nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒11‒17
twenty-one papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Amsterdam and London as financial centers in the eighteenth century. By Carlos, Ann M.; Neal, Larry
  2. The Economic Integration of Forced Migrants: Evidence for Post-War Germany By Thomas Bauer; Sebastian Braun; Michael Kvasnicka
  3. For Every Law, a Loophole: Flexibility in the Menu of Spanish Business Forms, 1886-1936 By Guinnane, Timothy W>; Martinez Rodriguez, Susana
  4. “Rubber will not keep in this country”: Failed Development in Benin, 1897-1921 By James Fenske
  5. Ragnar Frisch’s Axiomatic Approach to Econometrics By Bjerkholt, Olav
  6. Financing Japan’s World War II Occupation of Southeast Asia By Gregg Huff; Shinobu Majima
  7. Housing markets during the rural-urban transition : evidence from early 20th century Spain By Juan Carmona Pidal; Markus Lampe; Joan R. Rosés
  8. Incentives That Saved Lives: Government Regulation of Accident Insurance Associations in Germany, 1884-1914 By Guinnane, Timothy; Streb, Jochen
  9. "The Original Operation Twist: The War Finance Corporation's War Bond Purchase, 1918-1920" By James L. Butkiewicz; Mihaela Solcan
  10. Visualizing Uncertainties, or how Albert Hirschman and the World Bank disagreed on project appraisal and development approaches By Alacevich, Michele
  11. Regional hot spots of exceptional longevity in Germany By Rembrandt D. Scholz; Sebastian Klüsener
  12. Business cycles and financial crises: the roles of credit supply and demand shocks By James M Nason; Ellis Tallman
  13. Property rights and democratic values in Bronze Age and Archaic Greece By Kyriazis, Nicholas; Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros
  14. Coping with Regional Inequality in Sweden: Structural Change, Migrations and Policy, 1860-2000 By Enflo, Kerstin; Rosés, Joan
  15. The Politics of Resource Booms By Ahmed S. Mahmud; Giacomo De Luca; Juan F. Vargas
  16. Global income inequality by the numbers : in history and now --an overview-- By Milanovic, Branko
  17. Democratization and civil war By Armey, Laura E.; McNab, Robert M.
  18. Regional Financial Arrangements and the International Monetary Fund By Eichengreen, Barry
  19. Human Capital and Income Inequality: Some Facts and Some Puzzles By Amparo Castelló-Climent; Rafael Doménech
  20. Trade Sophistication in a Transition Economy: Poland 1980–2009 By Mitchell Kellman; Mitchell Yochanan Shachmurove
  21. Psychological Perspectives on Gender in Negotiation By Bowles, Hannah Riley

  1. By: Carlos, Ann M.; Neal, Larry
    Abstract: In the seventeenth century, Amsterdam and London developed distinctive innovations in finance through both banks and markets that facilitated the growth of trade in each city. In the eighteenth century, a symbiotic relation developed that led to bank-oriented finance in Amsterdam cooperating with market-oriented finance in London. The relationship that emerged allowed each to rise to unprecedented dominance in Europe, while the respective financial innovations in each city provided the means for the continued expansion of European trade, both within Europe and with the rest of the world. The increasing strains of war finance for the competing European powers over the course of the eighteenth century stimulated fresh financial innovations in each city that initially reinforced the symbiosis of the two centers. The external shocks arising from revolutionary movements in America and France, however, interrupted the relationship long enough to leave London as the supreme financial center. © 2011 European Association for Banking and Financial History e.V.
