nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2014‒08‒16
fifteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The sex differential in mortality: a historical comparison of the adult-age pattern of the ratio and the difference By Oliver Wisser; James W. Vaupel
  2. "The Biocultural Origins of Human Capital Formation" By Oded Galor; Marc Klemp
  3. When Economics Met Antitrust: The Second Chicago School and the Economization of Antitrust Law By Patrice Bougette; Marc Deschamps; Frédéric Marty
  4. The mysterious seal of Alexios Komnenos from Tamatarcha By Viktor Chkhaidze; Denis Kashtanov; Àndrey Vinogradov
  5. Remarks on Women's History Month : a speech at the Women’s History Month Reception, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., March 25, 2014 By Yellen, Janet L.
  6. Popular Culture And History: Representations Of The Past In British Popular Music Of The 2000s By Alexandra Kolesnik
  7. Growth, Import Dependence and War By Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke; Roberto Bonfatti
  8. Direct purchases of U.S. Treasury securities by Federal Reserve banks By Garbade, Kenneth D.
  9. Protagonist Women By Diana Oya Sawyer; Ashleigh Kate Slingsby
  10. Accessibility and the choice of network investments in the London Underground By David Levinson; David Giacomin; Antony Badsey-Ellis
  11. Sins of the fathers: The intergenerational legacy of the 1959-1961 Great Chinese Famine on children's cognitive development: By Tan, Chih Ming; Tan, Zhibo; Zhang, Xiaobo
  12. The Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress after Smith and Welch By Derek Neal; Armin Rick
  13. Digesting the Alphabet Soup: a Comparative Institutional History of IBSA and BRICS By Pedro Lara de Arruda; Ashleigh Kate Slingsby
  14. La révision (1965) revisitée By Alain Mikol
  15. Pesticide Use in U.S. Agriculture: 21 Selected Crops, 1960-2008 By Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge; Nehring, Richard; Osteen, Craig; Wechsler, Seth James; Martin, Andrew; Vialou, Alex

  1. By: Oliver Wisser (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); James W. Vaupel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: The ratio (RMR) is the standard measure of sex differentials in mortality. It is commonly known that the RMR was historically small and increased throughout the 20th century. However, numerical properties might account for the trend in the RMR rather than sex differences in risk factors. In this study we examine the age pattern of the absolute difference in male to female mortality rates (DMR) as an alternative measure in a historical context and compare it to the RMR pattern. Whereas the RMR is close to one at every age in the 19th and early 20th century and increases until the present day, the adult age pattern of the DMR is relatively stable throughout the last 150 years. We also found that the DMR is approximately exponentially increasing from age 40 to 90, implying a universal biological force behind sex differentials in mortality. However, interactions between biology, behavior and environment are complicated and have to be considered when interpreting these findings. Moreover, between ages 15 and 40 the DMR declined in the second half of the 20th century, whereas the RMR increased. Hence, the trend in the latter measure is likely to be an artifact of very different mortality regimes between populations. Therefore, we argue that it is necessary to consider both measures when conducting comparative analyses and to be careful in interpreting their time, cross-cultural and age trends, since they can lead to different conclusion about sex specific underlying risk factors.
    Keywords: England, Europe, France, Sweden, adult mortality, historical analysis, sex differentials
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: Oded Galor; Marc Klemp
    Abstract: This research explores the biocultural origins of human capital formation. It presents the first evidence that moderate fecundity was conducive for long-run reproductive success within the human species. Exploiting an extensive genealogy record for nearly half a million individuals in Quebec during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the study traces the number of descendants of early inhabitants in the subsequent four generations. Using the time interval between the date of marriage and the first live birth as a measure of reproductive capacity, the research establishes that while a higher fecundity is associated with a larger number of children, an intermediate level maximizes long-run reproductive success. The finding further indicates that the optimal level of fecundity was below the population median, suggesting that the forces of natural selection favored individuals with a lower level of fecundity. The research lends credence to the hypothesis that during the Malthusian epoch, natural selection favored individuals with a larger predisposition towards child quality, contributing to human capital formation, the onset of the demographic transition and the evolution of societies from an epoch of stagnation to sustained economic growth.
    Keywords: Demography, Evolution, Human Capital Formation, Natural Selection, Fecundity, Quantity-Quality Trade-O?, Long-Run Reproductive Success
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Patrice Bougette (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS); Marc Deschamps (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS; BETA CNRS); Frédéric Marty (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis; OFCE - Sciences Po. Paris)
    Abstract: In this article, we use a history of economic thought perspective to analyze the process by which the Chicago School of Antitrust emerged in the 1950s and became dominant in the US. We show the extent to which economic objectives and theoretical views shaped antitrust laws in their inception. After establishing the minor influence of economics in the promulgation of U.S. competition laws, we then highlight U.S. economists' very cautious views about antitrust until the Second New Deal. We analyze the process by which the Chicago School developed a general and coherent framework for competition policy. We rely mainly on the seminal and programmatic work of Director and Levi (1956) and trace how this theoretical paradigm was made collective, i.e. the 'economization' process took place in US antitrust. Finally, we discuss the implications, if not the possible pitfalls, of such a conversion to economics-led competition law enforcement.
