New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2013‒03‒02
twenty papers chosen by

  1. Distinctively Black Names in the American Past By Lisa D. Cook; Trevon D. Logan; John M. Parman
  2. Winning the war, losing the peace?: a comparative study of labour productivity in British and West German manufacturing, 1936-1968. By Bos, Nikita; Vonyó, Tamás
  3. Back to the 'normal' level of human-capital driven growth? A note on early numeracy in Korea, China and Japan, 1550 - 1800 By Baten, Joerg; Sohn, Kitae
  4. The Legacy of Historical Conflict Evidence from Africa By Timothy Besley and Marta Reynal-Querol
  5. Married to Intolerance: Attitudes towards Intermarriage in Germany, 1900-2006 By Nico Voigtländer; Hans-Joachim Voth
  6. The long-run history of income inequality in Denmark: Top incomes from 1870 to 2010 By A. B. Atkinson; J. E. Søgaard
  7. Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era By Christopher M. Meissner
  8. Suburbanization and highways: when the romans, the bourbons and the first cars still shape Spanish cities By Miquel- Àngel Garcia-López; Adelheid Holl; Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal
  9. Industrial composition, methods of compensation, and real earnings in the Great Depression By Hart, Robert A; Roberts, J Elizabeth
  10. Estimating the Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade By Bernhofen, Daniel M.; El-Sahli , Zouheir; Kneller, Richard
  11. Does the John Bates Clark Medal boost subsequent productivity and citation success? By Ho Fai Chan; Bruno S. Frey; Jana Gallus; Benno Torgler
  12. Fluctuations in Weekly Hours and Total Hours Worked Over the Past 90 Years and the Importance of Changes in Federal Policy Toward Job Sharing By Todd Neumann; Jason Taylor; Price Fishback
  13. The Papua Niugini Paradox. Land property archaism and Modernity of peasant resistance ? By Rémy Herrera; Poeura Tetoe
  14. The relation between stature and long bone length in the Roman Empire By Klein Goldewijk, Geertje; Jacobs, Jan
  15. The Effect of Police on Crime: New Evidence from U.S. Cities, 1960-2010 By Aaron Chalfin; Justin McCrary
  16. Is Economics a House Divided? Analysis of Citation Networks By Sina Önder, Ali; Terviö, Marko
  17. Credit Rating Industry: a Helicopter Tour of Stylized Facts and Recent Theories By Jeon, Doh-Shin; Lovo, Stefano
  18. Improving regional performance in Russia: a capability-based approach  By Fadi Farra; Nadia Klos; Uwe Schober; Olga Sigalova; Alexander Zhukov
  19. Trade Preferences from a Policy Perspective By Persson, Maria
  20. What Do Experts Know About Forecasting Journal Quality? A Comparison with ISI Research Impact in Finance By Chia-Lin Chang; Michael McAleer

  1. By: Lisa D. Cook; Trevon D. Logan; John M. Parman
    Abstract: We document the existence of a distinctive national naming pattern for African Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We use census records to identify a set of high-frequency names among African Americans that were unlikely to be held by whites. We confirm the distinctiveness of the names using over five million death certificates from Alabama, Illinois and North Carolina from the early twentieth century. The names we identify in the census records are similarly distinctive in these three independent data sources. Surprisingly, approximately the same percentage of African Americans had "black names" historically as they do today. No name that we identify as a historical black name, however, is a contemporary black name. The literature has assumed that black names are a product of the Civil Rights Movement, yet our results suggest that they are a long-standing cultural norm among African Americans. This is the first evidence that distinctively racialized names existed long before the Civil Rights Era, establishing a new fact in the historical literature.
