nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2014‒05‒17
33 papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Localized and Biased Technologies: Atkinson and Stiglitz’s New View, Induced Innovations, and Directed Technological Change By Daron Acemoglu
  2. Disease and Development: A Reply to Bloom, Canning, and Fink By Daron Acemoglu; Simon Johnson
  3. Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica. Una replica a Daniele e Malanima By Felice, Emanuele
  4. Floating a "Lifeboat": The Banque de France and the Crisis of 1889 By Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur; Angelo Riva; Eugene N. White
  5. The Danish Agricultural Revolution in an Energy Perspective: A Case of Development with Few Domestic Energy Sources By Henriques, Sofia Teives; Sharp, Paul
  6. The early history of environmental economics. By Sandmo, Agnar
  7. The Evolution of Bank Boards of Directors in New York, 1840-1950 By Howard Bodenhorn; Eugene N. White
  8. Long Run Trends in the Distribution of Income and Wealth By Roine, Jesper; Waldenström, Daniel
  9. Corporate Governance and the Development of Manufacturing Enterprises in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts By Eric Hilt
  10. The colonial legacy: Income inequality in former British African colonies By Atkinson, A.B.
  11. Migrant Networks and Trade: The Vietnamese Boat People as a Natural Experiment By Christopher PARSONS; Pierre-Louis VÉZINA
  12. Victorian internet: the trade impact of the transatlantic telegraph By Claudia Steinwender
  13. Agricultural Literature in Eurasia circa 200 BCE – 1500 CE By Myrdal, Janken
  14. Russian Warriors In The Land Of Miltiades And Themistocles: The Colonial Ambitions Of Catherine The Great In The Mediterranean By Elena B. Smilyanskaya
  15. Piketty against Piketty: the tendency of the rate of profit to fall in United Kingdom and Germany since XIX century confirmed by Piketty´s data By Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
  16. The historical transience of capital: the downward trend in the rate of profit since XIX century By Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
  17. Industrialization and Economic Policy in Algeria: a Synthesis over half a Century By Frédéric Teulon; Dominique Bonet Fernandez
  18. Adam Smith and modern economics. By Sandmo, Agnar
  19. Colonial Legacy, Linguistic Disenfranchisement and the Civil Conflict in Sri Lanka By Paul Castaneda Dower; Victor Ginsburgh; Shlomo Weber
  20. Mozambique.s industrialization By Cruz, Antonio Sousa; Guambe, Dina; Marrengula, Constantino Pedro; Ubisse, Amosse Francisco
  21. Say's Law By Meacci, Ferdinando
  22. Scoping study on the evolution of industry in Ghana By Ackah, Charles; Adjasi, Charles; Turkson, Festus
  23. Financialisation of the environment; A literature review By Eric Clark; Kenneth Hermele
  25. The Economics and Politics of “Green” Flood Control: A Historical Examination of Natural Valley Storage Protection by the Corps of Engineers By Kousky, Carolyn
  26. DiSES Working Papers - 30 Years and 400 Papers After By Maurizio MARIOTTI; Massimo TAMBERI
  27. Jean-Baptiste Say et la question des débouchés By Alain Béraud
  28. Habemus Papam ?Polarization and Conflict in the Papal States By Francisco Pino; Jordi Vidal-Robert
  29. Financial Consumption and the Cost of Finance: Measuring Financial Efficiency in Europe (1950-2007) By Guillaume Bazot
  30. Missing Men: World War II Casualties and Structural Change By Christoph Eder
  31. The Long Term Impact of Cash Transfers to Poor Families By Anna Aizer; Shari Eli; Joseph Ferrie; Adriana Lleras-Muney
  32. Baffling Inflation: Cost-push Inflation Theories in the Late 1950s United States By Takami, Norikazu
  33. La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec : straddling between two worlds By Luc BERNIER Author-X-Name-First: Luc

  1. By: Daron Acemoglu
    Abstract: This paper revisits the important ideas proposed by Atkinson and Stiglitz’s seminal 1969 paper on technological change. After linking these ideas to the induced innovation literature of the 1960s and the more recent directed technological change literature, it explains how these three complementary but different approaches are useful in the study of a range of current research areas though they may also yield different answers to important questions. It concludes by highlighting several important areas where these ideas can be fruitfully applied in future work.
