New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2012‒12‒15
nineteen papers chosen by

  1. iPEHD - The ifo Prussian Economic History Database By Sascha O. Becker; Francesco Cinnirella; Erik Hornung; Ludger Woessmann
  2. Probability and social science : methodologial relationships between the two approaches ? By Courgeau, Daniel
  3. Structural change in Argentina, 1935–60: The role of import substitution and factor endowments By Debowicz, Dario; Segal, Paul
  4. External Imbalances and Financial Crises By Alan M. Taylor
  5. Farmer Families at the Heart of the Educational Revolution: Which Occupational Group Inherited Human Capital in the Early Modern Era? By Franziska Tollnek; Joerg Baten
  6. Econophysics in Belgium. The first (?) 15 years By Marcel Ausloos
  7. The lender of last resort: lessons from the Fed’s first 100 years By Mark A. Carlson; David C. Wheelock
  8. The Panic of 1907 By Ellis W. Tallman
  9. The past, present and future of central banking By David Cobham
  10. Colonialism and Economic Development in Africa By Leander Heldring; James A. Robinson
  11. Fertility Decline in the southeastern Austrian Crown land. Was there a Hajnal line or a transitional zone? By Peter Teibenbacher
  12. Empirical research on sovereign debt and default By Michael Tomz; Mark L. J. Wright
  13. The Gorbachev Anti-Alcohol Campaign and Russia's Mortality Crisis By Jay Bhattacharya; Christina Gathmann; Grant Miller
  14. Generation and distribution of productivity gains in French agriculture. Who are the winners and the losers over the last fifty years? By Jean-Philippe Boussemart; Jean-Pierre Butault; Oluwaseun Ojo
  15. Jugement majoritaire vs. vote majoritaire By Michel Balinski; Rida Laraki
  16. Review of input and output policies for cereals production in Pakistan: By Salam, Abdul
  17. Hooliganism and demand for football in Italy. Evidence for the period 1962-2011 By Raul Caruso; Marco Di Domizio
  18. Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry By Philippe Aghion; Antoine Dechezleprêtre; David Hemous; Ralf Martin; John Van Reenen
  19. Cooperation makes beliefs: Weather variation and sources of social trust in Vietnam By Anh Duc Dang

  1. By: Sascha O. Becker; Francesco Cinnirella; Erik Hornung; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: This paper provides a documentation of the ifo Prussian Economic History Database (iPEHD), a county-level database covering a rich collection of variables for 19th-century Prussia. The Royal Prussian Statistical Office collected these data in several censuses over the years 1816-1901, with much county-level information surviving in archives. These data provide a unique source for micro-regional empirical research in economic history, enabling analyses of the importance of such factors as education, religion, fertility, and many others for Prussian economic development in the 19th century. The service of iPEHD is to provide the data in a digitized and structured way.
    Keywords: economic history, Prussia, 19th century, database, county
    JEL: N13 N33
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Courgeau, Daniel
    Abstract: This work examines in depth the methodological relationships that probability and statistics have maintained with the social sciences. It covers both the history of thought and current methods. First, it examines in detail the history of the different paradigms and axioms for probability, from their emergence in the seventeenth century up to the most recent developments of the three major concepts: objective, subjective and logicist probability. It shows the statistical inference they permit, different applications to social sciences and the main problems they encounter. In the other side, from social sciences—particularly population sciences— to probability, it shows the different uses they made of probabilistic concepts during their history, from the seventeenth century, according to their paradigms: cross-sectional, longitudinal, event-history, hierarchical, contextual and multilevel approaches. While the ties may have seemed loose at times, they have more often been very close: some advances in probability were driven by the search for answers to questions raised by the social sciences; conversely, the latter have made progress thanks to advances in probability. This dual approach sheds new light on the historical development of the social sciences, probability and statistics, and on the enduring relevance of their links. It permits also to solve a number of methodological problems encountered all along their history.
