nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2014‒03‒15
38 papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The untold story of the Mexican debt crisis: Domestic banks and external debt, 1977-1989 By Alvarez, Sebastian
  2. Waste, Recycling and Entrepreneurship in Central and Northern Europe, 1870-1940 By Geoffrey G. Jones; Andrew Spadafora
  3. Wages and prices in early Catalan industrialisation By Julio Martínez-Galarraga; Marc Prat
  4. The theory of money supply: a case study By Taylor, Leon
  5. The Institution of Macroeconomic Measurement in Indonesia Before the 1980s By Pierre van der Eng
  6. Two Centuries of International Migration By Tim Hatton; Joseph P. Ferrie
  7. Caveat Lector: Sample Selection in Historical Heights and the Interpretation of Early Industrializing Economies By Howard Bodenhorn; Timothy Guinnane; Thomas Mroz
  8. Macroeconomic Consequences of Terms of Trade Episodes, Past and Present By Tim Atkin; Mark Caputo; Tim Robinson; Hao Wang
  9. The Missing People: Accounting for Indigenous Populations in Cape Colonial History By Johan Fourie and Erik Green
  10. The political economy of Byzantium: transaction costs and the decentralisation of the Byzantine Empire in the twelfth century By Richard Knight
  12. A Century of Capital Structure: The Leveraging of Corporate America By John R. Graham; Mark T. Leary; Michael R. Roberts
  13. Socialism is dead, long live socialism! By Popov, Vladimir
  14. A Post-Crisis Reading of the 'Role of Monetary Policy' By Stan Du Plessis
  16. The Evolution of Bank Supervision: Evidence from U.S. States By Mitchener, Kris James
  17. The Long-Term Effects of Protestant Activities in China By Yuyu Chen; Hui Wang; Se Yan
  18. Institutions, Human Capital and Development By Daron Acemoglu; Francisco A. Gallego; James A. Robinson
  19. The Classical-Keynesian Paradigm: Policy Debate in Contemporary Era By Gul, Ejaz; Chaudhry, Imran Sharif; Faridi, Muhammad Zahir
  20. Market Potential and Regional Economic Growth in Spain, 1860-1930 By Julio Martínez-Galarraga; Daniel A. Tirado-Fabregat; Rafael González-Val
  21. Why didn't economists predict the Great Depression? By Taylor, Leon
  22. German-Jewish Emigres and U.S. Invention By Petra Moser; Alessandra Voena; Fabian Waldinger
  23. El trabajo infantil en la pesca e industrias de transformación de pescado en España, 1850-1936 By Luisa Muñoz Abeledo
  24. Large scale societal transitions in the past By Marina Fischer-Kowalski; Daniel Hausknost
  25. La gran transformación del sector agroalimentario español. Un análisis desde la perspectiva energética (1960-2010) By Juan Infante Amate; Eduardo Aguilera; Manuel González de Molina
  26. De país turístico rezagado a potencia turística. El turismo en la España de Franco By Rafael Vallejo Pousada
  27. The Basics of "Too Big to Fail" By Lawrence J. White
  29. Can women count? Gender and numeracy in nineteenth-century Ireland By Matthias Blum; Christopher L. Colvin; Laura McAtackney; Eoin McLaughlin
  31. An assessment of the performance of the Cameroon Water Corporation for the period 1967 to 2013 By Saidou Baba Oumar and Josue Mbonigaba
  33. Major League Baseball Attendance: Long-term Analysis Using Factor Models By Seung C.Ahn; Young H. Lee
  36. Unawareness - A Gentle Introduction to both the Literature and the Special Issue By Burkhard Schipper
  37. Will History Repeat Itself? Lessons for the Yuan By Benjamin J. Cohen
  38. Matching Methods in Practice: Three Examples By Guido W. Imbens

  1. By: Alvarez, Sebastian
    Abstract: In the years preceding the international debt crisis of the 1980s, international banks displayed a growing enthusiasm for lending to Mexico and other developing countries. During this period, Mexico's development and commercial banks got heavily involved in intermediating foreign finance with domestic final users. Although important, scholars have thus far neglected the role played by Mexican banks in international capital markets and in the country's external indebtedness process. This paper argues that the imbalances which Mexican banks incurred in running their international operations eventually brought them to the brink of bankruptcy once the crisis began. Given that the banks that were at risk represented a large share of the domestic market, this paper argues the whole Mexican banking system was threatened with collapse. The improved understanding of the banking system's exposure to and dependence on foreign finance provides new insights into Mexico's debt renegotiation outcomes and the nationalization of the banking system in the aftermath of the crisis. --
    Keywords: Sovereign debt,financial crisis,Euromarkets,Latin America
    JEL: H63 N26 N86
