nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒01‒31
25 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Poetics And Ideology Of War In The Russian Poetry Of 1904-6 By Elena S. Ostrovskaya
  2. Knowledge, Human Capital and Economic Development: Evidence from the British Industrial Revolution, 1750-1930 By B. Zorina Khan
  3. The Danish Agricultural Revolution in an Energy Perspective: A Case of Development with Few Domestic Energy Sources By Henriques, Sofia Teives ; Sharp, Paul
  4. The Fluidity of Race: “Passing” in the United States, 1880-1940 By Emily Nix ; Nancy Qian
  5. Napoleonic protectionism: how France's cotton industry gained By Réka Juhász
  6. Contracts and cooperation: The relative failure of the Irish dairy industry in the late nineteenth century reconsidered By Ingrid Henriksen ; Eoin McLaughlin ; Paul Sharp
  7. Technology and Geography in the Second Industrial Revolution: New Evidence from the Margins of Trade By Michael Huberman ; Christopher M. Meissner ; Kim Oosterlinck
  8. Industrialization: Why Britain Got There First By Nicholas Crafts
  9. Capital Taxation in the 21st Century By Alan J. Auerbach ; Kevin Hassett
  10. Development theory and poverty. A review By Francesco Farina
  11. The long and winding road: How WTO members finally reached a trade facilitation agreement By Neufeld, Nora
  12. Will Adaptation to Climate Change be Slow and Costly? Evidence from High Temperatures and Mortality, 1900-2004 By Alan Barreca ; Karen Clay ; Olivier Deschenes ; Michael Greenstone ; Joseph S. Shapiro
  13. Financial Repression and Bond Market Efficiency: the Case of Italy during World War II By Kim Oosterlinck
  14. The value-added of service industry 1861-1951: the new series at current prices and first interpretations By Patrizia Battilani ; Emanuele Felice ; Vera Zamagni
  15. Secular Stagnation: The Long View By Barry Eichengreen
  16. The Effectiveness of Canada's Navy on Escort Duty By Skogstad, Karl
  17. Fighting the Last War: Economists on the Lender of Last Resort By Richard S. Grossman ; Hugh Rockoff
  18. Long shadow of the Berlin Wall By Arnaud Chevalier ; Olivier Marie
  19. The Long-Term Impact of Inequality on Entrepreneurship and Job Creation By Roxana Gutierrez-Romero ; Luciana Méndez Errico
  20. Productivity, nationalization, and the role of "news": lessons from the 1970s By Cakir Melek, Nida
  21. Os Parques Proletários e os Subúrbios do Rio de Janeiro: Aspectos da Política Governamental Para as Favelas Entre as Décadas de 1930 e 1960 By Rute Imanishi Rodrigues
  22. Empalme de series históricas anuales y trimestrales del PBI por el lado del gasto y de los sectores económicos, base 2007 By Gutierrez, Javier ; Martínez, Martín ; Quineche, Ricardo ; Virreira, César
  23. Early Care and Education Partnerships: A Reviw of the Literature By Patricia Del Grosso ; Lauren Akers ; Andrea Mraz Esposito ; Diane Paulsell
  24. "Tale of Two Ginis in the United States, 1921-2012" By Markus P. A. Schneider ; Daniele Tavani
  25. 'Revisiting Reinhart & Rogoff after the Crisis: A Time Series Perspective' By Jurgen Amman ; Paul Middleditch

  1. By: Elena S. Ostrovskaya (National Research University Higher School of Economics )
    Abstract: The Russo-Japanese war, the first war for Russia after almost three peaceful decades and the first major conflict to begin in the 20th century was in many ways a precursor to its two great wars. The article is to show the way the Russo-Japanese War is represented in the verse of 1904-6, exploring different poetic devices used to bring war back home and juxtaposing poetics and ideology. It focuses on such constitutive features of the war as geography and technology and traces their poetic projections in a wide range of the verse coming from different sources
    Keywords: Russo-Japanese war, poetics, ideology, domestication, alienation
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  2. By: B. Zorina Khan
    Abstract: Endogenous growth models raise fundamental questions about the nature of human creativity, and the sorts of resources, skills, and knowledge inputs that shift the frontier of technology and production possibilities. Many argue that the nature of early British industrialization supports the thesis that economic advances depend on specialized scientific training or the acquisition of costly human capital. This paper examines the contributions of different types of knowledge to British industrialization, by assessing the backgrounds, education and inventive activity of the major contributors to technological advances in Britain during the crucial period between 1750 and 1930. The results indicate that scientists, engineers or technicians were not well-represented among the British great inventors until very late in the nineteenth century. Instead, important discoveries and British industrial advances were achieved by individuals who exercised commonplace skills and entrepreneurial abilities to resolve perceived industrial problems. For developing countries today, the implications are that costly investments in specialized human capital resources might be less important than incentives for creativity, flexibility, and the ability to make incremental adjustments that can transform existing technologies into inventions that are appropriate for prevailing domestic conditions.