    Keywords: Probability; Population sciences; Philosophy of science; Social science;
    JEL: B0 C0 B30
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Debowicz, Dario; Segal, Paul
    Abstract: This paper investigates structural change in Argentina between 1935 and 1960, a period of rapid industrialization and of relative decline of the agricultural sector. This has been the subject of a long-running debate that has exercised Argentine economists throughout the twentieth century, and remains politically salient today. It has been argued that this this relative decline of agriculture was due to the policies of import-substituting industrialization (ISI). This was also the period, however, that directly followed the closing of the land frontier, resulting in a declining land-labor ratio as the population continued to grow. We use a stylized, dynamic three-sector computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the period to analyze the respective effects of ISI policies and the observed changes in factor endowments on the structure of the economy. We find that the declining land-labor ratio was more important than ISI in explaining relative stagnation in agriculture. ISI gave a substantial boost to manufacturing but primarily at the expense of nontraded services, rather than of agriculture.
    Keywords: structural transformation, Computable general equilibrium (CGE), Industrialization, agricultural sector, Import substitution, Economic history,
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Alan M. Taylor
    Abstract: In broad perspective, there have been essentially two competing views of the global financial crisis, albeit there are some complementarities among them. One view looks across the border: it mainly blames external imbalances, the large-scale mix of unprecedented pattern current account deficits and surpluses which entailed massive and growing net and gross international financial flows in the last decade. The alternative view looks within the border: it finds more fault in the domestic arena of the afflicted countries, attributing the problems to financial systems where risks originated in excessive credit booms in local banks. This paper uses the lens of macroeconomic and financial history to confront these dueling hypotheses with evidence. Of the two, the credit boom explanation stands out as the most plausible predictor of financial crises since the dawn of modern finance capitalism in the late nineteenth century. Historically, we find that global imbalances are not as important as a factor in financial crises as is often perceived, and they have much less correlation with subsequent episodes of financial distress compared to direct indicators like credit drawn from the financial system itself.
    JEL: E3 E4 E5 F3 F4 N1
    Date: 2012–12
  5. By: Franziska Tollnek; Joerg Baten
    Abstract: In this paper, we assess the inheritance of human capital in the early modern period with a comprehensive dataset covering eight countries in Europe and Latin America. We focus on the within-household process of human capital formation. Gregory Clark suggested that the wealthy and ‘capitalist’ groups of society provided their offspring with favorable skills. We confirm this finding partially, but there is another large group that reproduces successfully: farmers. By applying age-heaping-based techniques to a dataset of more than 322,000 observations, we argue that farmers contributed significantly to the formation of human capital and, consequently, to modern economic growth.
    Date: 2012–12
  6. By: Marcel Ausloos
    Abstract: This reviews the econophysics activities in Belgium from my admittedly biased point of view. Unknown historical notes or facts are presented for the first time explaining the aims, whence evolution of the research papers and friendly connections with colleagues. Comments on endeavors are also provided. The lack of official, academic and private support is outlined.
    Date: 2012–11
  7. By: Mark A. Carlson; David C. Wheelock
    Abstract: We review the responses of the Federal Reserve to financial crises over the past 100 years. The authors of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 created an institution that they hoped would prevent banking panics from occurring. When this original framework did not prevent the banking panics of the 1930s, Congress amended the Act and gave the Federal Reserve considerably greater powers to respond to financial crises. Over the subsequent decades, the Federal Reserve responded more aggressively when it perceived that there were threats to financial stability and ultimately to economic activity. We review some notable episodes and show how they anticipated in several respects the Federal Reserve’s responses to the financial crisis in 2007-2009. We also discuss some of the lessons that can be learned from these responses and some of the challenges that face a lender of last resort.
    Keywords: Federal Reserve banks ; Banks and banking, Central ; Discount window
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Ellis W. Tallman
    Abstract: This paper summarizes the academic literature on the Panic of 1907 in the United States. Despite over 100 years of separation, research by financial economic historians continues to uncover important data and underexploited connections between institutions to improve present day understanding of a watershed economic event—one that preceded the successful movement to establish a central bank in the United States in 1913.