    JEL: J1 N3
    Date: 2013–02
  2. By: Bos, Nikita; Vonyó, Tamás
    Abstract: There has been disagreement on the popular notion of Britain’s relative economic decline vis-à-vis West Germany after 1950. While German scholars emphasised the role of the post-war output gap in German super-growth, the recent British literature crystallized around the manufacturing failure hypothesis of Broadberry and Crafts. This paper offers a comprehensive reassessment of the relative productivity performance of British and West German industry both before the outbreak of World War II and in the early post-war period. The war had an enormous impact on the Anglo-German productivity race. Relative to the UK, industrial value added per hour worked in West Germany had declined by a quarter between 1936 and 1951. In the 1950s, German super-growth can be explained entirely by this war-induced productivity gap. Britain’s relative decline in this period cannot be attributed to British manufacturing failure. If at any time during the post-war Golden Age, such failure can be observed in the 1960s.
    Date: 2013–02–14
  3. By: Baten, Joerg; Sohn, Kitae
    Abstract: This paper draws on a unique data set, hojok (household registers), to estimate numeracy levels in Korea, 1550-1630, and evidence on Japan and China from the early modern period until 1800. We found that a substantial share of East Asians rounded their ages to multiples of five. However, the extent of age-heaping was quite low by global standards, even considering the potential sources of upward bias inherent in the data. Therefore, the unusually high level of numeracy in East Asia in the early 21st century was already present in the early modern period. The findings imply that in the Korean case, for example, the foundations of the human-capital based catch-up growth were laid very early. More broadly, we argue that Korea, Japan, and China returned to the growth-path at different points of the 20th century, and this return was pre-determined by their early numeracy development. --
    Keywords: Human-Capital,Development,Growth,Numeracy
    JEL: O15 O40 I21 N35 N30
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Timothy Besley and Marta Reynal-Querol
    Abstract: This paper exploits variation between and within countries to examine the legacy of recorded conflicts in Africa in the pre-colonial period between 1400 and 1700. There are three main findings. First, we show that historical conflict is correlated with a greater prevalence of post-colonial con.ict. Second, historical conflict is correlated with lower levels of trust, a stronger sense of ethnic identity and a weaker sense of national identity across countries. Third, historical conflict is negatively correlated with subsequent patterns of development within countries.
    Keywords: Conflict, Trust, Identity
    JEL: N47 O43 O55
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Nico Voigtländer; Hans-Joachim Voth
    Abstract: We analyze under which conditions intermarriage can be used as an indicator of tolerance, and whether such tolerant attitudes persisted in Germany during the last century. We find strong evidence for the persistence of tolerant attitudes towards intermarriage with Jews. At the same time, our empirical analysis also cautions against using intermarriage as a simple proxy for tolerance: The size of Jewish communities in the early 20th century is an important confounding factor.
    JEL: N44 Z1
    Date: 2013–02
  6. By: A. B. Atkinson (Nuffield College, Oxford and Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School); J. E. Søgaard (University of Copenhagen and the Danish Ministry of Finance)
    Abstract: We use historical publications and – for more recent years – micro-data from the income tax and wealth tax returns to estimate the development in income inequality in Denmark over the last 140 years. The paper breaks new ground in treating the specific features of the Danish Tax system and in analysing the implications of the switch from joint to individual taxation. We show that income inequality have declined substantially over the last century with an income share for the top 1 per cent dropping from 27.6 per cent from its peak in 1917 to 6.4 in 2010. However the decline is not simply a secular downward trend consistent with the downward part of a Kuznets curve. Instead there seems to be several distinct phases, interleaved with periods of stability.
    Keywords: Income inequality, Income distribution, Wealth distribution, Top incomes, Taxation, Denmark
    JEL: D31 H2 J3 N3
    Date: 2013–02
  7. By: Christopher M. Meissner
    Abstract: The classical gold standard period, 1880-1913, witnessed deep economic integration. High capital imports were related to better growth performance but may also have created greater volatility via financial crises. I first document the substantial output losses from various types of crises. I then explore the relationship between crises and two forces highlighted in the recent literature on financial crises: international capital movements and credit growth. Neither factor is sufficient to explain financial crises in this period. Instead, interactions between the informational environment, the fiscal situation, the exchange rate regime, and events beyond a nation’s borders all help explain crises. Some examples are provided.
