nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒11‒24
eleven papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Output per head in pre-independence Africa : quantitative conjectures By Leandro Prados de la Escosura
  2. Social Darwinism By Naomi Beck
  3. Urban Working-Class Food Consumption and Nutrition in Britain in 1904 By Gazeley, Ian; Newell, Andrew T.
  4. The Swedish Inheritance and Gift Taxation, 1885–2004 By Henrekson, Magnus; Du Rietz, Gunnar; Waldenström, Daniel
  5. New estimates of settler life span and other demographic trends in South Africa, 1652–1948 By Jeanne Cilliers; Johan Fourie
  6. The new balance of payments and international investment position statistics: methodology and results By Rita Cappariello; Giuseppe Ortolani; Valeria Pellegrini
  7. Knowledge intensive business services and long term growth By Benoit Desmarchelier; Faridah Djellal; Faïz Gallouj
  8. Macroeconomic adjustment and the history of crises in open economies By Aizenman, Joshua; Noy, Ilan
  9. Series enlazadas de empleo y VAB para España, 1955-2010 (RegDat_Nac versión 3.1) By Angel de la Fuente
  10. El mito alemán: Anexo de datos y cálculos By Angel de la Fuente
  11. Türkiye Ekonomisinde Büyümenin kaynaklarý ve Ýstihdam Etkileri (1973-1998) By Öner Günçavdý; Suat Küçükçifçi

  1. By: Leandro Prados de la Escosura
    Abstract: GDP figures for Africa are unreliable. More dependable information can be found in government expenditure and international trade records. These records, though, provide little insight into non-market output. In this paper an attempt is made to draw explicit conjectures on real output per head in preindependence Africa on the basis of trade data so that conjectures can be established about Africa’s long-run growth. Two alternative approaches are considered. One estimates per capita GDP by assuming no increase in output per head outside the tradable sector, for which the purchasing power of per capita exports is accepted as a proxy. Another approach establishes an econometric association between real per capita GDP and the income terms of trade per head for 1950-1990 and, on the basis of the prediction equation’s parameters and the values of the RHS variables, infers real output per head for 1870-1938. Trends in real output per head are then drawn for Africa (and its main regions). By comparing these trends with those from other developing regions, some conjectures about Africa’s relative position over time are put forward. It emerges that economic growth started earlier than usually assumed and there is continuity in growth before and after colonial independence. Sub- Saharan Africa’s retardation is a gradual process, as growing and falling behind took place simultaneously. But it is in the period 1975-1995 when the worst setback in modern Africa’s history took place
    Keywords: GDP, Long-run growth, Pre-independence Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: E01 N17 O47 O55
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Naomi Beck
    Abstract: "In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. . . . Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." This statement, which appears in the concluding chapter to the Origin of Species, was Darwin's only mention of human evolution in the entire book. Aware of the difficulties his biological propositions would encounter, Darwin thought it wise to leave the delicate question of human evolution aside for the time being. He was nonetheless fully conscious that his theory would revolutionize the way we think about ourselves and our cultures. Enter social Darwinism. The term has been used mainly to decry doctrines that justify some form of individual, social, or racial superiority through evolutionary principles. Yet many of the positions typically attached to social Darwinism do not correspond to this stereotypical description. Even among the main proponents of evolutionary theory in the nineteenth century - Darwin, Wallace, Huxley, and Spencer - there were important disagreements concerning the process of evolution in humans and its results. This article offers an examination of their claims, as well as some related and antagonistic viewpoints, in two main areas: on the one hand, the debate over wealth distribution and landownership, and on the other, the question of the relationship between evolution and ethics.
    Date: 2012–11–13
  3. By: Gazeley, Ian (University of Sussex); Newell, Andrew T. (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This article re-examines the food consumption of working class households in 1904 and compares the nutritional content of these diets with modern measures of adequacy. We find a fairly steep gradient of nutritional attainment relative to economic class, with high levels of vitamin and mineral deficiency among the very poorest working households. We conclude that the average unskilled-headed working households was better fed and nourished than previously thought. When proper allowance is made for the likely consumption of alcohol, household energy intakes were significantly higher still. We investigate the likely impact of contemporary cultural food distribution norms and conclude on the basis of the very limited evidence available that women were receiving about 0.8 of the available food, which was consistent with their nutritional needs. We adjust energy requirements for likely higher physical activity rates and smaller stature and find that except among the poorest households, early twentieth century diets were sufficient to provide energy for reasonably physically demanding work. This is consistent with recent attempts to relate the available anthropometric evidence to long-run trends in food consumption. We also find that the lower tail of the household nutrition distribution drops away very rapidly, so that few households suffered serious food shortages.