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Geoffrey G. Jones (Harvard Business School, General Management Unit); Andrew Spadafora (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: This working paper examines the role of entrepreneurs in the municipal solid waste industry in industrialized central and northern Europe from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s. It explores the emergence of numerous German, Danish and other European entrepreneurial firms explicitly devoted to making a profitable business out of conserving and returning valuable resources to productive use, while maintaining public sanitation and in many cases offering nascent environmental protections. These ventures were qualitatively different from both earlier small-scale private waste traders, and the late twentieth-century integrated waste management firms, and have been neglected in an era that historians have treated as a period of municipalization. These entrepreneurs sometimes had strikingly modern views of environmental challenges and the need to overcome them. They initiated processes for sorting and recycling waste materials that are still employed today. Yet it proved difficult to combine making profits and achieving social value in accordance with the "shared value" model of today. As providers of public goods such as health and sanitation and a cleaner environment the entrepreneurs were often unable to capture sufficient profits to sustain businesses. Recycled-goods markets were volatile. There was also a tension between the constant waste stream on the collection side and a seasonal/cyclical demand for recycled products. The frequent failure of these businesses helps to explain why in more recent decades private waste companies have been associated with late entry into recycling, often trailing municipal governments and non-profit entities.
    Keywords: Environmental Entrepreneurship, business history;
    Date: 2014–03
  3. By: Julio Martínez-Galarraga (Universitat de València); Marc Prat (Facultat d'Economia i Empresa; Universitat de Barcelona (UB))
    Abstract: Catalonia was the only Mediterranean region among the early followers of the British Industrial Revolution in the second third of the nineteenth century. The roots of this industrialisation process can be traced back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when the Catalan economy became successfully integrated in international trade and the region enjoyed an intensification of its agrarian and proto-industrial activities. These capitalist developments were subsequently reinforced by a successful printed calico manufacturing business concentrated in the city of Barcelona. Although the factory system was largely adopted by the cotton industry in the 1840s, the diffusion of the spinning jenny had occurred earlier in the 1790s. In this paper, in line with Allen (2009a, 2009b), we explore whether relative factor prices played a role in the widespread adoption of the spinning jenny in Catalonia. First, we supply series of real wages in Barcelona for the period 1500-1808 in line with studies conducted within the ‘Great Divergence’ debate. Second, we undertake a comparative analysis of the relationship between the prices of labour and capital.Finally, we focus on the cotton spinning sector to determine the potential profitability of the adoption of the spinning jenny in Catalonia. We find that although Catalonia was not a high wage economy in the way that Britain was in the second half of the eighteenth century, evidence from the cotton spinning sector confirms the relevance of relative factor prices in the adoption of new technology. Within the booming sector of cotton after the 1780s, high wages created strong incentives for adopting the labour-saving spinning jenny.
    Keywords: Economic History, Great Divergence, Industrial Revolution, Standards of Living, Cotton Industry, Technological Transfer.
    JEL: N00 N33 N63 N83
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Taylor, Leon
    Abstract: The theory of money supply is less developed than that of money demand, largely because 19th-century economists believed that money was unimportant and because they viewed the central bank as either an appendage to the economy or as a welfare-maximizing black box. The paper reviews each of these beliefs in turn.
    Keywords: money supply, history of economic thought, central bank
    JEL: B19 B22
    Date: 2014–03–06
  5. By: Pierre van der Eng
    Abstract: Macro-economic measurement goes back to the 17th century and became common practice in Western countries since the late-19th century. Since then, the growth and composition of some of the largest economies in Asia, particularly India and Japan, was also probed. And since the 1940s government agencies in many Asian countries were given responsibility for the development and implementation of consistent national accounting practices to assist in the planning of economic development. While this was in principle also the case in Indonesia in the 1950s, it took into the 1970s before consistent processes of macroeconomic measurement were put in place that facilitated the analysis of long-term economic growth. This paper asks why there was a delay. It finds that institutional discontinuities and limited resources prevented the establishment of consistent and well defined national accounting practices until the late-1970s.