    JEL: E5 E65 G01 N10 N20
    Date: 2013–02
  8. By: Miquel- Àngel Garcia-López (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona & IEB); Adelheid Holl (CSIC, Institute for Public Goods and Policies); Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of highways on the suburbanization of Spanish cities. First, we extend previous findings for the US and China by providing evidence for Europe: each additional highway ray built between 1991 and 2006 produced a 5 per cent decline in central city population between 1991 and 2011. Second, our main contribution is at the intrametropolitan level. We find that highway improvements influence the spatial pattern of suburbanization: suburban municipalities that were given improved access to the highway system between 1991 and 2006 grew 4.6% faster. The effect was most marked in suburbs located at 5–11 km from the central city (7.1%), and concentrated near the highways: population spreaded out along the (new) highway segments (4.7%) and ramps (2.7%). To estimate the causal relationship between population growth and highway improvements, we rely on an IV estimation. We use Spain’s historical road networks – Roman roads, 1760 main post roads, and 19th century main roads – to construct our candidates for use as instruments.
    Keywords: Suburbanization, highways, transportation infrastructure
    JEL: R4 O2
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Hart, Robert A; Roberts, J Elizabeth
    Abstract: In an extension of an earlier paper (Hart and Roberts, 2012), we investigate the pay and working time of blue-collar timeworkers and pieceworkers during the Great Depression within British engineering firms. We compare and contrast southern/midland engineering districts of Britain with northern districts. The south/midlands region was dominated by piece-rated workers and by modern sections of the industry, such as vehicle and aircraft manufacture. Time-rated work predominated in northern districts where older sections - for example, marine and textile engineering - were clustered. These contrasting industrial compositions and associated payment methods offer further insights into manufacturing real earnings responses to the Great Depression.
    Keywords: the Great Depression; real earnings; timework; piecework; Industrial c omposition
    Date: 2013–02
  10. By: Bernhofen, Daniel M. (University of Nottingham); El-Sahli , Zouheir (Department of Economics, Lund University); Kneller, Richard (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: The introduction of containerization triggered complementary technological and organizational changes that revolutionized global freight transport. Despite numerous claims about the importance of containerization in stimulating international trade, econometric estimates on the effects of containerization on trade appear to be missing. Our paper fills this gap in the literature. Our key idea is to exploit time and cross-sectional variation in countries’ adoption of port or railway container facilities to construct a time-varying bilateral technology variable and estimate its effect on explaining variations in bilateral product level trade flows in a large panel for the period 1962-1990. Our estimates suggest that containerization did not only stimulate trade in containerizable products (like auto parts) but also had complementary effects on non-containerizables (like automobiles). As expected, we find larger effects on North-North trade than on North-South or South-South trade and much smaller effects when ignoring railway containerization. Regarding North-North trade, the cumulative average treatment effects of containerization over a 20 year time period amount to about 700%, can be interpreted as causal, and are much larger than the effects of free trade agreements or the GATT. In a nutshell, we provide the first econometric evidence for containerization to be a driver of 20th century economic globalization.
    Keywords: containerization; 20th century global transportation infrastructure
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2013–02–15
  11. By: Ho Fai Chan; Bruno S. Frey; Jana Gallus; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Despite the social importance of awards, they have been largely disregarded by academic research in economics. This paper investigates whether a specific, yet important, award in economics, the John Bates Clark Medal, raises recipients’ subsequent research activity and status compared to a synthetic control group of nonrecipient scholars with similar previous research performance. We find evidence of positive incentive and status effects that raise both productivity and citation levels.