    Keywords: Financial crises ; Financial markets ; Bank liquidity
    Date: 2012
  9. By: David Cobham
    Abstract: The financial crisis, on the one hand, and the recourse to ‘unconventional’ monetary policy, on the other, have given a sharp jolt to perceptions of the role and status of central banks. In this paper we start with a brief ‘contrarian’ history of central banks since the second world war, which presents the Great Moderation and the restricted focus on inflation targeting as a temporary aberration from the norm. We then discuss how recent developments in fiscal and monetary policy have affected the role and status of central banks, notably their relationships with governments, before considering the environment central banks will face in the near and middle future and how they will have to change to address it.
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Leander Heldring; James A. Robinson
    Abstract: In this paper we evaluate the impact of colonialism on development in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the world context, colonialism had very heterogeneous effects, operating through many mechanisms, sometimes encouraging development sometimes retarding it. In the African case, however, this heterogeneity is muted, making an assessment of the average effect more interesting. We emphasize that to draw conclusions it is necessary not just to know what actually happened to development during the colonial period, but also to take a view on what might have happened without colonialism and also to take into account the legacy of colonialism. We argue that in the light of plausible counter-factuals, colonialism probably had a uniformly negative effect on development in Africa. To develop this claim we distinguish between three sorts of colonies: (1) those which coincided with a pre-colonial centralized state, (2) those of white settlement, (3) the rest. Each have distinct performance within the colonial period, different counter-factuals and varied legacies.
    JEL: N37 N47 O55
    Date: 2012–11
  11. By: Peter Teibenbacher (Department of Economic, Social and Business History, Karl-Franzens-University Graz)
    Abstract: There is a substantial body of literature on the subject of fertility decline in Europe during the first demographic transition. Historical demographic research on this topic started in Western Europe, but, as a result of the discussion of the Hajnal line thesis, the decline in fertility has been more thoroughly explored for Eastern Europe (especially Poland and Hungary) than for areas in between, like Austria. This project and this working paper will seek to close this gap by addressing the question of whether the Austrian Crown lands in the southeast represented not just an administrative, but also a demographic border. Using aggregated data from the political districts, this paper will review the classic research about, as well as the methods and definitions of, fertility decline. Our results show that, even the Crown land level, which was used in the Princeton Fertility Project, is much too high for studying significant regional and systemic differences and patterns of fertility changes and decline. This process is interpreted as a result of economic and social modernization, which brought new challenges, as well as new options. Thus, fertility decline should not be seen as a linear and sequential process, but rather as a process driven by the sometimes paradoxical interdependencies of problems and opportunities faced by families and social groups.
    Keywords: Southeast Austria, First Demographic Transition, fertility decline
    Date: 2012–09–28
  12. By: Michael Tomz; Mark L. J. Wright
    Abstract: The long history of sovereign debt and the associated enforcement problem have attracted researchers in many fields. In this paper, we survey empirical work by economists, historians, and political scientists. As we review the empirical literature, we emphasize parallel developments in the theory of sovereign debt. One major theme emerges. Although recent research has sought to balance theoretical and empirical considerations, there remains a gap between theories of sovereign debt and the data used to test them. We recommend a number of steps that researchers can take to improve the correspondence between theory and data.
    Keywords: Debts, Public ; Foreign exchange market
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Jay Bhattacharya; Christina Gathmann; Grant Miller
    Abstract: Political and economic transition is often blamed for Russia’s 40% surge in deaths between 1990 and 1994. Highlighting that increases in mortality occurred primarily among alcohol-related causes and among working-age men (the heaviest drinkers), this paper investigates an alternative explanation: the demise of the 1985-1988 Gorbachev Anti-Alcohol Campaign. Using archival sources to build a new oblast-year data set spanning 1978-2000, we find a variety of evidence suggesting that the campaign’s end explains a large share of the mortality crisis – implying that Russia’s transition to capitalism and democracy was not as lethal as commonly suggested.
