New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2013‒07‒20
twenty papers chosen by

  1. Debating the Responsibility of Capitalism in Historical and Global Perspective By Geoffrey G. Jones
  2. The Centennial Issue of the Discussion Papers in Economic and Social History By Rui Esteves
  3. Economic Philosophy of Khewa Gul, an Unknown Tribal Economist of 18th Century By Gul, Ejaz
  4. Two contrasting experiences. The rural land market in sixteenth century Flanders and Brabant By Nicolas De Vijlder
  5. The Economic Complexity of Innovation as a Creative Response. By Antonelli, Cristiano
  6. Inequality and Household Finance during the Consumer Age By Steven Fazzari; Barry Z. Cynamon
  7. From the Bank Panic of 1907 to the Great Depression of 1929 and the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s: Lessons for the future By Trompatzi, Georgia; Metaxas, Theodore
  8. Bowling for fascism: Social capital and the rise of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany, 1919-33 By Shanker Satyanath; Nico Voigtländer; Joachim Voth
  9. The Dissemination of Management Innovations through Consultancy in the Postwar Period By Ćwiklicki, Marek; Alcouffe, Alain
  10. MIT Graduate Networks: the early years By Pedro Garcia Duarte
  11. The effect of globalization on water consumption: a case study of spanish virtual water trade, 1849-1935 By Rosa Duarte; Vicente Pinilla; Ana Serrano
  12. The Cognitive Effects of Micronutrient Deficiency: Evidence from Salt Iodization in the United States By James Feyrer; Dimitra Politi; David N. Weil
  13. Three Revolutions in Macroeconomics: Their Nature and Influence By David Laidler
  14. Why droughts started to turn into famines in the Late Victorian periods? A complex system approach. By Vallino.Elena
  15. Decision-making tools and procedures for City Logistics By Jesus Muñuzuri; Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu
  16. Dispersion and Distortions in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade By Dalton, John; Leung, Tin Cheuk
  17. Long Run Trends in Australian Executive Remuneration: BHP 1887-2012 By Pottenger, Mike; Leigh, Andrew
  18. Disease Control, Demographic Change and Institutional Development in Africa By Margaret S. McMillan; William A. Masters; Harounan Kazianga
  19. Empire-building and Price competition By Pietri , Antoine; Tazdaït , Tarik; Vahabi , Mehrdad
  20. If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why Has Income Diverged? By Diego Comin; Mestieri

  1. By: Geoffrey G. Jones (Harvard Business School, General Management Unit)
    Abstract: This working paper examines the evolution of concepts of the responsibility of business in a historical and global perspective. It shows that from the nineteenth century American, European, Japanese, Indian and other business leaders discussed the responsibilities of business beyond making profits, although until recently such views have not been mainstream. There was also a wide variation concerning the nature of this responsibility. This paper argues that four factors drove such beliefs; spirituality, self-interest; fears of government intervention; and the belief that governments were incapable of addressing major social issues.
    Date: 2013–07
  2. By: Rui Esteves (Dept of Economics, University of Oxford, UK)
    Abstract: TOn the occasion of the hundredth issue of the Discussion Papers, this special number contains reflections on the past and future of economic and social history at Oxford and in general. Five scholars, who have been associated with the subject at Oxford, contribute with personal reflections on this topic. Two introductory studies survey the record of the Discussion Papers and the history of the discipline at Oxford, focussing on the organisation of the teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and on the research lineages initiated by the faculty in post since the war.