    JEL: E25 J31 O30 O31 O33
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Daron Acemoglu; Simon Johnson
    Abstract: Bloom, Canning, and Fink (2014) argue that the results in Acemoglu and Johnson (2006, 2007) are not robust because initial level of life expectancy (in 1940) should be included in our regressions of changes in GDP per capita on changes in life expectancy. We assess their claims controlling for potential lagged effects of initial life expectancy using data from 1900, employing a nonlinear estimator suggested by their framework, and using information from microeconomic estimates on the effects of improving health. There is no evidence for a positive effect of life expectancy on GDP per capita in this important historical episode.
    JEL: I15 N40 O15
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Felice, Emanuele
    Abstract: The article responds to Daniele and Malanima’s harsh criticism (Perché il Sud è rimasto indietro? Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica, Rivista di Storia Economica, 2014, n. 1) of my last book (Perché il Sud è rimasto indietro, Il Mulino, 2013), about the reconstruction of regional disparities in Italy and the causes of the Italian North-South divide. For what concerns the estimates of regional GDP, it is shown that: my estimation procedure for 1871 was transparent; the interpolation procedure presented by Daniele and Malanima is not replicable, and its results look ambiguous; the procedure through which Daniele and Malanima claim to have converted regional estimates from historical to current borders is incompatible with their own results; nowadays, a new and more accurate estimate at current borders is available. Con-cerning the re-interpretation of the North-South divide, I find that Daniele and Malanima present my work in an unfair way, which leads them to a number of interpretative errors (as in reading the economet-ric results) and to specious controversies; furthermore, the two authors do not consider important or re-cent findings of the historical research (while at the same time supporting a historically unreliable journal-istic literature on Southern Italy) and refer to economic models in a way that is not always correct, neither accurate. They also champion a view of history which looks to me short-sighted and contradictory. L’articolo risponde alle aspre critiche mosse da Daniele e Malanima (Perché il Sud è rimasto indie-tro? Il Mezzogiorno fra storia e pubblicistica, Rivista di Storia Economica, 2014, n. 1) al mio ultimo libro (Perché il Sud è rimasto indietro, Il Mulino, 2013), circa la ricostruzione dei divari regionali in Italia e l’interpretazione della questione meridionale. Per quel che riguarda la ricostruzione dei divari, si mostra che: la mia procedura di stima per il 1871 è trasparente; la procedura di interpolazione realizzata da Da-niele e Malanima non è replicabile e si accompagna a risultati poco chiari; il metodo con il quale Daniele e Malanima dichiarano di essere passati dai confini storici ai confini attuali è incompatibile con i loro risultati; disponiamo oggi di una nuova ricostruzione per anni campione, ai confini attuali, più approfon-dita. Per quel che concerne la reinterpretazione del divario Nord-Sud, a mio giudizio Daniele e Malanima propongono una lettura parziale del mio lavoro, che li conduce a errori di interpretazione (ad esempio nel leggere i modelli econometrici) o a forzature polemiche; inoltre i due autori non considerano importanti o recenti contributi della ricerca storica (mentre supportano una certa pubblicistica storicamente inattendibi-le in circolazione sul Mezzogiorno) e fanno un utilizzo non sempre appropriato della letteratura economi-ca. Nemmeno la loro visione della storia, e all’interno di questa del comune mestiere di «costruttori di stime», a me sembra condivisibile.
    Keywords: Southern Italy, GDP estimates, Historical methodology, History of modern Italy
    JEL: B40 N13 N14 N33 N34
    Date: 2014–05–07
  4. By: Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur; Angelo Riva; Eugene N. White
    Abstract: When faced with a run on a “systemically important” but insolvent bank in 1889, the Banque de France pre-emptively organized a lifeboat to ensure that depositors were protected and an orderly liquidation could proceed. To protect the Banque from losses on its lifeboat loan, a guarantee syndicate was formed, penalizing those who had participated in the copper speculation that had caused the crisis bringing the bank down. Creation of the syndicate and other actions were consistent with mitigating the moral hazard from such an intervention. This episode contrasts the advice given by Bagehot to the Bank of England to counter a panic by lending freely at a high rate on good collateral, allowing insolvent institutions to fail.
