nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒01‒09
thirty papers chosen by

  1. "Outside Money: The Advantages of Owning the Magic Porridge Pot" By L. Randall Wray
  2. Exiting from Low Interest Rates to Normality: An Historical Perspective By Michael D. Bordo
  3. Mismeasuring Long Run Growth. The Bias from Spliced National Accounts By Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
  4. Unprecedented Actions: The Federal Reserve’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis in Historical Perspective By Frederic S. Mishkin; Eugene N. White
  5. Growth under extractive institutions? Latin American per capita GDP in colonial times By Leticia Arroyo Abad; Jan Luiten van Zanden
  6. Capitalism and Inequality Re-Examined By Jon D. Wisman
  7. The Biocultural Origins of Human Capital Formation By Galor, Oded; Klemp, Marc P B
  9. Why did Spanish regions not converge before the Civil War? Agglomeration and (regional) growth revisited: Spain, 1870-1930 By Alfonso Díez-Minguela; Julio Martínez-Galarraga; Daniel A. Tirado Fabregat
  10. Rainfall Risk and Religious Membership in the Late Nineteenth-Century United States By Ager, Philipp; Ciccone, Antonio
  11. New crops, local soils and urbanization: Clover, potatoes and the growth of Danish market towns,1672-1901 By Torben Dall Schmidt; Peter Sandholt Jensen; Amber Naz
  12. Agricultural Transition and the Adoption of Primitive Technology By James B. ANG
  13. The Long-Run Effects of Attending an Elite School: Evidence from the UK By Clark, Damon; Del Bono, Emilia
  14. The Tools of Metropolitan Unity in Turkey: A Holistic and Comparative Elaboration By Burak Beyhan
  15. Dead Poets’ Property - How Does Copyright Influence Price By Xing Li; Megan MacGarvie; Petra Moser
  16. Wealth and Inheritance in the Long Run By Piketty, Thomas; Zucman, Gabriel
  17. Paving the way to modernity: Prussian roads and grain market integration in Westphalia, 1821-1855 By Martin Uebele; Daniel Gallardo-Albarr‡n
  18. Une approche historique du développement comparé : Acemoglu, Johnson, Robinson (AJR) et Jared Diamond sont-ils complémentaires ? By Pierre MANDON
  19. Fertility and early-life mortality: Evidence from smallpox vaccination in Sweden By Philipp Ager; Casper Worm Hansen; Peter Sandholt Jensen
  20. On Schumpeter’s 'The Past and Future of Social Sciences'. A Schumpeterian Theory of Scientific Development? By Lucarelli, Stefano; Baron, Hervé
  21. Pareto and Piketty: The Macroeconomics of Top Income and Wealth Inequality By Charles I. Jones
  22. Emergence and development of a financial cluster: the evolution of Andorra’s banking deposits in the long-term, 1931-2007 By Marc Galabert Macià
  23. The Taxation of Owner-Occupied House in Italy: 1974-2014 By Bruno Bises; Antonio Scialà
  24. Technological Transfers and Foreign Multinationals in Emerging Markets: Derosne & Cail in the 19th Century By Fernández-de-Pinedo, Nadia; Castro, Rafael; Pretel, David
  25. Homes and husbands for all: Marriage, housing and the baby boom By Matthew J. Hill
  27. Accounting normalization in France since the First World War and in Great-Britain during the 1970-1980's, a first step to a comparative analysis. Actors and limits of the institutionalization of the accounting normalization in France and in Great Britain, crossed approach By Touchelay, Béatrice; Chantiri-Chaudemanche, Rouba
  28. Essays on economic growth and international trade By Çürük, M.
  29. Measuring the extent and implications of corporate political connections in prewar Japan By Tetsuji Okazaki; Michiru Sawada
  30. Determinants of Success and Failure in Internationalisation of the Cork Business: a Tale of Two Iberian Family Firms By Amélia Branco,; Francisco Parejo,; João Carlos Lopes; José Francisco Rangel

  1. By: L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: Over the past two decades there has been a revival of Georg Friedrich Knapp's "state money" approach, also known as chartalism. The modern version has come to be called Modern Money Theory. Much of the recent research has delved into three main areas: mining previous work, applying the theory to analysis of current sovereign monetary operations, and exploring the policy space open to sovereign currency issuers. This paper focuses on "outside" money--the currency issued by the sovereign--and the advantages that accrue to nations that make full use of the policy space provided by outside money.