    Keywords: national accounts, economic growth, Indonesia
    JEL: B41 E01 N15 O11 O47
    Date: 2014–02
  6. By: Tim Hatton; Joseph P. Ferrie
    Abstract: This is a draft chapter for B. R. Chiswick and P. W. Miller (eds.) Handbook on the Economics of International Migration. It provides an overview of trends and developments in international migration since the industrial revolution. We focus principally on long-distance migration to rich destination countries, the settler economies in the nineteenth century and later the OECD. The chapter describes the structure, direction and determinants of migration flows and the assimilation experience of migrants. It also examines the impact of migration on destination and source countries, and explores the political economy behind the evolution of immigration policy. We provide an historical context for current debates on immigration and immigration policy and we conclude by speculating on future trends.
    Keywords: International migration history, development of immigration policy
    JEL: F22 N30 N40
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Howard Bodenhorn; Timothy Guinnane; Thomas Mroz
    Abstract: Much of the research on height in historical populations relies on convenience samples. A crucial question with convenience samples is whether the sample accurately reflects the characteristics of the population; if not, then estimated parameters will be affected by sample selection bias. This paper applies a simple test for selection biased developed in Bodenhorn, Guinnane, and Mroz (2013) to several historical samples of prisoners, freed slaves, and college students. We reject the hypothesis of no selection bias in all cases. Using Roy’s (1951) model of occupational choice, we interpret these findings as reflecting the economic forces that lead individuals to take the actions the led to inclusion in the sample. Our findings suggest that much of the evidence on the “industrialization puzzle” during the nineteenth century could reflect changing selection into the samples rather than changes in population heights.
    JEL: N01 N31
    Date: 2014–03
  8. By: Tim Atkin; Mark Caputo; Tim Robinson; Hao Wang
    Abstract: The early 21st century saw Australia experience its largest and longest terms of trade boom. This paper places this recent boom in a long-run historical context by comparing the current episode with earlier cycles. While similarities exist across most episodes, current macroeconomic policy frameworks and settings are quite different to those of the past. This mitigated the broader macroeconomic consequences of the upswing and as the terms of trade decline may do likewise.
    Keywords: commodity prices, terms of trade, macroeconomic policy
    JEL: E30 E60 N17
    Date: 2014–01
  9. By: Johan Fourie and Erik Green
    Abstract: Because information about the livelihoods of indigenous groups is often missing from colonial records, their presence usually escapes attention in quantitative estimates of colonial economic activity. This is nowhere more apparent than in the eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony, where the role of the Khoesan in Cape production, despite being frequently acknowledged, has been almost completely ignored in quantitative investigations. Combining household-level settler data with anecdotal accounts of Khoesan labour, this paper explores the effect of including Khoesan farm labour estimates in earlier calculations of slave productivity, societal inequality, and GDP growth in the Dutch East India Company period.
    Keywords: Cape Colony, Khoesan, labour, settler, Africa
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Richard Knight
    Abstract: This thesis aims to contribute to an explanation of how the development of political institutions is influenced by the costs of information and exchange across society in a pre-modern context. The Byzantine Empire in the twelfth century presents an apparent paradox of an expanding economy alongside a weakening central state. Application of a dynamic transaction-cost framework can illustrate how political and economic decentralisation can rationally occur as non-state actors begin to gain a comparative transaction-cost advantage over the state. Geopolitical and economic developments of the late-eleventh and twelfth century empowered non-state provincial interests in the Byzantine Empire to the detriment of the central state apparatus, including the imperial bureaucracy. Economic growth, an increasingly fluid provincial political environment, and the decline of the imperial navy simultaneously raised the transaction costs of the state and lowered the transaction costs of local interests. This shift prompted the decentralisation of power that ultimately contributed to the destruction of the Byzantine state in 1204. The state faced increasing relative costs of information acquisition, security provision, and tax collection as provincial transaction costs declined and state networks were allowed to degrade. Decentralisation of political and economic power became first possible, then practical, and finally unavoidable in a process that fatally undermined the cohesion of the empire. This thesis uses a transaction cost framework to provide an economically informed explanation of political decline that complements the traditional politically focused narrative and begins to address the contradiction apparent in a state ruling over increasingly prosperous territory, yet proving so fragile by the closing years of the twelfth century.