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Thomas Bauer (Ruhr-University Bochum, RWI, IZA); Sebastian Braun (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Michael Kvasnicka (RWI, IZA)
    Abstract: The flight and expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe during and after World War II constitutes one of the largest forced population movements in history. We analyze the economic integration of these forced migrants and their offspring in West Germany. The empirical results suggest that even a quarter of a century after displacement, first generation migrants and native West Germans that were comparable before the war perform strikingly different. Migrants have substantially lower incomes and are less likely to own a house or to be self-employed. Displaced agricultural workers, however, have significantly higher incomes. This income gain can be explained by faster transitions out of low-paid agricultural work. Differences in the labor market performance of second generation migrants resemble those of the first generation. We also find that displacement considerably weakens the intergenerational transmission of human capital between fathers and children, especially at the lower tail of the skill distribution.
    Keywords: Forced Migration, Economic Integration, World War II, West Germany.
    JEL: J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2012–11
  3. By: Guinnane, Timothy W> (Yale University and CESifo, Munich); Martinez Rodriguez, Susana (?)
    Abstract: The Spanish business code allowed firms great flexibility in their organizational form in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Until 1920, firms had the same basic choices as in France and some other European countries, namely, the corporation, the ordinary partnership, or the limited partnership. But Spanish law was unusually flexible, allowing firms to adapt the corporation especially to the needs of its owners. Starting in 1920 Spanish firms could also organize as a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL), a form similar to the German GmbH or the British Private Limited Company (PLC). But some firms had already adopted the form prior to 1920. The Spanish coded lacked the principle of "numerus clauses" that is central to many areas of law. Most business codes allow firms to choose only from a proscribed menu of options. The Spanish code offered these options but also stated that firms could organize in other ways if they wished. This paper uses three empirical sources to study the way firms actually used those possibilities. We find that this flexibility did not make entrepreneurs indifferent across the different organizational forms.
    JEL: K20 N43 N44
    Date: 2012–05
  4. By: James Fenske (St.Anthony’s College, University of Oxford)
    Abstract: Although Nigeria's Benin region was a major rubber producer in 1960, the industry faltered before 1921. I use labour scarcity and state capacity to explain why rubber did not take hold in this period. The government was unable to protect Benin's rubber forests from over-exploitation. Plantations found it difficult to recruit workers, and the government was unwilling to allow expatriates to acquire land. Colonial officials promoted the development of “communal” plantations, but these suffered due to labour scarcity and a state that was short on staff and equipment, and dependent on local chiefs.
    Date: 2012–10–30
  5. By: Bjerkholt, Olav (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Ragnar Frisch’s concept of econometrics was broader in scope than the more restricted connotation it has today as a sub-discipline of economics, it may be more properly rendered as a reconstruction of economics along principles inspired and drawn from natural sciences. In this reconstruction an axiomatic approach played a key role. The general aim of Frisch’s axiomatic approach was to argue in favour of using axiomatics as a basis for theorizing in economics and the modelling of individual behaviour. His first axiomatic approach was undertaken in 1926. In 1933 Frisch presented an extended set of axioms for quantifying utility in a lecture series in Paris. Frisch returned yet another time to the same topic when he attended a research conference at Cowles Commission in 1937. He presented then a more general choice-field theory, the core of which was a system of axioms for individual behaviour, published only as a (long) abstract. After this latter attempt Frisch’s interest in explicitly axiomatization seem to have waned, although his promotion of axiomatics in economics may be traced in some other of his contributions. As a national accounting pioneer Frisch also argued for an axiomatic approach towards national accounting. The article is amended from a paper originally presented at Axiomatics in Economics: the Rise and Fall, European Conference on the History of Economics, Siena, 4-6 October, 2007.