    Keywords: Central Bank Independence; Chartalism; Fiat Money; Functional Finance; Innes; Keynes; Knapp; Modern Money Theory; Outside Money; Sovereign Currency; State Money
    JEL: B1 B2 B3 B5 E5 E6
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Michael D. Bordo (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the Federal Reserve's recent policy of quantitative easing by looking back at the experience of the 1930s and 1940s when the Fed, under Treasury control, kept interest rates at levels comparable to today and its balance sheet increased similarly. The paper also presents macroeconomic evidence based on the labor market, the growth of the money supply, and the behavior of real GDP and the unemployment rate in addition to a comparison of the Federal funds rate with the Taylor Rule rate and the shadow funds rate. Because of issues connected to its large balance sheet, the Fed may use tools other than the federal funds rate to tighten monetary policy. Returning to a higher (more normal) rate environment will remove some of the distortions that have accompanied the long period of abnormally low interest rates. But rising rates will also present problems for public finance and for the distribution of income that all but guarantees political rancor in the future.
    Date: 2014–11
  3. By: Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
    Abstract: Comparisons of economic performance over space and time largely depend on how statistical evidence from national accounts and historical estimates are spliced. To allow for changes in relative prices, GDP benchmark years in national accounts are periodically replaced with new and more recent ones. Thus, a homogeneous long-run GDP series requires linking different temporal segments of national accounts. The choice of the splicing procedure may result in substantial differences in GDP levels and growth, particularly as an economy undergoes deep structural transformation. An inadequate splicing may result in a serious bias in the measurement of GDP levels and growth rates. Alternative splicing solutions are discussed in this paper for the particular case of Spain, a fast growing country in the second half of the twentieth century. It is concluded that the usual linking procedure, retropolation, has serious flows as it tends to bias GDP levels upwards and, consequently, to underestimate growth rates, especially for developing countries experiencing structural change. An alternative interpolation procedure is proposed.
    Keywords: growth measurement; historical national accounts; Spain; splicing GDP
    JEL: C82 E01 N13 O47
    Date: 2014–09
  4. By: Frederic S. Mishkin; Eugene N. White
    Abstract: Interventions by the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis of 2007-2009 were generally viewed as unprecedented and in violation of the rules—notably Bagehot’s rule—that a central bank should follow to avoid the time-inconsistency problem and moral hazard. Reviewing the evidence for central banks’ crisis management in the U.S., the U.K. and France from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century, we find that there were precedents for all of the unusual actions taken by the Fed. When these were successful interventions, they followed contingent and target rules that permitted pre-emptive actions to forestall worse crises but were combined with measures to mitigate moral hazard.
    JEL: E58 G01 N10 N20
    Date: 2014–12
  5. By: Leticia Arroyo Abad; Jan Luiten van Zanden
    Abstract: This paper presents new estimations of per capita GDP in colonial times for the two pillars of the Spanish empire: Mexico and Peru. We find dynamic economies as evidenced by increasing real wages, urbanization, and silver mining. Their growth trajectory is such that both regions reduced the gap with respect to Spain and even achieved parity. While experiencing swings in growth, the notable turning point is in 1780 as bottlenecks in production and later the independence wars reduced economic activity. To explain the long periods of growth between 1550 and 1780 we argue that these countries witnessed endogenous adaptations in institutions resulting in increased market orientation towards and a more balanced distribution of power between Spain and local elites. Our results question the notion that colonial institutions impoverished Latin America.
