New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2014‒06‒02
34 papers chosen by

  1. Economic Freedom in the Long Run: Evidence from OECD Countries (1850-2007 By Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
  2. Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012 By Michaels, Guy; Rauch, Ferdinand
  3. Coal and the European Industrial Revolution By Fernihough, Alan; O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj
  4. The Argentina Paradox: Microexplanations and Macropuzzles By Taylor, Alan M.
  5. Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development By Spolaore, Enrico; Wacziarg, Romain
  6. The return of religion? The paradox of faith-based welfare provision in a secular age By Hien, Josef
  7. Education Promoted Secularization By Becker, Sascha O.; Nagler, Markus; Woessmann, Ludger
  8. Health, Height and the Household at the Turn of the 20th Century By Bailey, Roy E; Hatton, Timothy J.; Inwood, Kris
  9. The Wages of Women in England, 1260-1850 By Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
  10. Landownership Concentration and the Expansion of Education By Cinnirella, Francesco; Hornung, Erik
  11. Human Capital and Fertility in Chinese Clans Before Modern Growth By Shiue, Carol Hua
  12. Twentieth Century Growth By Crafts, Nicholas; O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj
  13. Business Groups in the United States: A Revised History of Corporate Ownership, Pyramids and Regulation, 1930-1950 By Kandel, Eugene; Kosenko, Konstantin; Morck, Randall; Yafeh, Yishay
  14. The growing dependence of Britain on trade during the Industrial Revolution By Clark, Gregory; O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj; Taylor, Alan M.
  15. Just Add Milk: A Productivity Analysis of the Revolutionary Changes in Nineteenth Century Danish Dairying By Markus Lampe; Paul Sharp
  16. Settlers and surnames: An atlas illustrating the origins of settlers in 19th century America. By Eff, Ellis Anthon
  17. Recreating the South Sea Bubble: Lessons from an Experiment in Financial History By Giusti, Giovanni; Noussair, Charles; Voth, Hans-Joachim
  18. Speed under Sail, 1750-1850 By Morgan Kelly; Cormac Ó Gráda
  19. Regionalization and historical–cultural dimension of Northwest Romania By Brie, Mircea; MÉSZÁROS, Edina Lilla
  20. The critique of capital in the twenty first century : in search of the macroeconomic foundations of inequality By Guillaume Allègre; Xavier Timbeau
  21. Money Demand in Ireland, 1933-2012 By Gerlach, Stefan; Stuart, Rebecca
  22. Was Stalin Necessary for Russia’s Economic Development? By Cheremukhin, Anton; Golosov, Mikhail; Guriev, Sergei; Tsyvinski, Aleh
  23. Does in utero Exposure to Illness Matter? The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Taiwan as a Natural Experiment By Lin, Ming-Jen; Liu, Elaine M.
  24. A Century of Firm – Bank Relationships: Did Banking Sector Deregulation Spur Firms to Add Banks and Borrow More? By Braggion, Fabio; Ongena, Steven
  25. Highway to Hitler By Nico Voigtlaender; Hans-Joachim Voth
  26. Trends in Self-Employment Among White and Black Men: 1910-1990 By Fairlie, Robert
  27. The Mother of All Sudden Stops: Capital Flows and Reversals in Europe, 1919-1932 By Accominotti, Olivier; Eichengreen, Barry
  28. Feeling the blues. Moral hazard and debt dilution in Eurobonds before 1914 By Esteves, Rui; Tuncer, Ali Coskun
  29. Private Notes on Gary Becker By Heckman, James J.
  30. Money, Interest Rates and Prices in Ireland, 1933-2012 By Gerlach, Stefan; Stuart, Rebecca
  31. The Link Between Fundamentals and Proximate Factors in Development By Keller, Wolfgang; Shiue, Carol Hua
  32. Financial and Sovereign Debt Crises: Some Lessons Learned and Those Forgotten By Reinhart, Carmen M.; Rogoff, Kenneth
  33. (English) Representation of migrants in Italian history and geography textbooks (Italiano) Rappresentazione dei migranti nei libri di testo italiani di storia e geografia By Adriana Valente; Tommaso Castellani; Silvia Caravita
  34. Integrating search in macroeconomics: the defining years By Samuel DANTHINE; Michel DE VROEY

  1. By: Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
    Abstract: This paper presents historical indices for the main dimensions of economic freedom and an aggregate index for nowadays developed countries -(pre-1994) OECD, for short-. Economic liberty expanded over the last one-and-a-half centuries, reaching two thirds of its maximum possible. Its evolution has been, however, far from linear. After a substantial improvement since mid-nineteenth century, World War I brought a major setback. The post-war recovery up to 1929 was followed by a dramatic decline in the 1930s and significant progress took place during the Golden Age but fell short from the pre-World War I peak. A steady expansion since the early 1980s has resulted in the highest levels of economic liberty of the last two centuries. Each main dimension of economic freedom exhibited a distinctive trend and its contribution to the aggregate index varied over time. Nonetheless, improved property rights provided the main contribution to the long-run advancement of economic liberty.
