nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2013‒05‒24
eleven papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. High School Graduation in the Context of Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy and Income Inequality: The Last Half Century By Nora E. Gordon
  2. The evolution and sustainability of seasonal migration from Poland to Germany: From the dusk of the 19th century to the dawn of the 21st century By Kepinska, Ewa; Stark, Oded
  3. A History of the Swedish Pension System By Hagen, Johannes
  4. Coping with regional inequality in Sweden : structural change, migrations and policy, 1860-2000 By Kerstin Enflo; Joan R. Rosés
  5. Maternal Health and the Baby Boom By Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti
  6. Empirical Research on Sovereign Debt and Default By Michael Tomz; Mark L. J. Wright
  7. Understanding Rating Addiction: US Courts and the Origins of Rating Agencies’ Regulatory License (1900-1940) By Marc Flandreau, Joanna Kinga Sławatyniec
  8. Maternal Health and Fertility: An International Perspective By Stefania Albanesi
  9. On the accuracy of export growth in Argentina, 1870-1913 By Antonio Tena Junguito; Henry Willebald
  10. The history of cyclical macroprudential policy in the United States By Douglas J. Elliott; Greg Feldberg; Andreas Lehnert
  11. The New Suburbs: Evolving travel behavior, the built environment, and subway investments in Mexico City By Guerra, Erick Strom

  1. By: Nora E. Gordon
    Abstract: Goldin and Katz (2008) document the key role that the educational attainment of native-born workers in the U.S. has played in determining changing returns to skill and income distribution in the twentieth century, emphasizing the need to understand the forces driving the supply of educated workers. This paper examines stagnation in high school graduation rates from about 1970 to 2000, alongside dramatic changes in elementary and secondary educational institutions and income inequality over those years. I review the policy history of major changes in educational institutions, including but not limited to the massive increase in school spending, and related literature. I then present descriptive analysis of the relationships between income inequality and both graduation and school spending from 1963 to 2007. Results suggest that inequality at the top of the income distribution, which was negatively correlated with the establishment of public secondary schooling earlier in the twentieth century, was positively correlated not only with education spending levels but also with aggregate high school graduation rates at the state level in this later period.
    JEL: I2 I20 I24 I28
    Date: 2013–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19049&r=his
  2. By: Kepinska, Ewa; Stark, Oded
    Abstract: We document and suggest a rationale for the durability of seasonal migration from Poland to Germany, a phenomenon persisting for more than a century. We refer to the role of the tradition of engaging in seasonal migration as a force that helped invigorate the process and contribute to its sustainability even when, to different degrees and at different times, the process was interrupted by a shifting political, regulatory, and legal environment. Evidence in support of the role of tradition is provided, among other things, by the continuation of the seasonal flow of migrants from once border regions - which became internal regions following WWII, despite the fact that since the redrawing of the German-Polish border, proximity is no longer a factor encouraging repeated, short-term seasonal moves. --
    Keywords: Poland-to-Germany seasonal migration,Evolution of seasonal migration,Longterm durability of seasonal migration,Tradition
    JEL: F22 J22 J43 J61 N3 N33 N34 N93 N94
    Date: 2013
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:tuewef:54&r=his
  3. By: Hagen, Johannes (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: This report provides an extensive overview of the history of the Swedish pension system. Starting with the implementation of the world's first universal public pension system in 1913, the report discusses the political as well as the economic background to each major public pension reform up until today. It presents the rules and the institutional details of these reforms and discuss their implications for retirement behavior, the general state of the economy and the political environment. Parallel to the development of the public pension system, a comprehensive and quite complex occupational pension system has emerged. This report describes the historical background and the institutional details of the four largest agreement-based occupational pension schemes in Sweden.
    Keywords: pensions; retirement; economic history; private pensions; public pensions; historic Review; funded; unfunded; defined contribution; defined benefit; Beveridgean welfare state; Bismarckian welfare state
    JEL: H55 H75 N33 N34 P35
    Date: 2013–05–14
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2013_007&r=his
  4. By: Kerstin Enflo; Joan R. Rosés
    Abstract: In many countries, regional income inequality has followed an inverted Ushaped 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: N94 N93 R11 R12
    Date: 2012–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp12-09&r=his
  5. By: Stefania Albanesi (Federal Reserve Bank of New York and CEPR); Claudia Olivetti (Boston University and NBER)
    Abstract: U.S. fertility rose from a low of 2.27 children for women born in 1908 to a peak of 3.21 children for women born in 1932. It dropped to a new low of 1.74 children for women born in 1949, before stabilizing for subsequent cohorts. We propose a novel explanation for this boom-bust pattern, linking it to the huge improvements in maternal health that started in the mid 1930s. Our hypothesis is that the improvements in maternal health contributed to the mid-twentieth century baby boom and generated a rise in women's human capital, ultimately leading to a decline in desired fertility for subsequent cohorts. To examine this link empirically, we exploit the large cross-state variation in the magnitude of the decline in pregnancy-related mortality and the differential exposure by cohort. We find that the decline in maternal mortality is associated with a rise in fertility for women born between 1921 and 1940, with a rise in college and high school graduation rates for women born in 1933-1950 relative to previous cohorts, and with a decline in fertility for women born in 1941-1950 relative to those born in 1921-1940. The analysis provides new insights on the determinants of fertility in the U.S. and other countries that experienced similar improvements in maternal health.
