New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒10‒20
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley: Stable matching: Theory, evidence, and practical design By Committee, Nobel Prize
  2. The Cliometric Voice By Claude Diebolt
  3. Constituencies and legislation: the fight over the McFadden Act of 1927 By Rodney Ramcharan; Rajan G. Raghuram
  4. Climate Shocks, Dynastic Cycles, and Nomadic Conquests: Evidence from Historical China By Qiang Chen
  5. Exegesis of Digital Text from the History of Economic Thought: A Comparative Exploratory Test By Karen Knight
  6. The Golden Hello and Political Transitions By Toke, A.S.; Albornoz, F.; Gassbner, M.
  7. The anatomy of a credit crisis: the boom and bust in farm land prices in the United States in the 1920s By Rodney Ramcharan; Raghuram Rajan
  8. The Petersburg Paradox at 300 By Seidl, Christian
  9. Gulag, WWII and the Long-run Patterns of Soviet City Growth By Mikhailova, Tatiana
  10. The effect of Iddi Amin’s expulsion of the Asian community in Uganda on the social and economic development of the country By Tumuhairwe Collins
  11. Los unitarios y la construcción de una facción política en el ámbito de la campaña bonaerense, 1820-1830 By Ignacio Zubizarreta
  12. Technical Appendix to "Productivity and Misallocation During a Crisis: Evidence from the Chilean Crisis of 1982" By Ezra Oberfield
  13. The Measurement of Sharing and Separation in a Divided Society: The Case of Northern Ireland By Paul Nolan
  14. Les entreprises de l’économie sociale et solidaire : des entreprises comme les autres ? L’exemple de Mondragon et de Eurasa. Analyse à partir des outils de la théories de la firme ARE NON PROFIT ENTREPRISES LIKE THE OTHERS ? THE EXAMPLES OF MONDRAGON AND EURESA ANALYSIS BASED ON THE TOOLS OF THE THEORY OF THE FIRM By Nathalie FERREIRA; Sophie BOUTILLIER

  1. By: Committee, Nobel Prize (Nobel Prize Committee)
    Abstract: This year’s Prize to Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth extends from abstract theory developed in the 1960s, over empirical work in the 1980s, to ongoing efforts to find practical solutions to real-world problems. Examples include the assignment of new doctors to hospitals, students to schools, and human organs for transplant to recipients. Lloyd Shapley made the early theoretical contributions, which were unexpectedly adopted two decades later when Alvin Roth investigated the market for U.S. doctors. His findings generated further analytical developments, as well as practical design of market institutions.
    Keywords: Market Design;
    JEL: C71 D02
    Date: 2012–10–15
  2. By: Claude Diebolt (BETA, UMR 7522, Université de Strasbourg & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.)
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Rodney Ramcharan; Rajan G. Raghuram
    Abstract: The McFadden Act of 1927 was one of the most hotly contested pieces of legislation in U.S. banking history, and its influence was still felt over half a century later. The act was intended to force states to accord the same branching rights to national banks as they accorded to state banks. By uniting the interests of large state and national banks, it also had the potential to expand the number of states that allowed branching. Congressional votes for the act therefore could reflect the strength of various interests in the district for expanded banking competition. We find congressmen in districts in which landholdings were concentrated (suggesting a landed elite), and where the cost of bank credit was high and its availability limited (suggesting limited banking competition and high potential rents), were significantly more likely to oppose the act. The evidence suggests that while the law and the overall regulatory structure can shape the financial system far into the future, they themselves are likely to be shaped by well organized elites, even in countries with benign political institutions.
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Qiang Chen (School of Economics, Shandong University)
    Abstract: Nomadic conquests have helped to shape world history, yet we know little about why they occurred. Using climate and dynastic data from historical China since 221 BCE, this study finds that the likelihood of nomadic conquest increased with less rainfall proxied by drought disasters, which drove pastoral nomads to attack agrarian Chinese for survival. Moreover, consistent with the dynastic cycle hypothesis, the likelihood of China being conquered increased when a Chinese dynasty was established earlier (and hence was weaker, on average) than a rival nomadic regime. These results survive a variety of robustness checks, including using the latitude of the Sino-nomadic border as an alternative dependent variable. The dynastic cycle effect also persists in an extension to world history. The effects of other climate shocks, such as snow, frost, and temperature anomaly, are not robust.
