nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2014‒04‒11
28 papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Wages of Women in England, 1260-1850 By Jane Humphries; Jacob Weisdorf
  2. Human Capital and Regional Development By Nicola Gennaioli; Rafael LaPorta; Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes; Andrei Shleifer
  3. History of Law and Economics By Martin Gelter; Kristoffel Grechenig
  4. The Black Man's Burden - The Cost of Colonization of French West Africa By Elise Huillery
  5. The Power of Hydroelectric Dams: Agglomeration Spillovers By Severnini, Edson R.
  6. "Commitment, Deficit Ceiling, and Fiscal Privilege" By Satoshi Baba
  7. What Mechanism Design Theorists Had to Say About Laboratory Experimentation in the Mid-1980s By Kyu Sang Lee
  8. Voting Alone? The Political and Cultural Consequences of Commercial TV By Andrea Tesei; Paolo Pinotti; Ruben Durante
  9. Sorting Charles Tiebout: The Construction and Stabilization of Postwar Public Good Theory By John D. Singleton
  10. "From the State Theory of Money to Modern Money Theory: An Alternative to Economic Orthodoxy" By L. Randall Wray
  11. Lange’s 1938 model: dynamics and the “Optimum propensity to consume” By Michael Assous; Roberto Lampa
  12. Catching up and falling behind in technological progress: the experience of the textile and chemical industries in Italy between 1904 and 1937 By Makiko Hino; Mototsugu Fukushige
  13. MIT's Rise to Prominence: Outline of a Collective Biography By Andrej Svorenčík
  14. Making Things Technical: Samuelson at MIT By Harro Maas
  15. The Wild West is Wild: The Homicide Resource Curse By Mathieu Couttenier; Pauline Grosjean; Marc Sangnier
  16. Accounting for Dissolution: The Case of Japanese Mining Corporations 1946-1950 By Masayoshi Noguchi; Yasuhiro Shimizu; Tsunehiko Nakamura
  17. The transmission of longevity across generations: The case of the settler Cape Colony By Piraino, Patrizio; Muller, Sean; Cilliers, Jeanne; Fourie, Johan
  18. Promoting Econometrics through econometrica 1933-39 By Bjerkholt, Olav
  19. Something New: Where do new industries come from? By Feldman, Maryann; Tavassoli, Sam
  20. Rwanda : twenty years after the genocide By Reyntjens, Filip
  21. Italy's current account sustainability:a long run perspective, 1861-2000 By Barbara Pistoresi
  22. L'evoluzione socio-demografica della provincia di Ferrara nei 150 anni dall'Unita' d'Italia By Aurelio Bruzzo; Elena Curzola
  23. Exchange Rate Adjustment, Monetary Policy and Fiscal Stimulus in Japan's Escape from the Great Depression By Masahiko Shibamoto; Masato Shizume
  24. Lesser Degrees of Explanation: Some Implications of F.A. Hayek’s Methodology of Sciences of Complex Phenomena By Scott Scheall
  25. Forty Years of Immigrant Segregation in France, 1968-2007: How Different Is the New Immigration? By Pan Ké Shon, Jean-Louis; Verdugo, Gregory
  26. Enfranchisement and Representation: Evidence from the Introduction of Quasi-Universal Suffrage in Italy By Valentino Larcinese
  27. Dynamic Linkages Between Tokyo and Osaka Rice Futures Markets in Prewar Japan By Mikio Ito; Kiyotaka Maeda; Akihiko Noda
  28. Assessing Foreign Aid.s Long-Run Contribution to Growth in Development By Arndt, Channing; Jones, Sam; Tarp, Finn

  1. By: Jane Humphries; Jacob Weisdorf
    Abstract: This paper presents a wage series for unskilled English women workers from 1260 to 1850 and compares it with existing evidence for men.� Our series cast light on long run trends in women's agency and wellbeing, revealing an intractable, indeed widening gap between women and men's remuneration in the centuries following the Black Death.� This informs several debates: first whether or not "the golden age of the English peasantry" included women; and second whether or not industrialization provided women with greater opportunities.� Our contributions to both debates have implications for analyses of growth and trends in wellbeing.� If the rise in wages that followed the Black Death enticed female servants to delay marriage, it contributed to the formation of the European Marriage Pattern, a demographic regime which positioned England on a path to modern economic growth.� If the industrial revolution provided women with improved economic options, their gains should be included in any overall assessment of trends in the standard of living distorts the overall evaluation of the gains from industrialization.