    Keywords: Byzantium; Komnenian; transaction costs; political economy; twelfth-century
    JEL: B11 N0
    Date: 2014–02
    Date: 2014
  12. By: John R. Graham; Mark T. Leary; Michael R. Roberts
    Abstract: Unregulated U.S. corporations dramatically increased their debt usage over the past century. Aggregate leverage – low and stable before 1945 – more than tripled between 1945 and 1970 from 11% to 35%, eventually reaching 47% by the early 1990s. The median firm in 1946 had no debt, but by 1970 had a leverage ratio of 31%. This increase occurred in all unregulated industries and affected firms of all sizes. Changing firm characteristics are unable to account for this increase. Rather, changes in government borrowing, macroeconomic uncertainty, and financial sector development play a more prominent role. Despite this increase among unregulated firms, a combination of stable debt usage among regulated firms and a decrease in the fraction of aggregate assets held by regulated firms over this period resulted in a relatively stable economy-wide leverage ratio during the 20th century.
    JEL: E44 E62 G32
    Date: 2014–03
  13. By: Popov, Vladimir
    Abstract: Utopian socialists believed that socialism is inevitable because it is a more rational system to organize production and life, a system more in line with the “good” nature of human beings. Marxism rejected this reasoning replacing it with what is known as historical materialism: social systems, it argued, emerge, develop and die not because they correspond more or less to the “natural” aspirations of the people, but because they become more or less competitive in the process of historical evolution – a version of social Darwinism applied not to individuals, but to communities and countries. In particular, Marxism stated that capitalism develops productive forces up to the point when they can no longer be managed efficiently in societies with markets and private property; at this point social property of the means of production and centrally planned economy (CPE) become a more efficient way of managing productive forces, whose social nature has outgrown the narrow capitalist limits. This prediction did not come true – in the XX century socialism came to being not in most advanced capitalist countries, but in the periphery and semi-periphery (USSR, Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, Cuba), and only in North Korea and Cuba it survived into the XXI century. This paper explains why capitalism was competitive in recent 500 years, and why an attempt in the XX century to replace it by socialist CPEs did not succeed. But it argues that there are other reasons, not associated with “social nature of productive forces”, which are finally going to make socialism competitive: the costs of numerous negative consequences of high income inequalities, like greater social tensions, high crime and poor institutional capacity of the state, become larger than the benefits of high savings and investment rate that were making capitalism competitive for 500 years. This “new socialism” will not be necessarily mean a total elimination of markets and private property, but is likely to limit both substantially for the sake of achieving lower income inequality.
    Keywords: Socialism, inequalities, savings, growth, economic history
    JEL: N00 O1 O10 P0 P1 P2
    Date: 2014–03–09
  14. By: Stan Du Plessis
    Abstract: In 1967 Milton Friedman delivered “The Role of Monetary Policy’ as his presidential address to the American Economic Association (AEA). In its published version – Friedman (1968) – it has become, arguably, the most influential paper in modern monetary economics and was recently included in the AEA’s list of the twenty most influential papers published in the first century of the American Economic Review. But the influence of Friedman’s address is based on an interpretation that seriously distorts the content of his main argument. His emphasis on (i) the inadequacy of interest rate policy and (ii) the primacy of financial stability among the positive goals of monetary policy have been ignored or neglected. While balance sheet policies have become ‘unconventional’ in the modern consensus, these policies held a central position in Friedman’s work. I support this argument with a textual analysis of Friedman’s address, read in the light of his preceding scholarship on monetary policy. This reinterpretation is relevant in a world where the balance sheets of central banks have returned to centre stage as has the priority for financial stability.
    Keywords: Milton Friedman, Monetary policy, interest rate policy, balance sheet policies, Financial Stability
    JEL: B22 E52 E58
    Date: 2014
    Date: 2014
  16. By: Mitchener, Kris James (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We use a novel data set spanning 1820-1910 to examine the origins of bank supervision and assess factors leading to the creation of formal bank supervisory institutions across U.S. states. We show that it took more than a century for the widespread adoption of independent supervisory institutions tasked with maintaining the safety and soundness of banks. State legislatures initially pursued cheaper regulatory alternatives, such as double liability laws; however, banking distress at the state level as well as the structural shift from note-issuing to deposit-taking commercial banks propelled policymakers to adopt costly and permanent supervisory institutions.