    Keywords: GDP per capita, growth, Latin America
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: Ever since capitalism came to be recognized as a new economic system, it has had vociferous critics, of whom none was more wide-ranging than Karl Marx. Marx recognized that behind its ideological patina of freedom, capitalism, like the exploitative systems of slavery and feudalism, was a social system in which a small class extracted from the mass of producers practically all output above that necessary for bare subsistence. An elite's ability to do so was grounded in its monopoly ownership of the means of production. However, Marx, and other critics faulted it for more than its exploitation and extreme inequality. Sharing much with romanticism, they believed that its very institutions of private property and markets corrupt society and its members. Nevertheless, Marx in particular recognized that capitalism, unlike earlier exploitative systems, was radically dynamic, producing unprecedented wealth, while  transforming not only all it inherited from the past, but also its own nature so as to eventually even empower the producers. Yet his anti-private property and anti-market animus led him to believe that empowered producers would abandon these capitalist institutions. He did not imagine that the dynamism, wealth, and potential freedom that capitalism was delivering might have little chance of flourishing in the absence of these institutions. This article claims that Marx and other critics were wrong to fault capitalism's central institutions for the injustices that accompanied them. These institutions are not the problem. Instead it is the inequality that co-evolved with them and enables them to be used for exploitation.
    Keywords: exploitation, Marx, state power, socialism
    JEL: B51 P11 P16
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Galor, Oded; Klemp, Marc P B
    Abstract: This research explores the biocultural origins of human capital formation. It presents the first evidence that moderate fecundity and thus predisposition towards investment in child quality was conducive for long-run reproductive success within the human species. Using an extensive genealogical record for nearly half a million individuals in Quebec from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the study explores the effect of fecundity on the number of descendants of early inhabitants in the subsequent four generations. The research exploits variation in the random component of the time interval between the date of first marriage and the first birth to establish that while higher fecundity is associated with a larger number of children, an intermediate level maximizes long-run reproductive success. Moreover, the observed hump-shaped effect of fecundity on long-run reproductive success reflects the negative effect of higher fecundity on the quality of each child. The finding further indicates that the optimal level of fecundity was below the population median, lending credence to the hypothesis that during the Malthusian epoch, the forces of natural selection favored individuals with lower fecundity and thus 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; economic growth; evolution; fecundity; human capital formation; long-run reproductive success; natural selection; quantity-quality trade-off
    JEL: J10 N30 O10
    Date: 2014–09
  8. By: Dragan Mihajlović, Biljana Ilić, Jovan Vetović (Megatrend univerzitet Beograd, Fakultet za menadžment, Zaječar)
    Abstract: The paper is an attempt to highlight the importance of the period after 1950, which contributed to the strong economic and commercial development of the country, the former Yugoslavia, and within it, Republic of Serbia. The characteristic of that period, by the aspects of manager positions are that leaders in that period have managers realistic plans, a clear vision, human and social approach to employees, permanent control of the achiving of approved plans, as well as a sense of entrepreneurship. Purpose of the paper is not only a systematic view of a successful period, but also pointing to the importance of successful management of a system, which is translated into a new and higher system. Considering the fact that modern society is characterized by high complexity, turbulence, dynamism and rapid changes, the main objective of this paper is to point out the fact that such an experience can serve as a tool for economic development of a society in the present circumstances.