    JEL: E58 G01 N13 N23
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Henriques, Sofia Teives (Department of Business and Economics); Sharp, Paul (Department of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: Is a lack of domestic energy resources necessarily a limiting factor to growth, as suggested for example by the work of Robert C. Allen? We examine the case of Denmark - a country which historically had next to no domestic energy resources - for which we present new historical energy accounts for the years 1800-2011. Focusing on the period of the first Industrial Revolution, we demonstrate that Denmark’s take off at the end of the nineteenth century was in fact relatively energy dependent. We relate this to her well-known agricultural transformation and development through the dairy industry. The Danish cooperative creameries, which spread throughout the country over the last two decades of the nineteenth century, were dependent on coal – a point which has not been stressed before in the literature. Denmark had next to no domestic coal deposits, but we demonstrate that her geography allowed cheap availability throughout the country through imports. Thus, Denmark might be seen as the exception that proves the rule: although modern energy forms are important for growth, domestic energy resources are not necessary, as long as it is possible to import them cheaply from elsewhere.
    Keywords: Coal; dairying; Denmark; energy transition
    JEL: N50 Q40
    Date: 2014–05–06
  6. By: Sandmo, Agnar (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: This paper considers economists’ treatment of problems related to the environment prior to the establishment of environmental economics as a separate field in the 1960s. In discussing the literature from the late 18th century onwards, it looks on the one hand for awareness in the work of the early economists of the effects of economic activity on the natural and social environment and of the feedback from the environment to the economy. On the other hand, it describes how economic theory developed in a way which made it increasingly relevant for the study of environmental issues and the design of economic policy.
    Keywords: History of thought; environment; natural resources
    JEL: B00 Q30 Q50
    Date: 2014–04–08
  7. By: Howard Bodenhorn; Eugene N. White
    Abstract: Contemporary bank governance is criticized for manager-dominated (insider) boards of directors, but from the beginning of the nineteenth century, bank presidents appear also to have operated as chairmen of the boards of directors. However, the managers were constrained by a variety of rules that tended to align the interests of management, shareholders and other stakeholders until the mid-twentieth century. We trace this development through New York banking law and new data on banks chartered by the State of New York.
    JEL: G21 G30 N21
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Roine, Jesper (Stockholm School of Economics); Waldenström, Daniel (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the long run developments in the distribution of personal income and wealth. It also discusses suggested explanations for the observed patterns. We try to answer questions such as: What do we know, and how do we know, about the distribution of income and wealth over time? Are there common trends across countries or over the path of devel-opment? How do the facts relate to proposed theories about changes in inequality? We present the main inequality trends, in some cases starting as early as in the late eighteenth century, combining previous research with recent findings in the so-called top income literature and new evidence on wealth concentration. The picture that emerges shows that inequality was historically high almost everywhere at the beginning of the twentieth century. In some coun-tries this situation was preceded by increasing concentration, but in most cases inequality seems to have been relatively constant at a high level in the nineteenth century. Over the twentieth century inequality decreased almost everywhere for the first 80 years, largely due to decreasing wealth concentration and decreasing capital incomes in the top of the distribution. Thereafter trends are more divergent across countries and also different across income and wealth distributions. Econometric evidence over the long run suggests that top shares increase in periods of above average growth while democracy and high marginal tax rates are associat-ed with lower top shares.
    Keywords: Income inequality; Income distribution; Wealth distribution; Economic history; Top incomes; Welfare state; Taxation
    JEL: D31 H20 J30 N30
    Date: 2014–05–05
  9. By: Eric Hilt
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the use of the corporate form among nineteenth-century manufacturing firms in Massachusetts, from newly collected data from 1875. An analysis of incorporation rates across industries reveals that corporations were formed at higher rates among industries in which firm size was larger. But conditional on firm size, the industries in which production was conducted in factories, rather than artisanal shops, saw more frequent use of the corporate form. On average, the ownership of the corporations was quite concentrated, with the directors holding 45 percent of the shares. However, the corporations whose shares were quoted on the Boston Stock Exchange were ‘widely held’ at rates comparable to modern American public companies. The production methods utilized in in different industries also influenced firms’ ownership structures. In many early factories, steam power was combined with unskilled labor, and managers likely performed a complex supervisory role that was critical to the success of the firm. Consistent with the notion that monitoring management was especially important among such firms, corporations in industries that made greater use of steam power and unskilled labor had more concentrated ownership, higher levels of managerial ownership, and smaller boards of directors.