    Keywords: economic liberty; negative freedom; OECD
    JEL: N10 O17 P10
    Date: 2014–03
  2. By: Michaels, Guy; Rauch, Ferdinand
    Abstract: Do locational fundamentals such as coastlines and rivers determine town locations, or can historical events trap towns in unfavorable locations for centuries? We examine the effects on town locations of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, which temporarily ended urbanization in Britain, but not in France. As urbanization recovered, medieval towns were more often found in Roman-era town locations in France than in Britain, and this difference still persists today. The resetting of Britain's urban network gave it better access to naturally navigable waterways when this was important, while many French towns remained without such access.
    Keywords: Economic Geography; Economic History; Path Dependence; Transportation
    JEL: N93 O18 R11
    Date: 2013–11
  3. By: Fernihough, Alan; O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj
    Abstract: We examine the importance of geographical proximity to coal as a factor underpinning comparative European economic development during the Industrial Revolution. Our analysis exploits geographical variation in city and coalfield locations, alongside temporal variation in the availability of coal-powered technologies, to quantify the effect of coal availability on historic city population sizes. Since we suspect that our coal measure could be endogenous, we use a geologically derived measure as an instrumental variable: proximity to rock strata from the Carboniferous era. Consistent with traditional historical accounts of the Industrial Revolution, we find that coal had a strong influence on city population size from 1800 onward. Counterfactual estimates of city population sizes indicate that our estimated coal effect explains at least 60% of the growth in European city populations from 1750 to 1900. This result is robust to a number of alternative modelling assumptions regarding missing historical population data, spatially lagged effects, and the exclusion of the United Kingdom from the estimation sample.
    Keywords: Coal; Geography; Historical Population; Industrial Revolution
    JEL: J10 N13 N53 O13 O14
    Date: 2014–02
  4. By: Taylor, Alan M.
    Abstract: The economic history of Argentina presents one of the most dramatic examples of divergence in the modern era. What happened and why? This paper reviews the wide range of competing explanations in the literature and argues that, setting aside deeper social and political determinants, the various economic mechanisms in play defy the idea of a monocausal explanation.
    Keywords: divergence; finance; growth; institutions; Latin America; policies; trade
    JEL: F43 N16 O11 O54 O57 P52
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Spolaore, Enrico; Wacziarg, Romain
    Abstract: What obstacles prevent the most productive technologies from spreading to less developed economies from the world’'s technological frontier? In this paper, we seek to shed light on this question by quantifying the geographic and human barriers to the transmission of technologies. We argue that the intergenerational transmission of human traits, particularly culturally transmitted traits, has led to divergence between populations over the course of history. In turn, this divergence has introduced barriers to the diffusion of technologies across societies. We provide measures of historical and genealogical distances between populations, and document how such distances, relative to the world'’s technological frontier, act as barriers to the diffusion of development and of specific innovations. We provide an interpretation of these results in the context of an emerging literature seeking to understand variation in economic development as the result of factors rooted deep in history.