    Date: 2013–07–15
  3. By: Gul, Ejaz
    Abstract: While the 18th Century economics is generally characterized by economic philosophy of Adam's Smith, its effects could not fully reach the tribal region of Pakistan. This region has a centuries old history. Far from the modern world, people living in these tribal areas had their own rules of life, social norms and traditions. They had their own laws of economics. Exchange of goods for services was very convenient for them as the real money did not exist. The economics related to construction engineering was one of their expert areas. Khewa Gul was an elder of the tribal society from Naryab (a mountainous area in the north of Pakistan). He was very wise and genius person. He was born on 13 March 1736 and died in 1793. He could not get formal education as it was non existent in the mountains of tribal region. However, he had the urge to guide people with his economic thoughts and philosophy. At the age of 16, he started telling people where they should construct homes and other building and which places were to be avoided for construction due to economic and technical reasons. He strongly believed that in every endevour of human, economics should be considered. He can truly be called as the unknown economic philosopher of 18th Century. His used to say that selection of promising site for construction is essential since it has strong linkage with service life of the project. He created maps which showed the most suitable sites for construction from economics and technical point of view. Since, no printing and reproduction facility was available at that time; he drew sketches and maps on the trees, lather sheets and stones. This research is about validation of an economic suitability map created by Khewa Gul in 18th Century to ascertain whether the map produced by him in 18th Century is correct and valid in 21st Century or not. The area represented in the map is located in Naryab, Pakistan. A detailed research methodology was adopted for this validation. First the soil strength was calculated at few selected points of study area, from which a geotechnical suitability map was prepared for the study area. Similarly, basing on tangible factors like cost of material, soil improvement, labour, maintenance requirements and transportation of material to the site, an economic model was developed for economic evaluation of the site. From this evaluation as economic suitability map was prepared for the study area. Surprisingly, there was close similarity between site suitability map produced by Khewa Gul in 18th Century and geotechnical and economic suitability maps produced after research in 21st Century. This research paper truly presents a valuable and interesting study on economic philosophy and vision of the people in 18th Century.
    Keywords: Economic, philosophy, site suitability, map, 18th Century, 21st Century, similarities
    JEL: L74 R14
    Date: 2013–07–16
  4. By: Nicolas De Vijlder (Department of History, Ghent University)
    Abstract: The development of factor markets during the transition from the middle ages into the early modern period was of crucial importance for long term economic growth. However, especially in the Southern Low Countries, the land market remains understudied. In this paper I focus on the late sixteenth-century rural land market, using two case-studies each consisting of three parishes. A first case-study is formed by the parishes of Sleidinge and Evergem situated inland-Flanders near the city of Ghent. The second cases-study comprises the parishes St-Kathelijne Lombeek, Wambeek and Ternat and is located about ten kilometers from Brussels. Our preliminary research garnered several interesting results. Although both case- studies are part of the larger agrosystem of Inland Flanders, market activity (type of plots sold, average acreage sold, yearly turnover etc...) differed greatly between the two regions. Our analysis shows that these contrasting experiences can be explained by a combination of institutional, socio-economic and geographical factors.
    JEL: N13 N33 N93 P13 P25
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Antonelli, Cristiano (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Evolutionary economics has finally recognized the limits of biological analogies and is now able to apply the tools of complexity analysis. A better appreciation of the Schumpeterian legacy can help building better foundations to this new phase of evolutionary economics. The paper uncovers the merits of the essay “The creative response in economic history” published by Joseph Alois Schumpeter in the Journal of Economic History in 1947 and forgotten since then. The correct appreciation of this Schumpeterian contribution is important not only to better understand the evolution of Schumpeter’s thinking but also to elaborate a more inclusive and robust framework able to integrate the contributions of the Classical School and the Marshallian traditions as well as the tools of historical economics so as to implement the new emerging evolutionary complexity.
    Date: 2013–05
  6. By: Steven Fazzari; Barry Z. Cynamon
    Abstract: One might expect that rising US income inequality would reduce demand growth and create a drag on the economy because higher-income groups spend a smaller share of income. But during a quarter century of rising inequality, US growth and employment were reasonably strong, by historical standards, until the Great Recession. This paper analyzes this paradox by disaggregating household spending, income, saving, and debt between the bottom 95 percent and top 5 percent of the income distribution. We find that the top 5 percent did indeed spend a smaller share of income, but demand drag did not occur because the spending share of the bottom 95 percent rose, accompanied by a historic increase in borrowing. The unsustainable rise in household leverage concentrated in the bottom 95 percent ultimately spawned the Great Recession. The demand drag of rising inequality could be one explanation for the stagnant recovery in the recession's aftermath.
