nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒07‒01
nine papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The impact of "early" nineteenth-century globalization on foreign trade in the Southern Cone: A study of British trade statistics By Manuel Llorca-Jaña
  2. Explaining wheat yields in eighteenth-century Spain By Carlos Santiago-Caballero
  3. Finding Eldorado: Slavery and Long-run Development in Colombia By Daron Acemoglu; Camilo García-Jimeno; James A. Robinson
  4. The Impact of Female Employment on Male Wages and Careers: Evidence from the English Banking Industry, 1890-1941 By Seltzer, Andrew
  5. Love, War and Cultures: an Institutional Approach to Human Evolution By Ugo Pagano
  6. Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S. By Olivier Coibion; Yuriy Gorodnichenko; Lorenz Kueng; John Silvia
  7. The Rise and Fall of Unions in the U.S. By Emin Dinlersoz; Jeremy Greenwood
  8. No institution is a free lunch: a reconstruction of Ronald Coase By Ugo Pagano
  9. Evaluating Macroeconomic Forecasts: A Concise Review of Some Recent Developments By Philip Hans Franses; Michael McAleer; Rianne Legerstee

  1. By: Manuel Llorca-Jaña
    Abstract: This paper deals with the impact of "early" nineteenth-century globalization (c.1815-1860) on foreign trade in the Southern Cone (SC). Most of the evidence is drawn from bilateral trades between Britain and the SC, at a time when Britain was the main commercial partner of the new republics. The main conclusion drawn is that early globalization had a positive impact on foreign trade in the SC, and this was due to: improvements in the SC's terms of trade during this period; the SC's per capita consumption of textiles (the main manufacture traded on world markets at that time) increased substantially during this period, at a time when clothing was one of the main items of SC household budgets; British merchants brought with them capital, shipping, insurance, and also facilitated the formation of vast global networks, which further promoted the SC's exports to a wider range of outlets.
    Keywords: Lost decades; Anglo-Latin American trade; Early globalization.
    JEL: N70 N76 O19 R11
    Date: 2012–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:upf:upfgen:1323&r=his
  2. By: Carlos Santiago-Caballero
    Abstract: From an extensive dataset of wheat yields at municipal level in mid eighteenth-century Spain, a detailed statistical analysis indicates that the differences in wheat yields were mainly a consequence of different natural conditions, and that demand did not have a significant influence. Counterfactual exercises show that improvements in rainfall, altitude or roughness of terrain would have a significant impact on average yields. The paper concludes that, although grain markets in the mid-eighteenth century were well integrated, producers addressed the growing demand not by investing in increasing yields, but by extending the area of cultivated land using the still abundant pastures. The low grain yields in Spain were in part a consequence of the rational behaviour of producers who faced an economic environment characterized by an elastic supply of land
    Keywords: Yields, Land, Market, Climate
    JEL: N33 N34 N53 N54
    Date: 2012–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp12-05&r=his
  3. By: Daron Acemoglu; Camilo García-Jimeno; James A. Robinson
    Abstract: Slavery has been a major institution of labor coercion throughout history. Colonial societies used slavery intensively across the Americas, and slavery remained prevalent in most countries after independence from the European powers. We investigate the impact of slavery on long-run development in Colombia. Our identification strategy compares municipalities that had gold mines during the 17th and 18th centuries to neighboring municipalities without gold mines. Gold mining was a major source of demand for slave labor during colonial times, and all colonial gold mines are now depleted. We find that the historical presence of slavery is associated with increased poverty and reduced school enrollment, vaccination coverage and public good provision. We also find that slavery is associated with higher contemporary land inequality.
    JEL: H41 N96 O10 O54
    Date: 2012–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18177&r=his
  4. By: Seltzer, Andrew (Royal Holloway, University of London)
    Abstract: The late 19th and early 20th century British labour market experienced an influx of female clerical workers. Employers argued that female employment increased opportunities for men to advance; however, most male clerks regarded this expansion of the labour supply as a threat to their pay and status. This paper examines the effects of female employment on male clerks using data from Williams Deacon's Bank covering a period 25 years prior and 25 years subsequent to the initial employment of women. It is shown that within position women were substitutes for men, although the degree of substitutability was less for older men than for juniors. In addition, the employment of women in routine positions allowed the Bank to expand its branch network, creating new higher-level positions, which were almost always filled by men.