    Keywords: Economic development, business development, plans, vision, experience
    JEL: N1 N14
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Alfonso Díez-Minguela (Dpto. Análisis Económico); Julio Martínez-Galarraga (Dpto. Análisis Económico); Daniel A. Tirado Fabregat (Dpto. Análisis Económico)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the relationship between the spatial agglomeration of economic activity and regional economic growth in Spain during the period 1870-1930. The study allows us to revisit the existence of a trade-off between economic growth and territorial cohesion and also to examine whether the agglomeration of production was a key element to explain the upswing in regional income inequality in Spain during the country’s early stages of development. In doing this, we present alternative indicators for agglomeration and estimate conditional growth regressions at province (NUTS3) level. The results show the existence of a positive, robust relationship between the initial levels of regional agglomeration (mainly in the industrial sector) and subsequent growth trajectories. In line with new economic geography (NEG) models, we suggest that the presence of agglomeration economies in a context of market integration favoured the emergence of a cumulative causation process that widened regional inequality in the second half of the 19th century and hindered its reduction during the early decades of the 20th. En este artículo se analiza la existencia de una relación entre la aglomeración espacial de la actividad y el crecimiento económico regional en España durante el periodo 1870-1930. El estudio permite revisitar la existencia de un trade-off entre crecimiento económico y cohesión territorial y, además, examinar si la aglomeración productiva fue un elemento clave a la hora de explicar el incremento de la desigualdad económica regional en España a lo largo de las primeras fases del desarrollo. Para ello, se presentan diferentes indicadores de aglomeración a nivel provincial (NUTS3) que posteriormente se incluyen en la estimación de regresiones de crecimiento condicionadas. Los resultados muestran la existencia de una relación positiva y robusta entre el nivel inicial de aglomeración (principalmente en el sector industrial) y la posterior trayectoria de crecimiento regional. En la línea de los modelos de Nueva Geografía Económica (NEG), sugerimos que la presencia de economías de aglomeración en un contexto de integración de mercado favoreció la aparición de una causación acumulativa que amplió la desigualdad regional en la segunda mitad del siglo XIX y dificultó su reducción durante las primeras décadas del siglo XX.
    Keywords: aglomeración, crecimiento económico, historia económica, España. agglomeration, economic growth, economic history, Spain.
    JEL: N13 N93 O10 O40 R10
    Date: 2013–11
  10. By: Ager, Philipp; Ciccone, Antonio
    Abstract: Building on the idea that religious communities provide mutual insurance against some idiosyncratic risks, we argue that religious membership is more valuable in societies exposed to greater common risk. In our empirical analysis we exploit rainfall risk as a source of common economic risk in the nineteenth-century United States and show that religious communities were larger in counties where they faced greater rainfall risk. The link between rainfall risk and the size of religious communities is stronger in counties that were more agricultural, that had lower population densities, or that were exposed to greater rainfall risk during the growing season.
    Keywords: agricultural risk; informal insurance; religious community size
    JEL: D1 D8 N31 N51 O1 Q10 Z12
    Date: 2014–07
  11. By: Torben Dall Schmidt (University of Southern Denmark); Peter Sandholt Jensen (University of Southern Denmark); Amber Naz (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: This research evaluates the impact of the introduction of clover and potatoes on urbanization using a panel of Danish market towns from 1672 to 1901. We find evidence that both clover and potatoes contributed to urbanization using a difference-in-difference type estimation strategy which exploits that the breakthrough of clover and potatoes should have differential local effects because of soil suitability. To take into account the endogeneity of clover adoption, we instrument by suitability for growing alfalfa, which like clover is a legume. Importantly, alfalfa did not have its breakthrough in the period studied. Our IV estimates suggest that clover accounted for about 8 percent of market town population growth between 1672 and 1901, whereas roughly 6 percent can be attributed to potatoes. The analysis also indicates that the potato had its breakthrough later in Denmark than in many other countries as suggested by the historical narrative.
    Keywords: clover, potatoes, agricultural productivity, urbanization
    JEL: N1 N9 O1 R11
    Date: 2014–10
  12. By: James B. ANG (Division of Economics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological Univer- sity. Address: 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore, 637332.)
    Abstract: This paper tests Jared Diamond’s influential theory that an earlier transition from a hunter-gatherer society to agricultural production induces higher levels of technology adoption. Using a proxy for the geographic diffusion barriers of Neolithic technology and an index of biogeographic endowments to isolate the exogenous component of the timing of agricultural transition, the findings indicate that countries that experienced earlier transitions to agriculture were subsequently more capable of adopting new technologies in 1000 BC, 1 AD and 1500 AD. These results lend strong support to Diamond’s hypothesis.