    JEL: D23 K2 N11
    Date: 2014–05
  10. By: Atkinson, A.B.
    Abstract: This paper examines the distribution of top incomes in 15 former British colonies in Africa, drawing on evidence available from income tax records. It seeks to throw light on the position of colonial elites during the period of British rule. Just how uneq
    Keywords: inequality, income distribution, colonial Africa
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Christopher PARSONS (University of Oxford); Pierre-Louis VÉZINA (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We provide cogent evidence for the causal pro-trade effect of migrants and in doing so establish an important link between migrant networks and long-run economic development. To this end, we exploit a unique event in human history, the exodus of the Vietnamese Boat People to the US. This episode represents an ideal natural experiment as the large immigration shock, the first wave of which comprised refugees exogenously allocated across the US, occurred over a twentyyear period during which time the US imposed a complete trade embargo on Vietnam. Following the lifting of trade restrictions in 1994, the share of US exports going to Vietnam was higher and more diversified in those US States with larger Vietnamese populations, themselves the result of larger refugee inflows 20 years earlier.
    Keywords: : Migrant Networks, US Exports, Natural Experiment
    JEL: F14 F22
    Date: 2014–09
  12. By: Claudia Steinwender
    Abstract: The telegraph was the Victorian equivalent of today's 'big data', helping firms to forecast future demand. Analysing such unique historical 'experiments' helps understand how firms and markets respond when new technology leads to a dramatic change in the availability of information.
    Keywords: trade, technology, markets, consumer demand, economic history
    Date: 2014–05
  13. By: Myrdal, Janken (Dept. of Economic History, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Agricultural literature is one of the most important and oldest non-fictions genres in the world. This text gives us the first overview of extant agricultural treatises in Eurasia before c. 1500. With this overview, it is possible to give a better foundation to discussions on the role of knowledge. This literature also gives us indications about the importance of agriculture in different periods for a number of regions in Eurasia. An important part is discussion on method. The goal is to arrive at comparable numbers – to form the basis for analyze.
    Keywords: Agricultural history; Knowledge; Eurasia
    JEL: N13 N15 N50
    Date: 2014–05–14
  14. By: Elena B. Smilyanskaya (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The Mediterranean policy of Catherine the Great gave rise to a discussion about how extreme her colonial ambitions in the Mediterranean were. This article argues against the theories that ‘the Greek idea’ was only a political game for Russia, that Russian activity on the Aegean islands was only military, and that the success of the Archipelago expedition (1769-1775) was primarily due to foreign support. It shows that Catherine II’s colonial ambitions were in fact rather limited compared to other powers of the period. Russia could not imagine having a colony in the eastern Mediterranean, but planned only a small military base surrounded by liberated self-governed Greek territories under the Catherine II’s protection. When the liberated Greek islands became an obstacle to enlarging Russian territory on the Black sea coast, however, they were exchanged, primarily for Crimea.
    Keywords: Catherine the Great, Southern Mediterranean, Greek liberation, philhellenism, Archipelago principality of Catherine II, Russo-Turkish wars, foreign policy of Russia
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
    Abstract: In Capital in 21st century, Thomas Piketty criticizes Marxian theory and the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall in the long term. His main argument, asserted by other authors since decades, is related to the capacity of increases in productivity to counterweight the tendency. The French author establishes a stable “rate of return” too, but this rate and his critics on Marx are founded on a neoclassical perspective. Thus Piketty denies the validity of the law but changing its determinations as a result of the labor theory of value and the valorization process. When a proper definition of the matter in Marxian terms is done, Piketty´s data itself confirm the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.
    Keywords: Piketty – Capital – Marx – Rate of profit – United Kingdom - Germany
    JEL: E21 E22 P1 P16 Y1
    Date: 2014–05
  16. By: Maito, Esteban Ezequiel
    Abstract: This paper presents estimates of the rate of profit on fourteen countries in the long run. The performance shows a clear downward trend, although there are periods of partial recovery in both core and peripheral countries. The behavior of the profit rate confirms the predictions made by Marx, about the historical trend of the mode of production. Finally, an estimate of the global rate of profit for the last six decades is done, also highlighting the particular role of China in systemic profitability.
