nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2014‒10‒22
fifteen papers chosen by

  1. Subverting the standard view of the Cape economy: Robert Ross’s cliometric contribution and the work it inspired By Johan Fourie
  2. Innovations dans l’agroalimentaire le parcours de quatre entrepreneurs héroïques initiative individuelle et trajectoire techno-économique sectorielle At the origins of the food industry trajectory of four historical entrepreurs - An analysis based on the potential of resources By Sophie BOUTILLIER; Dimitri UZUNIDIS
  3. The Origins Of The Circassian Mamluks A Subject Of Myth-Making By Milana Yu. Iliushina
  4. The African Middle Class in South Africa 1910-1994 By Roger Southall
  5. The great mortgaging: housing finance, crises, and business cycles By Jorda, Oscar; Schularick, Moritz; Taylor, Alan M.
  6. Date stamping historical oil price bubbles: 1876 - 2014 By Itamar Caspi; Nico Katzke; Rangan Gupta
  7. On the Construction of a Historical Gender Gap Index. An Implementation on French Data By Faustine Perrin
  8. Religion and polygamy : evidence from the livingstonia mission in Malawi By Kudo, Yuya
  10. Business, Brokers and Borders: The Structure of West African Trade Networks By Olivier Walther
  11. Learning by doing: the Failure of the 1697 Malt Lottery-Loan By Georges Gallais-Hamonno; Christian Rietsch
  12. La producción de leña en España y sus implicaciones en la transición energética. Una serie a escala provincial (1900-2000) By Juan Infante Amate; David Soto Fernández; Iñaki Iriarte Goñi; Eduardo Aguilera; Antonio Cid; Gloria Guzmán; Roberto García-Ruiz; Manuel González de Molina
  13. The Economic Costs of Civil War: Synthetic Counterfactual Evidence and the Effects of Ethnic Fractionalization By Stefano Costalli; Luigi Moretti; Costantino Pischedda
  14. Institutional choices for low-income countries: state capacity, property rights and development paths in Tanzania By Martha Prevezer
  15. El peronismo femenino: La precuela (1945-1949) By Carolina Barry

  1. By: Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: In the late 1980s Robert Ross and co-author Pieter van Duin reversed the widely accepted view of the Cape economy as a ‘social and economic backwater’ of widespread subsistence farming and overall poverty, scattered with small islands of relatively affluent farmers. Exploring the rich quantitative records kept by Dutch East India Company officials, they argued that the Cape had been more dynamic and progressive than earlier historians had assumed and that the market for Cape agricultural produce had been ‘much larger, more dynamic and quicker growing’ than previously thought, so that ‘a very considerable rate of agricultural growth’ had been possible. While their work was not immediately recognised, research conducted over the last decade using new archival sources and econometric techniques have largely confirmed their empirical observations. Yet, despite these rapid advances in our understanding of the Cape economy, the image that the early Cape Colony was a ‘sleepy colonial backwater whose unpromising landscape was seemingly devoid of any economic potential’ persists.
    Keywords: Cape Colony, cliometric, economic history, slavery, wealth
    JEL: N36
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Sophie BOUTILLIER (Lab.RII, ULCO/Clersé-UMR8019, Université Lille Nord de France, RRI); Dimitri UZUNIDIS (Lab.RII, ULCO/Clersé-UMR8019, Université Lille Nord de France, RRI)
    Abstract: Les produits agroalimentaires constituent la base de la reproduction physique et économique des sociétés humaines. La révolution industrielle du 19ème siècle a largement contribué à transformer les habitudes alimentaires en industrialisant des procédés de production traditionnels et contribuant ainsi à tracer de nouvelles trajectoires techno-industrielles. Ce document est centré sur le parcours de quatre entrepreneurs historiques (Nicolas Appert, Joseph Fry, Henri Nestlé et Georges Lesieur) qui ont été à l’origine d’innovations incrémentales dans le domaine de l’agroalimentaire : la conserve, la tablette de chocolat, la farine lactée et l’huile en bouteille. Comment ont-ils transformé l’industrie agroalimentaire ? Avec quelles ressources (en connaissances, financières et en relations sociales) ? Dans quel contexte historique ? Food-produces constitute the framework of physical and economic reproduction of human societies. The industrial revolution of the 19th century radically transformed food habits by the industrializing traditional processes, and defining new techno-industrial paths. This paper is focused on the biographical analysis of four historical entrepreneurs (Nicolas Appert, Joseph Fry, Henri Nestlé and Georges Lesieur) who were at the origin of incremental innovations in food-produces activity: canned food, chocolate bar, milky flour and oil in bottle. How did they transform the food industry? With which resources (knowledge, financial resources and social resources)? In which historical context?
