New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒12‒06
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. Political rights, taxation, and firm valuation: Evidence from Saxony around 1900 By Lehmann, Sibylle H.; Hauber, Philipp; Opitz, Alexander
  2. Knowledge and Growth in the Very Long Run By Holger Strulik
  3. Development Success: Historical Accounts from More Advanced Countries By Kwasi Fosu, Augustin
  4. Anglo-Dutch premium auctions in eighteenth-century Amsterdam . By Boerner, Lars; van Bochove, Christiaan; Quint, Daniel
  5. The Origin of the Sylos Postulate: Modigliani’s and Sylos Labini’s Contributions to Oligopoly Theory By Rancan, Antonella
  6. Series enlazadas de empleo y VAB para Espana, 1955-2010 (RegDat_Nac_version 3.1) By Angel de la Fuente
  7. Dual Landownership as Tax Shelter: How Did the Chinese Solve Ricardo's Problem? By Yang, Helen
  8. Regional Financial Arrangements and the International Monetary Fund By Barry Eichengreen
  9. A Note on Backhouse and Medema: On Walras’ Contribution to the Definition of Economics By Vahabi, Mehrdad
  10. The World Bank and governance : the Bank's efforts to help developing countries build state capacity By de Janvry, Alain; Dethier, Jean-Jacques
  11. Cambio estructural y demanda de trabajo calificado en Colombia en el periodo 1950 – 2007 By Edgar Vicente MARCILLO YÉPEZ
  12. Alimentació i nutrició al Vallès Occidental. Un segle i mig de canvis i permanències: 1787-1936 By Eloi Serrano; Xavier Cussó
  13. How Best to Rank Wines: Majority Judgment By Rida Laraki; Michel Balinski

  1. By: Lehmann, Sibylle H.; Hauber, Philipp; Opitz, Alexander
    Abstract: The extension of the franchise to social groups with less property and income is associated with greater income redistribution from the rich to the poor and extension in the provision of public goods, which leads to the growth of government expenditure. All of these expected changes are costly and therefore a higher taxation of citizens and industrial firms can be expected, which might have negative effects on investors behavior. The present paper studies the effects of changes in the suffrage in the Kingdom of Saxony at the end of the 19th Century on stock market prices of Saxon firms listed on the Berlin stock exchange: Here the electoral law was changed twice: In 1896 a very restrictive franchise was introduced, which was abolished in 1909 and replaced by a more democratic electoral law. By applying standard event study methodology, we can provide evidence that the restriction of the electoral law had positive effects on Saxon firms on the stock market, whereby the extension in 1909 had negative effects on the stock market. --
    Keywords: Financial History,Taxation,Stock Markets,Event Study,Investors,Suffrage,Elections
    JEL: G11 G14 G18 D72 N23 N43
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Holger Strulik
    Abstract: This paper proposes a theory for the gradual evolution of knowledge diffusion and growth over the very long run. A feedback mechanism between capital accumulation and the ease of knowledge diffusion explains a long epoch of (quasi-) stasis and an epoch of high growth linked by a gradual economic take-off. It is shown how the feedback mechanism can explain the Great Divergence, the failure of less developed countries to attract capital from abroad, and a productivity slowdown in fully developed countries. An extension towards a two-region world economy shows robustness of the gradual take-off and other interesting interaction between forerunners and followers of the Industrial Revolution.
    Keywords: Industrial Revolution; Endogenous Growth; Knowledge Diffusion; Productivity Slowdown; Convergence; Divergence.
    JEL: O10 O30 O40 E22
    Date: 2012–11–12
  3. By: Kwasi Fosu, Augustin
    Abstract: Based on eleven themes, this paper synthesizes in-depth case studies that present historical accounts on the development .success. for a number of more economically advanced countries. The coverage includes Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and
    Keywords: development success, historical accounts, advanced countries
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Boerner, Lars; van Bochove, Christiaan; Quint, Daniel
    Abstract: An Anglo-Dutch premium auction consists of an English auction followed by a Dutch auction, with a cash premium paid to the winner of the first round. We study such auctions used in the secondary debt market in eighteenth-century Amsterdam. This was among the first uses of auctions, or any structured market-clearing mechanism, in a financial market. We find that this market presented two distinct challenges - generating competition and aggregating information. We argue that the Anglo-Dutch premium auction is particularly well-suited to do both. Modeling equilibrium play theoretically, we predict a positive relationship between the uncertainty in a security's value and the likelihood of a second-round bid. Analyzing data on 16,854 securities sold in the late 1700s, we find empirical support for this prediction. This suggests that bidding behavior may have been consistent with (non-cooperative) equilibrium play, and therefore that these auctions were successful at generating competition. We also find evidence suggesting that these auctions succeeded at aggregating information. Thus, the Anglo-Dutch premium auction appears to have been an effective solution to a complex early market design problem.