    Keywords: rate of profit - Marx - mode of production – core/periphery – world rate of profit
    JEL: E30 F21 N0 P10 P16
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Frédéric Teulon; Dominique Bonet Fernandez
    Abstract: Since independence, Algeria has spent nearly half of the last fifty years to build a model of socialist development and the other half tried to escape, hampered by a system of conservation of power, unable to spread the wealth and thus achieve a legitimate economic growth. The objective of this paper is to identify the factors that led Algeria to an economic paradox. Based on a synthesis of several studies on the economic and political situation in the country since its independence, either directly (specific studies on Algeria) or indirectly (studies on the development strategies of a patrimonial State) we present the model of development, the shifts in economic policy, which led to the current situation.
    Keywords: Algeria, dutch disease, socialist development.
    Date: 2014–05–15
  18. By: Sandmo, Agnar (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: In his Wealth of Nations (1776) Adam Smith created an agenda for the study of the economy that is reflected in the structure of modern economics. This paper describes Smith’s contributions to four central areas of economic theory: The theory of price formation, the relationship between market outcomes and the public interest, the role of the state in the economy, and the sources of economic growth. In each case, an attempt is made to relate Smith’s contribution to the state of contemporary economics, showing both the similarities and contrasts between the respective approaches.
    Keywords: Adam Smith; markets; government; economic growth.
    JEL: B12 B31
    Date: 2014–04–28
  19. By: Paul Castaneda Dower (New Economic School, Center for Study of Diversity and Social Interactions); Victor Ginsburgh (ECARES, Universite Libre de Bruxelles); Shlomo Weber (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: Polarization measures that are used in examining the empirical relationship between ethnic divisions and violent conflict, heavily rely on mechanisms of group identification and often use somewhat arbitrary divisions of a society into ethnic groups. In this paper we construct two new measures of polarization, one that accounts for differences in linguistic policies across localities during the colonial era and one that accounts for the differences over time and across localities in the experience of violence throughout the conflict episode. By examining the protracted war in Sri Lanka and applying these indices (and their combination) to a data set describing victims of the civil conflict by district and year, we are able to better identify the effect of ethno-linguistic polarization on the civil conflict in the country. We find that, for each of our polarization indices, there is a positive effect on the conflict. The historical underpinnings of our indices allow us to demonstrate in a quantitative and concrete way the relevance of historical processes for understanding episodes of civil conflict.
    Keywords: Sri Lanka, violent conflict, ethno-linguistic fractionization, polarization indices, regional differences
    JEL: D74 F54 N45
    Date: 2014–05
  20. By: Cruz, Antonio Sousa; Guambe, Dina; Marrengula, Constantino Pedro; Ubisse, Amosse Francisco
    Abstract: After the Second World War, Mozambique went through a series of transformations, from an incipient industrializing colonial society to an independent country with a central planned economy, plus a regional and internal war, and finally from 1994 onwards,
    Keywords: manufacturing, investment, firms, policy, industrialization, Mozambique
    Date: 2014
  21. By: Meacci, Ferdinando
    Abstract: The expression “Say’s Law” is used in the economics literature to represent the arguments set out by Say in Chapter XV, Des Débouchés, Book I, of his Traité d’Economie Politique (1st ed. 1803; 4th ed. 1819, 1st English trans. 1821). These arguments, later known and discussed under the different names of “loi des débouchés” and “law of markets”, are considered by Ricardo amongst the “original, accurate, and profound” discussions of an author “who justly appreciated and applied the principles of Smith” (Works I: 6-7). Ever since Say’s exposition and Ricardo’s appreciation, the focus and controversies on this Law reached two distinct peaks first in the classical and then in the post-Keynesian period. While the classical period, which run between James Mill’s explicit draft of the Law (1965 [1808]) and J. S. Mill’s final qualification of it (1929 [1871]), reached its own peak in Ricardo’s outright support, against Malthus’ criticisms, of those arguments, the post-Keynesian period was opened by Keynes’ outright criticism of Ricardo’s system of thought (believed to be based on Say’s Law), and corresponding defence of Malthus, in his General Theory (CW VII: 18-21, 32-34, 364]). The different versions, interpretations and misunderstandings that have surrounded the Law in the course of time have been so numerous that an entire volume (be it one of those authored by Kates, 1998, Sowell, 1972, and Hutt, 1974; or the one edited by Kates, 2003) may not be enough to account for all of them. This holds even if the Law were looked at from the standpoint