nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2014‒01‒10
eleven papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Foreign Direct Investments and Intellectual Property Rights. International Intangible Assets in Spain circa 1820–1939 By Saiz, Patricio; Castro, Rafael
  2. Ranking Leading Econometrics Journals Using Citations Data from ISI and RePEc By Chia-Lin; Michael McAleer
  3. Flexibility and Diversity: the putting-out system in the silk fabric industry of Kiryu, Japan By NAKABAYASHI, Masaki
  4. Sovereigns versus banks: credit, crises, and consequences By Jorda, Oscar; Schularick, Moritz; Taylor, Alan M.
  5. Social mobility at the top: Why are elites self-reproducing? By Elise S. Brezis; Joel Hellier
  6. Swedish Wealth Taxation, 1911–2007 By Du Rietz, Gunnar; Henrekson, Magnus
  7. The Democracy abridged: Factors in Restricting Political Competition By Konstantin Yanovskiy; Sergey Zhavoronkov; Ilia Zatcovecky; Ekaterina Kudryavceva
  8. Waging War on Poverty: Historical Trends in Poverty Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure By Liana Fox; Irwin Garfinkel; Neeraj Kaushal; Jane Waldfogel; Christopher Wimer
  9. La Argentina y la tendencia descendente de la tasa de ganancia (1910-2011) By Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
  10. Economic Convergence with Divergence in Environmental Quality? Desertification Risk and the Economic Structure of a Mediterranean Country (1960-2010) By Esposito, Piero; Patriarca, Fabrizio; Perini, Luigi; Salvati, Luca
  11. John Bates Clark’s Conception of Capital By McCain, Roger

  1. By: Saiz, Patricio (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Castro, Rafael (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: In this paper, we reflect on the links between the origin and rate of foreign direct investments (FDI) and the granting of intellectual property rights (IPRs) to foreigners in Spain during the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. Our main hypothesis is that the two issues were strongly related during the extension of industrialization in Europe, although distinct interests and goals could have led to different investment and IPR strategies. This was true during the whole period studied, and especially after 1880, when the first globalization emerged, progressively favoring corporative transnational investments and international agreements on IPRs. During both centuries, foreign investors from several North Atlantic countries flooded the Spanish economy, taking thousands of patents and trademarks. Based on outstanding data on FDI and foreign IPRs in Spain, the scope of this complex relation is explored. In doing so, our hypothesis is confirmed and distinct international strategies and performances in the Spanish economy disentangled. Thus, our study provides a better understanding: 1) of the spread of international capitalism and multinationals, 2) of the competition among pioneers and first followers in the international markets, and 3) of the role of IPRs in that process. Our findings also shed light on the current debates regarding the relation of international investments and the protection of intangible assets in today’s global markets.
    Keywords: foreign investments, patents, trademarks, Spain
    JEL: F21 N73 N74 O34
    Date: 2013–07
  2. By: Chia-Lin; Michael McAleer (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the robustness of rankings of academic journal quality and research impact of 10 leading econometrics journals taken from the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science (ISI) Category of Economics, using citations data from ISI and the highly accessible Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) database that is widely used in economics, finance and related disciplines. The journals are ranked using quantifiable static and dynamic Research Assessment Measures (RAMs), with 15 RAMs from ISI and 5 RAMs from RePEc. The similarities and differences in various RAMs, which are based on alternative weighted and unweighted transformations of citations, are highlighted to show which RAMs are able to provide informational value relative to others. The RAMs include the impact factor, mean citations and non-citations, journal policy, number of high quality papers, and journal influence and article influence. The paper highlight robust rankings based on the harmonic mean of the ranks of 20 RAMs, which in some cases are closely related. It is shown that emphasizing the most widely-used RAM, the 2-year impact factor of a journal, can lead to a distorted evaluation of journal quality, impact and influence relative to the harmonic mean of the ranks. Some suggestions regarding the use of the most informative RAMs is also given.
    Keywords: Research assessment measures, citations, impact, influence, harmonic mean, robust journal rankings, econometrics
    JEL: C18 C81 Y10
    Date: 2013–12–01
  3. By: NAKABAYASHI, Masaki (Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Industrial clusters and factory industries are complements for industrialization and relational contracts between manufactures and subcontractors are organizational basis of such clusters. While standard repeated game models without agentsf risk attitude suggest that relational contracts serve by potential punishment on cheaters, we predict that relational transactions within a cluster help motivate risk-averse premier subcontractors not only potentially punish cheaters. This research studies Kiryu, which had been a kimono weaving cluster and rapidly expanded from the late 19th century being combined with synthetic dying techniques, and shows that premier subcontracting weavers were provided longterm relational contracts and allowed specialization.