    Keywords: Awards, incentives, research, John Bates Clark Medal, synthetic control method
    JEL: A13 C23 M52
    Date: 2013–02
  12. By: Todd Neumann; Jason Taylor; Price Fishback
    Abstract: During the Great Depression of 1930s, changes in the workweek drove a larger portion of changes in total labor input than in other decades. Work-sharing policies appear to be responsible. Hoover created various work-sharing committees lead by key industrialists, which pushed for shorter workweeks and Roosevelt’s President’s Reemployment Agreement called for sharp cuts in weekly hours. The hope was to spread available work amongst more people. While between 50 and 90 percent of declines in labor input were accommodated by falling hours during these periods, in recent decades employers have primarily relied on layoffs to achieve the same end. During the Great Depression of 1930s, changes in the workweek drove a larger portion of changes in total labor input than in other decades. Work-sharing policies appear to be responsible. Hoover created various work-sharing committees lead by key industrialists, which pushed for shorter workweeks and Roosevelt’s President’s Reemployment Agreement called for sharp cuts in weekly hours. The hope was to spread available work amongst more people. While between 50 and 90 percent of declines in labor input were accommodated by falling hours during these periods, in recent decades employers have primarily relied on layoffs to achieve the same end.
    JEL: N12
    Date: 2013–02
  13. By: Rémy Herrera (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne); Poeura Tetoe (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: After Papua New Guinea's society has been presented in a first part of this paper, the second part focuses on traditional land institutions and relationships to land - often considered to be "archaic". The third part exposes the process of lanf registration during the colonial and since the independence, in order to examine finally the modernity of peasant resistance forms in this country (fourth part).
    Keywords: Development; state; access to land; peasant societies; social conflicts
    Date: 2013–01
  14. By: Klein Goldewijk, Geertje; Jacobs, Jan (Groningen University)
    Abstract: Stature is increasingly popular among economic historians as a proxy for (biological) standard of living. Recently, researchers have started branching out from written sources to the study of stature from skeletal remains. Current methods for the reconstruction of stature from the skeleton implicitly assume fixed body proportions. We have tested these assumptions for a database containing over 10,000 individuals from the Roman Empire. As it turns out, they are false: the ratio of the length of the thigh bone to the length of the other long bones is significantly different from those implied in the most popular stature reconstruction methods. Therefore, we recommend deriving a proxy for living standards from long bone length instead of reconstructed stature.
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Aaron Chalfin; Justin McCrary
    Abstract: We argue that the key impediment to accurate measurement of the effect of police on crime is not necessarily simultaneity bias, but bias due to mismeasurement of police. Using a new panel data set on crime in medium to large U.S. cities over 1960- 2010, we obtain measurement error corrected estimates of the police elasticity of the cost-weighted sum of crimes of roughly -0.5. The estimates confirm a controversial finding from the previous literature that police reduce violent crime more so than property crime.
    JEL: H76 J18 K42
    Date: 2013–02
  16. By: Sina Önder, Ali (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies); Terviö, Marko (Aalto University and HECER)
    Abstract: We investigate divisions within the citation network in economics using citation data between 1990 and 2010. We consider all partitions of top institutions into two equal-sized clusters, and pick the one that minimizes cross-cluster citations. The strongest division is much stronger than could be expected to be found under idiosyncratic citation patterns, and is consistent with the reputed freshwater/saltwater division in macroeconomics. The division is stable over time, but varies across the fields of economics.
    Keywords: citations; clustering; influence; schools of thought
    JEL: A11 D85 I23
    Date: 2013–02–13
  17. By: Jeon, Doh-Shin (TSE); Lovo, Stefano (HEC)
    Abstract: The recent subprime crisis and the ongoing Euro zone crisis have generated an enormous interest in the credit rating industry not only among economists but also among average citizens. As a consequence, we have seen an explosion of the economic literature on the industry. The objective of this survey is to introduce readers to the key stylized facts of the credit rating industry and to the recent theoretical economic literature on this industry.