    Keywords: bank supervision, U.S. States
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Yuyu Chen; Hui Wang; Se Yan
    Abstract: Does culture, and in particular religion, exert an independent causal effect on long-term economic growth, or do culture and religion merely reflect the latter? We explore this issue by studying the case of Protestantism in China during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Combining county-level data on Protestant presence in 1920 and socioeconomic indicators in 2000, we find that the spread of Protestantism has generated significant positive effects in long-term economic growth, educational development, and health care outcomes. To better understand whether the relationship is causal, we exploit the fact that missionaries purposefully undertook disaster relief work to gain the trust of the local people. Thus, we use the frequency of historical disasters as an instrument for Protestant distribution. Our IV results confirm and enhance our OLS results. When we further investigate the transmission channels over the long historical period between 1920 and 2000, we find that although improvements in education and health care outcomes account for a sizable portion of the total effects of missionaries' past activities on today's economic outcomes, Protestant activities may have also contributed to long-term economic growth through other channels, such as through transformed social values. If so, then a significant amount of China's growth since 1978 is the result not just of sudden institutional changes but of human capital and social values acquired over a longer historical period.
    Keywords: Protestantism, Economic Growth, Education, Health Care, China
    JEL: I25 N15 N35 O11 O43 Z12
    Date: 2014–02
  18. By: Daron Acemoglu; Francisco A. Gallego; James A. Robinson
    Abstract: In this paper we revisit the relationship between institutions, human capital and development. We argue that empirical models that treat institutions and human capital as exogenous are misspecified both because of the usual omitted variable bias problems and because of differential measurement error in these variables, and that this misspecification is at the root of the very large returns of human capital, about 4 to 5 times greater than that implied by micro (Mincerian) estimates, found in some of the previous literature. Using cross-country and cross-regional regressions, we show that when we focus on historically-determined differences in human capital and control for the effect of institutions, the impact of institutions on long-run development is robust, while the estimates of the effect of human capital are much diminished and become consistent with micro estimates. Using historical and cross-country regression evidence, we also show that there is no support for the view that differences in the human capital endowments of early European colonists have been a major factor in the subsequent institutional development of these polities.
    JEL: I25 O10 P16
    Date: 2014–02
  19. By: Gul, Ejaz; Chaudhry, Imran Sharif; Faridi, Muhammad Zahir
    Abstract: For almost a century, the famous C-K paradigm (formally known as Classics – Keynesian Paradigm) has been the apex of economic debate and research. The paradigm represents two schools of thoughts which, somehow, have prevailed till now. Economists who believe in either of the two schools have been at loggerheads, and they still are, to prove one theory better than the other. Numerous economic scholars of present era believe that with the changes that have occurred in the economic system, the world is turning back to classical model. But, there are others who believe that Keynes theory is still alive and valid. In this paper, we have tried to draw a brief comparison that highlights the major differences between the two theories with specific reference to the economic, political and social environment prevailing at time when these theories were generated. Paper also discusses the relevance of unending policy debate about these theories in the current era with special emphasis on policy implications with a view to draw pertinent lessons for the present and future.
    Keywords: Classical, Keynesian, economics, theories, policy, debate, implications
    JEL: B10 B11 B12 B15 B2 B22
    Date: 2014–02–25
  20. By: Julio Martínez-Galarraga (Universitat de València,València,Spain); Daniel A. Tirado-Fabregat (Universitat de València,València,Spain); Rafael González-Val (Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
    Abstract: In this paper we employ parametric and nonparametric techniques to analyse the effect of the changes registered on regional market potential on the growth of Spanish regions during the period 1860-1930. The study of the Spanish experience during these years conforms a case study that allows analyzing whether the construction of new transport infrastructure, as well as the changes in trade policy, that affected the relative market potential of the Spanish regions, ended up shaping regional growth trajectories. In order to carry out the analysis we make use of new evidence on regional inequality patterns in the long term based on recent estimations of per capita GDP for NUTS III Spanish regions (provinces) and an a la Harris measure of regional market potential that takes into account the economic distance between territories according to the changes registered in transport networks, the variations in the actual transport costs and the tariff policy followed over the period. Our results show a clear positive influence of market potential on regional economic growth, particularly along the years 1900-1930.