    Keywords: entrepreneur, innovation sectorielle, agroalimentaire, trajectoire
    JEL: L26 O14 L66
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Milana Yu. Iliushina (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Myth, legend, and history appear as constituent components in the ideology of a ruling elite. If the ruling elite is foreign, the ideology acquires a distinctive colouring. A noble lineage which could be traced to common roots shared with the autochthonous population of the country was seen by Mamluks as a tool to maintain and support their authority. A version concerning the origins of the Circassian Mamluks can be found in al-‘Ayni’s treatise which stated that the forefathers of the Circassian Sultan Tatar had been Arabs of the Ghassan tribe. The legendary version of the origin of the Circassian Mamluks narrated reveals an important aspect, which directed and shaped the development of the ideology of the Egyptian ruling elite: the eagerness of the Mamluk sultans and their entourage to find and demonstrate a relation, if remote and vague, to the country’s local population. In the Ottoman period of Egypt, a completely different political landscape together with a new socio-cultural reality necessitated the transformation of the myth: changed are the name of the forefather, his tribal affiliation and certain plot details. After the Ottoman conquest, the Mamluks of high military rank tried to recover and defend their lost positions. Another legendary version which was documented by an anonymous author of the 17th century authenticating the Quraysh origin of the Circassian Mamluks, proving their having a common ancestor with the prophet Muhammad was to sanctify the rule of the Mamluk Beys and make it seem legitimate.
    Keywords: Egypt, Mamluk, genealogy, Circassians, myth.
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Roger Southall
    Abstract: Alan Cobley (1990: 3) has argued that no sustained interest was taken in the subject of class in South Africa until the arrival of a generation of radical historians in the 1970s, and then the focus of concern was largely with the origins and development of a black working class in whose revolutionary potential the future was, by many, deemed to lie. In contrast, Jeremy Seekings (2009) has proposed that class was long a concern, if not necessarily the central one, of liberal scholars from the 1940s. Nonetheless, even though it is true that an emergent black middle class attracted considerable interest from liberal historians, anthropologists and social observers, it is fair to say that it was dealt with spasmodically, and then very often largely as a subordinated appendage of the black proletariat. Arguably, therefore, it is only now that the history of the African middle class, notably as it participated in and shaped the African National Congress (ANC), is beginning to receive its due. In part, this is because the lot of the middle class is often deemed in ‘struggle history’ to have been unheroic: indeed in some tellings, the only way for the bourgeoisie to contribute to liberation was by subjecting itself to the leadership of the working class! Yet even while, today, there is a growing interest in the multi-faceted nature of the struggle against apartheid, there has been a failure to trace the holistic evolution of the black middle class. In what follows I provide an overview of the development of the specifically ‘African’ segment of the ‘black middle class’ in the pre-democratic era, even while recognizing that this places severe limitations upon how we portray past struggles against racial oppression.
    Keywords: African, Middle class, South Africa
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Jorda, Oscar (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco); Schularick, Moritz (Wirtschaftswissenschaftlicher Fachbereich Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn); Taylor, Alan M. (University of California-Davis, Economics Dept.)
    Abstract: This paper unveils a new resource for macroeconomic research: a long-run dataset covering disaggregated bank credit for 17 advanced economies since 1870. The new data show that the share of mortgages on banks’ balance sheets doubled in the course of the 20th century, driven by a sharp rise of mortgage lending to households. Household debt to asset ratios have risen substantially in many countries. Financial stability risks have been increasingly linked to real estate lending booms which are typically followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries. Housing finance has come to play a central role in the modern macroeconomy.
    Keywords: leverage; recessions; mortgage lending; financial crises; business cycles; local projections.
