major determinant of the spot price of oil. This interpretation has been driving policy efforts to regulate oil futures markets. This survey reviews the evidence supporting this view. We identify six strands in the literature corresponding to different empirical methodologies and discuss to what extent each approach sheds light on the role of speculation. We find that the existing evidence is not supportive of an important role of speculation in driving the spot price of oil after 2003. Instead, there is strong evidence that the co-movement between spot and futures prices reflects common economic fundamentals rather than the financialization of oil futures markets.
    Keywords: Financialization; Fundamentals; Futures market; Oil price; Speculation; Spot market
    JEL: G15 G28 Q43
    Date: 2012–03

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