    Keywords: technology adoption; agricultural transition; early economic development
    JEL: O30 O40
    Date: 2014–12
  13. By: Clark, Damon (University of California, Irvine); Del Bono, Emilia (ISER, University of Essex)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of elite school attendance on long-run outcomes including completed education, income and fertility. Our data consists of individuals born in the 1950s and educated in a UK district that assigned students to either elite or non-elite secondary schools. Using instrumental variables methods that exploit the school assignment formula, we find that elite school attendance had large impacts on completed education. For women, we find that elite school attendance generated positive effects on labor market outcomes and significant decreases in fertility; for men, we find no elite school impacts on any of these later-life outcomes.
    Keywords: education, school quality, instrumental variables
    JEL: I2 J24 C31 C36
    Date: 2014–11
  14. By: Burak Beyhan
    Abstract: Existing studies on Turkey usually fail to conceptualize the evolution of the regulations and efforts made for the administration and planning of the metropolitan regions in the country within a historical and comparative framework incorporating all forms of legal arrangements and tools pertaining to the very concept of establishment of metropolitan unity. Within this context, the aim of this study is to shed some light on the historical evolution of the problem of metropolitan unity in Turkey within a comparative and holistic perspective. For this purpose, in this paper, firstly early practices and attempts for the expansion of the administrative and planning boundaries of growing cities in the world will be reviewed together with the earlier considerations devoted to the delimitation of metropolitan regions. After elaborating the earlier attempts and considerations made for the establishment of the metropolitan municipalities and the delimitation of metropolitan regions with particular reference to the experience of the US whose metropolitan administration and planning model was dominant in Turkey in the 1980s, the tools employed for the establishment of metropolitan unity and the problems associated with the respective tools will be historically reviewed within a comparative perspective. Elaborating the tools employed for the establishment of metropolitan unity and the problems associated with the respective tools, all the efforts made and the tools employed in Turkey to secure metropolitan unity will be sketched by revealing the interconnections between the respective tools and efforts within a historical and evolutionary perspective. After examining the evolution and articulation of the tools employed for the establishment of regional unity required for the administration and planning of metropolitan regions and conurbations in Turkey, some concluding remarks will be drawn with reference to the overall framework constructed for the evolution of the tools used for the establishment of unity in metropolitan regions. What is particularly evident from this study is that pure legislative tools are not usually capable of securing metropolitan unity due to their lack of not only a communal point of view, but also a scientific point of view in the determination of the set of criteria that can be used in order to delimit metropolitan regions or secure regional integrity for a metropolitan area.
    JEL: R58 R59
    Date: 2014–11
  15. By: Xing Li (Stanford University); Megan MacGarvie (Boston University); Petra Moser (Stanford University)
    Abstract: This paper exploits a differential increase in copyright under the UK Copyright Act of 1814 - in favor of books by dead authors – to examine the influence of longer copyrights on price. Difference-in-differences analyses, which compare changes in the price of books by dead and living authors, indicate a substantial increase in price in response to an extension in copyright length. By comparison, placebo regressions for books by dead authors that did not benefit from the extension indicate no differential increase. Historical evidence suggests that longer copyrights increase price by improving publishers’ ability to practice intertemporal price discrimination.
    Keywords: Copyright, creativity, innovation, information goods, culture, intertemporal price discrimination.
    JEL: O3 K00 N33
    Date: 2014–09
  16. By: Piketty, Thomas; Zucman, Gabriel
    Abstract: This article offers an overview of the empirical and theoretical research on the long run evolution of wealth and inheritance. Wealth-income ratios, inherited wealth, and wealth inequalities were high in the 18th-19th centuries up untilWorldWar 1, then sharply dropped during the 20th century following World War shocks, and have been rising again in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We discuss the models that can account for these facts. We show that over a wide range of models, the long run magnitude and concentration of wealth and inheritance are an increasing function of r — g, where r is the net-of-tax rate of return on wealth and g is the economy's growth rate. This suggests that current trends toward rising wealth-income ratios and wealth inequality might continue during the 21st century, both because of the slowdown of population and productivity growth, and because of rising international competition to attract capital.