    Keywords: Maternal mortality, Fertility choice, Baby boom, human capital
    JEL: J11 J13 N12 N3
    Date: 2013–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2013-03&r=his
  6. By: Michael Tomz; Mark L. J. Wright
    Abstract: In this essay we review the empirical literature about sovereign debt and default. As we survey the work of economists, historians, and political scientists, we also emphasize parallel developments by theorists and recommend steps to improve the correspondence between theory and data.
    Keywords: International relations, Political economy, Sovereign debt, Sovereign default
    JEL: C82 E01 F21 F34 F51 F55 N20
    Date: 2013–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:een:camaaa:2013-16&r=his
  7. By: Marc Flandreau, Joanna Kinga Sławatyniec (IHEID, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the “regulatory license” view that reliance by regulators on the output of rating agencies in the 1930s “caused” the agencies to become a central part of the fabric of the US financial system. Exploring pre-1930 court records, we find evidence of a growing reliance on the agencies that pre-dates the regulatory moves of the 1930s. We argue that courts began using ratings as financial community produced norms of prudence, providing a novel interpretation of the emergence of rating in financial systems as a product of trustee law. We remark that this created “a legal license” problem, creating incentives and conflicts of interest not unlike those which modern observers usually associate with regulation in the subprime crisis.
    Date: 2013–05–21
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp11-2013&r=his
  8. By: Stefania Albanesi (Federal Reserve Bank of New York and CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the decline in maternal mortality on fertility and women's human capital. Fertility theory suggests that a permanent decline in maternal mortality initially increases fertility and generates a permanent rise in women's human capital, relative to men. The resulting rise in the opportunity cost of children leads to a subsequent decline in desired fertility, generating a boom-bust response. We assess these predictions using newly digitized data on maternal mortality for 25 advanced and emerging economies for the time period 1900-2000. The empirical estimates suggest that the decline in maternal mortality contributed significantly to the baby booms and subsequent baby busts experi- enced by these economies in the twentieth century, and that the female-male differential in education attainment grew more in those countries that experience a sizable maternal mortality decline.
    Keywords: Maternal mortality decline, fertility choice, baby boom, women's, human capital
    JEL: J11 J13 J16 N3
    Date: 2013–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2013-05&r=his
  9. By: Antonio Tena Junguito; Henry Willebald
    Abstract: Argentine export growth before the First World War is considered one of the most relevant variables in order to understand the main characteristics of Argentina’s long-run modern economic growth properly. The lack of accuracy of the official export series, especially the relative official values used, lies behind some of the controversies and doubts of the historiography when addressing the causes and consequences of Argentina’s international convergence. We have used empirical evidence to test the accuracy of quantities and value exports records, first, according to their import partners’ records and, second, according to international market prices. Results show that the hypothesis of export price undervaluation bias is correct. In the light of these results we reconstructed a new Argentine export f.o.b. values and price index using international prices valued in pounds sterling which allows us to offer a new proposal indicating a more dynamic Argentine export growth during the Belle Époque years
    Keywords: Latin America, First Globalization, Argentina, Exports Growth, Accuracy Exports
    JEL: F14 N76
    Date: 2013–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp13-03&r=his
  10. By: Douglas J. Elliott; Greg Feldberg; Andreas Lehnert
    Abstract: Since the financial crisis of 2007-2009, policymakers have debated the need for a new toolkit of cyclical "macroprudential" policies to constrain the build-up of risks in financial markets, for example, by dampening credit-fueled asset bubbles. These discussions tend to ignore America's long and varied history with many of the instruments under consideration to smooth the credit cycle, presumably because of their sparse usage in the last three decades. We provide the first comprehensive survey and historic narrative of these efforts. The tools whose background and use we describe include underwriting standards, reserve requirements, deposit rate ceilings, credit growth limits, supervisory pressure, and other financial regulatory policy actions. The contemporary debates over these tools highlighted a variety of concerns, including "speculation," undesirable rates of inflation, and high levels of consumer spending, among others. Ongoing statistical work suggests that macroprudential tightening lowers consumer debt but macroprudential easing does not increase it.