    Keywords: Ragnar Frisch; axiomatics
    JEL: B23 B31 B41 D11
    Date: 2012–08–28
  6. By: Gregg Huff (Pembroke College, University of Oxford); Shinobu Majima (Faculty of Economics, Gakushuin University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how Japan financed its World War II occupation of Southeast Asia, the transfer of resources to Japan, and the monetary and inflation consequences of Japanese policies. In Malaya, Burma, Indonesia and the Philippines, the issue of military scrip to pay for resources and occupying armies greatly increased money supply. Despite high inflation ,hyperinflation hardly occurred because of a sustained transactions demand for money, because of Japan’s strong enforcement of monetary monopoly, and because of declining Japanese military capability to ship resources home. In Thailand and Indochina, occupation costs and bilateral clearing arrangements created near open-ended Japanese purchasing power and allowed the transfer to Japan of as much as a third of Indochina’s annual GDP. Although the Thai and Indochinese governments financed Japanese demands mainly by printing large quantities of money, inflation rose only in line with monetary expansion due to money’s continued use as a store of value in rice-surplus areas.
    Keywords: war, financial and macroeconomic crises, resource transfer, occupation costs, bilateral clearing arrangements, seigniorage, hyperinflation, Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japan, Southeast Asia
    JEL: G01 N15 N45 P44
    Date: 2012–10–31
  7. By: Juan Carmona Pidal; Markus Lampe; Joan R. Rosés
    Abstract: This paper discusses how Spain’s urban housing markets reacted to the farreaching changes that affected the demand for dwellings during the first phase of the rural-urban transition process. To this end, we construct a new hedonic index of real housing prices and assemble a cross-regional panel dataset of price fundamentals. The results of our econometric analysis suggest that urban housing markets did not face supply constraints and responded swiftly to the growing demand for accommodation. In light of this new evidence, we conclude that housing markets were not a burden for Spanish economic development and that Spain’s urban infrastructure and institutional framework and were suitable for the housing needs at the time
    Keywords: Hedonic prices, Demand and Supply of Housing, Regulation in Housing Markets
    JEL: N93 N94 R30
    Date: 2012–10
  8. By: Guinnane, Timothy (Yale University); Streb, Jochen (University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: The German government introduced compulsory accident insurance for industrial firms in 1884. This insurance scheme was one of the main pillars of Bismarck's famous social insurance system. The accident-insurance system achieved only one of its intended goals: it successfully compensated workers and their survivors for losses due to accidents. The accident-insurance system was less successful in limiting the growth of work-related accidents, although that goal had been a reason for the system's creation. We trace the failure to stem the growth of accidents to faulty incentives built into the 1884 legislation. The law created mutual insurance groups that used an experience-rating system that stressed group rather than firm experience, leaving firms with little hope of saving on insurance contributions by improving the safety of their own plants. The government regulator increasingly stressed the imposition of safety rules that would force all firms to adopt certain safety practices. Econometric analysis shows that even the flawed tools available to the insurance groups were powerful, and that more consistent use would have reduced industrial accidents earlier and more extensively.
    JEL: G22 H55 N33
    Date: 2012–08
  9. By: James L. Butkiewicz (Department of Economics, University of Delaware); Mihaela Solcan (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)
    Abstract: In 1918 the United States Treasury delegated to the War Finance Corporation, a newly-created off-budget federal agency, the task of buying Liberty and later victory bonds in an effort to stabilize prices. Bayesian vector autoregression analysis of the bond purchase indicate that the WFC purchase provided significant price support, and lowered bond yields while the program operated. Once WFC purchase ended, war bond yields increased substantially. However, since the war bond purchases were financed by the sale of short-term debt certificates, the bond purchases increased short rates while reducing long rates. The WFC’s bond purchases twisted the yield curve.