    Keywords: Black Death, England, gender wage gap, industrial revolution, gender segregation, wages, women
    JEL: J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 N33
    Date: 2014–03–10
  2. By: Nicola Gennaioli; Rafael LaPorta; Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes; Andrei Shleifer
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of regional development using a newly constructed database of 1569 sub-national regions from 110 countries covering 74 percent of the world’s surface and 96 percent of its GDP. We combine the cross-regional analysis of geographic, institutional, cultural, and human capital determinants of regional development with an examination of productivity in several thousand establishments located in these regions. To organize the discussion, we present a new model of regional development that introduces into a standard migration framework elements of both the Lucas (1978) model of the allocation of talent between entrepreneurship and work, and the Lucas (1988) model of human capital externalities. The evidence points to the paramount importance of human capital in accounting for regional differences in development, but also suggests from model estimation and calibration that entrepreneurial inputs and human capital externalities are essential for understanding the data.
  3. By: Martin Gelter (Fordham University School of Law); Kristoffel Grechenig (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods & Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE))
    Abstract: The roots of law & economics lie in late 19th century continental Europe. However, this early movement did not persist, having been cut off in the 1930s. After World War II, modern law & economics was (re-)invented in the United States and subsequently grew into a major field of research at U.S. law schools. In continental Europe, law & economics was re-imported as a discipline within economics, driven by economists interested in legal issues rather than by legal scholars. Hence, the European discourse was more strongly influenced by formal analysis, using mathematical models. Today, research in the U.S., Europe, and in other countries around the world, including Latin America and Asia, uses formal, empirical, and intuitive methods. New subfields, such as behavioral law & economics and experimental law & economics, have grown in the U.S. and in Europe during the past two decades.
    Date: 2014–04
  4. By: Elise Huillery (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Was colonization costly for France? Did French taxpayers contribute to colonies' development? This paper reveals that French West Africa's colonization took only 0.29 percent of French annual expenditures, including 0.24 percent for military and central administration and 0.05 percent for French West Africa's development. For West Africans, the contribution from French taxpayers was almost negligible: mainland France provided about two percent of French West Africa's revenue. In fact, colonization was a considerable burden for African taxpayers since French civil servants' salaries absorbed a disproportionate share of local expenditures.
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Severnini, Edson R. (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: How much of the geographic clustering of economic activity is attributable to agglomeration spillovers as opposed to natural advantages? I present evidence on this question using data on the long-run effects of large scale hydroelectric dams built in the U.S. over the 20th century, obtained through a unique comparison between counties with or without dams but with similar hydropower potential. Until mid-century, the availability of cheap local power from hydroelectric dams conveyed an important advantage that attracted industry and population. By the 1950s, however, these advantages were attenuated by improvements in the efficiency of thermal power generation and the advent of high tension transmission lines. Using a novel combination of synthetic control methods and event-study techniques, I show that, on average, dams built before 1950 had substantial short run effects on local population and employment growth, whereas those built after 1950 had no such effects. Moreover, the impact of pre-1950 dams persisted and continued to grow after the advantages of cheap local hydroelectricity were attenuated, suggesting the presence of important agglomeration spillovers. Over a 50 year horizon, I estimate that at least one half of the long run effect of pre-1950 dams is due to spillovers. The estimated short and long run effects are highly robust to alternative procedures for selecting synthetic controls, to controls for confounding factors such as proximity to transportation networks, and to alternative sample restrictions, such as dropping dams built by the Tennessee Valley Authority or removing control counties with environmental regulations. I also find small local agglomeration effects from smaller dam projects, and small spillovers to nearby locations from large dams.