    Date: 2013
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-29&r=his
  11. By: Guerra, Erick Strom
    Abstract: Mexico City is a suburban metropolis, yet most of its suburbs would be unfamiliar to urbanists accustomed to thinking about US metropolitan regions. Mexico City’s suburbs are densely populated—not thinly settled—and its residents rely primarily on informal transit rather than privately-owned automobiles for their daily transportation. These types of dense and transit-dependent suburbs have emerged as the fastest-growing form of human settlement in cities throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Wealthier and at a later stage in its economic development than other developing-world metropolises, Mexico City is a compelling place to investigate the effects of rising incomes, increased car ownership, and transit investments in the dense, peripheral areas that have grown rapidly around informal transit in the past decades, and is a bellwether for cities like Dakar, Cairo, Lima, and Jakarta. I begin this dissertation with a historical overview of the demographic, economic, and political trends that have helped shape existing urban form, transportation infrastructure, and travel behavior in Mexico City. Despite an uptick in car ownership and use, most households—both urban and suburban—continue to rely on public transportation. Furthermore, suburban Mexico City has lower rates of car ownership and use than its central areas. In subsequent chapters, I frame, pose, and investigate three interrelated questions about Mexico City’s evolving suburban landscape, the nature of households’ travel decisions, and the relationship between the built environment and travel behavior. Together, these inquiries tell a story that differs significantly from narratives about US suburbs, and provide insight into the future transportation needs and likely effects of land and transportation policy in these communities and others like them in Mexico and throughout the developing world. First, how has the influence of the built environment on travel behavior changed as more households have moved into the suburbs and aggregate car use has increased? Using two large metropolitan household travel surveys from 1994 and 2007, I model two related-but-distinct household travel decisions: whether to drive on an average weekday, and if so, how far to drive. After controlling for income and other household attributes, I find that the influence of population and job density on whether a household undertakes any daily car trips is strong and has increased marginally over time. By contrast, high job and population densities have a much smaller influence on the total distance of weekday car travel that a household generates. For the subset of households whose members drive on a given weekday, job and population densities have no statistical effect at all. Contrary to expectations, a household’s distance from the urban center is strongly correlated with a lower probability of driving, even after controlling for income. This effect, however, appears to be diminishing over time, and when members of a household drive, they drive significantly more if they live farther from the urban center. The combination of informal transit, public buses, and the Metro has provided sufficient transit service to constrain car use in the densely populated suburban environments of Mexico City. Once suburban residents drive, however, they tend to drive a lot regardless of transit or the features of the built environment. Second, how much are the recent trends of increased suburbanization, rising car-ownership, and the proliferation of massive commercially-built peripheral housing developments interrelated? To investigate this question, I first disentangle urban growth and car ownership trends by geographic area. The fastest-growing areas tend to be poorer and have had a much smaller impact on the size of the metropolitan car fleet than wealthier, more established neighborhoods in the center and western half of the metropolis. I then zoom in to examine several recent commercial housing developments. These developments, supported by publicly-subsidized mortgages, contain thousands of densely-packed, small, and modestly-priced housing units. Their residents remain highly reliant on public transportation, particularly informal transit, and the neighborhoods become less homogenous over time as homeowners convert units and parking spaces to shops and offices. Finally, I use the 2007 household travel survey to model households’ intertwined decisions of where to live and whether to own a car. As expected, wealthier and smaller households are more likely to purchase vehicles. However, they prefer to live in more central areas where households with cars tend to drive shorter distances. If housing policy and production cannot adapt to provide more centrally-located housing, growing incomes will tend to increase car ownership but concentrate more of it in areas where car-owning households drive much farther. Third, how has the Metro’s Line B, one of the first and only suburban high-capacity transit investments, influenced local and regional travel behavior and land use? To explore this question, I compare travel behavior and land use measures at six geographic scales, including the investment’s immediate catchment area, across two time periods: six years before and seven years after the investment opened. Line B, which opened in stages in 1999 and 2000, significantly expanded Metro coverage into the densely populated and fast-growing suburban municipality of Ecatepec. While the investment sparked a significant increase in local Metro use, most of this increase came from people relying on informal transit, rather than cars. While this shift reduced transit fares and increased transit speeds for local residents, it also increased government subsidies for the Metro and had no apparent effect on road speeds. Furthermore, the Metro remains highly dependent on informal transit to provide feeder service even within Ecatepec. In terms of land use, the investment increased density around the stations but appears to have had little to no effect on downtown commercial development, where it might have been expected to have a significant influence. In short, the effects of Line B demonstrate much of the promise and problem with expanding high capacity transit service into the suburbs. Ridership is likely to be high, but so too will be the costs and subsidies, while the effects on car ownership and urban form are likely to be modest. Individually, each chapter contributes to a specific body of transportation and planning literature drawn from the US as well as developing countries. Collectively, they point to connection between land use and transportation in Mexico City that is different from the 3 connection in US and other rich-world cities. In particular, there is a physical disconnect between the generally suburban homes of transit users and the generally central location of high-capacity public transit. Addressing this disconnect by shifting housing production from the periphery to the center or by expanding high-capacity transit to the periphery would require significant amounts of time and public subsidy. Thus, contemporary policies to reduce car use or increase accessibility for the poor in the short and medium term would do well to focus on improving the flexible, medium-capacity informal transit around which the city’s dense and transit-dependent suburbs have grown and continue to grow.
    Keywords: City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning
    Date: 2013–05–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt88t7k9p5&r=his

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