    Keywords: distribution; income; wealth
    JEL: H00
    Date: 2014–07
  17. By: Martin Uebele (University of Groningen); Daniel Gallardo-Albarr‡n (University of Groningen)
    Abstract: This study investigates the relation of pre-railroad transport infrastructure on Westphalian grain market integration in the early 19th century. It is motivated by recently found indications of macroeconomic change in Prussia such as increased demand for labour, disappearance of positive Malthusian shocks, and grain market integration. These coincide and correspond well with a number of institutional breaks such as border changes and state creation after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, liberal political reforms such as the abandoning of corporatist regulations in Prussia, and substantial public investment in paved roads in a number of Prussian provinces. In this article we show that (a) paved road connections mattered economically and statistically for bilateral rye and wheat price differences, (b) the usual dummy-variable approach to measure the effect of transport infrastructures proves to be unreliable and we propose a new indicator that takes into account the effects of the transport network (c) the role of the early railroad connections is not robust. In this pilot study we for the first time establish the correlation between economic development and pre-railroad transport infrastructure for a Prussian province, and thus call for more research on the causes of macroeconomic change in early 19th century Prussia.
    Keywords: Transport infrastructure, grain markets, Prussia, 19th century
    JEL: F1 N10 N73
    Date: 2014–08
  18. By: Pierre MANDON
    Abstract: In this paper we provide empirical evidence of the complementarities between the geographical approach of Diamond (1997) and the institutional approach of Acemoglu et al. (2002) to explain gaps in economic performance worldwide since 11, 000 BC until today. While the biogeographical endowments of Diamond are suitable to explain development paths until 1500 AD, the reversal of fortune of Acemoglu et al. (2002) is able to explain gaps in economic performance since 1500 AD. Those results display the positive impact of institutional framework on economic development, and focus on the complementary of two different fields of literature on long-run development.
    JEL: P51 P16 O11 N50 N10
    Date: 2014–11
  19. By: Philipp Ager (University of Southern Denmark); Casper Worm Hansen (Aarhus University); Peter Sandholt Jensen (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: We examine how the introduction of smallpox vaccination affected early-life mortality and fertility in Sweden during the first half of the 19th century. We demonstrate that parishes in counties with higher levels of smallpox mortality prior to the introduction of vaccination experienced a greater decline in infant mortality afterwards. Exploiting this finding in an instrumental-variable approach reveals that this decline had a negative effect on the birth rate, while the number of surviving children and population growth remained unaffected. These results suggest that the decline in early-life mortality cannot account for the onset of the fertility decline in Sweden.
    Keywords: Fertility transition, infant mortality, smallpox vaccine
    JEL: J10 J13 I15
    Date: 2014–07
  20. By: Lucarelli, Stefano; Baron, Hervé
    Abstract: The present paper, taking the cue from the Italian translation of Vergangenheit und Zukunft der Sozialwissenschaften (The Past and Future of Social Sciences), a Schumpeter’s book which was not always well understood in the literature, tries to pose some questions about Schumpeter’s work. Firstly: is it possible, starting from that book, to reconstruct a Schumpeterian theory of scientific development? Subsequently: is Vergangenheit und Zukunft only «a brief outline of what first became the Epochen [der Dogmen– und Methodengeschichte] and finally the History of Economic Analysis», as Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter wrote in the Editor’s Introduction (July 1952) to the History of Economic Analysis (p. XXXII), or should it be read as a complement of Epochen and, possibly, History? Lastly: is it correct to say that Schumpeter’s work had the ambitious objective of developing a ‘comprehensive sociology’ as the eminent Japanese scholar Shionoya did?
    Keywords: Schumpeter, social sciences, method, scientific development.