    JEL: C14 C38 C52 E32 E37 E44 E51 G01 G21 N10 N20
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Itamar Caspi; Nico Katzke; Rangan Gupta
    Abstract: This paper sets out to date-stamp periods of historic oil price explosivity (or bubbles) us- ing the Generalized sup ADF (GSADF) test procedure suggested by Phillips et al. (2013). The date-stamping strategy used in this paper is effective at identifying periodically col- lapsing bubbles; a feature found lacking with previous bubble detecting methods. We set out to identify bubbles in the real price and the nominal price-supply ratio of oil for the period 1876 - 2014. The recursive identification algorithms used in this study identifies several periods of significant explosivity, and as such provides future researchers with a reference for studying the macroeconomic impact of historical periods of significant oil price build-ups.
    Keywords: Oil-prices; Date-Stamping Strategy; Periodically Collapsing Bubbles; Explosivity; Flexible Window; GSADF Test; Commodity Price Bubbles.
    JEL: C15 C22
    Date: 2014–09–25
  7. By: Faustine Perrin (Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA) – University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Studies, France)
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Kudo, Yuya
    Abstract: In contrast to the prevailing preconception, Christian females engage in polygyny in most of sub-Saharan Africa. Based on individual-level data provided by the Demographic and Health Survey (2000, 2004, 2010) in Malawi, this study explores whether Christian identity reduces the likelihood that females enter into polygyny. To address the endogeneity associated with this identity, the analysis adopts an instrumental variable (IV) approach by exploiting the unique setting of a Christian mission dating back to the late 19th century. Exposure to the mission, measured by geographical distance to the influential mission station, Livingstonia, enabled the indigenous population to gradually convert to Christianity. This is particularly true for the local population not belonging to the Yao, an ethnic group that was largely proselytized into Islam because of their historical connection with the Arabs. Using the distance-ethnicity (non-Yao) interaction as an IV for women's Christian identity, with numerous historical, geographic, and climate controls, this study discovers that compared to those practicing other religions (Islam and other) or no religion, Christian females are indeed less likely to form polygynous unions. This study also provides some evidence suggesting that the Christianity effects are more evident in a society at a more primitive stage of development.
    Keywords: Malawi, Marriage, Christianity, Women, Gender, Religion, Culture, Mission, Polygyny
    JEL: J12 N37 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Arunav Barua (Assam Don Bosco University, India)
    Abstract: The concept of Social responsibility among businessmen, particularly in India, is not new and can be easily seen in the form of magnificent temples, high mosques, large dharamsalas and great educational institutions. Indian literature is full of incidents when businessmen have gone out of the way to help extract kings and societies out of crises. Many Indian businesses are known for staying one step ahead of the government, as far as the welfare of employees and societies is concerned (Agarwal, 2008). Business until the recent past was purely economic. Profit maximization was the watch word. Business responsibility to society vis-à-vis Corporate Social Responsibility were concepts not clearly defined. Since this study will attempt to highlight the relation between a business firms Social Responsibility and its inherent ethical system of governance, a background of business ethics is also called for. We can safely say that business ethics has no chronicled history but a background of the history that has come down through time is given below: Business Ethics seems to have no history. It is one of the stranger aspects of a discipline that routinely invokes the names of long dead-philosophers that its history seems murky, unresolved. There appears to be a consensus that in some way Business ethics simply did not exist before the 1970s (McMahon 2002). Others seem to think that philosophers such as Aristotle spent time expounding on the ethics of business. Cultural theorists may rightly believe that everything is of semiotic value and some moralists see ethical issues in all parts of daily life. Yet to describe business ethics in terms of universal experience is surely to rob the discipline of focus, not to mention to make it sui generis in terms of a broader history of ideas (Bernard Mees, 2005).
    Date: 2013–09
  10. By: Olivier Walther (Department of Border Region Studies, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Using social network analysis, this paper studies the structure of trade networks that developed across West African borders. The first part aims to understand the centralization of cross-border trade networks. In a business environment where transaction costs are extremely high, we find that decentralized networks are well adapted to the various uncertainties induced by long-distance trade. We also study the trade-offs faced by traders between embeddedness and brokerage and find that long-distance trade relies both on the trust and cooperation shared among local traders, and on the distant ties developed with foreign partners from a different origin, religion or culture. In the second part, we study the spatial structure of trade networks and the influence of national borders on the development of social ties. The paper shows that the spatial form of trade networks is constrained by the historical origin of the traders engaged in cross-border activities. In those markets where trade is recent and where most of the traders are not native of the region, national borders are likely to exert a greater influence than in those regions where trade has pre-colonial roots.