    JEL: J24 N13 O14 O3 O31 O34
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Henriques, Sofia Teives (University of Southern Denmark ); Sharp, Paul (University of Southern Denmark )
    Abstract: We examine the case of Denmark - a country which historically had next to no domestic energy resources - for which we present new historical energy accounts for the years 1800-1913. We demonstrate that Denmark’s take off at the end of the nineteenth century was relatively energy dependent. We relate this to her well-known agricultural transformation and development through the dairy industry, and thus complement the literature which argues that expensive energy hindered industrialization, by arguing that similar obstacles would have precluded other countries from a more agriculture-based growth. The Danish cooperative creameries, which spread throughout the country over the last two decades of the nineteenth century, were dependent on coal. Although Denmark had next to no domestic coal deposits, we demonstrate that her geography allowed cheap availability throughout the country through imports. On top of this we emphasize that another important source of energy was imported feed for the cows.
    Keywords: Coal, Denmark, energy transition, agriculture
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Emily Nix ; Nancy Qian
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the extent to which individuals experience changes in reported racial identity in the historical U.S. context. Using the full population of historical Censuses for 1880-1940, we document that over 19% of black males “passed” for white at some point during their lifetime, around 10% of whom later “reverse-passed” to being black; passing was accompanied by geographic relocation to communities with a higher percentage of whites and occurred the most in Northern states. The evidence suggests that passing was positively associated with better political-economic and social opportunities for whites relative to blacks. As such, endogenous race is likely to be a quantitatively important phenomenon.
    JEL: B4 J15 N3 N31 N32 P16
    Date: 2015–01
  5. By: Réka Juhász
    Abstract: Can temporary protection from trade with advanced economies foster the development of 'infant industries' in developing countries? Reka Juhasz considers a natural experiment: Napoleon's wartime blockade of British exports, which allowed protected regions to build capacity in the new technology of mechanised cotton spinning and later to compete successfully in international markets.
    Keywords: Economic history, France, Great Britain, trade, industrialisation, technology
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Ingrid Henriksen (University of Southern Denmark ); Eoin McLaughlin (University of St. Andrews ); Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark )
    Abstract: Why did the establishment of cooperative creameries in late nineteenth century Ireland fail to halt the relative decline of her dairy industry compared to other emerging producers? This paper compares the Irish experience with that of the market leader, Denmark, and shows how each adopted the cooperative organisational form, but highlights that an important difference was institutional: specifically regarding the enforcement of vertically binding contracts, which are considered to be of vital importance for the successful operation of cooperatives. We argue that this failure, combined with a strong proprietary sector which was opposed to cooperation, reinforced the already difficult conditions for dairying in Ireland due to poor social capital.