    Keywords: Nomadic conquests; climate shocks; dynastic cycles
    JEL: N4 O1
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Karen Knight (Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Textual material relevant to the history of economic thought is today readily available in various digitised forms. This raises the possibility of exegesis being undertaken with the aid of software designed for the purpose of textual analysis. This paper provides an exploratory test of Leximancer, a text analytics program that extracts the content of text, or collections of text, in order to quantify and display the conceptual structure of text content in a visually informative way. The relevance of one particular software product – Leximancer – as a tool enhancing textual exegesis undertaken for the history of economic thought is considered. The exploratory test is a comparative analysis of A.C. Pigou’s first chapter in Wealth and Welfare (1912) and the first chapter of The Economics of Welfare (1920).
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Toke, A.S.; Albornoz, F.; Gassbner, M.
    Abstract: We analyze the influence of IMF and World Bank programs on political regime transitions. We develop an extended version of Acemoglu and Robinson's [American Economic Review 91, 2001] model of political transitions to show how the anticipation of new loans from international financial institutions can trigger political transitions which would not otherwise have taken place. We test this unexplored implication of the theory empirically. We find in a world sample from 1970 to 2002 that the anticipation of receiving new programs immediately after a political regime transition increases the probability of a transition from autocracy to democracy and reduces the probability of democratic survival.
    Keywords: political transitions, autocracy, democracy, international financial institutions
    JEL: O19 D72 F59 F53
    Date: 2012–10–08
  7. By: Rodney Ramcharan; Raghuram Rajan
    Abstract: Does credit availability exacerbate asset price inflation? What channels could it work through? What are the long run consequences? In this paper we address these questions by examining the farm land price boom (and bust) in the United States that preceded the Great Depression. We find that credit availability likely had a direct effect on inflating land prices. Credit availability may have also amplified the relationship between the perceived improvement in fundamentals and land prices. When the perceived fundamentals soured, however, areas with higher ex ante credit availability suffered a greater fall in land prices, and experienced higher bank failure rates. Land prices stayed low for a number of decades after the bust in areas that had higher credit availability, suggesting that the effects of booms and busts induced by credit availability might be persistent. We draw lessons for regulatory policy.
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Seidl, Christian
    Abstract: In 1713 Nicolas Bernoulli sent to de Montmort several mathematical problems, the fifth of which was at odds with the then prevailing belief that the advantage of games of hazard follows from their expected value. In spite of the infinite expected value of this game, no gambler would venture a major stake in this game. In this year, de Montmort published this problem in his Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard. By dint of this book the problem became known to the mathematics profession and elicited solution proposals by Gabriel Cramer, Daniel Bernoulli (after whom it became known as the Petersburg Paradox), and Georges de Buffon. Karl Menger was the first to discover that bounded utility is a necessary and sufficient condition to warrant a finite expected value of the Petersburg Paradox. It was, in particular, Menger's article which provided an important cue for the development of expected utility by von Neumann and Morgenstern. The present paper gives a concise account of the origin of the Petersburg Paradox and its solution proposals. In its third section, it provides a rigorous analysis of the Petersburg Paradox from the uniform methodological vantage point of d'Alembert's ratio text. Moreover, it is shown that appropriate mappings of the winnings or of the probabilities can solve or regain a Petersburg Paradox, where the use of probabilities seems to have been overlooked by the profession. --
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Mikhailova, Tatiana
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the geographical patterns of city growth in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in relation to the Stalinist policies of the 1930s to 1950s, and WWII. Using a unique data set on the locations of Gulag camps, and on the evacuation of industrial enterprises during WWII, I estimate the effect of these factors on city growth throughout the Soviet and post-Soviet period. The cities where Gulag camps were located grew significantly faster than similar cities without camps. WWII events (location of the frontlines, evacuation) also affected local population growth, but their impact diminished with time and disappeared completely after 25 years. In contrast, the effect of Gulag camps has been permanent.