    Keywords: Social networks, trade, border markets, brokerage, West Africa
    JEL: D85 F14 L14 P25
    Date: 2014–05
  11. By: Georges Gallais-Hamonno (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans); Christian Rietsch (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans)
    Abstract: The failure in 1697 of the 'Malt Lottery', the second Lottery-Loan, presents a beautiful case study. From a practical point of view, it tells us three things. 1) The technical features of the English State lotteries-loan were established for more than a century after only three experiments. 2) Its two components ('lottery' and 'loan') led to an abnormally poor return for investors since its expected return was 3.91% whereas its effective one was 5.84% - --- two figures in contradiction with the 6.3% advanced by Dickson (1967). 3) A most strange solution was imagined to counteract the failure: delivering the unsold tickets to the Exchequer for being used as cash. From a more theoretical point of view, the condition North and Weingast (1989) advanced for a successful financial issue proves necessary but not sufficient. The Malt Lottery failed (1,763 tickets sold out of 140,000) because it did not meet the three requirements for success: its return was too low and was lower than the return on competitive assets; its reimbursement dates were uncertain; and the economic and political environment was gloomy.
    Keywords: 1697 Lottery-loan ; Malt Lottery ; Expected and actual costs of loans and lotteries ; Lottery tickets as legal currency
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Juan Infante Amate (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain); David Soto Fernández (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain); Iñaki Iriarte Goñi (Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain); Eduardo Aguilera (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain); Antonio Cid (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain); Gloria Guzmán (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain); Roberto García-Ruiz (Universidad de Jaén, Jaén, Spain); Manuel González de Molina (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain)
    Abstract: El trabajo presenta una estimación de la producción de leña en España desde 1900 hasta la actualidad y presenta por primera vez una evolución coherente de los usos del suelo tanto a escala agregada como a escala provincial. A partir de estos datos se ha podido construir también una serie de larga duración sobre la extracción y disponibilidad de leña que permite estudiar no sólo los niveles de consumo sino también el impacto de la transición energética en España. Para ello hemos tomado en consideración no sólo las superficies forestales, sino también las superficies dedicadas a cultivos leñosos (olivar, viña y frutales). Los principales resultados revelan una evolución del monte español caracterizada por la transición de superficies leñosas de monte bajo y abierto de quercíneas hacia el monte alto y maderable, con una clara expansión en la zona noratlántica del país. Durante este proceso se observa un fuerte auge de los cultivos leñosos en la zona mediterránea y sur del país. De esta forma se describen modelos de producción y consumo de leña divergentes en las diferentes regiones del país. Por otro lado, la reestimación de la producción de leña forestal así como la adición de la producción cultivada resulta en unas cifras de consumo por habitante que llegaron a superar los 3 kg/día incluso en el siglo XX. Tras analizar el consumo de energías inorgánicas a escala regional se pone de manifiesto la importancia que siguió teniendo la leña como combustible en buena parte del país aunque en términos relativos empezó a ser menor debido al auge de los combustibles fósiles. Estos datos alteran los tiempos y algunas de las causas de la denominada transición energética en el país.
    Keywords: Palabras clave: Historia Forestal, Leña, Cultivos Leñosos, Transición Energética, Transición Sociecológica.
    JEL: N5 O13 P28 Q23
    Date: 2014–09
  13. By: Stefano Costalli (University of Essex); Luigi Moretti (Univeristy of Padova); Costantino Pischedda (Columbia University)
    Abstract: There is a consensus that civil wars entail enormous economic costs, but we lack reliable estimates, due to the endogenous relationship between violence and socio-economic conditions. This paper measures the economic consequences of civil wars with the synthetic control method. This allows us to identify appropriate counterfactuals for assessing the national-level economic impact of civil war in a sample of 20 countries. We find that the average annual loss of GDP per capita is 17.5 percent. Moreover, we use our estimates of annual losses to study the determinants of war destructiveness, focusing on the effects of ethnic heterogeneity. Building on an emerging literature on the relationships between ethnicity, trust, economic outcomes, and conflict, we argue that civil war erodes interethnic trust and highly fractionalized societies pay an especially high “price”, as they rely heavily on interethnic business relations. We find a consistent positive effect of ethnic fractionalization economic war-induced loss.