    Date: 2012–11–22
  5. By: Rancan, Antonella
    Abstract: Paolo Sylos Labini’s Oligopoly Theory and Technical Progress (1957) is considered one of the major contributions to entry-prevention models, especially after Franco Modigliani’s famous formalization. Nonetheless, Modigliani neglected Labini’s major aim when reviewing his work (JPE, 1958), particularly his demonstration of the dynamic relation between industrial concentration and economic development. Modigliani addressed only Sylos’ microeconomic analysis and the determination of the long-run equilibrium price and output, concentrating on the role played by firms’ anticipations. By doing so he shifted attention from Sylos' objective analysis to a subjective approach to oligopoly problem. This paper discusses Sylos’ and Modigliani’s differing approaches, derives the origin of the Sylos postulate and sets Modigliani’s interpretation of Sylos’ oligopoly theory in the context of his 1950s research into firms’ behaviour under uncertainty.
    Keywords: Modigliani, Sylos Labini, Sylos Postulate, Oligopoly Theory
    JEL: B13 B21 B31
    Date: 2012–11–19
  6. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: En este trabajo se elaboran series homogeneas de distintos agregados de empleo y de VAB a precios corrientes y constantes para el conjunto de Espana durante el periodo 1955-2010. Las series se construyen mediante el enlace de diversas bases de la CNE y de la Contabilidad Trimestral, introduciendose tambien una correccion tentativa para reconciliar las series de empleo de la CNE con las de la EPA
    Keywords: Contabilidad Nacional de Espana, series homogeneas
    JEL: E01
    Date: 2012–11
  7. By: Yang, Helen
    Abstract: A conventional theme of the literature on customary land tenure is that multiple ownership and complex tenure systems are obstacles to agricultural development. By studying the persistence of dual landownership in preindustrial China, I hypothesize that complex property norms could be the endogenous outcome of collective choice under institutional constraints, thus may not be inefficient per se. Dual ownership acted as a tax shelter for heavily taxed peasants who colluded with lightly taxed gentry to maximize the value of land. I show empirically that as gentry's tax privilege declined after the tax reform, peasants started to consolidate landownership.The dual owner system provided a solution to the land-use- inefficiency problem emphasized by David Ricardo: Under unequal taxation, land would end up owned by those with stronger political influence and preferential tax rates rather than by those best able to use it.
    Keywords: Economic History; Dual Ownership; Tax Shelter; Tax Inequality; Double Cropping; Preindustrial China; Customary Tenure
    JEL: N45 P48
    Date: 2012–11–16
  8. By: Barry Eichengreen (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    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: Regional monetary arrangements, IMF, global surveillance, East Asia
    JEL: F30 F53 F55
    Date: 2012–11
  9. By: Vahabi, Mehrdad
    Abstract: In this paper, I argue that the insightful and rich collection of various definitions of economics provided by Backhouse and Medema (2009a,b) suffers from a major shortcoming: it misses Walras’ contributions on this topic. Borrowing from the authors’ taxonomy, I will show that Walras’ ‘synthetic method’ provides a particular interpretation that brings together ‘wealth-based,’ ‘scarcity-based,’ and ‘market-exchange based’ definitions of economics. Finally, I will argue that the ‘scarcity-based’ definition of economics originated with the Walrases (the father and son) rather than Robbins ([1932]1935). Walras pioneered the notion of scarcity as a subjective agent-based reality existing at an individual level.