    Keywords: market potential, New Economic Geography, regional growth, economic history
    JEL: R0 N9 O18 N64 F14
    Date: 2014–03
  21. By: Taylor, Leon
    Abstract: Economists failed to forecast the Great Depression, perhaps because they had lacked reason to theorize enough about business cycles. Since theory is a public good, the market produces too little of it. The prospect of ex post fame may induce theory; but fame comes from explaining famous events, not from averting adverse events. Also, learning-by-doing induces theory by cutting its cost, favoring the first theories to be developed. These dealt with markets – not business cycles – in the decades before the Depression.
    Keywords: Great Depression, theory of business cycles, history of macroeconomic thought, marketplace of ideas, learning by doing.
    JEL: B10 E32
    Date: 2014–03–07
  22. By: Petra Moser; Alessandra Voena; Fabian Waldinger
    Abstract: Historical accounts suggest that Jewish émigrés from Nazi Germany revolutionized U.S. science. To analyze the émigrés’ effects on chemical innovation in the U.S. we compare changes in patenting by U.S. inventors in research fields of émigrés with fields of other German chemists. Patenting by U.S. inventors increased by 31 percent in émigré fields. Regressions that instrument for émigré fields with pre-1933 fields of dismissed German chemists confirm a substantial increase in U.S. invention. Inventor-level data indicate that émigrés encouraged innovation by attracting new researchers to their fields, rather than by increasing the productivity of incumbent inventors.
    JEL: J61 N12 O3
    Date: 2014–03
  23. By: Luisa Muñoz Abeledo (Universidad Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela,Spain)
    Abstract: En este documento se estudia el impacto de la industrialización de los productos del mar en el trabajo infantil en España durante la segunda mitad del siglo XIX y el primer tercio del siglo XX. En el mismo se usan algunas fuentes novedosas, Los Libros de Inscripción Marítima, junto con otras más tradicionales, los Padrones de Población y documentación sobre educación infantil de algunos municipios pesqueros urbanos y rurales. En el documento se aportan datos cuantitativos y cualitativos de actividad infantil en los principales puertos pesqueros de España, ocultos en las estadísticas oficiales, explorando algunos de los factores determinantes del trabajo de niños y niñas. Por lo que respecta a los factores de oferta se analizan las siguientes variables: sexo, edad de integración en mercado laboral y contribución monetaria a la economía familiar, concluyendo que existió un declive del trabajo de niños y niñas pequeños, de entre 5 y 9 anos en los años veinte, manteniéndose el trabajo adolescente hasta el fin de la Segunda República. Muchachos empleados en la pesca y muchachas en la conserva aportaban con el conjunto de sus salarios en esas décadas aproximadamente el treinta por ciento del ingreso de las familias de pescadores, convirtiéndose en los segundos ganadores de pan tras el padre. Estas familias, por lo tanto, potenciaban el trabajo infantil, que era indispensable para cubrir los niveles de subsistencia del hogar. Por lo que atañe a los factores de demanda, las empresas conserveras y armadoras impulsaban el trabajo infantil y adolescente porque era crucial, junto con el femenino, para mantener su competitividad externa..
    Keywords: tasa de actividad, trabajo infantil, edad de acceso al trabajo, economía familiar
    JEL: J01 J16 J21 N33
    Date: 2014–03
  24. By: Marina Fischer-Kowalski; Daniel Hausknost
    Abstract: WP 201 takes a historical perspective in analysing past systemic social-ecological transition processes. The research paper (MS 27) emerging from task 201.2 explores two major energy transitions of the past: the transition to the use of fossil fuels (e.g. starting with coal in the UK in the 17th century, and continuing in the rest of the world with coal and oil since). How was this transition linked to major institutional transformations, frequently paved by revolutions? We statistically demonstrate how similar processes occurred in many countries, and accellerated over time. In contrast to more common approaches, we do not focus on the introduction of particular technologies, but on the gradual substitution of biomass as the key source of energy by fossil fuels, and also on the increase in the amount of economically available energy. Beyond the common indicator TPES (total primary energy supply) we use and expand our historical database that countains the indicator DEC (domestic energy consumption). DEC encompasses, beyond TPES, also the energy converted by human and animal nutritional intake. We analyse the role of revolutions for the respective energy transition statistically and are able to identify statistical breaks in population growth, energy consumption and economic growth linked to the occurrence of revolutions. We compare trajectories of European and Non-European countries, and we compare countries in which the transition to the use of fossil fuels was marked by revolutionary processes with countries where this was not the case. Particular attention is paid to the phase of the transition in which revolutions have occurred, and the impact this shock had on the further course of the energy transition and on economic growth. The second marked transition analyzed occurred in the mature industrial economies in the early 1970s, in association with the first and second oil price shocks. In practically all mature industrial countries, there was triggered a termination of the steep incline of metabolic rates in favour of a fairly stable per capita level of energy and materials consumption, while economic growth continued. We investigate the policy responses in key policy areas coping with these "shocks" and achieving a reduction of biophysical growth while maintaining growth in the economy and employment. We employ a number of different methods for this analysis: we investigate long time series data statistically to explore at what time and in what sequence certain trends changed. On the other hand, we explore policy analysis literature for a number of countries qualitatively. Finally, we synthesize what can be learned from such macro societal transitions: what role do external shocks, structural change and energy policies play? Which lessons are to be learnt from past transitions in order to be in a better position to manage the transition ahead of us?