    Keywords: diffusion of innovations; genetic distance; intergenerational transmission; Long-run growth
    JEL: O11 O33 O40 O57
    Date: 2013–09
  6. By: Hien, Josef
    Abstract: For centuries, churches were the main institutional providers of welfare in Europe before the state took over this role in the late 19th century. The influence of modernization theory meant that modern welfare state theorists increasingly regarded religion and its impact on welfare as a relic from the distant past. It was anticipated that modern, differentiated, and industrialized societies would see the decline and inevitable disappearance of religious welfare provision along with religiosity. Surprisingly, however, at the beginning of the 21st century in many modern industrialized societies, religious institutions are increasingly becoming involved in welfare provision again. The religion blind classic welfare state literature offers no explanation for this phenomenon. This present paper argues that the resurgence of faith-based welfare providers is the reversal of a phenomenon that occurred in the late 19th century when modern states started to strip religious providers of their prerogatives in welfare provision. The result was the ascendance of the modern state and the demise of religion in the late 19th century. The return of welfare to religious providers can therefore be interpreted as the beginning of the demise of the modern state. -- Jahrhundertelang war die Kirche der Hauptwohlfahrtsträger in Europa, bevor der Staat im späten 19. Jahrhundert diese Aufgabe übernahm. Der Einfluss der Modernisierungstheorie bedeutete, dass Theoretiker des modernen Wohlfahrtsstaates Religion und ihre Auswirkung auf Sozialhilfe zunehmend als ein Relikt der Vergangenheit ansahen. Man erwartete, dass in modernen, differenzierten und industrialisierten Gesellschaften der Rückgang und das unausweichliche Verschwinden kirchlicher Wohlfahrtsleistungen mit einem Zerfall an Religiosität einhergingen. Allerdings engagieren sich seit Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts in vielen Industrienationen überraschenderweise wieder kirchliche Einrichtungen vermehrt in der Sozialfürsorge. Die klassische Literatur zum Wohlfahrtsstaat blendet die Kirche aus und liefert daher keinerlei Erklärung für dieses Phänomen. Der vorliegende Beitrag argumentiert, dass das Neuaufleben konfessioneller Wohlfahrtsanbieter das Phänomen des späten 19. Jahrhunderts wieder umkehrt, als moderne Staaten begannen, den kirchlichen Wohlfahrtsträgern die Privilegien der Sozialhilfe zu entziehen. Das Ergebnis war der Aufstieg des modernen Wohlfahrtsstaates und der Niedergang der Religion im späten 19. Jahrhundert. Das Wiedererstarken kirchlicher Wohlfahrtspflege kann daher als der Beginn des Zerfalls des modernen Staates erachtet werden.
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Becker, Sascha O.; Nagler, Markus; Woessmann, Ludger
    Abstract: Why did substantial parts of Europe abandon the institutionalized churches around 1900? Empirical studies using modern data mostly contradict the traditional view that education was a leading source of the seismic social phenomenon of secularization. We construct a unique panel dataset of advanced-school enrollment and Protestant church attendance in German cities between 1890 and 1930. Our cross-sectional estimates replicate a positive association. By contrast, in panel models where fixed effects account for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, education – but not income or urbanization – is negatively related to church attendance. In panel models with lagged explanatory variables, educational expansion precedes reduced church attendance.
    Keywords: Education; Germany; History; Secularization
    JEL: I20 N33 Z12
    Date: 2014–03
  8. By: Bailey, Roy E; Hatton, Timothy J.; Inwood, Kris
    Abstract: We examine the health and height of men born in England and Wales in the 1890s who enlisted in the army at the time of the First World War. We take a sample of the army service records and use this information to find the recruits as children in the 1901 census. Econometric results indicate that adult height was negatively related to the number of children in the household as well as to the share of earners, the degree of crowding, and positively to socioeconomic class. Adding the characteristics of the local registration district has little effect on the household-level effects. But local conditions were important; in particular the industrial character of the district, local housing conditions and the female illiteracy rate. We interpret these as representing the negative effect on height of the local disease environment. The results suggest that changing conditions at both household and locality levels contributed to the increase in height and health in the following decades.
    Keywords: Health in Britain.; Heights of recruits; Household structure
    JEL: I12 J13 N33
    Date: 2014–05
  9. By: Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
    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 recent 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.
    Keywords: Black Death; England; Gender segregation; Gender wage gap; Industrial Revolution; Wages; Women
    JEL: J3 J4 J6 J7 N33
    Date: 2014–03
  10. By: Cinnirella, Francesco; Hornung, Erik
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of landownership concentration on school enrollment for nineteenth century Prussia. Prussia is an interesting laboratory given its decentralized educational system and the presence of heterogeneous agricultural institutions. We find that landownership concentration, a proxy for the institution of serfdom, has a negative effect on schooling. This effect diminishes substantially towards the end of the century. Causality of this relationship is confirmed by introducing soil texture to identify exogenous farm-size variation. Panel estimates further rule out unobserved heterogeneity. We present several robustness checks which shed some light on possible mechanisms.