    Keywords: hydroelectric dams, agglomeration spillovers, employment growth, event-study analysis with synthetic control methods
    JEL: N92 R11 R12 Q42
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Satoshi Baba (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract:    Germany's urban land policy (kommunale Bodenpolitik) attracted the attention of foreign countries. There were also many contemporary publications about this policy in Germany because it was a precondition for city planning, which included housing and transportation policies. The aim of this paper is to clarify Frankfurt am Main's land policy at the turn of the twentieth century, especially under Franz Adickes' era. Adickes, the third senior mayor (1891-1912), carried out urban land policy as a consciously planned intervention in the land market. His land policy had two additional objectives: The first was securing land for administrative buildings and public facilities. The second was the facilitation of city extension and the preparation for future incorporation. Frankfurt's municipal land increased from 4,229.17 ha in 1900 to 6,370.19 ha in 1913. Land purchased by the city consisted of 11,649 estates during the period 1895-1915. Conversely, land sold during the same period consisted of only 2,465 estates because it was difficult to set land prices. As a result, the Erbbaurecht (Heritable Building Right) was utilized as a substitute measure for land sales. Though Frankfurt's urban land policy produced good results, it was forced to change owing to 'the predominance of purchasing policy' and increasing debt. Thus, the state government also became involved with the land and housing policies. The land policy shifted from the stage of 'social city' to that of 'social state' after World War I.
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Kyu Sang Lee
    Abstract: Thanks to the recent studies of the history and philosophy of experimental economics, it is well known that around the early 1980s, experimental economists made a case for the legitimacy of their laboratory work by emphasizing that it was a nice and indispensable complement to mechanism design theorists’ mathematical study of institutions. The present paper examines what mechanism design theorists thought of laboratory experimentation, or whether they were willing to form a coalition with experimental economists circa the mid-1980s. By exploring several dimensions of the relationship between mechanism design theory and experimental economics, the present paper shows that a close rapport had been established by the early 1980s between the representative members of the two camps, and also that mechanism design theorists were among the strongest supporters of laboratory experimentation in the economics profession in the mid-1980s.
    Keywords: mechanism design theory, experimental economics, institutional design, Stanley Reiter, Vernon Smith, Charles Plott
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Andrea Tesei; Paolo Pinotti (Università Bocconi); Ruben Durante (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: We investigate the long-term impact of early exposure to Berlusconi’s commercial TV network, Mediaset, on voting behavior and civic engagement in Italy. To do so, we exploit differences in Mediaset signal reception across Italian municipalities due to the network’s staggered introduction over the national territory and to idiosyncratic geomorphological factors. We find that municipalities exposed to Mediaset prior to 1985 exhibit greater electoral support for Berlusconi’s party in 1994, when he first ran for office, relative to municipalities that were exposed only later on. This difference, estimated between 1 and 2 percentage points, is extremely robust and tends to persist in the following four elections. This effect can hardly be attributed to differential exposure to partisan news bias since, prior to 1985, content on Mediaset channels was dominated by light-entertainment programs and no news programs were broadcast until 1991, by which time the network was accessible to the entire population. Instead, we present evidence that early exposure to commercial TV was associated with a substantial decline in social capital consistent with the diffusion of a culture of individualism and civic disengagement that favored the political success of Berlusconi.
