New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒04‒10
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. A Series of Unfortunate Events: Common Sequencing Patterns in Financial Crises By Carmen M. Reinhart
  2. Las cajas de ahorro y el cambio tecnológico antes de Internet, 1945-1995 By Maixe-Altes, J. Carles
  3. Steel, style and status: the economics of the cantilever chair, 1929-1936 By Vogelgsang, Tobias
  4. Wandering through the Borderlands of the Social Sciences: Gary Becker's Economics of Discrimination By Jean-Baptiste Fleury
  5. Keynesian Historiography and the Anti-Semitism Question By E. Roy Weintraub
  6. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism the Haugian Way. By Grytten, Ola H.
  7. British Economic Growth, 1270-1870: an output-based approach By Stephen Broadberry; Bruce Campbell; Alexander Klein; Mark Overton; Bas van Leeuwen
  8. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger? The Impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic on Economic Performance in Sweden By Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese; Pichler, Stefan
  9. Migration as a rural development strategy and the migrants involved : an account of a migrants' hometown in Sichuan, China By Yamaguchi, Mami
  10. Interbank Networks in Prewar Japan: Structure and Implications Interbank Networks in Prewar Japan: Structure and Implications By Okazaki, Tetsuji; Sawada, Michiru
  11. "Global Financial Crisis: A Minskyan Interpretation of the Causes, the Fed's Bailout, and the Future" By L. Randall Wray
  12. How can Language be linked to Economics? A Survey of Two Strands of Research By Weiguo Zhang; Gilles Grenier
  13. Ética y Justicia. Reflexiones a partir de The Idea of Justice de Amartya Sen By Mejía Cubillos, Javier

  1. By: Carmen M. Reinhart
    Abstract: We document that the global scope and depth of the crisis the began with the collapse of the subprime mortgage market in the summer of 2007 is unprecedented in the post World War II era and, as such, the most relevant comparison benchmark is the Great Depression (or the Great Contraction, as dubbed by Friedman and Schwartz, 1963) of the 1930s. Some of the similarities between these two global episodes are examined but the analysis of the aftermath of severe financial crises is extended to also include the most severe post-WWII crises as well. As to the causes of these great crises, we focus on those factors that are common across time and geography. We discriminate between root causes of the crises, recurring crises symptoms, and common features (such as misguided financial regulation or inadequate supervision) which serve as amplifiers of the boom-bust cycle. There are recurring temporal patterns in the boom-bust cycle and their broad sequencing is analyzed.
    JEL: E32 E44 E50 F30 F33 G01 N20
    Date: 2012–03
  2. By: Maixe-Altes, J. Carles
    Abstract: Technical advances in retail banking have had profound repercussions for the competitiveness of individual firms and for the sector as a whole. This paper looks at the role played by new technological resources within the context of organizational change and the products and services offered by Spanish savings banks. These entities constitute an excellent case study, given that they have been incorporating technology intensively, particularly since the 1960’s. In the case in question, persistence had little influence on the process of technological change. However, the mechanization of operations, the computerization of administrative systems and the establishment of data transfer networks were all exceptional and premature in the way in which they developed. It was the banking industry, prior to other sectors that stimulated the demand for certain technologies, which was somewhat idiosyncratic when compared to other countries.
    Keywords: productivity; retail banking; savings banks; technological change; Spain; Europe
    JEL: N24 O33 N84 G21
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: Vogelgsang, Tobias
    Abstract: The cantilever chair is an iconic consumer product of the twentieth century and stands for a modern, progressive lifestyle. It is expensive, often used to furnish exclusive spaces and thereby the opposite of its original artistic vision from the late 1920s. By way of comparing historical prices and wages, this paper establishes that the cantilever chair was never a cheap mass commodity but almost immediately acquired an upmarket status with corresponding prices. This is accounted for by programmatic demands of the creative environment from which the chair originated, through the chair's legal status as artwork, consumer tastes, strategic marketing choices and ultimately institutions.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2012–03
  4. By: Jean-Baptiste Fleury
    Keywords: Gary Becker, discrimination, history of economics
    Date: 2012
  5. By: E. Roy Weintraub
    Keywords: John Maynard Keynes, discrimination, history of economics
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Grytten, Ola H. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: On the basis of availabale sources the present paper seeks to map entrepreneural industrial activities the Norwegian puritan revivalist Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824) was involved in and quantify his financial activities. It also tries to map entrepreneural activities by his followers. The paper concludes that these activities must have played a decisive role for the economic development in Norway during the nineteenth century.
    Keywords: Norwegian puritan revivalist Hans Nielsen Hauge; entrepreneural industrial activities.
    JEL: N23 N33 N63 N83 O14 O16
    Date: 2012–04–02
  7. By: Stephen Broadberry; Bruce Campbell; Alexander Klein; Mark Overton; Bas van Leeuwen
    Abstract: This paper reconstructs GDP from the output side for medieval and early modern Britain. In contrast to the long run stagnation of living standards suggested by daily real wage rates, output-based GDP per capita exhibits modest but positive trend growth. One way of reconciling the two series is through variation in the annual number of days worked, but there are also reasons to doubt the representativeness of the sharp rise and fall of daily real wage rates in the late middle ages, which creates the impression of no trend improvement of living standards.