    Keywords: Education; Institutions; Land concentration; Peasants' emancipation; Prussian economic history; Serfdom
    JEL: I25 N33 O43 Q15
    Date: 2013–11
  11. By: Shiue, Carol Hua
    Abstract: This paper studies the pre-industrial origins of modern-day fertility decline. The setting is in Anhwei Province, China over the 13th to 19th centuries, a period well before the onset of China’s demographic transition and industrialization. There are four main results. First, we observe non-Malthusian effects in which high income households had relatively fewer children. Second, higher income households had relatively more educated sons, consistent with their greater ability to support major educational investments. Third, those households that invested in education had fewer children, suggesting that households producing educated children were reallocating resources away from child quantity and towards child quality. Fourth, over time, demand for human capital fell significantly. The most plausible reason is the declining returns to educational investments. The findings point to a role for demography in explaining China’s failure to industrialize early on.
    Keywords: Demographic transition; Economic history of China; Fertility; Human capital
    JEL: J11 O15
    Date: 2013–11
  12. By: Crafts, Nicholas; O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj
    Abstract: This paper surveys the experience of economic growth in the 20th century with a focus on technological change at the frontier together with issues related to success and failure in catch-up growth. A detailed account of growth performance based on historical national accounts data is given and is accompanied by a review of growth accounting evidence on the sources of economic growth. The key features of our analysis of divergence in growth outcomes are an emphasis on the importance of ‘directed’ technical change, of institutional quality, and of geography. We provide brief case studies of the experience of individual countries to illustrate these points.
    Keywords: catch-up growth; divergence; growth accounting; technical change
    JEL: N10 O33 O43 O47
    Date: 2013–09
  13. By: Kandel, Eugene; Kosenko, Konstantin; Morck, Randall; Yafeh, Yishay
    Abstract: The extent to which business groups ever existed in the United States and, if they did exist, the reasons for their disappearance are poorly understood. In this paper we use hitherto unexplored historical sources to construct a comprehensive data set to address this issue. We find that (1) business groups, often organized as pyramids, existed at least as early as the turn of the twentieth century and became a common corporate form in the 1930s and 1940s, mostly in public utilities (e.g., electricity, gas and transportation) but also in manufacturing; (2) In contrast with modern business groups in emerging markets that are typically diversified and tightly controlled, many US groups were focused in a single sector and controlled by apex firms with dispersed ownership; (3) The disappearance of US business groups was largely complete only in 1950, about 15 years after the major anti-group policy measures of the mid-1930s; (4) Chronologically, the demise of business groups preceded the emergence of conglomerates in the United States by about two decades and the sharp increase in stock market valuation by about a decade, so that a causal link between these events is hard to establish, although there may well be a connection between them. We conclude that the prevalence of business groups is not inconsistent with high levels of investor protection; that US corporate ownership as we know it today evolved gradually over several decades; and that policy makers should not expect policies that restrict business groups to have an immediate effect on corporate ownership.
    Keywords: Business Groups; Corporate Ownership; Financial Market Regulation; Pyramids
    JEL: G30 G34 G38
    Date: 2013–11
  14. By: Clark, Gregory; O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj; Taylor, Alan M.
    Abstract: Many previous studies of the role of trade during the British Industrial Revolution have found little or no role for trade in explaining British living standards or growth rates. We construct a three-region model of the world in which Britain trades with North America and the rest of the world, and calibrate the model to data from the 1760s and 1850s. We find that while trade had only a small impact on British welfare in the 1760s, it had a very large impact in the 1850s. This contrast is robust to a large range of parameter perturbations. Biased technological change and population growth were key in explaining Britain’s growing dependence on trade during the Industrial Revolution.
    Keywords: British Industrial Revolution; colonies; Great Divergence; growth; specialization; trade
    JEL: F11 F14 F43 N10 N70 O40
    Date: 2014–03
  15. By: Markus Lampe; Paul Sharp
    Abstract: The late nineteenth century Danish agricultural revolution saw the modernization and growth of the dairy industry. Denmark rapidly caught up with the leading economies, and Danish dairying led the world in terms of productivity. Uniquely in a world perspective, high quality micro-level data exist documenting this episode. These allow the use of the tool of modern agricultural economists, stochastic frontier analysis, to estimate production functions for milk and thus find the determinants of these productivity and efficiency advances. We identify the contribution of modernization through specific new technologies and practices.