    Keywords: Contracts, cooperation, dairying, Ireland
    JEL: K12 L31 N43 N53 Q13
    Date: 2015–01
  7. By: Michael Huberman ; Christopher M. Meissner ; Kim Oosterlinck
    Abstract: In the Belle Époque, Belgium recorded an unprecedented trade boom, but growth in output per capita was lackluster. We seek to reconcile this ostensible paradox. Because of the sharp decline in both fixed and variable trade costs, the trade boom was as much about the expansion in the number of products delivered and markets served as it was about shipping more of the same old products. We use a new highly disaggregated data set on bilateral exports at the product level to illustrate these claims. In line with new trade theory, the effect of trade on productivity was mediated by sector-level firm heterogeneity and product differentiation. In new technology sectors, like tramways, the high degree of firm heterogeneity amplified the effect of trade on productivity. But in other sectors, mainly old staple industries like cotton textiles, a high level of firm uniformity muted the effect of trade. Into the twentieth century, old staples trumped new technology sectors, per capita income growing modestly as a result.
    JEL: F14 F15 N73
    Date: 2015–01
  8. By: Nicholas Crafts (The University of Warwick )
    Abstract: This paper provides an introductory overview of the British Industrial Revolution. The dimensions of growth are discussed as well as notable recent explanations for Britain’s primacy. Obstacles to faster growth are considered as well as advantages that were conducive to stronger TFP growth. In this context, reasons for the long delay before steam power had any significant impact on productivity are highlighted. Some implications of Britain’s early start to modern economic growth for subsequent economic performance are noted. The paper concludes that precocious British industrialization is much easier to explain than the timing of the acceleration of technological progress.
    Keywords: industrialization; invention; industrial revolution; TFP growth
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Alan J. Auerbach ; Kevin Hassett
    Abstract: In his influential book, Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty argues forcefully that rising wealth and wealth inequality is an inherent characteristic of capitalist economies and calls for strong policy responses, in particular a substantial wealth tax implemented globally. This paper takes issue with the facts, logic, and policy conclusions in Piketty’s book, suggesting that the factors needed to support the inexorable rise in capital’s share and concentration are lacking and that among tax policy reforms aimed at dealing with economic inequality a wealth tax finds little support either in Piketty’s own work or elsewhere in the literature.
    JEL: H21 P17
    Date: 2015–01
  10. By: Francesco Farina (University of Siena )
    Abstract: This review article presents the evolution of development theory during the XX century, the measurement of poverty, the concept and the indices of multidimensional poverty. A special focus concerns the complex linkages between income inequality, poverty and institutions during the growth process of developing countries.
    Keywords: Development theory,Growth,Poverty,Income inequality
    JEL: I31 I32 O15 O21 O43
    Date: 2015–01
  11. By: Neufeld, Nora
    Abstract: The paper chronicles the negotiating history of the recently concluded Trade Facilitation Accord. Analysing the various stages of the decade-long effort to get the Agreement off the ground, itAnalysing the various stages of the decade-long effort to get the Agreement off the ground, it examines what was at stake in the negotiations, how they evolved and why they finally succeeded - despite many obstacles and detours along the way. The study also suggests ways in which the exercise has broken new ground - for Trade Facilitation rule-making at the global level, for how WTO Members negotiate agreements, and for the world trading system as a whole.
    Keywords: WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation,trade facilitation negotiations,negotiating history,multilateral trading system
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Alan Barreca (Tulane University ); Karen Clay (Carnegie Mellon University ); Olivier Deschenes (University of California, Santa Barbara ); Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago ); Joseph S. Shapiro (Yale University )
    Abstract: This paper builds on Barreca et al.’s (2013) finding that over the course of the 20th century the proliferation of residential air conditioning led to a remarkable decline in mortality due to extreme temperature days in the United States. Using panel data on monthly mortality rates of U.S. states and daily temperature variables for over a century (1900-2004) it explores the regional evolution in this relationship and documents two key findings. First, the impact of extreme heat on mortality is notably smaller in states that more frequently experience extreme heat. Second, the difference in the heat-mortality relationship between hot and cold states declined over the period 1900-2004, though it persisted through 2004. For example, the effect of hot days on mortality in cool states over the years 1980-2004, a period when residential air conditioning was widely available, is almost identical to the effect of hot days on mortality in hot states over the years 1900-1939, a period when air conditioning was not available for homes. Continuing differences in the mortality consequences of hot days suggests that health motivated adaptation to climate change may be slow and costly around the world. 