    Keywords: E43, N12, M22, N42, G12
    JEL: E43 N12 N42 G12
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Alacevich, Michele
    Abstract: Since its birth in 1944, the World Bank has had a strong focus on development projects. Yet, it did not have a project evaluation unit until the early 1970s. An early attempt to conceptualize project appraisal had been made in the 1960s by Albert Hirschman, whose undertaking raised high expectations at the Bank. Hirschman's conclusions -- published first in internal Bank reports and then, as a book in 1967 -- disappointed many at the Bank, primarily because they found it impractical. Hirschman wanted to offer the Bank a new vision by transforming the Bank's approach to project design, project management and project appraisal. What the Bank expected from Hirschman, HOWEVER, was not a revolution but an examination of the Bank's projects and advice on how to make project design and management more measurable, controllable, and suitable for replication. The history of this failed collaboration provides useful insights on the unstable equilibrium between operations and evaluation within the Bank. In addition, it shows that the Bank actively participated in the development economics debates of the 1960s. This should be of interest for development economists today who reflect on the future of their discipline emphasizing the need for a non-dogmatic approach to development. It should also be of interest for the Bank itself, which is stressing the importance of evaluation for effective development policies. The history of the practice of development economics, using archival material, can bring new perspectives and help better understand the evolution of this discipline.
    Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Corporate Law,Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2012–11–01
  11. By: Rembrandt D. Scholz (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In their contributions to the debate on exceptional longevity, several scholars have noted the existence of spatial hot spots, or areas with a high concentration of individuals who have survived to very high ages (e.g. Sardinia in Italy or Okinawa in Japan). However, most of these studies were based on a small number of cases. This study investigates the spatial pattern of exceptional longevity in Germany by place of birth and place of death. We used a large dataset of exceptional longevity that covered all recorded individuals who reached the age of 105 in Germany in the period 1991 to 2002 (N: 1,339). Our research results show that, even in Germany, with its troubled 20th-century past, most of the semi-supercentenarians reached the age of exceptional longevity in the same region in which they were born. The discovery of this highly localised pattern supports the view that an investigation of regional variation in exceptional longevity can produce meaningful results. In our analysis of spatial variation, we were able to detect hot spots of exceptional longevity in Berlin and in north-western Germany. These findings are remarkable, as life expectancy in Germany is currently characterised by a south-north gradient, with the areas of highest life expectancy at birth being located in the south. The observed pattern of exceptional longevity instead reflects the life expectancy at birth pattern in Germany in the early 20th century and to some degree also the current life expectancy at age 80 pattern. Our findings might be interpreted as support to the argument that early and late life conditions might play an important role in explaining spatial variation of exceptional longevity in Germany.
    Keywords: Germany, longevity, spatial analysis, spatial distance
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2012–11
  12. By: James M Nason; Ellis Tallman
    Abstract: This paper explores the hypothesis that the sources of economic and financial crises differ from noncrisis business cycle fluctuations. We employ Markov-switching Bayesian vector autoregressions (MS-BVARs) to gather evidence about the hypothesis on a long annual U.S. sample running from 1890 to 2010. The sample covers several episodes useful for understanding U.S. economic and financial history, which generate variation in the data that aids in identifying credit supply and demand shocks. We identify these shocks within MS-BVARs by tying credit supply and demand movements to inside money and its intertemporal price. The model space is limited to stochastic volatility (SV) in the errors of the MS-BVARs. Of the 15 MS-BVARs estimated, the data favor a MS-BVAR in which economic and financial crises and noncrisis business cycle regimes recur throughout the long annual sample. The best-fitting MS-BVAR also isolates SV regimes in which shocks to inside money dominate aggregate fluctuations.
    Keywords: Business cycles ; Forecasting ; Financial markets ; Economic history
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Kyriazis, Nicholas; Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros
    Abstract: In the present essay we introduce the concept of macroculture as a complex of mutually supporting values, norms and beliefs in various areas of human activity, like war, religion, politics, athletics, etc. in a model. Then, by applying the concept of bounded rationality, we analyse how some macrocultures that are favorable or the ‘precondition’ for the emergence of democracy and institutions develop, in particular property rights, that foster economic development. We analyze this for Bronze Age and Archaic Greece, as being the historical case where such a macroculture favorable to democracy and stable property rights first emerged. Our main findings indicate that during Mycenaean and Archaic age period, the emergence of various elements of macroculture, in warfare, religion, city-state environment and athletic games evolved into similar proto-democratic values leading to the establishment of democracy as a political phenomenon in Classical Greece.