of a single author, be it Say or Ricardo, or of the interactions within, or between, the systems of thought of these or of many other authors. This entry is intended to single out, amongst these different versions, interpretations and misunderstandings, only those connected, directly or indirectly, with Ricardo’s support of the Law. Thus the entry is divided into 5 sections. Section 1 is focused on the limits of the Law from the standpoint of its pure or abstract content and on why it should be more properly referred to as Say’s Principle, while section 2 is focused on the split of the Law into its two forms known in the literature as “Say’s identity” and “Say’s equality”. The remaining three sections are instead devoted to an analysis of the main endorsements, criticisms and counter-criticisms that have surrounded the Law ever since Ricardo came to its support against Malthus, and until Keynes moved against it and, more generally, against Ricardo himself. Some brief conclusions are eventually provided in the final section. A draft of this paper has been submittted for publication in the Elgar Companion to David Ricardo, edited by H. Kurz and N. Salvadori, E. Elgar, forthcoming
    Keywords: Law of markets, Say's identity, Say's Equality
    JEL: B1 B12 B2 B22 B3
    Date: 2013–06
  22. By: Ackah, Charles; Adjasi, Charles; Turkson, Festus
    Abstract: This paper chronicles the evolution of industry in Ghana over the post-independence era from an inward over-protected import substitution industrialization strategy of 1960-83 to an outward liberalized strategy during 1984-2000, and since 2001, to the pri
    Keywords: industry, industrialization, industrial policy, manufacturing, developing countries, Ghana
    Date: 2014
  23. By: Eric Clark; Kenneth Hermele (Lund University, Department of Human Geography and Human Ecology Division)
    Abstract: This paper provides a review of research into financialisation of the environment, focusing on the role of financialisation in the interface between social and natural dimensions of sustainability, the geographical penetration of finance into environmental sectors, and its increasing control over the production of nature and environmental governance through regulating flows of capital and consequently material flows. Financialisation is conceptualised as a profoundly spatial process, forging financial ecologies with consequences crucial to conditions for sustainability of social-ecological systems. The paper introduces the theme by framing financialisation in historical contexts. Financialisation of the environment is then related to processes of commodification, privatisation, neoliberalisation and accumulation by dispossession within the broader context of intersections between political economy and political ecology, highlighting the distinction between use-value/object-oriented investments and exchange-value/’investor’-oriented investments, the right to inhabit place, and the shift from control and command to economic incentives, drawing out implications for sustainability. Research on financialisation of agriculture and land resources, and on financialisation in relation to economic and social dimensions, is reviewed, and current moves towards re-regulation are considered from the perspective of a Polanyian countermovement. Conclusions reconsider the nature of the relationship between financialisation and sustainability and the challenges of bringing financial systems into the service of achieving social and natural sustainability.
    Keywords: financialisation, sustainability, commodification, political ecology, land
    JEL: Q14 Q15 Q24 Q57 R11 R51 Z10
    Date: 2013–12–03
  24. By: Antonio Cubel (Universidad de Valencia (Spain)); Vicente Esteve (Universidad de Valencia, Universidad de Alcalá and Universidad de La Laguna (Spain)); M. Teresa Sanchis (Universidad de Valencia and Instituto Figuerola (Spain)); Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis (Universidad de Valencia and ERI-CES (Spain))
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between total factor productivity (TFP) and innovation-related variables during the second half of the 20th century. We perform this analysis for several European countries (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain) and the U.S., extending Coe and Helpman’s (1995) empirical specification to include human capital. We use a new dataset of patents data for the past 150 years to calculate the stock of knowledge using the perpetual inventory method. Our time series empirical analysis confirms the heterogeneous relationship between innovation variables (domestic stock of knowledge, imports of knowledge, and human capital) and productivity. Our results reveal the extent to which observed differences in technology adoption patterns and the levels of endowment of such resources can explain differences in TFP dynamics across countries. The estimated coefficients confirm the considerable gap that still exists between the European countries and the U.S. in innovation-related variables. Furthermore, we obtain a finding that may have important implications for innovation policies: the higher the level of investment in human capital, the higher the level of investment in domestic innovation, and the higher the response of TFP to a 1% increase in any of the aforementioned variables.