    Keywords: Antitrust, Chicago School, Consumer welfare, Efficiency, Monopolization
    JEL: K21 L40
    Date: 2014–07
  4. By: Viktor Chkhaidze (Russian Academy of Sciences); Denis Kashtanov; Àndrey Vinogradov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This research concerns the unique seal of a Byzantine aristocrat named Alexios Komnenos found in Tamatarcha (modern Taman’), which has only one parallel from Trebizond. The authors explain the meaning of images on the seal (the resurrection on its obverse and St George leading a warrior by the hand on its reverse) as an ideological program of the restoration of Byzantine power over Jerusalem. The warrior representing Alexios Komnenos is identified not as Alexios I Great Komenos of Trebizond (as usual), but as Alexios, son of the Emperor John II Komnenos, and the seal is re-dated from 13th to 12th century. Its find on the Taman’ peninsula corresponds with Byzantine political activity in this region
    Keywords: Byzantium, Taman’, sigillography, Medieval History, Trebizond, Jerusalem
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Yellen, Janet L. (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))
    Date: 2014–03–25
  6. By: Alexandra Kolesnik (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the basic mechanisms of representation of the past in British popular music in the early 2000s. Changes in the music industry associated with the emerging and wide dissemination of new media has affected the search for new musical decisions, reformatting attitudes to the past in general, and to the musical past in particular. In this regard, questions of historical representations in popular music and their relationship with cultural heritage are closely interrelated. This paper analyses the mechanisms and formats of ‘working’ with the past in British popular music of the 2000s using examples from the London rock band, the Libertines. The author draws conclusions about structure of historical representations in popular music and their typology. The use of popular music studies approach is suggested to analyze mechanisms of representation of the past and broaden the concept of popular music.
    Keywords: popular culture, popular music, cultural heritage, representations of the past, popular music studies, the Libertines
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke; Roberto Bonfatti
    Abstract: Existing theories of pre-emptive war typically predict that the leading country may choose to launch a war on a follower who is catching up, since the follower cannot credibly commit to not use their increased power in the future.� But it was Japan who launched a war against the West in 1941, not the West that pre-emptively attacked Japan.� Similarly, many have argued that trade makes war less likely, yet World War I erupted at a time of unprecedented globalization.� This paper develops a theoretical model of the relationship between trade and war which can help to explain both these observations.� Dependence on strategic imports can lead follower nations to launch pre-emptive wars when they are potentially subject to blockade.
    Date: 2014–07–25
  8. By: Garbade, Kenneth D. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Until 1935, Federal Reserve Banks from time to time purchased short-term securities directly from the United States Treasury to facilitate Treasury cash management operations. The authority to undertake such purchases provided a robust safety net that ensured Treasury could meet its obligations even in the event of an unforeseen depletion of its cash balances. Congress prohibited direct purchases in 1935, but subsequently provided a limited wartime exemption in 1942. The exemption was renewed from time to time following the conclusion of the war but ultimately was allowed to expire in 1981. This paper addresses three questions: 1) Why did Congress prohibit direct purchases in 1935 after they had been utilized without incident for eighteen years, 2) why did Congress provide a limited exemption in 1942 instead of simply removing the prohibition, and 3) why did Congress allow the exemption to expire in 1981?
    Keywords: Treasury debt issuance; Federal Reserve; direct purchases
    JEL: E58 H62 H63
    Date: 2014–08–01
  9. By: Diana Oya Sawyer (IPC-IG); Ashleigh Kate Slingsby (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: Protagonist Women highlights examples of women taking the lead in an antagonistic society. The protagonist woman exists on the fault lines of society, championing a now well-established social, cultural and economic revolution. This revolution is aimed primarily at not only garnering women equal rights to men and accounting for historical injustices but carving out a space in society dedicated to tackling the particular challenges faced by women today. In this vein, protagonist women recognise the pluralities of experiences and challenges that exist for women globally. These include biological challenges, those of physical integrity and reproductive health, as well as the challenges and restrictions inflicted by the values and norms of society. This plurality of experiences accounts for the diverse range of issues addressed in this issue of Policy in Focus.
    Date: 2014–03
  10. By: David Levinson; David Giacomin; Antony Badsey-Ellis (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: In 1863, the Metropolitan Railway of what came to be known as the London Underground successfully opened as the world’s first subway. Its high ridership spawned interest in additional links. Entrepreneurs secured funding and then proposed new lines to Parliament for approval, though only a portion were actually approved. While putative rail barons may have conducted some economic analysis, the final decision lay with Parliament, which did not have available modern transportation economic or geographic analysis tools. How good were the decisions that Parliament made in approving Underground Lines? This paper explores the role accessibility played on the decision to approve or reject proposed early London Tube Schemes. It finds that maximizing accessibility to population (highly correlated with revenue and ridership) largely explains Parliamentary approvals and rejections.