    Keywords: Credit Rating Agencies, Reputation, Financial Regulations, Conflicts of Interest, Certification
    JEL: D43 D82 G24 L13
    Date: 2013–02–07
  18. By: Fadi Farra (Whiteshield Partners); Nadia Klos (Whiteshield Partners); Uwe Schober (Whiteshield Partners); Olga Sigalova (Whiteshield Partners); Alexander Zhukov (Whiteshield Partners)
    Abstract: Over the past 15 years, while China’s economy has become more complex and export driven, Russia's economy has become less complex and less competitive. Economic policies have so far largely failed to boost two key drivers of economic development: knowledge and capability building. Building on a new Regional Capability Index as well as historical and case study analysis, we develop a set of scenarios and recommended models to address capability gaps and enhance the competitiveness of Russia.
    Keywords: regional development, competitiveness, product space, innovation, Russia
    JEL: O11 O14 O33 F43
    Date: 2013–01
  19. By: Persson, Maria (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to offer a comprehensive overview of non-reciprocal trade preferences. Legal and economic aspects are discussed, and in particular, focus is put on how the specific design of preference programs influence whether or not preferences will have their intended effects. The paper starts by summarizing the historical and legal background of non-reciprocal trade preferences, and thereafter discusses how preferences are intended to work from an economic point of view. Further, the paper discusses ways to determine whether or not preferences meet their intended targets, and outlines in some detail how preference programs differ in their design. The question of how trade preferences could have negative effects for recipient and non-recipient countries is explored, and the paper concludes by discussing whether trade preferences will be a useful policy alternative in the future.
    Keywords: Unilateral trade preferences; non-reciprocal trade agreements; GSP
    JEL: F13 F15
    Date: 2013–02–07
  20. By: Chia-Lin Chang (National Chung Hsing University); Michael McAleer (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Complutense University of Madrid, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: Experts possess knowledge and information that are not publicly available. The paper is concerned with forecasting academic journal quality and research impact using a survey of international experts from a national project on ranking academic finance journals in Taiwan. A comparison is made with publicly available bibliometric data, namely the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science citations database (hereafter ISI) for the Business - Finance (hereafter Finance) category. The paper analyses the leading international journals in Finance using expert scores and quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs), and highlights the similarities and differences in the expert scores and alternative RAMs, where the RAMs are based on alternative transformations of citations taken from the ISI database. Alternative RAMs may be calculated annually or updated daily to answer the perennial questions as to When, Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited (see Chang et al. (2011a, b, c)). The RAMs include the most widely used RAM, namely the classic 2-year impact factor including journal self citations (2YIF), 2-year impact factor excluding journal self citations (2YIF*), 5-year impact factor including journal self citations (5YIF), Immediacy (or zero-year impact factor (0YIF)), Eigenfactor, Article Influence, C3PO (Citation Performance Per Paper Online), h-index, PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors), 2-year Self-citation Threshold Approval Ratings (2Y-STAR), Historical Self-citation Threshold Approval Ratings (H-STAR), Impact Factor Inflation (IFI), and Cited Article Influence (CAI). As data are not available for 5YIF, Article Influence and CAI for 13 of the leading 34 journals considered, 10 RAMs are analysed for 21 highly-cited journals in Finance. The harmonic mean of the ranks of the 10 RAMs for the 34 highly-cited journals are also presented. It is shown that emphasizing the 2-year impact factor of a journal, which partly answers the question as to When published papers are cited, to the exclusion of other informative RAMs, which answer Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited, can lead to a distorted evaluation of journal impact and influence relative to the Harmonic Mean rankings. A linear regression model is used to forecast expert scores on the basis of RAMs that capture journal impact, journal policy, the number of high quality papers, and quantitative information about a journal. The robustness of the rankings is also analysed.
    Keywords: Expert scores; Journal quality; RAMs; Impact factor; IFI; C3PO; PI-BETA; STAR; Eigenfactor; Article Influence; h-index; harmonic mean; robustness
    JEL: C18 C81 C83
    Date: 2013–02–18

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