    Keywords: Academic research, Biophysical constraints, Demographic change, Ecological innovation, Economic growth path, Economic strategy, Energy transitions, Globalisation, Holistic and interdisciplinary approach, Industrial innovation, Industrial policy, Innovation policy, Institutional reforms, Labour markets, New technologies, Policy options, Post-industrialisation, Socio-ecological transition
    JEL: Q01 Q02 Q28 Q32 Q34 Q38 Q43 Q48 Q5
    Date: 2014–03
  25. By: Juan Infante Amate; Eduardo Aguilera; Manuel González de Molina
    Abstract: The main objective of this work is to reconstruct the consumption of the different types of energy by the Spanish agri-food system (AFS) between 1960 and 2010. The initial hypothesis, of a high increase in energy consumption during that period, was derived from the evidence of a growing consumption of capital and inputs in the activities related with production and management of food products in Spain. According to our results, energy consumption in the whole Spanish agro-food chain has increased by a factor of 10. It has grown at a much faster pace than total energy consumption, than total food production and even than GDP. Transport and agriculture are the sectors with the most relevant energy use in the studied period, representing 47-60% of total AFS consumption. In a first stage, agricultural production absorbed the majority of the growth in energy consumption, while since 1985 other sectors have pushed the continuation of the growth. Our results indicate that roughly one fifth of final energy consumed by Spanish economy is related.
    Keywords: Agri-food System, Energy Balances, Life Cycle Assessment, EROI, Degrowth, Food History
    JEL: N54 O13 Q4 Q18
    Date: 2014–03
  26. By: Rafael Vallejo Pousada (Universidade de Vigo,Vigo,Spain)
    Abstract: De país rezagado en el turismo internacional durante el primer tercio del siglo XX, España pasó a convertirse en una potencia turística. ¿Cómo y por qué se produjo esta transformación? ¿Qué papel jugó el turismo de masas en el modelo de desarrollo español entre 1939 y 1975? ¿Qué consecuencias socioeconómicas tuvo? Las respuestas a estas cuestiones son el objeto principal de este trabajo
    Keywords: Historia del Turismo, Desarrollo Económico, España
    JEL: N74 L83 O16
    Date: 2014–03
  27. By: Lawrence J. White
    Date: 2014
    Date: 2014
  29. By: Matthias Blum; Christopher L. Colvin; Laura McAtackney; Eoin McLaughlin
    Abstract: The frequency at which age data heap at round ages can be used to infer people’s ability to count. Földvári, Van Leeuwen and Van Leeuwen-Li (FVV) contend that gender specific trends in numeracy derived from age heaping in census data are unreliable because women’s ages are adapted to those of their male household heads. This paper reassesses this finding by comparing two independently constructed age data sources for the case of rural Ireland in the nineteenth century: prison registers and corresponding census districts, where the former has the unique advantage of being self-reported by newly incarcerated male and female prisoners. We find that women are substantially less numerate than a comparison based solely on census data would suggest. We conclude that the FVV bias is a concern for the age heaping literature and recommend that female numeracy estimates made for societies where the census is the only available source be used with caution.