    Keywords: Macroculture; Democracy; Property rights; Ancient Greece
    JEL: P41 Z12 P48 N40
    Date: 2012–09–06
  14. By: Enflo, Kerstin (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Rosés, Joan (Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones and Instituto Figuerola, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: In many countries, regional income inequality has followed an inverted U-shaped curve, growing during industrialisation and market integration and declining thereafter. By contrast, Sweden’s regional inequality dropped from 1860 to 1980 and did not show this U-shaped pattern. Accordingly, today’s regional income inequality in Sweden is lower than in other European countries. We note that the prime mover behind the long-run reduction in regional income differentials was structural change, whereas neo-classical and technological forces played a relatively less important role. However, this process of regional income convergence can be divided into two major periods. During the first period (1860-1940), the unrestricted action of market forces, particularly the expansion of markets and high rates of internal and international migrations, led to the compression of regional income differentials. In the subsequent period (1940-2000), the intended intervention of successive governments appears to have also been important for the evolution of regional income inequality. Regional convergence was intense from 1940 to 1980. In this period, governments aided the convergence in productivity among industries and the reallocation of the workforce from the declining to the thriving regions and economic sectors. During the next period (1980-2000), when regional incomes diverged, governments subsidised firms and people in the declining areas.
    Keywords: Convergence; regional policy; neo-classical growth model; labour reallocation
    JEL: N93 N94 R11 R12
    Date: 2012–10–25
  15. By: Ahmed S. Mahmud; Giacomo De Luca; Juan F. Vargas
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper develops a simple model to investigate how resource-driven economic booms shape the equilibrium political institutions of resource-rich societies and in uence the likelihood of experiencing civil war. In our model a strong government apparatus favors property rights protection but also makes the state more powerful and hence may induce predatory autocratic regimes over democracy. We characterize the parameter space of each political outcome in terms of the type of the available natural resources. Economic booms based on resources that are privately exploited empower the citizens and tend to ease democratic transitions. In contrast, booms based on resources exploited by the state tend to favor more dictatorial regimes. Finally, economic booms based on resources that can be exploited either by the state or by private citizens incite preemptive actions by both parties that may result in civil war. We discuss the predictions of the model using historical and contemporary examples.
    Date: 2012–11–06
  16. By: Milanovic, Branko
    Abstract: The paper presents an overview of calculations of global inequality, recently and over the long-run as well as main controversies and political and philosophical implications of the findings. It focuses in particular on the winners and losers of the most recent episode of globalization, from 1988 to 2008. It suggests that the period might have witnessed the first decline in global inequality between world citizens since the Industrial Revolution. The decline however can be sustained only if countries'mean incomes continue to converge (as they have been doing during the past ten years) and if internal (within-country) inequalities, which are already high, are kept in check. Mean-income convergence would also reduce the huge"citizenship premium"that is enjoyed today by the citizens of rich countries.
    Keywords: Inequality,Poverty Impact Evaluation,Services&Transfers to Poor,Equity and Development,Income
    Date: 2012–11–01
  17. By: Armey, Laura E.; McNab, Robert M.
    Abstract: We examine the impact of civil war on democratization. Using a theoretical bargaining model, we hypothesize that prolonged violence, war termination, the presence of natural resources, and international intervention influence democratization. We test these hypotheses using an unbalanced panel data set of 96 countries covering a 34-year period. We determine that civil war lowers democratization in the succeeding period. This finding appears to be robust to conditioning, different instrument sets, and the measurement of democracy. In addition, we observe evidence that external intervention increases democratization.
    Keywords: Civil War; Democracy; Conflict; Democratization; Outcomes of War
    JEL: O11 H56 N40
    Date: 2012–09–01
  18. By: Eichengreen, Barry (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The rise of regional monetary arrangements poses a challenge for the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s global surveillance efforts. This paper reviews how the IMF has responded to earlier regional initiatives, from the European Payments Union of the 1950s and the Gold Pool of the 1960s to the CFA franc zone and the European Monetary System. The penultimate section draws out the implications for monetary regionalism in East Asia.