    Keywords: mass media, voting, civic engagement
    JEL: L82 D72 Z13
    Date: 2013–06
  9. By: John D. Singleton
    Abstract: A substantial and diverse literature in economics traces its intellectual roots to Charles Tiebout's 1956 article, "The Pure Theory of Local Expenditure." Its present recognition frequently attributed to originating the idea of "voting with your feet," however, contrasts sharply with its obscurity during Tiebout's academic career, which was tragically cut short by his passing in 1968. Penned as a qualification to Paul Samuelson's "pure theory," the article failed to influence the stabilization of postwar public good theory, despite Tiebout's engagement with key figures in its construction. Moreover, his death preceded the application of its central mechanism to public, urban, and environmental topics via hedonic, sorting, and computational general equilibrium models. Viewed in this way, the history of Tiebout's article, and thereby the history of public economics, has remarkably little to do with Tiebout himself. Professionally, though, the article reflected Tiebout's lifelong interest in issues of local economies and governance. The social and political context of urban sprawl and political fragmentation that accompanied the rapid growth of metropolitan area, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle, raised novel questions in local public finance for researchers before a knowledge community existed to credit their work. For Tiebout, it stimulated his collaboration with Vincent Ostrom and Robert Warren and later involvement in the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of regional science.
    Keywords: public goods, Charles Tiebout, Tiebout sorting, James Buchchanan, Richard Musgrave, Paul Samuelson
    Date: 2013
  10. By: L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: This paper explores the intellectual history of the state, or chartalist, approach to money, from the early developers (Georg Friedrich Knapp and A. Mitchell Innes) through Joseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes, and Abba Lerner, and on to modern exponents Hyman Minsky, Charles Goodhart, and Geoffrey Ingham. This literature became the foundation for Modern Money Theory (MMT). In the MMT approach, the state (or any other authority able to impose an obligation) imposes a liability in the form of a generalized, social, legal unit of account--a money--used for measuring the obligation. This approach does not require the preexistence of markets; indeed, it almost certainly predates them. Once the authorities can levy such obligations, they can name what fulfills any obligation by denominating those things that can be delivered; in other words, by pricing them. MMT thus links obligatory payments like taxes to the money of account as well as the currency. This leads to a revised view of money and sovereign finance. The paper concludes with an analysis of the policy options available to a modern government that issues its own currency.
    Keywords: Modern Money Theory; Chartalism; State Money; Knapp; Innes; Schumpeter; Keynes; Minsky; Goodhart; Ingham; Sovereign Currency
    JEL: B1 B3 B15 B22 B25 B52 E40 E50 E62 H5 H60 N1
    Date: 2014–03
  11. By: Michael Assous; Roberto Lampa
    Abstract: Oskar Lange’s 1938 article “The Rate of Interest and the Optimum Propensity to Consume”, is usually associated with the original IS-LM approach of the late 1930s. However, Lange’s article was not only an attempt to illuminate Keynes’s main innovations but the first part of a wide project that included the development of a theory of economic evolution. This paper aims at showing that Lange’s article can help illuminating critical aspects of this project: in particular, Lange’s idea that a synthesis between Kaldor’s and Kalecki’s theories and that of Schumpeter, might have been possible and that it represented (in intentions) a “modern” and consistent reconstruction of the Marxist theory of the business cycle. Section 1 clarifies Lange’s early reflection on dynamics. Section 2 centers on Lange’s 1938 static model and indicates the effects of a change of saving on investment. Section 3 suggests a dynamic reconstruction from which are addressed important arguments raised by Lange in a series of papers written between 1934 and 1942.
    Keywords: Lange; Kalecki; Marxian theory of the business cycle; marginal propensity to save; non-linearity
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Makiko Hino (Faculty of Commerce, Doshisha University); Mototsugu Fukushige (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: We estimate the stocks of patents and their growth rates in the Italian textile and chemical industries between 1904 and 1937. The stocks and growth rates by nationality are estimated for Italy, France, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and the USA. The Italian patent stock in the textile industry followed and attempted to catch up with the stock of the leading countries; by contrast, that in the chemical industry fell behind during that period. Although growth rates were similar, Italyfs growth rates fell into the lower group before and after World War I. Our results indicate that not all Italian industries succeeded in catching up with the leading countries.