    Date: 2013–02–01
  7. By: Trompatzi, Georgia; Metaxas, Theodore
    Abstract: This paper goes over three big crises with a global resonance which took place in the American economy during the 20th century. Namely, the Bank Panic of 1907, the Great Depression of 1929 and the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s are examined. The paper lists the major events during the crises in question and probes the causes, consequences and ways through which each crisis was attempted to be encountered. Through this examination, useful lessons to be learned and fatal mistakes to be avoided arise.
    Keywords: Bank Panic, Global Economic Crisis, Great Depression, Savings and Loan Debacle
    JEL: G01
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Shanker Satyanath; Nico Voigtländer; Joachim Voth
    Abstract: Social capital – a dense network of associations facilitating cooperation within a community – typically leads to positive political and economic outcomes, as demonstrated by a large literature following Putnam. A growing literature emphasizes the potentially "dark side" of social capital. This paper examines the role of social capital in the downfall of democracy in interwar Germany by analyzing Nazi party entry rates in a cross-section of towns and cities. Before the Nazi Party's triumphs at the ballot box, it built an extensive organizational structure, becoming a mass movement with nearly a million members by early 1933. We show that dense networks of civic associations such as bowling clubs, animal breeder associations, or choirs facilitated the rise of the Nazi Party. The effects are large: Towns with one standard deviation higher association density saw at least one-third faster growth in the strength of the Nazi Party. IV results based on 19th century measures of social capital reinforce our conclusions. In addition, all types of associations – veteran associations and non-military clubs, "bridging" and "bonding" associations – positively predict NS party entry. These results suggest that social capital in Weimar Germany aided the rise of the Nazi movement that ultimately destroyed Germany's first democracy.
    Keywords: social capital, democracy, political economy, Weimar Germany, Nazi Party
    JEL: N44 P16 Z10
    Date: 2013–06
  9. By: Ćwiklicki, Marek; Alcouffe, Alain
    Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to fulfill and to refine the role of consultancy and professional bodies in dissemination of management innovations in the Inter- and Postwar Period that was in these days scientific management in Europe. The proposition is set upon the case of French consultancies and organizing bodies (i.e. professional societies and associations) and their activities to popularize the scientific management movement with a special reference to the Henry Bernaténé’s output.
    Keywords: business history, dissemination, management innovation, consultancy
    JEL: B2 B3 M1
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Pedro Garcia Duarte
    Abstract: After World War II economists acquired increasing importance in the American society in general. Moreover, the production of economics PhDs in the United States increased substantially and became a less concentrated industry. This period witnessed also the reformulation of the graduate education in economics in the US, informed by the several changes that were occurring in economics: its mathematization, the neoclassicism, the advancement of econometrics, the “Keynesian revolution”, and the ultimate Americanization of economics. The centrality that the MIT graduate program acquired in the postwar period makes it an important case study of the transformation of American economics more generally. Therefore, my aim here is to scrutinize the formative years of the PhD program, mostly the 1940s and 1950s.
    Keywords: MIT Economics Department, MIT PhD Program, Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow
    JEL: B20 B29 A23
    Date: 2013–07–12
  11. By: Rosa Duarte; Vicente Pinilla; Ana Serrano
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyse the impact on water consumption of the trade expansion of the first globalization era. To that end, we choose the case of Spain, a semi-arid country with significant cyclical water shortages that excelled as an exporter of agricultural and food products in the period of study. More specifically, we are interested in answering the following questions: What was the volume of water embodied in agricultural and food products exports, how did this variable evolve over time, what factors drove this evolution and what was the volume of water incorporated in imports of these products?. In short, we want to know the impact on water resources of Spain’s entry into agriculture and food markets. To explore these issues, we will use the concepts of virtual water and virtual water trade. First, we examine virtual water trade flows in the long run. Further, we attempt to disentangle certain major drivers underlying these trajectories. In order to establish the role played by trade in the final net balance of water, a Structural Decomposition Analysis (SDA) is applied. Finally, an analysis of the implications of the increase in virtual water trade on water resources is carried out.