    Keywords: clerical labour markets, female employment, spill over effects, internal labour markets
    JEL: N3 J3
    Date: 2012–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6663&r=his
  5. By: Ugo Pagano
    Abstract: Love, War and Culture have all played an important role in the evolution of human institutions and they have been characterized by complex relationships. War can select unselfish groups ready to sacrifice themselves for the love of their communities that they recognize to be culturally different from the others. At the same time, horizontal cultural differentiation cannot be taken for granted. Culture is the outcome of long evolutionary processes. It requires some human specific characteristics, including a large brain, that are likely to have been influenced by sexual selection and by the peculiar structure of human love affairs. Thus, if war may have generated love, also the reverse may be true: by favoring the development of human culture, love may have produced the conditions for war among culturally differentiated groups. In turn, war may have co-evolved with group solidarity only under the prevailing social arrangements of hunting and gathering economies. In general, human relations have been influenced by the prevailing features of the goods (private, public and positional) that have characterized production in different stages of history. They have been embedded in institutions involving very different levels of inequality, ranging from mostly egalitarian hunting and gathering societies to typically hierarchical agrarian societies and to wealthdifferentiated industrial societies. The perspectives of the present-day knowledge-intensive economy can also be seen through the same institutional approach to human evolution. The different nature of contemporary production processes involves a new set of alternative possible arrangements that have different implications for social (in)equality and different capabilities to satisfy basic human needs.
    Keywords: Evolution, Complementarities, Human Capabilities, Knowledge,
    JEL: B20 N40 P51 J16 J13
    Date: 2012–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:usi:wpaper:632&r=his
  6. By: Olivier Coibion; Yuriy Gorodnichenko; Lorenz Kueng; John Silvia
    Abstract: We study the effects and historical contribution of monetary policy shocks to consumption and income inequality in the United States since 1980. Contractionary monetary policy actions systematically increase inequality in labor earnings, total income, consumption and total expenditures. Furthermore, monetary shocks can account for a significant component of the historical cyclical variation in income and consumption inequality. Using detailed micro-level data on income and consumption, we document the different channels via which monetary policy shocks affect inequality, as well as how these channels depend on the nature of the change in monetary policy.
    JEL: E2 E3 E4 E5
    Date: 2012–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18170&r=his
  7. By: Emin Dinlersoz; Jeremy Greenwood
    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 the 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: CES,economic,research,micro,data,microdata, 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: 2012–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cen:wpaper:12-12&r=his
  8. By: Ugo Pagano
    Abstract: The two major contributions of Ronald Coase, written at distant points of his long life, have been often interpreted as different and, somehow, contradicting views of the merits of the market mechanism. We argue that the underlying point of the two articles is the same and it can be summarized by the statement that no institution is a free lunch. When the unity of the Coasian theory is properly understood, it offers a powerful challenge to standard neo-classical production theory and opens new analytical tools to understand and to compare the institutions of production.
    Keywords: Coase, Returns to Scale, Transaction Costs, Production Entitlements
    JEL: B29 D02 D29 L23
    Date: 2012–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:usi:wpaper:633&r=his
  9. By: Philip Hans Franses (Econometric Institute Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Michael McAleer (Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands, Department of Quantitative Economics, Complutense University of Madrid, and Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University.); Rianne Legerstee (Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute The Netherlands)
    Abstract: Macroeconomic forecasts are frequently produced, widely published, intensively discussed and comprehensively used. The formal evaluation of such forecasts has a long research history. Recently, a new angle to the evaluation of forecasts has been addressed, and in this review we analyse some recent developments from that perspective. The literature on forecast evaluation predominantly assumes that macroeconomic forecasts are generated from econometric models. In practice, however, most macroeconomic forecasts, such as those from the IMF, World Bank, OECD, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and the ECB, are typically based on econometric model forecasts jointly with human intuition. This seemingly inevitable combination renders most of these forecasts biased and, as such, their evaluation becomes non-standard. In this review, we consider the evaluation of two forecasts in which: (i) the two forecasts are generated from two distinct econometric models; (ii) one forecast is generated from an econometric model and the other is obtained as a combination of a model and intuition; and (iii) the two forecasts are generated from two distinct (but unknown) combinations of different models and intuition. It is shown that alternative tools are needed to compare and evaluate the forecasts in each of these three situations. These alternative techniques are illustrated by comparing the forecasts from the (econometric) Staff of the Federal Reserve Board and the FOMC on inflation, unemployment and real GDP growth. It is shown that the FOMC does not forecast significantly better than the Staff, and that the intuition of the FOMC does not add significantly in forecasting the actual values of the economic fundamentals. This would seem to belie the purported expertise of the FOMC.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic forecasts, econometric models, human intuition, biased forecasts, forecast performance, forecast evaluation, forecast comparison.
    JEL: C22 C51 C52 C53 E27 E37
    Date: 2012–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ucm:doicae:1214&r=his

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