    Keywords: technological progress, patent, textile, chemical, Italy
    JEL: N62 N63 O31
    Date: 2014–04
  13. By: Andrej Svorenčík
    Abstract: The core question of MIT Economics Department’s history – why has MIT economics risen to prominence so quickly – requires an approach to history of economics that focuses on the role of the networks within which economists operate, their ideas diffuse, and gain scientific credit. By reconstructing the network of MIT economics Ph.Ds. and their advisors, this paper furnishes not just evidence of how MIT rose to prominence as documented by the numerous ties of Nobel Laureates, Clark Medalists, elected officials of the AEA or the Council of Economic Advisors to the MIT network. The MIT Economics Department is also revealed as a community of self-replicating economists who are to a large extent trained by a few key advisers who were mostly trained at MIT as well. MIT exhibits a large share of graduates who remain in American academia that is disproportionate to the number of graduates it has produced. It is hypothesized that this has been an important factor in MIT’s rise to prominence. On a methodological level this paper introduces prosopography or collective biography, a well-established historiographic method, to the field of history of economics.
    Keywords: MIT, networks of economists, advisor-advisee relations, prosopography, collective biography
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Harro Maas
    Abstract: This paper examines how Samuelson defined his own role as an economist as a technical expert, who walked what he called ‘the middle of the road’ to – seemingly – stay out of the realm of politics. As point of entry I discuss the highly tempting offers made by Theodore M. Schultz in the 1940s to come over to Chicago, which Schultz persistently repeated over a period of three years and despite strong Chicago faculty resistance. A contrast between Schultz’s own experiences as an economic expert at Iowa State, Samuelson’s work as an external consultant for the National Resources Planning Board during the Second World War and the firm support of the MIT administration for Samuelson’s research, serve to pinpoint the meaning of being technical for Samuelson, and the relation of the technical economic expert to the realm of politics.
    Keywords: technical expertise, economic modeling, ‘middle of the road’ economists, National Resources Planning Board, MIT, University of Chicago
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Mathieu Couttenier (University of Lausanne.); Pauline Grosjean (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales); Marc Sangnier (Aix-Marseille University, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, CNRS & EHESS.)
    Abstract: We uncover interpersonal violence as a dimension and a mechanism of the re- source curse. We rely on a historical natural experiment in the United States, in which mineral discoveries occurred at various stages of governmental territorial ex- pansion. “Early” mineral discoveries, before full-fledged rule of law is in place in a county, are associated with higher levels of interpersonal violence, both historically and today. The persistence of this homicide resource curse is partly explained by the low quality of (subsequent) judicial institutions. The specificity of our results to violent crime also suggests that a private order of property rights did emerge on the frontier, but that it was enforced through high levels of interpersonal violence. The results are robust to state-specific effects, to comparing only neighboring counties, and to comparing only discoveries within short time intervals of one another.
    Keywords: Homicide, Institutions, Resource curse, United States
    JEL: K42 N51 Z13
    Date: 2014–03
  16. By: Masayoshi Noguchi (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan); Yasuhiro Shimizu (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University); Tsunehiko Nakamura (Faculty of Business Administration, Momoyama Gukuin University)
    Abstract: The study, which makes extensive use of official Holding Company Liquidation Commission (HCLC) documents possessed by the National Archives of Japan, examines accounting practices adopted by three Japanese mining corporations in their dissolution in the immediate postwar period from 1946 to 1950. The study finds that (1) the conventional accounting practices adopted by the zaibatsu companies were adequate to enable them to implement their own dissolution and that (2) forecast balance sheets prepared by the companies, produced after the HCLC decided to split them up, provided an important basis for the development of the postwar corporate accounting system. This was because they supplied a practical precedent, in which features of the new system materialized before it was formally instituted, as the forecast balance sheets make use of provisions in the 'Instruction for the Preparation of Financial Statements of Manufacturing and Trading Companies', issued by the General Headquarters (GHQ) in July 1947. The study's results contribute to the literature on the quality of accounting information provided by the Japanese zaibatsu organizations. Early research generally assessed the financial statements submitted to the HCLC as having many defects, while more recent research indicates that the accounting practices adopted by these companies were not deficient in their own domestic environment. Since neither assertion is founded on empirical data, the examination conducted in this study provides important evidence to support the latter view.