    Keywords: international monetary fund; regional monetary arrangements; global surveillance; european monetary system
    JEL: F30 F53 F55
    Date: 2012–11–06
  19. By: Amparo Castelló-Climent (University of Valencia); Rafael Doménech (University of Valencia, BBVA Research)
    Abstract: Using a broad number of indicators from an updated data set on human capital inequality for 146 countries from 1950 to 2010, this paper documents several facts regarding the evolution of income and human capital inequality. The main findings reveal that, in spite of a large reduction in human capital inequality around the world driven by a decline in the number of illiterates of several hundreds of millions of people, the inequality in the distribution of income has hardly changed. In many regions, the income Gini coefficient in 1960 was very similar to that in 2005. Therefore, improvements in literacy are not a sufficient condition to reduce income inequality, even though they improve life standards of people at the bottom of the income distribution. Increasing returns to education, external effects on wages of higher literacy rates or the simultaneous concurrence of other exogenous forces (e.g., globalization or skill-biased technological progress) may explain the lack of correlation between the evolution of income and education inequality.
    Keywords: Distribution of education, income inequality, human development, panel data
    JEL: I24 I25 O15 O50
    Date: 2012–10
  20. By: Mitchell Kellman (The City College of New York and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York); Mitchell Yochanan Shachmurove (The City College of New York and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York)
    Abstract: Poland has historically demonstrated exceptional resiliency in the face of change. This paper examines how Poland coped with huge structural realignments from the rise of Solidarity until the present, seeking to provide an objective analysis of Poland’s evolution of trade structures while it developed into a competitive member of the European Union. Employing four methodologically unrelated measures, this study looks at how the degree of sophistication of Poland’s manufactures responded and contributed to these changes. The result is that each distinct index reveals a common trend of rapid adaptation within the competitive environment of the European Union.
    Keywords: Trade Patterns in a Transition Economy; Machinery and Transport Equipment; Exports; Poland; Solidarity; Structural Change; Sophistication Indices; Trade Specialization Index; Intra-Industry Trade; Shock Therapy; Revealed Comparative Advantage; Herfendahl- Hirschman Index; Standard International Trade Classification; Compositional Shifts; Data Aggregation; Dispersion; Market Power
    JEL: F0 F1 L0 L1 L6 N0 N6 O1 O52 P2 R1
    Date: 2012–11–06
  21. By: Bowles, Hannah Riley (Harvard University)
    Abstract: A fundamental form of human interaction, negotiation is essential to the management of relationships, the coordination of paid and household labor, the distribution of resources, and the creation of economic value. Understanding the effects of gender on negotiation gives us important insights into how micro-level interactions contribute to larger social phenomena, such as gender gaps in pay and authority. Recent research on gender in negotiation has shown us how gender stereotypes constrain women from negotiating access to resources and opportunities through lowered performance expectations and gendered behavioral constraints. However, this widening research stream is also beginning to provide hints for how individuals and organizations can overcome these limitations to women's negotiation potential. In this chapter, I provide a brief history of psychological research on gender in negotiation, starting with the study of gender-stereotypic personality attributions and transitioning to a more sophisticated analysis of the effects of gender stereotypes on negotiation behaviors and performance. I review contemporary research on gender in negotiation using two interrelated frameworks. The first outlines the ways in which gender stereotypes influence negotiation, the second outlines situational factors that help predict when gender effects are likely to emerge in negotiation. These include ambiguity, which facilitates the emergence of gender effects, and gender triggers, which influence the salience and relevance of gender within the negotiating context. Finally, I highlight practical implications of research on gender in negotiation and point to future research directions that could transform insights about barriers to women's negotiation performance into positive levers for change.
    Date: 2012–10

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