    Keywords: nutrition, well-being, Britain, early 20th century
    JEL: I14 I32 N34
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: Henrekson, Magnus (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Du Rietz, Gunnar (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Waldenström, Daniel (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of the modern Swedish inheritance taxation from its introduction in 1885 to its abolishment in 2004. A thorough description is offered of the basic principles of the tax, including underlying ideas and ambitions, tax schedules, and rules concerning valuation of assets, liability matters and deduction opportunities. Using these rules, we calculate inheritance tax rates for the whole period for a number of differently endowed family firms and individuals. The overall trend in inheritance tax burden exhibits an inverse-U shape for all firms and individuals. Up until World War II, inheritance tax rates were very low (never above six percent), but in the postwar era tax rates increased rapidly for both inherited firms and individual fortunes. Effective tax rates peaked in the mid-1970s. Valuation reliefs were introduced in the 1970s, which sharply reduced tax rates for inherited family businesses. Tax rates for deceased individuals were first cut in 1987 and then significantly reduced in 1991–1992. Finally, inheritance and gift tax revenues were relatively small, around a quarter of a percent of GDP.
    Keywords: Gift tax; Inheritance tax; Estate tax; Tax avoidance; Excess burden; Entrepreneurship; Ownership transfers of family firms
    JEL: D31 H20 K34
    Date: 2012–11–07
  5. By: Jeanne Cilliers (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: To date very little has been known about the demography of European settlers in South Africa, since descriptions have only been based on Ross’s 1975 calculations of a small sample of 300 observations in the Cape Colony. In this paper we provide a broader and deeper account, using a dataset drawn from the Genealogical Institute of South Africa (2008) that includes information on 401,602 observations of settlers in South Africa and spans the period 1652 to 1948. We estimate useful descriptive statistics on key demographic indicators: population dynamics, age distribution, longevity, marriage patterns, and dependency burdens. These shed new light on the development and demographic transition of the South African settler population and enable international comparisons.
    Keywords: historical demography, economic development, population dynamics, living standards, family life, life span, age distribution, marriage patterns, South Africa
    JEL: N37
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Rita Cappariello (Bank of Italy); Giuseppe Ortolani (Bank of Italy); Valeria Pellegrini (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper presents the new data collection and the estimation methodology for the external statistics, the results of the comparison between the old and the new data in the overlapping period and the evolution of the Italian balance of payments and international investment position since the mid-nineties, using the reconstructed series and the new statistics.
    Keywords: current account, international investment position, data collection, data estimation methodology
    JEL: F32 F21 C8
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Benoit Desmarchelier (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS : UMR8019 - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et Technologies); Faridah Djellal (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS : UMR8019 - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et Technologies); Faïz Gallouj (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS : UMR8019 - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et Technologies)
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to (re)assess the relationship between knowledge intensive busi- ness services (KIBS) and the economic growth. Taking into account various conflicting relationships between KIBS and growth, we build a multi agent-based system involving industrial firms, consumer-services firms, consumers, KIBS firms and a banking system. Our main result is that KIBS can be regarded as an engine for the economic growth and that they operate as a substitute for the material capital accumulation. Nevertheless, material capital accumulation still appears as a significant factor of economic growth.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Business services, Structural change
    Date: 2012–07–01
  8. By: Aizenman, Joshua; Noy, Ilan
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of the history of crises on macroeconomic performance. We first study the impact of past banking crises on the probability of a future banking crisis. Applying data for 1980-2010 for all countries for which the required information is available, controlling for conventional macro variables and the history of banking crises occurring after 1970, we do not detect a learning process from past banking crises. Countries that have already experienced one banking crisis generally have a higher likelihood of experiencing another crisis; and the depth of the present crisis does not appear to be affected by the previous historical experience with crisis events. Evidence also suggests that, in middle-income countries, higher de jure capital account openness is associated with lower likelihood of a banking crisis, a lower ratio of non-performing loans during the crisis, and higher levels of forgone output in the crisis’ aftermath. In contrast, we find that past crisis experience has a significant impact on savings. When facing considerable political risk, the past does seem to matter -- countries with more people who were exposed, over their lifetime, to larger disasters will tend to save more. This association, however, does not hold for countries with more stable political systems. We interpret these results as consistent with a differential sectoral adjustment to a crises hypothesis. The private sector, by virtue of its harder budget constraints, adjusts faster, whereas the government adjusts at a slower pace following a crisis. The financial sector may find itself in between the two. The “too big to fail” doctrine associated with large banks provides them with a softer budget constraint, delaying the day of adjustment; for some, delaying bankruptcy. Occasionally, the separation between banks and the public sector is murky, further delaying necessary adjustments of the financial sector.
    Keywords: Banking crises, financial openness, saving, history of crises,
    Date: 2012–11–14
  9. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: En este trabajo se elaboran series homogéneas de distintos agregados de empleo y de VAB a precios corrientes y constantes para el conjunto de España durante el período 1955-2010. Las series se construyen mediante el enlace de diversas bases de la CNE y de la Contabilidad Trimestral, introduciéndose también una corrección tentativa para reconciliar las series de empleo de la CNE con las de la EPA.
    Date: 2012–11–12
  10. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: En esta nota se recopilan los datos utilizados en el artículo de opinión titulado "El mito alemán" y se describen en detalle los cálculos que allí se resumen sobre la financiación relativa de algunas regiones alemanas y españolas y sobre la parte de los saldos fiscales de las mismas que está ligada directamente al sistema de financiación regional.
    Date: 2012–11–12
  11. By: Öner Günçavdý (Ýstanbul Technical University); Suat Küçükçifçi (Ýstanbul Technical University)
    Date: 2012

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