    Keywords: Holding Company Liquidation Commission, Zaibatsu, Dissolution, Excessive concentration of economic power, Mining corporations, Coal, Metal
    Date: 2014–03
  17. By: Piraino, Patrizio (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Muller, Sean (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Cilliers, Jeanne (Stellenbosch University); Fourie, Johan (Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Evidence on long-term multigenerational dynamics is often inadequate as large datasets with multiple generations remain very uncommon. We posit that genealogical records can offer a valuable alternative. Rather than exploring the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status, we rely on birth and death dates of eighteenth and nineteenth century settlers in South Africa's Cape Colony to estimate the intergenerational transmission of longevity. We find that there is a positive and significant association between parents' and offspring's life duration, as well as between siblings. Although these correlations persist over time, the coefficients are relatively small. While the effect of grandparents' longevity on that of grandchildren is insignificant, the cousin correlations suggest that inequality in longevity might persist across more than two generations. We suggest that family and environmental factors shared by cousins, beyond grandparental longevity, can explain these results.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility; longevity
    JEL: J62 N37
    Date: 2013
  18. By: Bjerkholt, Olav (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: The journal of the Econometric Society, Econometrica, was established in 1933 and edited by Ragnar Frisch for the first 22 years. As a new journal Econometrica had three key characteristics. First, it was devoted to a research program stated in few but significant words in the constitution of the Econometric Society and for many years printed in every issue of the journal. Second, it was the first international journal in economics. Third, it was the journal of association (Econometric Society) with members committed to a serious interest in econometrics. The paper gives a brief account of the circumstances around the establishment of the journal and of the relationship between Frisch and Alfred Cowles 3rd who in various capacities played a major role in launching the journal and keeping it going. It furthermore conveys observations and comments related to the editing of the first seven volumes of Econometrica, i.e. 1933-39. The main aim of the paper is to shed light on how the editor and a small core group of econometrician attempted to promote econometrics via Econometrica. The paper is overwhelmingly based on unpublished material from Frisch’s editorial files. Editorial principles, controversies, and style are illuminated through excerpts from the editorial correspondence. The paper was presented at ESEM-67, University of Gothenburg, 26-30 August, 2013.
    Keywords: Econometrica; Ragnar Frisch; editorial style
    JEL: B23 B31
    Date: 2014–02–23
  19. By: Feldman, Maryann (Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA); Tavassoli, Sam (CITR, Blekinge Inst of Technology)
    Abstract: The focus of this paper is on the question of how new industries originate in places. There is often confusion between the process of diffusion and the locational factors that give rise to early stage creative discovery. There is a long and distinguished literature that considers the diffusion of ideas. Diffusion is important as it influences the general uptake and implementation of ideas across geography but it is a different process than our focus here. We advance the argument that the creation of new industries is a process that has inherently geographic features. Something new is created out of prior knowledge but a more complex process is required to develop an industry and reap the economic benefits.
    Keywords: new industries; Schmookler scissor; locational factors
    Date: 2014–03–31
  20. By: Reyntjens, Filip
    Abstract: The genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda started on 7 April 1994. In a mere hundred days, three-quarters of the Tutsi minority was exterminated. At the beginning of the massacres, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) the rebel movement that invaded the country in October 1990 from Uganda and with Ugandan support launched an offensive that gave it military victory in early July. As the Hutu extremists had massively killed Tutsi "live" on television, these were the "bad guys", while those who fought them, the RPF rebels, had to be the "good guys". Few observers realised in these days that this was not a conflict between "good" and "bad" guys, but one between "bad guys".