    Date: 2014–05
  25. By: Kousky, Carolyn (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: Between 1972 and 1994, the New England Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers undertook five studies evaluating the benefits and costs of protecting natural valley storage (NVS) areas as a flood mitigation strategy in various watersheds. NVS lands function as natural reservoirs, temporarily storing floodwaters. In only one case—along the Charles River in Massachusetts—were the benefits found to outweigh the costs. Along the Charles, the Corps acquired approximately 8,500 acres of floodplain land to keep as open space in perpetuity. This paper reviews the five studies in detail to inform ongoing interest in green approaches to flood control. The analysis finds that large-scale land acquisition to contain major riverine flood events is difficult to justify by avoided flood damages alone. For such a project to generate net benefits, there must be significant amounts of NVS lands still undeveloped, substantial development pressure on those lands, and downstream areas that would sustain high levels of damage in the event of a flood. Perhaps more importantly, however, these studies raise two fundamental institutional questions: (1) Should the Corps, or the federal government more broadly, be involved in land acquisition? (2) Should regulating land use be preferred over purchasing NVS land? The economic and political issues uncovered in the historic examination of these five studies suggest an explanation for the current focus on other approaches to green flood control, such as multipurpose projects, levee setbacks, and green infrastructure to manage stormwater.
    Keywords: floodplain conservation, flood mitigation, Corps of Engineers, natural valley storage, cost-benefit analysis
    Date: 2014–04–10
  26. By: Maurizio MARIOTTI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Massimo TAMBERI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: With this paper we celebrate thirty years (1983-2013) of the present series of research papers "Quaderni di ricerca", after 400 issues of the publication. We analyze the available quantitative information from a descriptive point of view, evidencing the main research fields, and stressing, among other aspects, the progressive integration of the research of our department in the international community of researchers. From the qualitative side, we analyze the position of the series within the RePEc archive, in terms of total downloads and of two bibliometric indexes, showing the progressive improvement of the ranking of the "Quaderni".
    Keywords: Publishing, Research in Economics
    JEL: A
    Date: 2014–05
  27. By: Alain Béraud (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise)
    Abstract: Say a soutenu qu'il n'y a pas de capital, quelque considérable qu'il soit, qui ne puisse être employé de façon profitable. Une telle proposition n'implique pas l'absence de chômage et de crise. Les marchés peuvent être encombrés. Dans ses premiers écrits, Say expliquait que si certaines marchandises ne peuvent pas se vendre, c'est parce que d'autres manquent. Quand on a moins gagné, on peut moins acheter et un déséquilibre sectoriel peut se diffuser dans l'ensemble de l'économie. Plus tard, il expliquera les crises commerciales par les abus des banques de circulation qui, pour escompter les effets de commerce de leurs clients, émettent des quantités excessives de billets. La valeur de la monnaie diminue ; les individus qui détiennent des billets demandent leur paiement en espèces ; les banques constatant la diminution de leurs réserves restreignent leurs crédits provoquant ainsi une crise.
    Keywords: Say, débouchés, théorie quantitative de la monnaie, crises commerciales
    Date: 2014–04–29
  28. By: Francisco Pino; Jordi Vidal-Robert
    Abstract: We study the effect of divisions within the elite on the probability of internalconflict in the Papal States between 1295 and 1846. We assemble a new databaseusing information on cardinals that participated in conclaves during this period,and construct measures of polarization and fractionalization based on the cardinals’places of birth. The deaths of popes and cardinals provide plausible exogenousvariation in the timing of the conclave and the composition of the Collegeof Cardinals, which we exploit to analyze the causal effect of a divided conclaveon conflict. We find that an increase of one standard deviation in our measure ofpolarization raised the likelihood of internal conflict by between 2 and 3 percentin a given year and by up to 18 percent in a given papacy. The effect is largestin the initial years after the conclave, to gradually vanish over time. Our resultsconfirm that cardinals’ influence on the politics of the Papal States decreased afterreforms introduced between 1586 and 1588. Our measure of religious productivity,however, is negatively and significantly linked to polarization in the post-reformperiod. These reforms were successful in shifting the effect of divisions among theelite of one of the largest and oldest organizations from violent conflict to religiousmatters.