    Keywords: age heaping, numeracy, selection bias, prison registers, Ireland
    Date: 2014–03
    Date: 2014
  31. By: Saidou Baba Oumar and Josue Mbonigaba
    Abstract: This paper assesses the performance of the Cameroon Water Corporation (CWC) in delivering services after four decades of existence (1967- 2013) and relates that performance to organization theories. It uses secondary data on services provision and primary data on users’ perceptions of the CWC’s performance. The assessment is conducted using descriptive as well as inferential methods of data analysis. The paper observes that despite political, technical, managerial and financial constraints that impaired the efficient delivery of drinking water and sanitation services in the country over the years, the company registered modest successes that attracted the financial support of domestic and worldwide development partners. However, more than half of the population is sceptical about better future services delivery by the CWC. Classical organization theory (COT) explains most of the failure in the operating environment of the CWC, while the formulations in modern organization theory (MOT) are found to be relevant to the improvement of water services. As a policy recommendation, the CWC should focus on MOT, while maintaining some aspects of COT to improve performance.
    Keywords: Drinking water; sanitation; management; organization; Cameroon
    Date: 2014
    Date: 2014
  33. By: Seung C.Ahn (Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul); Young H. Lee (Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul)
    Abstract: Although Major League Baseball (MLB) has a long history, most studies of attendance have focused on recent years because important explanatory data, such as ticket prices, are often missing for earlier periods. The present study aims to fill gaps in the data by analyzing individual team attendance records between 1904 and 2012. If important missing variables are determined using common factors that can influence between-teams attendance, the attendance function can be estimated by a panel factor model. Using this approach, our results indicate that the determinants of fans¡¯ attendance decisions have changed over time. In earlier years, winning performance was an important determinant of attendance. However, in recent years, other factors have also influenced attendance. Not only the home team¡¯s winning performance, but also the outcome uncertainty, size and quality of the stadium, and playing styles influence fan attendance in present-day MLB.
    Keywords: Attendance, outcome uncertainty, common factors, factor loading, panel data, fan loyalty
    JEL: L83 C23
    Date: 2014
    Date: 2014
    Date: 2014
  36. By: Burkhard Schipper (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)
    Abstract: This article provides a brief survey of the literature on unawareness and introduces the contributions to the special issue on unawareness in Mathematical Social Sciences. First, we provide a brief overview both about epistemic models of unawareness and models of extensive-form games with unawareness. Instead of introducing the approaches in full detail, we illustrate the main differences and similarities with the help of examples. Finally, we discuss the contributions to the special issue on unawareness.
    Keywords: Unawareness, awareness, incomplete information, knowledge, belief, extensive-form games
    JEL: C70 D80
    Date: 2014–02–27
  37. By: Benjamin J. Cohen (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    Abstract: For many observers, internationalization is the yuan’s manifest destiny—an irresistible by-product of the remarkable economic success of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). But is such confidence warranted? Recent history has seen the emergence of other currencies that were also expected, at least for a while, to attain wide, growing cross-border use. These included the deutsche mark (DM), the Japanese yen, and the euro (successor to the DM). Yet in the end their internationalization reached an upper limit, short of expectations. Will history repeat itself? Or will the yuan prove exceptional, the currency that finally managed to keep ascending where others faltered? The aim of this paper is to see what lessons may be drawn from these earlier experiences for the anticipated internationalization of the yuan. Much can be learned from their stories—first, about what may drive the internationalization of a currency, and second, about what may ultimately set a limit to the process. The main message of the analysis is that the challenge of internationalization is formidable, involving demanding conditions. Can Beijing sustain its record of price stability and effective policy management? Can the country succeed in shifting its industrial and trade structure toward exports of more advanced differentiated products? Can the yuan’s convertibility be broadened? Can domestic financial markets be adequately developed? Can the country’s political institutions be trusted? Can geopolitical tensions be avoided? Contrary to predictions of the yuan’s “inevitable†rise, success in all these respects is by no means guaranteed.
    Keywords: Internationalization of yuan, China, PRC, internationalization of a currency
    JEL: F31 F33 F41
    Date: 2014–01
  38. By: Guido W. Imbens
    Abstract: There is a large theoretical literature on methods for estimating causal effects under unconfoundedness, exogeneity, or selection--on--observables type assumptions using matching or propensity score methods. Much of this literature is highly technical and has not made inroads into empirical practice where many researchers continue to use simple methods such as ordinary least squares regression even in settings where those methods do not have attractive properties. In this paper I discuss some of the lessons for practice from the theoretical literature, and provide detailed recommendations on what to do. I illustrate the recommendations with three detailed applications.
    JEL: C1
    Date: 2014–03

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.