    JEL: A12 B25 B31 B41
    Date: 2014–04–30
  21. By: Charles I. Jones
    Abstract: Since the early 2000s, research by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and their coathors has revolutionized our understanding of income and wealth inequality. In this paper, I highlight some of the key empirical facts from this research and comment on how they relate to macroeconomics and to economic theory more generally. One of the key links between data and theory is the Pareto distribution. The paper describes simple mechanisms that give rise to Pareto distributions for income and wealth and considers the economic forces that influence top inequality over time and across countries. For example, it is in this context that the role of the famous r-g expression is best understood.
    JEL: E0
    Date: 2014–12
  22. By: Marc Galabert Macià (Facultat d'Economia i Empresa; Universitat de Barcelona (UB))
    Abstract: This paper explores the origins of Andorra’s financial cluster. It shows that the free movement of currency, the protection of infant industry, and geographical concentration lie at the foundation of the cluster’s competitive advantage. Drawing on a new set of data, the paper also provides for the first time an estimate of the total deposits held by Andorra’s banks between 1931 and 2007. Based on this new information, the paper reaches the conclusion that the development of the cluster went through four distinct phases in which large companies, acting as leaders, played an important role in enhancing the cluster’s business capabilities.
    Keywords: Competitive advantage, Cluster lifecycle, Financial system, Leading firms, Infant industry protection
    JEL: E42 G21 L16 N84
    Date: 2014
  23. By: Bruno Bises (Università Roma Tre); Antonio Scialà (Università Roma Tre)
    Abstract: The taxation of the owner-occupied house – the “principal dwelling‖ was a recurrent central issue in the political and economic debate in Italy especially in the last 15 years. It may be useful, therefore, to address this issue, by both examining the theoretical aspects and reviewing the Italian legislation since the general tax reform of the seventies – whose starting point for direct taxation was the year 1974 – with respect to the two tax bases that can be used in the taxation of owner-occupied dwellings, namely the imputed income and the asset value. This paper first analyzes the tax treatment of principal dwellings in Italy on both equity and efficiency grounds over the past forty years and compares it with the solutions adopted in other countries; second an empirical assessment of the evolution of the total tax burden on owner-occupied houses in Italy is proposed.
    Keywords: Housing taxation, Imputed rent, Irpef, Ici, Imu
    JEL: H21 H24 H71
    Date: 2014–11
  24. By: Fernández-de-Pinedo, Nadia (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Castro, Rafael (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Pretel, David (Departamento de Economía y Empresa. Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Did multinationals already existed in the 19th century? and if so, what was their role in international technology transfer to colonial markets? In this paper we examine a French machinery manufacturer -Derosne & Cail- one of the most innovative engineering firms in the mid-nineteenth century as well as one of the first European companies supplying advanced sugar technology and railway equipment to emerging colonial plantations. This firm was indeed an early multinational that created an extensive international network of factories, branches, intermediaries and agents across four continents. This socio-technical network sustained the distribution of Derosne & Cail's machinery to sugar planters who, in turn, adapted the new technology to local conditions and helped spread the necessary practical knowledge for the operation of the machines. The strategy of the company became globally successful because technology transfer was linked to the migration of trained mechanical and chemical experts.
    Keywords: foreign investments, Caribbean, technology transfer, sugar techonology
    JEL: F21 N73 N74 O34
    Date: 2014–12
  25. By: Matthew J. Hill
    Abstract: The U.S. experienced an unprecedented increase in fertility during the baby boom. After falling for a century and a half, fertility rates jumped by 45 percent from 1945 to 1955, before resuming their decline in 1965. The elevated birth rates from 1946 to 1964 were driven in part by a shift toward more universal marriage; marriage rates increased by 25 percent from 1930 to 1950 and the average age of marriage fell by two years. This paper argues that growth in the supply of housing after World War II contributed to the expansion of marriage during this period. Specifically, the paper estimates the effect of additional building permits (a proxy for housing supply) at the city level on individual marriage outcomes. An instrumental variable approach is used to address endogenous permit location. I construct an annual level instrument using the national permit series in conjunction with a city’s geographical constraints, region and average temperature. I find a standard deviation increase in permits to a city increased the probability of marriage in that city by 13 to 16 percent over a two-year period. The estimates suggest that the growth in housing supply in the late 1940s can explain about 33 percent of the difference in marriage rates between 1930 and 1950. Overall, the increase in housing supply can account for nearly ten percent of the baby boom.