    Keywords: Industrial clusters; repeated game; governance of trades; putting-out system; textile industry; Japan
    JEL: L14 L67 N95
    Date: 2013–12–23
  4. By: Jorda, Oscar (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco); Schularick, Moritz (University of Bonn); Taylor, Alan M. (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: Two separate narratives have emerged in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. One speaks of private financial excess and the key role of the banking system in leveraging and deleveraging the economy. The other emphasizes the public sector balance sheet over the private and worries about the risks of lax fiscal policies. However, the two may interact in important and understudied ways. This paper studies the co-evolution of public and private sector debt in advanced countries since 1870. We find that in advanced economies financial stability risks have come from private sector credit booms and not from the expansion of public debt. However, we find evidence that high levels of public debt have tended to exacerbate the effects of private sector deleveraging after crises, leading to more prolonged periods of economic depression. Fiscal space appears to be a constraint in the aftermath of a crisis, then and now.
    Keywords: leverage; booms; recessions; financial crises; business cycles; local projections
    JEL: C14 C52 E51 F32 F42 N10 N20
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Elise S. Brezis (Azrieli Center for Economic Policy (ACEP), Bar-Ilan University, Israel); Joel Hellier (Department of Economics, EQUIPPE, Univ. de Lille and LEMNA, Univ. de Nantes, France)
    Abstract: This paper proposes an explanation for the decrease in social mobility that has occurred in the last two decades in a number of advanced economies, as well as for the divergence in mobility dynamics across countries. Within an intergenerational framework, we show that a two-tier higher education system with standard and elite universities generates social stratification, high social immobility and self-reproduction of the elite. Moreover, we show that the higher the relative funding for elite universities, the higher the elite self-reproduction, and the lower social mobility. We also analyse the impacts of changes in the weight of the elite and of the middle class upon social mobility. Our findings provide theoretical bases for the inverted-U profile of social mobility experienced in several countries since World War II and to the ``Great Gatsby Curve'' relating social mobility to inequality.
    Keywords: Elite, higher education, selection, social mobility, social stratification.
    JEL: I21 J62 O15 Z13
    Date: 2013–11
  6. By: Du Rietz, Gunnar (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Henrekson, Magnus (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of modern Swedish wealth taxation since its introduction in 1911 until it was abolished in 2007. It offers a thorough description of the rules concerning valuation of assets, deductions/exemptions and tax schedules to characterize effective wealth tax schedules for the period 1911–2006. These rules and schedules are used to calculate marginal and average wealth tax rates for the whole period for a number of differently endowed owners of family firms and individual fortunes. The overall trend in the direct wealth tax was rising until 1971 for owners of large and middle-sized firms and for individuals of similar wealth consisting of non-corporate assets. Average direct wealth tax rates were low until 1934, except for 1913 when a temporary extra progressive defense tax was levied. There were three major tax hikes: in 1934, when the wealth tax was more than doubled, in 1948 when tax rates doubled again and in 1971 for owners of large firms and similarly sized non-corporate fortunes. Effective tax rates peaked in 1973 for owners of large firms and in 1983 for individuals with large non-corporate wealth. Reduction rules limited the wealth tax rates from 1934 for fortunes with high wealth/income ratios. The wealth tax on unlisted net business equity was abolished in 1991. Tax rates for wealthy individuals were decreased in 1991 and in 1992 and then remained at 0.51 percent until 2006, depending on whether the reduction rule was applicable. Tax rates for small-firm owners and small individual fortunes were substantially lower, but the tax difference was much smaller when owners of large fortunes could benefit from the reduction rules. The effective wealth tax was much greater if firm owners had to finance wealth tax payments through additional dividend payouts. In such cases the effective total wealth taxes were affected by high marginal income tax rates and peaked at extremely high levels in the 1970s and 1980s. Towards the end of the wealth tax regime, aggregate wealth tax revenues were relatively small: it never exceeded 0.4 percent of GDP in the postwar period and amounted to 0.16 percent of GDP in 2006.