    Date: 2014–09
  14. By: Martha Prevezer
    Abstract: I am using the North Wallis Weingast (2009) framework to analyse the nature of the basic Limited Access Order (LAO) in Tanzania. Looking at Tanzania historically in terms of the creation of state capacity, I use Levy’s (2013) categorisations to place Tanzania in weighing up centralized state capacity vs strength of checks and balances and state dominance vs competitive clientelism models and identifying who the dominant elites have been, particularly since independence in 1961. Tanzania has strong state capacity compared with Zambia and various other Low Income countries but relatively weaker checks and balances to constrain state power; Tanzania fits better with a state dominance model than a competitive clientelism model in relation to dominant elites and nature of institutions. I combine this with an analysis of the history of property rights in Tanzania and following Boone (2007) outline the tensions between three types of property rights: communal, customary rights vs private individualized rights vs state user rights. Despite considerable debate within Tanzania (the Shivji Commission and other bodies), state user rights have won out over both customary and to a lesser extent private rights. I outline how the dominance of state user rights over property combined with strong centralized state capacity via its bureaucracy and patronage over jobs has underpinned Tanzania’s development path, in line with Bates (1982,2014) analysis for many SSAs. In the 1960s and 1970s this path was to redistribute resources away from small farmer agriculture towards a monopolistic nascent industrial sector in a push to develop industry, absorbing surpluses from agriculture in exportable crops (eg coffee, sisal) via state-controlled structures such as Marketing Boards. Other supports such as extension officers, inputs, training shaped which farmers were supported and controlled prices paid to farmers to subsidize urban wage goods and control urban unrest. Since liberalization in the 1990s constraints on agriculture have been loosened, but in practice the power of District Commissioners and Marketing Boards remain in force. Land, backed by state user rights, is redistributed for the purposes of urban and rural/industrial enterprise away from smallholder farming and away from communal rights. More recent enterprise development has been in agribusiness, manufacturing and construction, diversified across industries but concentrated in relatively few firms. (Sutton 2012). There is a tension between the combined forces of strong centralized state capacity, weaker checks on the state plus property rights that give the state ultimate power to determine land use, and the fostering of bottom-up agricultural enterprise, either through cooperatives or through individual private enterprise. Liberalization has favoured private industrial enterprise, although difficulties over clarity of land rights, availability of land and administrative issues over transferring land continue to be obstacles.
    Keywords: Institutions, Property rights, low-income countries, Tanzania, development
    JEL: P00 O1 O5
    Date: 2014–09
  15. By: Carolina Barry
    Abstract: Este trabajo propone analizar la apertura de los centros cívicos femeninos peronistas como espacios asociativos con fines políticos y de surgimiento de liderazgos. Numerosas agrupaciones que adquirieron fuerza, autonomía y prácticas diferenciadas relacionadas con el ámbito político y el sindical. Estos centros formaron la rama femenina del peronismo hasta julio de 1949, momento en que se creó el Partido Peronista Femenino (PPF). De allí en más se trató de una organización política diferente, una entidad más significativa que una rama; un partido carismático con connotaciones sumamente singulares y que posibilitó que cuando las mujeres votaron por primera vez en 1951, mayoritariamente por el peronismo, un número importante fuera electo como legisladoras. Estudios previos dan cuenta del PPF, un partido político autónomo del Partido Peronista pero con el cual compartía los mismos objetivos y liderazgos, un partido carismático que se diluyó con la muerte de su líder fundadora, Eva Perón. Esta investigación pretende ser una suerte de precuela o historia previa de este partido novedoso y enfocarse en las organizaciones anteriores, por esa razón se sitúa entre 1945 y 1949. También se considera el rol de Eva Perón y la cimentación de su poder durante este proceso.
    Keywords: centros cívicos femeninos, Eva Perón, Partido Peronista, sufragio femenino, trilogía de la revolución
    Date: 2014–10

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