    Keywords: adaptation, climate change, air conditioning, compensatory behavior, convergence, mortality
    JEL: H40 I10 Q40 Q50
    Date: 2015
  13. By: Kim Oosterlinck
    Abstract: This paper investigates the informational efficiency of bond markets when investments are constrained by financial repression. To assess informational efficiency, this paper performs weak-form efficiency tests on the most liquid bond traded in Italy during the war. Surprisingly, the bond market is informationally efficient even in this repressed environment. In this regard, econometrical techniques aimed at signalling important historical events and the beliefs of contemporaries regarding the outcome of war may provide correct insights even in highly controlled markets.
    Keywords: WWII; Bond Markets; Efficiency
    JEL: N24
    Date: 2015–01–07
  14. By: Patrizia Battilani (Università degli studi di Bologna ); Emanuele Felice (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ); Vera Zamagni (Università degli studi di Bologna )
    Abstract: This paper presents the new yearly series of the value-added of services for Italy, from 1861 to 1951, at current prices. For each sector, after discussing sources and methodology, the results are compared with the early Istat (1957) series. By looking at the production value of specific activities, it is possible to reveal the strong underestimation of the early series. From 1861 to 1911, our new estimate is consistently higher: the gap increases while the Italian economy grows strongly, which may lead to a more favourable evaluation of the contribution of services to the industrialization of the country. Between 1911 and 1938, our series is more cyclical, performing better in the twenties, worse during the 1929 crisis, but then again showing faster recovery in the 1930s. Finally, the changes between 1938 and 1951 are essentially due to the heavy underestimation of services found in the early series for 1951.
    Keywords: Italy, National accounts, Services, Historical data reconstruction
    JEL: C82 N73 N74
    Date: 2014–12
  15. By: Barry Eichengreen
    Abstract: Four explanations for secular stagnation are distinguished: a rise in global saving, slow population growth that makes investment less attractive, averse trends in technology and productivity growth, and a decline in the relative price of investment goods. A long view from economic history is most supportive of the last of these four views.
    JEL: E00 N1
    Date: 2015–01
  16. By: Skogstad, Karl
    Abstract: This paper examines the potential costs a country faces when it fails to develop domestic arms manufacturing. I examine these costs using the historical example of Canada's decision to not develop domestic naval shipbuilding capacity prior to World War II. Canada's primary naval responsibility during the war was to escort convoys between the United Kingdom and North America. However its lack of advanced domestic shipbuilding capacity and congestion at Allied shipyards, meant that Canada could not obtain the relatively advanced destroyer class vessels necessary for convoy duty. Instead it had to rely on less advanced corvette class vessels, which were simple enough to be manufactured domestically. Using a unique data set, created for this project, I match convoy movements to German U-boat locations in order to examine the escort composition and the number of merchant ships lost when an engagement occurred. Using this data I find that destroyers were 2.14 more effective than corvettes at preventing the loss of a merchant ship. Then, by constructing a counterfactual scenario, I find that developing a domestic ship building industry in Canada would have netted the Allies a benefit of 28.7 million 1940 Canadian dollars.
    Keywords: Domestic Arms Industries; World War II; Canadian Navy; Convoys.