    Keywords: Rwanda; genocide
    Date: 2014–03
  21. By: Barbara Pistoresi
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the sustainability of Italy’s current accounts from 1861 to 2000. Whether or not we find empirical support to sustainability depends on the statistical condition of stationarity of the current account series. Non stationarity of the current accounts implies the economy has violated its intertemporal budget constraint. Unit root tests to study the stationarity of Italy’s current accounts suggest that in the long run (1861 to 2000) Italy’s external position was sustainable: the Italian economy seems to have used the external deficits (surpluses) to smooth its aggregate consumption. The persistent current account deficits in the shorter 1861-1913 period were generated by foreign capital inflows that allowed investment to rise and, in turn, to prompt the nation’s productivity and economic efficiency. Therefore, they do not seem to have curbed economic growth. Classification-JEL: C22,F32,O1 Keywords: Current account sustainability, economic development, Italy, unit root tests, Granger causality;
    Date: 2013–09
  22. By: Aurelio Bruzzo; Elena Curzola
    Abstract: The evolution socio-demographics of the province of Ferrara in the 150 years since the Unification of Italy. Among the many initiatives developed during the 150 years of the Unification of Italy also included a survey conducted, in collaboration with a small group of students (or undergraduates) of the Faculty of Economics, with the objective of reconstruct (or sketch) the demographic change, social and productive recorded in the province of Ferrara from 1861 to 2011, using Census made by ISTAT. After the diffusion of data of the population Census 2011 has become possible to publish the results of calculations performed on the complete series in relation to the socio-demographic aspects that, unfortunately, starting from the flood of Polesine, which took place in November 1951, not appear to be satisfactory.
    Keywords: evolution socio-demographics; long period; provincial level
    JEL: J10
    Date: 2014–03–31
  23. By: Masahiko Shibamoto (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan); Masato Shizume (Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan)
    Abstract: A veteran finance minister, Takahashi Korekiyo, brought an early recovery for Japan from the Great Depression of the 1930s by prescribing a combination of expansionary fiscal, exchange rate, and monetary policies. To explore the comprehensive transmission mechanism of Takahashi's macroeconomic policy package, including the expectation channel, we construct a structural vector auto-regression (S-VAR) model with three state variables (output, price, and the inflation expectations) and three policy variables (fiscal balance, exchange rate, and money stock). Our analysis reveals that the exchange rate adjustment undertaken as an independent policy tool had the strongest effect, and that changes in people's expectations played a significant role for escaping from the Great Depression. During the second half of 1931, in particular, speculation on Japan's departure from the gold standard and the inflation that was likely to follow reversed the existing expectations: instead of expecting deflation, people began to expect inflation, months ahead of the actual departure from the gold standard. As a whole, the choice of the level of the exchange rate was crucial for changing people's expectations as well as promoting exports.
    Keywords: Great depression, Japanese economy, Macroeconomic policy, Expectation, Vector auto-regressive model, Commodity futures
    JEL: E52 E63 N15
    Date: 2014–03
  24. By: Scott Scheall
    Abstract: From the early-1950s on, F.A. Hayek was concerned with the development of a methodology of sciences that study systems of complex phenomena. Hayek argued that the knowledge that can be acquired about such systems is, in virtue of their complexity (and the comparatively narrow boundaries of human cognitive faculties), relatively limited. The paper aims to elucidate the implications of Hayek’s methodology with respect to the specific dimensions along which the scientist’s knowledge of some complex phenomena may be limited. Hayek’s fallibilism was an essential (if not always explicit) aspect of his arguments against the defenders of both socialism ([1935] 1948, [1940] 1948) and countercyclical monetary policy ([1975] 1978); yet, despite the fact that his conceptions of both complex phenomena and the methodology appropriate to their investigation imply that ignorance might beset the scientist in multiple respects, he never explicated all of these consequences. The specificity of a scientific prediction depends on the extent of the scientist’s knowledge concerning the phenomena under investigation. The paper offers an account of the considerations that determine the extent to which a theory’s implications prohibit the occurrence of particular events in the relevant domain. This theory of “predictive degree” both expresses and – as the phenomena of scientific prediction are themselves complex in Hayek’s sense – exemplifies the intuition that the specificity of a scientific prediction depends on the relevant knowledge available.