    Keywords: Dairies, Denmark, Development, Stochastic Frontier Analysis
    JEL: L2 N5 O3 Q1
    Date: 2014–05
  16. By: Eff, Ellis Anthon
    Abstract: An atlas of settlement patterns in 19th century America is produced based on microdata from the 1880 census of the United States and the 1881 census of the United Kingdom. The first part of the atlas shows migration from state or country of parental origin to county of residence, for persons born prior to 1840; the resulting maps illustrate population movements between approximately 1820 and 1880. The second part of the atlas examines the surnames of the 16 longest-settled eastern states, for males born prior to 1840 and living in the same state in which their fathers were born. Assigning these surnames to foreign countries and the historic counties of England and Scotland, the resulting maps show the probable origins, by counties, of these eastern states.
    Keywords: surnames, North American Population Project, settling of America
    JEL: F22 N31 O15 R23 Z1
    Date: 2013–04–15
  17. By: Giusti, Giovanni; Noussair, Charles; Voth, Hans-Joachim
    Abstract: Major bubble episodes are rare events. In this paper, we examine what factors might cause some asset price bubbles to become very large. We recreate, in a laboratory setting, some of the specific institutional features investors in the South Sea Company faced in 1720. Several factors have been proposed as potentially contributing to one of the greatest periods of asset overvaluation in history: an intricate debt-for-equity swap, deferred payment for these shares, and the possibility of default on the deferred payments. We consider which aspect might have had the most impact in creating the South Sea bubble. The results of the experiment suggest that the company’s attempt to exchange its shares for government debt was the single biggest contributor to the stock price explosion, because of the manner in which the swap affected fundamental value. Issuing new shares with only partial payments required, in conjunction with the debt-equity swap, also had a significant effect on the size of the bubble. Limited contract enforcement, on the other hand, does not appear to have contributed significantly.
    Keywords: equity issuance; experiments; financial bubbles; government debt; risk-shifting; South Sea bubble
    JEL: C92 G01 G12 G14 N23
    Date: 2013–09
  18. By: Morgan Kelly (University College Dublin); Cormac Ó Gráda (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: We measure technological progress in oceanic shipping by using a large database of daily log entries from ships of the British and Dutch navies and East India Companies to estimate daily sailing speed in different wind conditions from 1750 to 1850. Against the consensus, dating back to North (1958, 1968), that the technology of sailing ships was static during this period, we find that average sailing speed in a moderate breeze (the usual summer conditions in the North Atlantic) rose by one third between 1780 and 1830; with greater increases at lower wind speeds. About one third of this improvement occurs when hulls are first copper plated in the 1780s, but the rest appears to be the result of incremental improvements in sails, rigging, and hull profiles.
    Keywords: economic history, technology, transport
    JEL: N O R
    Date: 2014–05–23
  19. By: Brie, Mircea; MÉSZÁROS, Edina Lilla
    Abstract: The present article tackles a very actual and heavily debated topic in our country, that of the regionalization. Our aim is to present how the memory of belonging to a historical region, the ethnical criteria, the local/regional identity and pride influence the outlining of the regionalization projects from the North–West Region of Transylvania. As a case study we have chosen to unfold the regionalization initiatives which target the North–West Region due to its unique character, being an administrative unit, which during history formed part of a multiethnic province with many autonomous regions. In order to better understand the current decentralization projects of various political parties we have considered also necessary to present the historical regions, ethnical– and administrative territorial configuration of Transylvania throughout the centuries. We wish to prove that despite the devices used in the regionalization process, stating that its role is purely economic reality shows that neither the ethnical nor the historical criteria can be neglected in case of Transylvania, an extremely heterogonous region with strong regional identities.
    Keywords: Regionalization; decentralization; historical region; Partium; Crişana; Banat; Maramureş; administrative unit
    JEL: R1 R58
    Date: 2014
  20. By: Guillaume Allègre (Ofce,Sciences-po); Xavier Timbeau (Ofce, Sciences-po)
    Abstract: Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century proposes a critical analysis of the dynamics of capital accumulation. The book has several objectives: to present the historical dynamics of capital and its distribution up to the early twenty-first century; to offer a prospective analysis of these dynamics up to the end of this century; and, finally, to discuss policy measures that would make it possible to avoid the future it lays out. This book is undoubtedly the key treatise on political economy from the first part of this century. The author revives an obsolete format, as academic economists generally prefer publications in scholarly journals while reserving the book format for popularization. He reveals the mechanisms pushing towards convergence or divergence in the distribution of wealth, and emphasizes the widely underestimated power of divergence: if the return on capital (??) exceeds economic growth (??), which has almost always been the case historically, then it is virtually inevitable that inherited wealth will dominate built-up wealth and the concentration of capital will reach extremely high levels. Thomas Piketty thus seeks the foundations of inequality (??>??) in macroeconomics, whereas the usual suspects are found at the micro-economic level. As we shall see, this macro-foundation of the micro-economy is not entirely convincing, and the facts described by Thomas Piketty can be interpreted with a different causality in which it is extra-economic constraints and scarcity rent that explain the dynamics of inequality, and hence the relationship ??>??. This different interpretation of the same phenomena has consequences for public policy. According to our interpretation, an ex post capital tax, if necessary, can only be a second-order choice: first the constraints of scarcity have to be removed and property rights and the respective rights of owners and non-owners must be redefined.