    Keywords: virtual water trade, environmental history, agricultural trade, water history
    JEL: N53 Q17 Q25 Q56
    Date: 2013–07
  12. By: James Feyrer; Dimitra Politi; David N. Weil
    Abstract: Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation in the world today. The condition, which was common in the developed world until the introduction of iodized salt in the 1920s, is connected to low iodine levels in the soil and water. We examine the impact of salt iodization on cognitive outcomes in the US by taking advantage of this natural geographic variation. Salt was iodized over a very short period of time beginning in 1924. We use military data collected during WWI and WWII to compare outcomes of cohorts born before and after iodization, in localities that were naturally poor and rich in iodine. We find that for the one quarter of the population most deficient in iodine this intervention raised IQ by approximately one standard deviation. Our results can explain roughly one decade's worth of the upwardtrend in IQ in the US (the Flynn Effect). We also document a large increase in thyroid related deaths following the countrywide adoption of iodized salt, which affected mostly older individuals in localities with high prevalence of iodine deficiency.
    JEL: I18 I28 J24 N32
    Date: 2013–07
  13. By: David Laidler (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: Harry Johnson’s 1971 ideas about the factors affecting the success of the Keynesian Revolution and the Monetarist Counter-revolution are summarised and extended to the analysis of the Rational Expectations - New Classical (RE-NC) Revolution. It is then argued that, whereas Monetarism brought about a revival of the quantity theory of money from the limbo into which Keynesianism had pushed it, RE-NC modelling was responsible for that theory’s most recent disappearance. This happened despite the fact that, initially, RE-NC economics appeared to be a mainly technical extension and refinement of Monetarism, rather than a radically new economic doctrine. Some implications of this story for todays’ macroeconomics are briefly discussed.
    Keywords: Keynesianism, Monetarism, Rational expectations New Classical economics Quantity Theory; Money; Velocity; Monetary policy; Inflation; Unemployment; Business cycle; Phillips curve
    JEL: B21 E31 E41 E52
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Vallino.Elena (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this article complex system theories are used as interpretation framework for analyzing the strong famines which occurred in the Late Victorian age in many tropical countries. One leading explanation in the literature regarding these famines is that the so-called New Imperialism at the end of the nineteenth century together with the integration of the rural areas of tropical countries into the interconnected world economy led to an increase of the vulnerability of the population in these areas to climatic and economic shocks. This vulnerability converted rapidly the droughts between 1876 and 1902 into massive famines, diseases and starvations. The following questions are posed. Which contribution can complexity theory give to the understanding of these phenomena? If it is easy to conceive the process that leads to famines as complex, I wonder if a complexity approach is appropriate for representing and explaining the causal relations within the system that led to the emergence of famines. The complex system approach is extremely useful for analysing in detail the high degree of unpredictability of the system created by the interaction of phenomena which are very different among them, in nature, time and scale. Moreover, it is effective in analyzing the diversities in scale among causes and effects. However, I find the approach less useful when it is necessary to identify power relations and decision nodes among the elements of the system
    Date: 2013–05
  15. By: Jesus Muñuzuri (Departamento de ingenieria de la organizacion 2 - Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)); Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État [ENTPE] - Université Lumière - Lyon II)
    Abstract: Urban logistics research set off in Europe some fifteen years ago, supported by the funding efforts of the European Commission. The special morphology of European cities, with narrow streets and historical centres which had to be preserved in many cases as world heritage sites, contributed to this interest. However, the problems of urban deliveries also had to be faced in other lively and congested cities around the globe, from Japan to America or Australia. Therefore, several researchers and practitioners have developed in the last years a wide variety of methods to support the different decisions of stakeholders involved in urban logistics. This paper motivates and introduces the Special Issue of European Transport/Trasporti Europei on decision support for urban logistics. The ten proposed papers are classified and presented.