    JEL: F51 F52 H56 H57 N42
    Date: 2015–01–16
  17. By: Richard S. Grossman ; Hugh Rockoff
    Abstract: In this paper we trace the evolution of the lender of last resort doctrine—and its implementation—from the nineteenth century through the panic of 2008. We find that typically the most influential economists “fight the last war”: formulating policy guidelines that would have dealt effectively with the last crisis or in some cases the last two or three. This applies even to the still supreme voice among lender-of-last-resort theorists, Walter Bagehot, who wrestled with the how to deal with the financial crises that hit Britain between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the panic of 1866. Fighting the last war may leave economists unprepared for meeting effectively the challenge of the next war.
    JEL: B0 N2
    Date: 2015–01
  18. By: Arnaud Chevalier ; Olivier Marie
    Abstract: Do people born at different points of the economic cycle have different outcomes - and if so, why? Arnaud Chevalier and Olivier Marie examine the educational attainment and criminal activity of children born in East Germany in the few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall - a time when uncertainty about the future was extremely high.
    Keywords: Crime, parental selection, fertility, economic uncertainty, risk attitude
    JEL: J13 K42
    Date: 2015–01
  19. By: Roxana Gutierrez-Romero (Departament d’Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonama de Barcelona ); Luciana Méndez Errico (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona )
    Abstract: We assess the extent to which historical levels of inequality affect the likelihood of businesses being created, surviving and of these creating jobs overtime. To this end, we build a pseudo-panel of entrepreneurs across 48 countries using the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Survey over 2001-2009. We complement this pseudo-panel with historical data of income distribution and indicators of current business regulation. We find that in countries with higher levels of inequality in the 1700s and 1800s, businesses today are more likely to die young and create fewer jobs. Our evidence supports economic theories that argue initial wealth distribution influences countries’ development path, having therefore important policy implications for wealth redistribution.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, income distribution, job creation, pseudo-panel, instrumental variables
    JEL: M2 O1 D3 C23
    Date: 2015–01
  20. By: Cakir Melek, Nida (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City )
    Abstract: The number of occurrences of an old phenomenon, expropriation of foreign-owned property, had peaked in the 1970s, and virtually every significant oil-producing developing country had nationalized its oil. Nationalization again was on the rise in the 2000s. Using novel data, this paper examines nationalization and its effect on productivity. First, we document historical global trends in expropriations, and examine the effect from the 1960s to the 1990s in a sample of oil-producing developing countries. We show that nationalization brings significant productivity losses. Then, we focus on Venezuela, presenting new extensive and detailed data. In Venezuela, productivity fell sharply immediately ahead of nationalization. We suggest a less-explored channel through which nationalization affects productivity: in anticipation of nationalization, producers reduce exploration, lower employment, and increase extraction. Guided by a quantitative dynamic partial equilibrium framework for nonrenewable resources disciplined by features of the Venezuelan data, we then examine the effect of nationalization on productivity. A comparison of the simulated and time series shows that the carefully calibrated model can explain 84 percent of the productivity pattern over 1961-1980 in the Venezuelan oil industry.
    Date: 2014–06–01
  21. By: Rute Imanishi Rodrigues
    Abstract: Este trabalho explora os vínculos entre as políticas governamentais para as favelas do Rio de Janeiro, então Distrito Federal, entre as décadas de 1930 e 1960, notadamente seu componente fundiário, e o surgimento e/ou expansão de determinados núcleos de favelas no subúrbio da cidade. O texto apresenta os resultados de uma pesquisa em fontes primárias, tais como: o acervo de Victor Tavares Moura (principal idealizador do programa dos Parques Proletários Provisórios), a imprensa periódica da época e documentos publicados no Diário oficial da União (DOU). A hipótese do trabalho é que, embora muitos núcleos de favelas nos subúrbios tenham surgido de forma espontânea, determinadas ações governamentais atuaram no sentido de consolidar e expandir uma parte desses núcleos. Na zona da Leopoldina, há evidências de que estas ações foram importantes para a formação dos complexos da Penha, Manguinhos, Vigário Geral, Maré e Morro do Alemão. The present paper explores the links between governmental policies towards Rio de Janeiro´s favelas, between the 1930´s and 1960´s, focusing on actions related to the land, and the beginning or enlargement of determined nucleus of favelas in the city suburbs. The paper presents the results of a research in primary sources, such as:Victor Tavares Moura collection (mentor of Parques Proletários Provisórios program),newspapers of the time, and documents published in Diário oficial da União (DOU). According to that research, even though many favelas nucleuses have begun spontaneously, some governmental actions led to their consolidation and expansion. In the Leopoldina Zone there is evidence that such actions were important to the beginning of large slums like Penha, Manguinhos, Vigário Geral, Maré e Morro do Alemão.