    Date: 2014–04
  21. By: Gerlach, Stefan; Stuart, Rebecca
    Abstract: Using annual data from several sources, we study the evolution of M1, M2, income, prices and long and short interest rates in Ireland over the period 1933-2012. We find cointegration and that prices, income and interest rates are weakly exogenous. While the estimates for M2 are stable and close to our priors, for M1 we obtain very low price elasticities, and a relatively high income elasticity, and detect parameter instability. We estimate a short-run M2 demand function that passes a number of diagnostic tests, although the standard errors of the regressions is large.
    Keywords: historical statistics; income; Ireland; long time series; money; prices
    JEL: E3 E4 N14
    Date: 2014–05
  22. By: Cheremukhin, Anton; Golosov, Mikhail; Guriev, Sergei; Tsyvinski, Aleh
    Abstract: This paper studies structural transformation of Soviet Russia in 1928-1940 from an agrarian to an industrial economy through the lens of a two-sector neoclassical growth model. We construct a large dataset that covers Soviet Russia during 1928-1940 and Tsarist Russia during 1885-1913. We use a two-sector growth model to compute sectoral TFPs as well as distortions and wedges in the capital, labor and product markets. We find that most wedges substantially increased in 1928-1935 and then fell in 1936-1940 relative to their 1885-1913 levels, while TFP remained generally below pre-WWI trends. Under the neoclassical growth model, projections of these estimated wedges imply that Stalin’s economic policies led to welfare loss of -24 percent of consumption in 1928-1940, but a +16 percent welfare gain after 1941. A representative consumer born at the start of Stalin’s policies in 1928 experiences a reduction in welfare of -1 percent of consumption, a number that does not take into account additional costs of political repression during this time period. We provide three additional counterfactuals: comparison with Japan, comparison with the New Economic Policy (NEP), and assuming alternative post-1940 growth scenarios.
    Keywords: industrialization; Japan; Russia; Stalin; unbalanced growth
    JEL: E6 N23 N24 O4 O41
    Date: 2013–09
  23. By: Lin, Ming-Jen (National Taiwan University); Liu, Elaine M. (University of Houston)
    Abstract: This paper uses the 1918 influenza pandemic in Taiwan as a natural experiment to test whether in utero conditions affect long-run developmental outcomes. Combining several historical and current datasets, we find that cohorts in utero during the pandemic are shorter as child/teenagers, less educated, and more likely to have serious health problems, including kidney disease, circulatory, respiratory problems, and diabetes in old age, than other birth cohorts. Despite the possible positive selection on health from high infant mortality rates during this period (18 percent), our findings suggest a strong negative effect of in utero exposure to influenza.
    Keywords: height, 1918 influenza, fetal origins hypothesis, education, disease, mortality
    JEL: I12 N35 I19
    Date: 2014–05
  24. By: Braggion, Fabio; Ongena, Steven
    Abstract: We study how firm-bank relationships and corporate financing evolved during the Twentieth century in Britain. We document a remarkable transition from single to multiple relationships. Transparent, larger, and global companies were more likely to add a bank, especially when located in more competitive local banking markets. Deregulation and intensifying competition in the banking sector during the 1970s spurred banks to supply credit through multilateral arrangements. Firms that added a bank following deregulation borrowed more than similar firms that did not add a bank, and their bank debt expanded while their trade credit and share issuance contracted.