    Keywords: urban logistics; decision support; introduction; country-approach
    Date: 2013–07–01
  16. By: Dalton, John; Leung, Tin Cheuk
    Abstract: This paper documents the variation in economic characteristics across voyages during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Dispersion in output, measured as slaves disembarked, is highest across Portuguese voyages, lower across French voyages, and lowest across British voyages. We use a structural approach to identify market distortions from wedges in first order conditions. The dispersion in market distortions is highest for Portuguese voyages, followed by French and British. We then calculate the share of output dispersion due to the dispersion in market distortions. Dispersion in market distortions accounts for as much as 17% of the dispersion in output. Dispersion in total factor productivity accounts for the largest share of dispersion in output.
    Keywords: slave trades, market distortions, output dispersion, productivity
    JEL: F14 F54 N77
    Date: 2013–02
  17. By: Pottenger, Mike (University of Melbourne); Leigh, Andrew (Australian National University)
    Abstract: Outside the US, little is known of long-run trends in executive compensation. We fill this gap by studying BHP, a resources giant that has long been one of the largest companies on the Australian stock market. From 1887 to 2013, trends in CEO and director remuneration (relative to average earnings) follow a U-shape. This matches the pattern for US executive compensation, Australian top incomes, and (for the past two decades) average trends in executive compensation in top Australian firms. Like the US, Australia experienced a post-war 'great compression' prior to the recent 'great divergence'.
    Keywords: executive remuneration, inequality, income distribution
    JEL: D31 J31
    Date: 2013–07
  18. By: Margaret S. McMillan; William A. Masters; Harounan Kazianga
    Abstract: This paper addresses the role of tropical disease in rural demography and land use rights, using data from Onchocerciasis (river blindness) control in Burkina Faso. We combine a new survey of village elders with historical census data for 1975-2006 and geocoded maps of treatment under the regional Onchocerciasis Control Program (OCP). The OCP ran from 1975 to 2002, first spraying rivers to stop transmission and then distributing medicine to help those already infected. Controlling for time and village fixed effects, we find that villages in treated areas acquired larger populations and also had more cropland transactions, fewer permits required for cropland transactions, and more regulation of common property pasture and forest. These effects are robust to numerous controls and tests for heterogeneity across the sample, including time-varying region fixed effects. Descriptive statistics suggest that treated villages also acquired closer access to electricity and telephone service, markets, wells and primary schools, with no difference in several other variables. These results are consistent with both changes in productivity and effects of population size on public institutions.
    JEL: I00 Q0 Q00
    Date: 2013–07
  19. By: Pietri , Antoine; Tazdaït , Tarik; Vahabi , Mehrdad
    Abstract: This paper is among the first to theoretically examine the relevance of price competition in the protection market by focusing on the competition between empires. By distinguishing absolute and differential protection rents, we first define coercive rivalry and price competition among empires and then establish three types of empires: early empires of domination (like Akkadian empire), territorial empires (like Russian empire), and merchant empires (like Venetian empire). Empires are structured on the basis of two types of hierarchies that determine their protection costs: ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up.’ We systematically study the impact of asymmetrical protection costs on price competition in the light of Bertrand equilibria. We provide an economic rationale for the use of violence throughout history in conformity with the findings of economic historians.
    Keywords: Absolute and differential protection rents; Bertrand equilibrium; Empires of domination; Merchant empires; Territorial Empires
    JEL: D74 H11 H56 L13 P16
    Date: 2013–03
  20. By: Diego Comin; Mestieri
    Abstract: We study the lags with which new technologies are adopted across countries, and their long-run penetration rates once they are adopted. Using data from the last two centuries, we document two new facts: there has been convergence in adoption lags between rich and poor countries, while there has been divergence in penetration rates. Using a model of adoption and growth, we show that these changes in the pattern of technology di ffusion account for 80% of the Great Income Divergence between rich and poor countries since 1820.
    Date: 2013–04–04

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