    Keywords: Cities; USSR; Gulag; WWII
    JEL: P25 R12 R11
    Date: 2012–09–09
  10. By: Tumuhairwe Collins
    Date: 2012–03
  11. By: Ignacio Zubizarreta
    Date: 2012–05
  12. By: Ezra Oberfield (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: Technical appendix for the Review of Economic Dynamics article
    Date: 2012–12
  13. By: Paul Nolan (Dr Paul Nolan, Peace Monitoring Project, Belfast)
    Abstract: In April 1998 the political parties in Northern Ireland, working in tandem with the British, Irish and American governments, arrived at a peace accord that brought a 30 year violent conflict to an end. Or so it seemed at the time. The euphoria of the moment temporarily clouded the fact that, below the political high wire, the two antagonistic communities, the Protestants and the Catholics, were still going to have to live together and find ways of building a shared society in the schools, the workplaces and the neighbourhoods where people live out their daily lives. The poetry very quickly turned to prose, and instead of creating a shared society Northern Ireland seems at times to have evolved as a ‘shared out’ society, with social goods and resources divided up on a one-for-me, one-for-you basis. That has led some to characterise the new post-conflict dispensation as a form of ‘benign apartheid’ where the two communities maintain a wary peace by keeping their distance from each other, with high degrees of self-segregation in the school system, in housing settlement patterns and in social and cultural pursuits. If this is so and patterns of division are in fact deepening, then there may be at best what is sometimes called a ‘cold peace’ , that is, peace without reconciliation. At worst, the cycles of violence which characterise Irish history may turn once more and the current absence of violence may turn out to have been no more than a generational truce. The signs however do not just point in one direction. For every indicator that signals division there is another that suggests a new form of rapprochement is slowly taking shape, that under the canopy of the new constitutional arrangements a more tolerant and accommodating society is emerging. For the observer the difficulty lies in deciding which trend is the stronger. One respected political scientist has summarised the current situation as follows: There are radically opposing views among experts on whether, ten years on, the settlement has reduced or increased sectarianism, as to whether it has crystallised or softened opposing views, and as to whether it has solidified or moderated opposing blocs, or perhaps even begun to transform them (Todd, 2010:88). Which view is more plausible? Evidence can seem to point in both directions. Like those Escher drawings where the figures ascending a staircase appear mysteriously to be descending at the same time, both tendencies can be observed to occur together. This paper will explain how a research project known as the Peace Monitoring Report has been set up to explore the state of the Northern Ireland peace process, and the difficulties it has faced in trying to establish an interpretative framework that can analyse data drawn from many different sources – political, economic, social and cultural. It will outline the results of the first study, and show how in education policy it has been economic forces that have driven an agenda to facilitate sharing between Protestant and Catholic schools.
    Date: 2012–03
  14. By: Nathalie FERREIRA; Sophie BOUTILLIER (Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO)
    Abstract: L'objectif des entreprises de l'économie sociale et solidaire est théoriquement de contribuer à l'amélioration du bien-être social. Dans les faits, nous constatons cependant que leur comportement réside dans la recherche du profit et la conquête de nouveaux marchés. Dans une économie basée sur la concurrence, le comportement des firmes a des points communs : faire des profits, stratégies de croissance et innovation. L'étude de Montragon et d'Euresa est riche d'enseignements. La théorie de la firme apporte des outils d'analyse. Si certains économistes ont fortement critiqué la théorie néo-classique de la firme en montrant que les firmes n'avaient pas un seul objectif (maximiser leur profit), ils n'ont pas cependant affirmé que l'entreprise ne pouvait pas ne pas faire de profit. Theoretically, the objective of non-profit (or social) enterprises is to contribute to the social welfare. Nevertheless, in the facts, we observe that they have to achieve profit and to conquest new markets. In an economy based on competition, the behaviours of the enterprises have common traits: making profit, strategies of growth and of innovation. We can draw several lessons from the study of Mondragon and Euresa cases. The theory of the firm gives analyzing tools. If some economists have criticized the neo-classical theory of the firm, to show that firms not only have one goal (to maximize their profit), they also explain that firms can't exist without making profits.
    Keywords: histoire entrepreneur, économie sociale et solidaire, théorie de la firme
    JEL: B19 D21 L2 L26
    Date: 2011–10

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