    Keywords: Wealth tax; Tax avoidance; Entrepreneurship
    JEL: D31 H20 K34
    Date: 2014–01–02
  7. By: Konstantin Yanovskiy (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy); Sergey Zhavoronkov (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy); Ilia Zatcovecky (Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology); Ekaterina Kudryavceva (Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology)
    Abstract: “Improvements” in the mechanisms of democracy for making decisions about providing taxpayer-financed public goods can lead the economy in the same direction as authoritarianism. Such a by-product may be insignificant, but, even if so, a tradition of abridging democracy, similarly to an authoritarian tradition of long standing, can lend itself to correction only with great difficulty. There is a series of countries in which the dominance of one party during certain historical periods seemed quite obvious: Japan (1955-1993, but in fact, after a brief break, until 2009), Mexico (1929-2000), Italy (1947-1993), Sweden (1932-1976, as well as 20 out of the 23 years between 1982-2005), Israel (1948-1977), India (until 1977, 1980-1989, 1991-1998, i.e., for practically 46 out of 50 years the country was ruled by a single group), Botswana, and others. Tendencies of placing constraints on competition in the mass media by means of taxpayer financing of propaganda in favor of the position of very certain groups and coalitions are international. Today they have spread throughout most democratic countries of the world. This is a situation in which words about “protecting” the competition may imply eliminating it (as, for example, in Israel). Weakening of political and media competition causes weakening of guarantees for property rights; lowering of the transparency of the state, its responsibility and accountability to the electorate and to the taxpayers; Increase in opportunities for deriving revenues for interests groups, and limiting of opportunities (increase in costs) for coordination of steps to be taken by the population so as to protect their own rights and legal interests..
    Keywords: media market, public TV, political competition, property rights
    JEL: D72 D73 D78
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Liana Fox; Irwin Garfinkel; Neeraj Kaushal; Jane Waldfogel; Christopher Wimer
    Abstract: Using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the March Current Population Survey, we calculate historical poverty estimates based on the new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) from 1967 to 2012. During this period, poverty as officially measured has stagnated. However, the official poverty measure (OPM) does not account for the effect of near-cash transfers on the financial resources available to families, an important omission since such transfers have become an increasingly important part of government anti-poverty policy. Applying the SPM, which does count such transfers, we find that historical trends in poverty have been more favorable than the OPM suggests and that government policies have played an important and growing role in reducing poverty --- a role that is not evident when the OPM is used to assess poverty. We also find that government programs have played a particularly important role in alleviating child poverty and deep poverty, especially during economic downturns.
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2014–01
  9. By: Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
    Abstract: This work presents an estimation of the profit rate evolution in Argentina for the period 1910-2011, on the basis of five long time series: real machine fixed capital productivity (1874-2011), real and nominal fixed capital productivity (1910-2011), and real and nominal profit rate on fixed capital (1910-2011). All these series show a tendency to fall, according to Marx´s approach, due to relative increase on investment expenses in relation to labor force´s, which represent the profit source. Like estimations for other countries, the first part of the seventies and later years were signed by a great fall in the profit rate, which later recovery couldn´t reach the previous levels. The tendency of the profit rate to fall take place beyond any change on income distribution, which effects over profitability are more related with short and medium place cycles.
    Keywords: Profit rate – Argentina – Output/Capital ratio – Income distribution – Accumulation
    JEL: E01 E32 O11 O54 P16
    Date: 2013–12
  10. By: Esposito, Piero; Patriarca, Fabrizio; Perini, Luigi; Salvati, Luca
    Abstract: The present study investigates the relationship between land vulnerability to desertification and the evolution of the productive structure in Italy during the last fifty years (1960-2010). The objectives of the study are two-fold: (i) to present and discuss an original analysis of the income-environment relationship in an economic-convergent and environmental-divergent country and (ii) to evaluate the impact of the (changing) productive structure and selected socio-demographic characteristics on the level of land vulnerability. The econometric analysis indicates that the relationship between per capita GDP and land vulnerability across Italian provinces is completely reverted once we move from a cross section analysis to panel estimates. While economic and environmental disparities between provinces go in the same direction, with richer provinces having a better land, over time the growth process increases the desertification risk, with the economic structure acting as a significant variable.
    Keywords: Environmental quality, Economic growth, Land degradation, Regional disparities, Italy, Panel data.
    JEL: C23 Q24 Q56 R11
    Date: 2013–12–30
  11. By: McCain, Roger (School of Economics LeBow College of Business Drexel University)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the economic theory of John Bates Clark, with specific reference to his concept of capital, which seems very little remembered. For Clark, capital is to be distinguished from capital goods and is a resource that is at once immaterial and, in routine circumstances, permanent. Drawing on the original definition of holism in the writings of General the Right Honorable Jan Christiaan Smuts, it is argued that Clark’s conception is holist rather than (as in the case of other concepts of capital and most other economic theory) reductionist. That is, for Clark capital is an emergent property of a market equilibrium in or near equilibrium. This poses questions as to whether the concept can be extended to other economic forms, such as central planning, or indeed can be applicable to a capitalist economy constantly in the process of self-transformative flux.
    Keywords: Capital; general equilibrium; holism; reductionism
    JEL: B13
    Date: 2013–12–01

This nep-his issue is ©2014 by Bernardo Batiz-Lazo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.