    JEL: I12 I18 N34
    Date: 2012–12
  14. By: Jean-Philippe Boussemart (University of Lille 3 and IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS)); Jean-Pierre Butault (INRA Paris and INRA Nancy); Oluwaseun Ojo (IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS))
    Keywords: Index numbers, Total Factor Productivity, Factor income distribution, Agricultural and food policy
    JEL: C43 D24 D33 Q18
    Date: 2012–09
  15. By: Michel Balinski (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X); Rida Laraki (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, IMJ - Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu - CNRS : UMR7586 - Université Paris VI - Pierre et Marie Curie - Université Paris VII - Paris Diderot)
    Abstract: Cet article met en évidence les lacunes du scrutin majoritaire à un ou à deux tours en théorie et en pratique, se reposant sur l'histoire récente des élections présidentielles françaises et de résultats expérimentaux. Et il propose un remède : plus d'information doit être demandée aux électeurs et le sens de la " majorité " doit être reformulé.
    Date: 2012–12–03
  16. By: Salam, Abdul
    Abstract: The marketing of farm inputs and outputs has become a major problem for farmers in Pakistan. Farm input supplies are irregular, characterized by shortages and high prices at critical times. This report reviews the input and output policies for cereals implemented in Pakistan during the period 1996–2010. Pakistan has a long and varied history of intervening in farm input and output markets, going back decades before the period under review. Most significantly, in the wake of economic reforms launched during the 1980s, it has withdrawn from most of the commodity markets except wheat. In other commodity markets, intervention is by and large notional and without much practical involvement. The rolling back of the public sector from markets has certainly saved public funds, but the savings have come at a cost. Some of the cost, in terms of higher prices and variability stemming from the uncertain economic environment and supply, is borne by consumers, and some, in terms of lower producer prices at harvest, is borne by farmers, especially small and medium farmers, whose farms account for more than 50 percent of the area under cereals.
    Keywords: Cereal crops, cereal production, Agriculture, food security, Markets, price policies, Research and development, Price support, Agricultural research, research system, distortion, Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA),
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Raul Caruso (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Marco Di Domizio (Dipartimento di Scienze della comunicazione, Università di Teramo)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of hooliganism on attendance in Italian stadium and the effect of anti-violence measures adopted by Italian Government in 2007. Results first show that a structural break took place on Serie A average attendance in season 1979/80. The econometric investigation focused on the average of tickets sold per game as dependent variable. We have found a robust negative impact of hooliganism and match-fixing scandals on stadium attendance. In the light of the previous results we focus on recent policy measures adopted by Italian authorities aiming at reducing hooliganism. These measures, grounded on a ‘fidelity card’, were designed to keep out the extreme and violent part of committed fans in favour of the uncommitted. According to our econometric investigation involving single match played in Serie A from season 2007/08 to 2011/12 the substitution effect failed and the ‘fidelity card’ strategy did not turn to be successful if considering the average attendance point of view.
    Keywords: Hooliganism, Stadium attendance, Italian Serie A
    JEL: D12 K42 L83
    Date: 2012–11
  18. By: Philippe Aghion; Antoine Dechezleprêtre; David Hemous; Ralf Martin; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Can directed technical change be used to combat climate change? We construct new firm-level panel data on auto industry innovation distinguishing between "dirty" (internal combustion engine) and "clean" (e.g. electric and hybrid) patents across 80 countries over several decades. We show that firms tend to innovate relatively more in clean technologies when they face higher tax-inclusive fuel prices. Furthermore, there is path dependence in the type of innovation both from aggregate spillovers and from the firm's own innovation history. Using our model we simulate the increases in carbon taxes needed to allow clean to overtake dirty technologies.
    JEL: L62 O13 O3
    Date: 2012–12
  19. By: Anh Duc Dang
    Abstract: In this paper, I investigate the origins of social trust within Vietnam. By combining a unique contemporary survey of households with historical data on weather variation, I show that individuals who are heavily threatened by negative weather fluctuation exhibit more trust in neighbours and others within their close group. The evidence indicates that the effects of weather variation on social trust are transmitted through strengthening the cooperation among village peasants as they cope with risk and uncertainty. The results also show that households with higher proportion of agricultural income tend to trust people more. However, the increased strengthening of the village relationships does not erode family ties.
    JEL: O13 O53 Z13 Q54
    Date: 2012–11

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