    JEL: D72 D74 N33 N43 Z12
    Date: 2014–05
  29. By: Guillaume Bazot (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper proposes to assess financial intermediation efficiency in Germany, France, the UK, and Europe more broadly, over the past 60 years. I rely on Philippon's (2012) methodology, which calculates the unit cost of financial intermediation through the ratio of 'financial consumption' | measured by financial income | to 'financial output' | approximated by the sum of outstanding assets intermediated. The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, because financial industry VA ignores banks' capital income (capital gains, dividends and interest on securities) it is an imperfect measure of the consumption of financial intermediation. So long as capital income generates wages and profits to financial intermediaries, it is akin to an implicit consumption of financial services. Using banking income instead of banking VA to measure the consumption of banking services, I show that the GDP share of finance has increased continuously in Germany, France, the UK and Europe as a whole. Second, the unit cost of financial intermediation increased over the past 40 years, except in France where, overall, it stagnated. In addition, the European unit cost matches the US unit cost calculated by Philippon (2012). Finally, because financial intermediaries deal with nominal stocks and ows, and because the unit cost increases during periods of monetary troubles, I focus here on nominal rates of interest to explain the evolution of unit cost. I show that a rise in nominal rates of interest increases the spread of bank interest, so that 1970s and 1980s high unit costs are statistically explained by increases in short-term interest rates. On the other hand, post-1990s high unit cost seems to coincide with the development of new market-based activities.
    Keywords: Financial Consumption ; Financial Efficiency ; Europe
    Date: 2014–05
  30. By: Christoph Eder
    Abstract: This paper investigates the long-term consequences of violent conflict and the associatedhuman casualties on economic development. Using the World War II casualties suffered in Austrian municipalities as a natural experiment, I find a significant negative causal effect of human losses on economic activity, as measured by the current total wage bill in the affected communities today. The underlying determinants of this reduction in output are traced back to a lower number and density of firms, along with a smaller work force. However, this is only true for the service sector and not the manufacturing sector. As I demonstrate, the likely channel through which the effect persisted over time is through its impact on the structural composition of the work force. Specifically, greater human losses increased the fraction of employment in manufacturing at the expense of agriculture until the 1970s and services from then onwards. A simple model shows that structural change can translate a lower labor share in agricultural production into less participation of service sector growth at a later time.
    Date: 2014–02
  31. By: Anna Aizer; Shari Eli; Joseph Ferrie; Adriana Lleras-Muney
    Abstract: We estimate the long-run impact of cash transfers to poor families on children’s longevity, educational attainment, nutritional status, and income in adulthood. To do so, we collected individual-level administrative records of applicants to the Mothers’ Pension program—the first government-sponsored welfare program in the US (1911-1935) —and matched them to census, WWII and death records. Male children of accepted applicants lived one year longer than those of rejected mothers. Male children of accepted mothers received one-third more years of schooling, were less likely to be underweight, and had higher income in adulthood than children of rejected mothers.
    JEL: I12 I38 N32
    Date: 2014–05
  32. By: Takami, Norikazu
    Abstract: The aim of this essay is to examine how cost-push inflation theories, which highlight autonomous increases of wages and other production costs as a cause of inflation, played their decisive role in the policy debate to interpret the price movements in the second half of the 1950s. In late 1956, economic experts including politicians and journalists as well as economists started to observe a peculiarity accompanying the ongoing inflation, namely, the apparent lack of excess aggregate demand, and they placed great emphasis on cost-push inflation theories to interpret this peculiar phenomenon. When the recession of 1958 entailed a steady increase of general prices, some experts considered this as another supporting evidence of cost push inflation. Against the background of this atypical inflation, the United States Congress, then ruled by the opposition Democratic party, engaged in large-scale inquiries of inflation. These investigations produced one report among others that emphasized cost-push theories, which was called the Eckstein Report after the technical director and Harvard economist Otto Eckstein. This essay concludes that the controversy on the inflation of the late 1950s created various processes that shaped and propagated cost-push inflation theories.
    Date: 2014–04
  33. By: Luc BERNIER Author-X-Name-First: Luc (Ecole nationale d’administration publique (ENAP), Université du Québec, Québec (Canada))
    Abstract: La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has been an important public enterprise for Quebec’s economic development since its creation in 1965. It has been described as an essential element in the economic strategy of modernization in this Canadian province. La Caisse is an interesting case if one considers that its financial performance has been better when it was also preoccupied by its public mission rather than focusing on profitability. The longitudinal case study presented here illustrates that the Caisse has been straddling between these two missions. The period covered allows to understand the possibilities offered to the public enterprise and how it can adapt to changing circumstances overt time and successive economic crises.
    Keywords: financial institution, pension plan, Québec, public enterprise, economic development, assets management.
    Date: 2013–07

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