    Keywords: Hayek, Economic Methodology, Fallibilism, Complexity, Explanation, Prediction, Underdetermination, Quine
    Date: 2013
  25. By: Pan Ké Shon, Jean-Louis (CREST-LSQ); Verdugo, Gregory (Bank of France)
    Abstract: Analysing restricted access census data, this paper examines the long-term trends of immigrant segregation in France from 1968 to 2007. Similar to other European countries, France experienced a rise in the proportion of immigrants in its population that was characterised by a new predominance of non-European immigration. Despite this, average segregation levels remained moderate. While the number of immigrant enclaves increased, particularly during the 2000s, the average concentration for most groups decreased because of a reduction of heavily concentrated census tracts and census tracts with few immigrants. Contradicting frequent assertions, neither mono-ethnic census tract nor ghettoes exist in France. By contrast, many immigrants live in census tracts characterised by a low proportion of immigrants from their own group and from all origins. A long residential period in France is correlated with lower concentrations and proportion of immigrants in the census tract for most groups, though these effects are sometimes modest.
    Keywords: immigration, spatial segregation, France
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2014–03
  26. By: Valentino Larcinese
    Abstract: What are the political consequences of introducing de jure political equality? Does it change patterns of political representation and the identity of elected legislators? This paper uses an important electoral reform passed in 1912 in Italy to provide evidence on these questions. The reform trebled the electorate (from slightly less than three million to 8.650.000) leaving electoral rules and district boundaries unchanged. By exploiting differences in enfranchisement rates across electoral districts we identify the effect of franchise extension on various political outcomes. Enfranchisement increased the vote share of left-wing social reformers but had no impact on their parliamentary representation, no impact on parliamentary representation of aristocracy and traditional elites and no effect on political competition. We show that left-wing parties decreased their vote shares and were systematically defeated in key swing districts. We document elite's effort to minimize the political impact of the reform and, in particular, we show that the Vatican's secret involvement in the post-reform electoral campaign had a substantial impact on voting results, although formerly and newly enfranchised voters were equally affected. We relate our results to economic theories of democratization, which appear to be only partially compatible with our evidence. Keywords: democratization, voting, electoral competition, inequality, swing districts, political violence, Vatican, socialism. JEL code: D72
    Date: 2014
  27. By: Mikio Ito; Kiyotaka Maeda; Akihiko Noda
    Abstract: This paper examines how the rice futures market in prewar Japan evolved in view of market efficiency changing with time. Using a non-Bayesian time-varying VAR model, we compute the time-varying degree of market efficiency of the rice futures exchanges in Tokyo and Osaka. Then we demonstrated that the markets experienced three periods of significantly low market efficiency every time the government intervened: first in 1890 in Osaka, second in the early 1900s in Tokyo and third in the early 1920s in both Tokyo and Osaka.
    Date: 2014–04
  28. By: Arndt, Channing; Jones, Sam; Tarp, Finn
    Abstract: This paper confirms recent evidence of a positive impact of aid on growth and widens the scope of evaluation to a range of outcomes including proximate sources of growth (e.g., physical and human capital), indicators of social welfare (e.g., poverty and i
    Keywords: growth, foreign aid, aid effectiveness, simultaneous equations
    Date: 2013

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