    Keywords: banking sector; competition; multiple banking
    JEL: G21 N23 N24
    Date: 2013–10
  25. By: Nico Voigtlaender; Hans-Joachim Voth
    Abstract: Can infrastructure investment win “hearts and minds”? We analyze a famous case in the early stages of dictatorship – the building of the motorway network in Nazi Germany. The Autobahn was one of the most important projects of the Hitler government. It was intended to reduce unemployment, and was widely used for propaganda purposes. We examine its role in increasing support for the NS regime by analyzing new data on motorway construction and the 1934 plebiscite, which gave Hitler greater powers as head of state. Our results suggest that road building was highly effective, reducing opposition to the nascent Nazi regime.
    JEL: H54 N44 N94 P16
    Date: 2014–05
  26. By: Fairlie, Robert
    Abstract: We examine trends in entrepreneurship among white and black men from 1910 to 1990 using Census and CPS microdata.  Self-employment rates fell over most of the century and then started to rise after 1970.  For white men, we find that the decline was due to declining rates within industries, but was counterbalanced somewhat by a shift in employment towards high self-employment industries.  Recently, the increase in business ownership was caused by an end to the within industry decline and the continuing shift in employment towards high self-employment industries.  We also find that social security benefits, and immigration patterns do not explain the recent upturn in self-employment.  For black men, we find that the self-employment rate remained at a level of roughly one-third the white rate from 1910 to 1990.  The large and constant gap between the black and the white rates is not due to blacks being concentrated in low self-employment rate industries.  We also find that absent continuing forces holding down black self-employment, a simple inter-generational model of self-employment suggests that black and white rates would converge quickly.
    Keywords: Business, entrepreneurship, inequality, race, business ownership, self-employment, labor
    Date: 2014–05–15
  27. By: Accominotti, Olivier; Eichengreen, Barry
    Abstract: We present new data documenting European capital issues in major financial centers from 1919 to 1932. Push factors (conditions in international capital markets) perform better than pull factors (conditions in the borrowing countries) in explaining the surge and reversal in capital flows. In particular, the sharp increase in stock market volatility in the major financial centers at the end of the 1920s figured importantly in the decline in foreign lending. We draw parallels with Europe today.
    Keywords: Capital flows; Europe; Great Depression; Sudden Stop
    JEL: F21 F32 F34 N13 N24
    Date: 2013–10
  28. By: Esteves, Rui; Tuncer, Ali Coskun
    Abstract: Debt mutualisation through Eurobonds has been proposed as a solution to the Euro crisis. Although this proposal found some support, it also attracted strong criticisms as it risks raising the spreads for strong countries, diluting legacy debt and promoting moral hazard by weak countries. Because Eurobonds are a new addition to the policy toolkit, there are many untested hypotheses in the literature about the counterfactual behaviour of markets and sovereigns. This paper offers some tests of the issues by drawing from the closest historical parallel—five guaranteed bonds issued in Europe between 1833 and 1913. The empirical evidence suggests that contemporary concerns about fiscal transfers and debt dilution may be overblown, whilst creditors' moral hazard may be as much of a problem as debtors'.
    Keywords: Debt dilution; Debt mutualisation; Eurobonds; Moral hazard; Pre-1913
    JEL: F34 H63 H77 N24 N44
    Date: 2014–03
  29. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper celebrates the life and contributions of Gary Becker (1930-2014).
    Keywords: human capital, human behavior, lifetime contributions, tribute
    JEL: B31 J24
    Date: 2014–05
  30. By: Gerlach, Stefan; Stuart, Rebecca
    Abstract: In this paper we assemble an annual data set on broad and narrow money, prices, real economic activity and interest rates in Ireland from a variety of sources for the period 1933-2012. We discuss in detail how the data set is constructed and what assumptions we have made in doing so. Furthermore, we perform a VAR analysis to provide some simple empirical evidence on the behaviour of these time series. The results suggest that aggregate supply and inflation shocks play a dominant role in Irish business cycles.
    Keywords: business cycles; historical statistics; Ireland; long time series; VAR
    JEL: E3 E4 N14
    Date: 2014–05
  31. By: Keller, Wolfgang; Shiue, Carol Hua
    Abstract: The paper introduces a framework for studying the hierarchy of growth factors, from deep to more immediate. The specific setting we examine is 18th and 19th century Germany, when institutional changes introduced by reforms and transportation improvements converged to create city growth. We assess the impact of institutions on growth by allowing two ways for institutions to affect growth. Institutions can directly affect growth, or it can impact on trade, which in turn affects growth. Once we separately quantify the link from institutions to trade, and trade to growth, the independent effect of institutions on growth is small. This suggests that part of what is often understood as trade's effect on growth can be attributed to institutional change. It is straightforward to apply this framework to other settings.