    Date: 2014–12
  22. By: Gutierrez, Javier (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú ); Martínez, Martín (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú ); Quineche, Ricardo (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú ); Virreira, César (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú )
    Abstract: En agosto de 2014, el Banco Central de Reserva del Perú publicó las nuevas series del PBI (Producto Bruto Interno) y sus componentes por el lado del gasto y del valor agregado de los sectores económicos en base 2007 para el período 1950-2013 (serie anual) y 1980-2013 (serie trimestral). El presente documento tiene por objetivo principal presentar los métodos y resultados del empalme, en base 2007, de las series mencionadas. También se examinan las principales alternativas metodológicas, así como la experiencia internacional. Las series empalmadas, obtenidas mediante la metodología sugerida, muestran coherencia con las series históricas de la base anterior y reflejan la historia económica del país.
    Date: 2014–12
  23. By: Patricia Del Grosso ; Lauren Akers ; Andrea Mraz Esposito ; Diane Paulsell
    Keywords: Early Care, Education Partnerships
    JEL: I
    Date: 2014–11–30
  24. By: Markus P. A. Schneider ; Daniele Tavani
    Abstract: Following a methodology proposed by Jantzen and Volpert (2012), we use IRS Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) data for the United States (1921-2012) to estimate two Gini-like indices representing inequality at the bottom and the top of the income distribution. We also calculate the overall Gini index as a function of the parameters underlying the two indices. Our findings can be summarized as follows. First, we find that the increase in the Gini index from the mid 1940s to the late 1970s seems to be mostly explained by an increase in inequality at the bottom of the income distribution, which more than offsets the decrease in inequality at the top. The implication is that middle incomes gained relative to high incomes, but especially relative to low incomes. Conversely, it is rising inequality at the top that appears to drive the rise in the Gini index since 1981. Second, inequality at the top of the income distribution follows a U-shaped trajectory over time, similar to the pattern of the share of top incomes documented by Piketty and Saez (2003, 2006) and Atkinson, Piketty, and Saez (2011). Third, the welfare effects of the different forces behind an increasing Gini index can be evaluated in light of the Lorenz-dominance criterion proposed by Atkinson (1970): both top-driven and bottom-driven increases in the index appear not to imply strict Lorenz dominance by previous income distributions, and therefore are not associated with lower welfare in an absolute sense. In a relative sense, however, once average growth rates over the two periods are taken into account, the top-driven increase in inequality since 1981 appears to have been welfare reducing.
    Keywords: Income Distribution; Inequality; Gini Index
    JEL: D3 D63
    Date: 2015–01
  25. By: Jurgen Amman ; Paul Middleditch
    Abstract: This paper offers a straightforward and descriptive contribution to the recent and busy debate on fiscal discipline made popular by a seminal paper by Reinhart and Rogoff (2010) after policymakers have sought foundation and justification of a policy known as austerity measures following the recent sovereign debt crisis. We revisit the debate on whether or not higher debt levels impede growth rates and contribute by offering a time series perspective of a corrected data set and also a more recent and higher frequency source. We find that with further hindsight and from a time series perspective there is no support for the view that higher levels of debt cause reductions in economic activity.
    Date: 2015

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