    Keywords: Accessibility, Network Growth, Subways, Public Transport, Travel Behavior, Networks
    JEL: R40
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Tan, Chih Ming; Tan, Zhibo; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: The intergenerational effect of fetal exposure to malnutrition on cognitive ability has rarely been studied for human beings in large part due to lack of data. In this paper, we exploit a natural experiment, the Great Chinese Famine of 1959–1961, and employ a novel dataset, the China Family Panel Studies, to explore the intergenerational legacy of early childhood health shocks on the cognitive abilities of the children of parents born during the famine. We find that daughters born to rural fathers who experienced the famine in early childhood score lower in major tests than sons, whereas children born to female survivors are not affected.
    Keywords: Famine, Hunger, malnutrition, Nutrition, Children, Agricultural policies, Economic development, Fathers, Mental ability, Genes, Chromosomes, epigenetics, intergenerational transmission, resilience,
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Derek Neal; Armin Rick
    Abstract: More than two decades ago, Smith and Welch (1989) used the 1940 through 1980 census files to document important relative black progress. However, recent data indicate that this progress did not continue, at least among men. The growth of incarceration rates among black men in recent decades combined with the sharp drop in black employment rates during the Great Recession have left most black men in a position relative to white men that is really no better than the position they occupied only a few years after the Civil Rights Act of 1965. A move toward more punitive treatment of arrested offenders drove prison growth in recent decades, and this trend is evident among arrested offenders in every major crime category. Changes in the severity of corrections policies have had a much larger impact on black communities than white communities because arrest rates have historically been much greater for blacks than whites.
    JEL: J01 J31 K14
    Date: 2014–07
  13. By: Pedro Lara de Arruda (IPC-IG); Ashleigh Kate Slingsby (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: The BRICS Grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the IBSA Dialogue Forum (India, Brazil and South Africa)represent interregional cooperative mechanisms of increasing importance in international relations. This can be attributed to the recent rise of the global South, placing unprecedented emphasis on South?South cooperation. With three members in common, the necessity for and contribution of both IBSA and BRICS are often called into question. IBSA?s two-year successive postponement of its annual summit, five of which have taken place thus far, has prompted questions regarding the continued relevance of an organisation which in many ways is viewed as duplicating the functions of BRICS. Combined with the fact that BRICS contains the political-economic weight of Russia and China (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Nuclear Superpowers), the future of IBSA is doubted by some. To determine the future of IBSA, it is important to examine how it differs from BRICS in terms of capacity, priorities and political character. (?) earchBrief43.pdf
    Keywords: Digesting the Alphabet Soup: a Comparative Institutional History of IBSA and BRICS
    Date: 2014–06
  14. By: Alain Mikol (ESCP Europe - ESCP Europe)
    Abstract: En 1965 l'Ordre des experts-comptables (France) publie La révision. Il s'agit du premier ouvrage expliquant comment mener un audit rédigé par un institut professionnel français exerçant une mission d'intérêt public. La présente recherche recourt à la méthode de l'analyse de texte et propose pour la première fois l'étude de cet ouvrage. Nous montrons que les fondamentaux de l'audit n'ont pas évolué en un demi siècle : les techniques de contrôle et la démarche d'audit exposées dans La révision sont toujours utilisées aujourd'hui.
    Keywords: Audit, révision comptable, commissariat aux comptes, 1965
    Date: 2013–05–31
  15. By: Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge; Nehring, Richard; Osteen, Craig; Wechsler, Seth James; Martin, Andrew; Vialou, Alex
    Abstract: Pesticide use has changed considerably over the past five decades. Rapid growth characterized the first 20 years, ending in 1981. The total quantity of pesticides applied to the 21 crops analyzed grew from 196 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients in 1960 to 632 million pounds in 1981. Improvements in the types and modes of action of active ingredients applied along with small annual fluctuations resulted in a slight downward trend in pesticide use to 516 million pounds in 2008. These changes were driven by economic factors that determined crop and input prices and were influenced by pest pressures, environmental and weather conditions, crop acreages, agricultural practices (including adoption of genetically engineered crops), access to land-grant extension personnel and crop consultants, the cost-effectiveness of pesticides and other practices in protecting crop yields and quality, technological innovations in pest management systems/practices, and environmental and health regulations. Emerging pest management policy issues include the development of glyphosate-resistant weed populations associated with the large increase in glyphosate use since the late 1990s, the development of Bt-resistant western corn rootworm in some areas, and the arrival of invasive or exotic pest species,such as soybean aphid and soybean rust, which can influence pesticide use patterns and the development of Integrated Pest Management programs.
    Keywords: Pesticide trends, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, wheat, Environmental Economics and Policy, Production Economics,
    Date: 2014–05

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