    Keywords: growth; institutions; trade
    JEL: F1 O1
    Date: 2014–03
  32. By: Reinhart, Carmen M.; Rogoff, Kenneth
    Abstract: Even after one of the most severe multi-year crises on record in the advanced economies, the received wisdom in policy circles clings to the notion that high-income countries are completely different from their emerging market counterparts. The current phase of the official policy approach is predicated on the assumption that debt sustainability can be achieved through a mix of austerity, forbearance and growth. The claim is that advanced countries do not need to resort to the standard toolkit of emerging markets, including debt restructurings and conversions, higher inflation, capital controls and other forms of financial repression. As we document, this claim is at odds with the historical track record of most advanced economies, where debt restructuring or conversions, financial repression, and a tolerance for higher inflation, or a combination of these were an integral part of the resolution of significant past debt overhangs.
    JEL: E44 E6 F3 F34 G1 H6 N10
    Date: 2013–11
  33. By: Adriana Valente; Tommaso Castellani; Silvia Caravita
    Abstract: (English) An important aspect of science education is represented by textbooks. Textbooks provide a context for understanding the relationship between knowledge and values, and to observe how the research results are presented to the society. In this working paper we analyze how the phenomenon of human migrations is dealt in Italian history and geography school textbooks. The choice of concentrating in particular on books of geography and history of specific classes is based on an analysis of the official directions of the Italian Ministry of Education for school curricula. We produced a grid of analysis which includes several dimensions, with the aims of detecting the differences between the current scientific debate on human migrations and the information contained in the textbooks, and of revealing the value system conveyed implicitly and explicitly by the images and the text. While scientific research shows that human migration in Italy is an extremely heterogeneous phenomenon, on the textbooks we found an oversimplified representation of it. Implicit values such as biological determinism and sexism emerge, and critical gender issues are present. (Italiano) Un aspetto importante della didattica della scienza è rappresentato dai libri di testo. I libri di testo forniscono un contesto per comprendere la relazione tra conoscenze e valori e per osservare in che modo i risultati di ricerca sono presentati alla società. In questo working paper analizziamo come è trattato il fenomeno delle migrazioni umane nei libri di testo scolastici italiani di storia e geografia. La scelta di concentrarsi sui libri di testo di storia e geografia di classi e anni specifici si è basata su un’analisi delle Indicazioni Nazionali del Ministero dell’Istruzione. Sono state costruite delle griglie d’analisi che hanno incluso diverse dimensioni, con l’obiettivo di individuare le differenze tra l’attuale dibattito scientifico sulle migrazioni e l’informazione contenuta nei libri di testo, e di rivelare i sistemi di valori impliciti e impliciti veicolati dai libri di testo. Mentre la ricerca scientifica mostra come le migrazioni in Italia siano un fenomeno estremamente eterogeneo, sui libri di testo abbiamo trovato una rappresentazione di esso eccessivamente semplificata. Emergono valori impliciti come il determinismo biologico e il sessismo, e sono presenti rilevanti questioni di genere.
    Keywords: (English) Textbooks; Science Education; Human Migration; School Curricula (Italiano) Libri di Testo; Didattica della Scienza; Migrazioni; Curricula Scolastici
    Date: 2014
  34. By: Samuel DANTHINE (CREST - ENSAI); Michel DE VROEY (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: Our paper studies two attempts at integrating unemployment in macroeconomics. The first, due to Diamond, consists in a search model exhibiting multiple equilibria. The second is due to Andolfatto and Merz who, more or less simultaneously, were able to integrate the matching function in RBC modeling. As a common thread of these two attempts is to be based on the search approach as developed in labor economics, we recount the birth and further development of the search paradigm in a first section. We then analyze Diamond’s, Andolfatto’s and Merz’s contributions. Our interest lies specifically in how they made their way in the development of the field. We show that Diamond’s model, which ambitioned to rival Lucas’s Expectations and the Neutrality of Money model, did not live up to its author’s expectations. We propose an interpretation as to the reason this was so. As to Andolfatto and Merz, while their project was less ambitious, we show that they were able to establish what they were striving at, namely an harmonious integration of one particular search model within the RBC paradigm. The price to be paid, however, was to abandon several constitutive traits of the search approach.
    Keywords: Search and Matching models, Diamond, Lucas, Real Business Cycle models, Unemployme
    JEL: B21 B40 D83 E24 J64
    Date: 2014–04–24

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