    Keywords: Applied political economy; pure political economy; scarcity; social economics; Walrasian definitions of economics
    JEL: B31 B13
    Date: 2012–04
  10. By: de Janvry, Alain; Dethier, Jean-Jacques
    Abstract: This paper examines historically the World Bank's twin features: lending to developing economies to achieve tangible results and advocating specific development policies. Section 1 provides some conceptual underpinnings for the view that an effective state is essential for development. It asks whether development can be engineered, and state capacity increased, with large aid flows. Section 2 sketches the historical evolution of what characterizes the World Bank: lending to developing economies and advocacy of development policy. It concludes that, while the Bank discourse explicitly recognizes that developing countries need to improve their governance and build the capacity of the public sector to improve living standards, the Bank's performance in assisting governments in building state capacity and achieving better governance outcomes has been disappointing. Section 3 proposes an interpretation of why this has been the case. The interpretation is structural, and related to the way the Bank is organized. This concerns in particular (1) how its research is prioritized and used for decision-making, (2) how its leadership achieves a consensus between shareholders who hold different views on the role of government in the economy, and (3) how incentives for its staff emphasize disbursement and short-term success, and not capacity building and longer-term institutional sustainability.
    Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Governance Indicators,Environmental Economics&Policies,National Governance
    Date: 2012–11–01
  11. By: Edgar Vicente MARCILLO YÉPEZ
    Abstract: En este trabajo se analiza el impacto que tuvo el cambio estructural, entendido como el desarrollo de un sector industrial moderno, en el nivel de trabajo calificado y no calificado en Colombia en el periodo 1950 – 2007. Las estadísticas de crecimiento económico, participación del sector industrial y mercado laboral, trazan un vínculo estrecho entre transformación industrial y trabajo; la mayoría de estudios atribuyen la caída del nivel de trabajo a factores relacionados con los costos salariales, no salariales y la rigidez del mercado laboral. En este trabajo se plantea una visión alternativa, en la que se estudia el decrecimiento del trabajo de largo plazo asociado al proceso de desindustrialización y caída de la diversificación industrial a partir de 1980. Los datos no rechazan la hipótesis estructuralista y muestran que la estructura de la economía incide en la generación o demanda de trabajo en el largo plazo, particularmente en el trabajo calificado.
    Date: 2012–09–27
  12. By: Eloi Serrano (Departament d’Història i Institucions Econòmiques, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona); Xavier Cussó (Unitat d'Història Econòmica, Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: El trabajo que se desarrolla a continuación persigue un doble objetivo: por una parte, realizar una primera aproximación a los cambios que se han producido en la dieta de la población de México en los últimos 50 años. Unos cambios que se desarrollan en el contexto de la denominada transición nutricional, y que, como tendremos ocasión de constatar, adoptan en países en desarrollo como México unas características que no se ajustan totalmente al modelo de transición que en su momento determinaron las transformaciones experimentadas por los países de la Europa noroccidental. En segundo lugar, evaluar y analizar el proceso paralelo de progresiva pérdida de la soberanía alimentaria y de globalización de la dieta experimentada por México. Desde los años 1960 la dieta de las poblaciones centroamericanas se ha transformado de forma espectacular. En el marco de la llamada transición nutricional se ha producido un aumento del consumo de energía y nutrientes, a la vez que se ha modificado su procedencia tanto en lo que concierne a los productos como al lugar donde han sido producidos y la forma en que han sido procesados previamente. En concreto, se constata la reducción del consumo y aportación nutritiva de algunos integrantes tradicionales de la dieta, como los frijoles, en beneficio de otros productos vegetales como la patata, y especialmente de productos de origen animal como la carne de pollo, la leche o los huevos. Destacar la creciente importación directa e indirecta de alimentos básicos, como el maíz, componente importante de la dieta humana y de la alimentación de la creciente cabaña ganadera donde se destinan gran parte de las disponibilidades. Finalmente se analiza el impulso que desde la perspectiva de la oferta alimentaria disponible suponen en este proceso las medidas liberalizadoras que siguen a la crisis de la deuda externa de 1982 y la entrada en vigor del NAFTA en 1994.
    Keywords: México, 1961-2009, Transición Nutricional, alimentación, globalización, soberanía alimentaria
    JEL: F21 I12 I31 O54 N56
    Date: 2012–11
  13. By: Rida Laraki (Ecole Polytechnique - Ecole Polytechnique, IMJ - Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu - CNRS : UMR7586 - Université Paris VI - Pierre et Marie Curie - Université Paris VII - Paris Diderot); Michel Balinski (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: Classifying and ranking wines has been a favorite activity of men and women since timeimmemorial. The intent of this article is to explain how and why the traditional methods for amalgamating the grades fail and how and why a new approach - majority judgment - does the job best.
    Date: 2012–11–19

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