    Keywords: Economic Development; Economic Growth; National Income
    JEL: O11 O40 E01
    Date: 2012–01
  8. By: Karlsson, Martin (Technische Universität Darmstadt); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Pichler, Stefan (Technische Universität Darmstadt)
    Abstract: We study the impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic on economic performance in Sweden. The pandemic was one of the severest and deadliest pandemics in human history, but it has hitherto received only scant attention in the economic literature – despite important implications for modern-day pandemics. In this paper, we exploit seemingly exogenous variation in incidence rates between Swedish regions to estimate the impact of the pandemic. Using difference in-differences and high-quality administrative data from Sweden, we estimate the effects on earnings, capital returns and poverty. We find that the pandemic led to a significant increase in poverty rates. There is also relatively strong evidence that capital returns were negatively affected by the pandemic. On the other hand, we find robust evidence that the influenza had no discernible effect on earnings. This finding is surprising since it goes against most previous empirical studies as well as theoretical predictions.
    Keywords: Spanish Flu; Difference-in-Differences
    JEL: I18 J31 O40
    Date: 2012–04–04
  9. By: Yamaguchi, Mami
    Abstract: This paper attempts to describe part of the history of Chinese rural migration to urban industrial areas. Using a case study of a township in Sichuan, the author examines a type of rural development which she defines as a "bottom-up" style strategy of regional development. Different types of social mobility are observed in the case study, and over its long history, migration in the township has offered diverse means of social mobility to the local peasants. The paper concludes by considering the diversity and limits of Chinese social mobility at this stage.
    Keywords: China, Population movement, Social change, Migration, Social mobility, Rural development
    JEL: I39 J49 J61 J68 R23
    Date: 2012–03
  10. By: Okazaki, Tetsuji; Sawada, Michiru
    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.
    Keywords: Networks, Banks, Director Interlocking, Mergers, Japan
    JEL: G21 G34 L14 L22 N25
    Date: 2011–07
  11. By: L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: This paper provides a quick review of the causes of the Global Financial Crisis that began in 2007. There were many contributing factors, but among the most important were rising inequality and stagnant incomes for most American workers, growing private sector debt in the United States and many other countries, financialization of the global economy (itself a very complex process), deregulation and desupervision of financial institutions, and overly tight fiscal policy in many nations. The analysis adopts the "stages" approach developed by Hyman P. Minsky, according to which a gradual transformation of the economy over the postwar period has in many ways reproduced the conditions that led to the Great Depression. The paper then moves on to an examination of the US government's bailout of the global financial system. While other governments played a role, the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve assumed much of the responsibility for the bailout. A detailed examination of the Fed's response shows how unprecedented—and possibly illegal-was its extension of the government's "safety net" to the biggest financial institutions. The paper closes with an assessment of the problems the bailout itself poses for the future.
    Keywords: Hyman Minsky; Global Financial Crisis; Financialization; Money Manager Capitalism; Bank Bailout; Quantitative Easing; Financial Crisis Inquiry Report; Fraud; Minsky Moment; Real Estate Bubble; MERS; Federal Reserve
    JEL: B31 E30 E32 E50 G21
    Date: 2012–03
  12. By: Weiguo Zhang (Center fo Economic Rsearch, Shandong University, 27 South Shanda Road, Shandong, P.R.China,250100); Gilles Grenier (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, 55 Laurier E., Ottawa,Ontario)
    Abstract: As the use of languages is playing a more and more important role in economic activities with the globalization of the world economy, there is growing interest in the relationship between language and economic theory. The rapidly expanding literature in this field, however, is highly fragmented. It is difficult to tell what this field of study focuses on, what has actually been investigated, and what remains to be studied. The authors attempt to review, assess and categorize the major orientations of the research on the economics of language. Those include a traditional strand of research that has focused on language and economic status, the dynamic development of languages, and language policy and planning, as well as a new strand based on game theory and pragmatics. The authors propose the use of the term “Language and economics” to define this area of research.
    Keywords: economics of language, language skill, human capital, language planning, game theory, pragmatics.
    JEL: A12 J24 C79
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Mejía Cubillos, Javier
    Abstract: This paper carries out a brief analysis of Amartya Sen’s thinking on Justice, based on Part IV of his book The Idea of Justice. Besides of describing Sen’s thoughts on the subject, the paper aims to contextualize it in the evolution of Sen’s work and in the general discussion on Justice in economic theory, reconsidering his identity as a non utilitarian philosopher and reevaluating its importance in the history of economic thought. This work is important because it contributes to a better understanding of the most recent ideas of one of the most influential thinkers in moral discussion. The theory of Justice proposed by Sen has clear pragmatic features and does not pretend to determine an ideal set of conditions under which one can speak of absolute justice. In his theory, Justice does not require the existence of particular institutions, the subsistence of identical preferences among the members of society or the development of specific behaviors. The argumentative axis of his theory is the concept of public reasoning, whereby society would have to determine what Justice is about. Thus, Sen analyzes the main elements that would affect public reasoning in a society, including Democracy, as the ideal system for social dialogue, and Liberty, as a key factor of human welfare.
    Keywords: Amartya Sen; Ethics; Justice; Utilitarianism; Consequentialism
    JEL: B31 D63 A13 B41
    Date: 2012–03–13

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