    Date: 2014–03
  26. By: Joachim Möller (IAB, IZA, University of Regensburg); Marcus Zierer (University of Regensburg)
    JEL: L91 N73 N74 R11 R40 R49
    Date: 2014–11
  27. By: Touchelay, Béatrice; Chantiri-Chaudemanche, Rouba
    Keywords: Comptabilité; Normes; Histoire; Accounting normalization; 20th century; France; 1970's; 1980's; Great Britain;
    JEL: N84 M41
    Date: 2014–03
  28. By: Çürük, M. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This thesis deals with a range of topics in economic growth and international trade. The first part investigates the role of geographic and occupational immobility in determining the spatial variation in the degree of labor specificity in the short-run. The second part takes a longer time-perspective and provides a theory to rationalize the observed changes in the rate and direction of technological progress and labor allocation across broad sectors over the course of development. The third part focuses on the interaction between the institutional setting and pre-modern economic forces to understand the diffusion of German Reformation in the 16th century. Finally, the last part documents a positive relationship between trade with technology leaders and inter-sectoral markup variation for developing countries and provides a model which underscores the importance of technology diffusion to understand the observed patterns.
    Date: 2014
  29. By: Tetsuji Okazaki; Michiru Sawada
    Abstract: This paper investigates the extent, determinants, and implications of the political connections of firms at the peak of democracy in prewar Japan, identifying a firm as politically connected if one of its directors was simultaneously a member of the House of Representatives. We analyze the data of publicly traded companies in the periods before and after the 1928 and 1930 general elections. It is found that almost 20 % of publicly traded companies had political connections through politician directors. Regressions analyses reveal that smaller or badly performing firms and firms in the electric utilities and railroad industries, where government licenses were important, were more likely to have political connections. Furthermore, we find that the stock returns of firms that had new political connections improved from the pre-election period to the post-election period.
    Date: 2014–11
  30. By: Amélia Branco,; Francisco Parejo,; João Carlos Lopes; José Francisco Rangel
    Abstract: The trajectories of internationalisation followed by family firms can be viewed from several theoretical approaches: phases and models of the internationalisation process; international entrepreneurship, the sociological perspective and family business theory. A historical perspective of internationalised family firms, allowing for the integration of the abovementioned approaches, is useful to obtain a deep understanding of the internationalisation process of different sectors and of different countries. The main purpose of this paper is to identify the facilitating and restricting factors during the internationalisation path of family firms, whilst considering the influence in their competitive advantages, of ownership structure, management attitudes and other intangible assets, as well as external factors to the firms, like location. The research involved a long run analysis (of more than one century) of two firms which operate in the cork business in Spain and Portugal: Mundet & C.ª, Lda and Corticeira Amorim. One of these companies - Mundet - was closed down in the 1980s and the other – Corticeira Amorim – became, and still is, the leading firm worldwide in the cork industry. A detailed comparison of these two histories - one of failure, and the other of success - permits an accurate identification of the determinants of successful internationalisation. In fact, this comparison is useful for understanding several characteristics of both firms, some of which are similar and others which are different, allowing to test several hypotheses within the context of the theoretical approach of the internationalisation of family firms. This methodological option can be justify by several aspects. Firstly, both are family firms operating in the same business and both were concentrated on the foreign market since their conception. Secondly, both their histories encompass most of the 20th Century and both faced similar national and international constraints, which were overcome, as they both ended up becoming the leading firms in the cork business, although at different periods of time. Thirdly, their choices of location were different and, although in both cases they benefitted from agglomeration forces during certain phases of the business, location was an important determinant of the opposing destinies of these two emblematic cork family firms from Iberia.
    Keywords: Family Firms, Internationalisation, Cork, Portugal, Spain, Business History JEL classification : R12; L73; N60; O14.
    Date: 2014

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.