nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒02‒11
thirty-one papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. THE WAGES OF WOMEN IN ENGLAND,1260-1850 By Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
  2. Business fluctuations in Imperial Austria's regions, 1867-1913: new evidence By Carlo Ciccarelli; Anna Missiaia
  3. A Brief History of International Trade Thought: From Pre-doctrinal Contributions to Contemporary Neoclassical Economics By Carmen Elena Dorobat
  4. A Colonial Legacy of African Gender Inequality? Evidence from Christian Kampala, 1895-2011 By Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; Weisdorf, Jacob
  5. Wealth and inheritance in Britain from 1896 to the present By Anthony B. Atkinson
  6. Comparative study regarding the edilitar fund in Romanian village between the interwar period and communist period By Merce, Emilian; Merce, Cristian Călin; Mureşan, Iulia
  7. It's Raining Men! Hallelujah? By Pauline Grosjean; Rose Khattar
  8. Financial innovation and growth listings and IPOs from 1880 to World War II in the Athens Stock Exchange By Stavros Thomadakis; Dimitrios Gounopoulos; Christos Nounis; Michalis Riginos
  9. Capitalising on the Irish Land Question:Land Reform and State Banking in Ireland, 1891-1938 By Nathan Foley-Fisher; Eoin McLaughlin
  10. Théories et concepts fondamentaux de l'histoire de la pensée économique By Keita, Moussa
  11. Geographic barriers to commodity price integration: evidence from US cities and Swedish towns, 1732-1860 By Crucini, Mario J.; Smith, Gregor W.
  12. Russian Political Economy from Utopia to Social Engineering: An Introduction By Akhabbar, Amanar; Allisson, Francois
  13. Two-Faced Status Of History: Between The Humanities And Social Sciences By Irina Savelieva
  14. Swedish Taxation Since 1862: An Overview By Henrekson, Magnus; Stenkula, Mikael
  15. Some International Aspects of Business Cycles: Neisser, Haberler and Modern Open Economy Macroeconomics By Hans-Michael Trautwein
  16. The Economics of Aesthetics and Three Centuries of Art Price Records By Spaenjers , Christophe; Goetzmann , William
  17. Study on the importance of credit as financial leverage in agricultural development By Stan, Darius
  18. Creating "Paradise of the Pacific": How Tourism Began in Hawaii By James Mak
  19. The conflict trap in the Greek Civil War 1946-1949: an economic approach By Nicos Christodoulakis
  20. Calculating failure: the making of a calculative infrastructure for forgiving and forecasting failure By Liisa Kurunmaki; Peter Miller
  21. Locating a chronology for the great divergence: a critical survey of published data deployed for the measurement of nominal wages for Ming and Qing China By Patrick O'Brien; Kent Deng
  22. Becoming Applied: The Transformation of Economics after 1970 By Roger E. Backhouse; Beatrice Cherrier
  23. What Do We Know About Evolution of Top Wealth Shares in the United States? By Kopczuk, Wojciech
  24. La descapitalización de los institutos de jubilaciones en el Uruguay: el empapelamiento de las cajas. 1943-1967 By Ulises García Repetto
  25. Life Expectancy and Education: Evidence from the Cardiovascular Revolution By Casper Worm Hansen; Holger Strulik
  26. Contradictions at work: a critical review By Patrick McGovern
  27. Provisiones por Riesgo de Crédito de la Banca Nacional: Análisis de los Cambios Normativos, Período 1975-2014. By José Miguel Matus
  28. Human capital and growth in japan since 1970: converging to the steady state in a 1% world By Theodore R. Breton
  29. Credit availability 20 years after Peek and Rosengren: panel discussion By Rosengren, Eric S.; Peek, Joe
  30. Origins of Stock Market Fluctuations By Greenwald, Daniel L.; Lettau, Martin; Ludvigson, Sydney
  31. Accounting for big-city growth in low-paid occupations: immigration and/or service-class consumption By Ian Gordon; Ioannis Kaplanis

  1. By: Humphries, Jane (Oxford University); Weisdorf, Jacob (Odense and CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper presents two wage series for unskilled English women workers from 1260 to 1850, the first based on daily wages and the second on the remuneration per day implied in annual service contracts. These two series are compared and the series for women’s daily wages is also compared with evidence for men, revealing interesting trends in the gender gap. These comparisons inform several recent debates first whether or not “the golden age of the English peasantry” included women; and, second whether or not protoindustrialization and early industrialization provided women with greater opportunities. Our contributions to these debates have implications for wider analyses of growth and wellbeing. For example, historians have argued that the rise in wages that followed the Black Death enticed female servants to delay marriage so contributing to a European Marriage Pattern, a demographic regime believed to enable modern economic growth. However, our findings suggest that servants did not benefit much in the post-plague era and so offers little in support of a ‘girl-powered’ economic breakthrough in England. Similarly, historians have hypothesized that high wages in the eighteenth century explain the labour-saving technological changes which kick-started the industrial revolution and, recently, that women shared in these high wages. Again our findings suggest a less rosy scenario with women who were unable to commit to full-time work losing ground relative to men and to their less constrained peers; such women fell increasingly adrift from any High Wage Economy.
    Keywords: Black Death; England; gender wage gap; industrial revolution; wages; women.
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Carlo Ciccarelli; Anna Missiaia
    Abstract: This paper presents annual estimates of total and per-capita GDP at 1910 prices for the regions of Imperial Austria from the origin of the Dual Monarchy (1867) to the eve of WWI (1913). The time paths of regional GDP are estimated from the yield of the tax on the transfer of real and financial property which is itself very highly correlated with the Schulze (2007) estimates of regional GDP for census years (1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, and 1910). The relative continuity or discontinuity of per-capita GDP growth partitions Austria's regions into two groups. Clear evidence of discontinuity (a “take-off”) is present in Carniola, Carinthia, Salzburg, Styria, Littoral, Tyrol, and to some extent Moravia. In Lower and Upper Austria, Bohemia, Silesia, Galicia, Bukovina, and Dalmatia there is instead no evidence of structural break in their growth rates. Significant drops in the level of pc GDP do occur (as in Lower Austria and Bohemia after the 1873 financial crash) but have moderate effects on the growth of subsequent years. Regional (per-capita) inequality is also evaluated using standard measures. The coefficient of variation and Theil index follow a U-shape curve: after a decline lasted about 15 years they both rise and point to, from ca. 1885, growing divergence.
    Keywords: Austria; Habsburg Empire; regional GDP; growth; inequality
    JEL: N13 N33 N94 O11 O18 R11
    Date: 2014–02
  3. By: Carmen Elena Dorobat (University of Angers)
    Abstract: The present paper outlines the development of international trade thought, from the pre-doctrinal contributions of Greek philosophers and scholastic theologians, through the theories of the first schools of economic thought, and up to modern trade theories. I follow filiations of ideas in a chronological order, and show how theoretical investigation into the causes and effects of international trade - and the necessity of government intervention - has evolved over centuries of economic thought.
    Keywords: international trade, history of economic thought
    JEL: F10 B10 B20
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; Weisdorf, Jacob
    Abstract: The colonial legacy of African underdevelopment is widely debated but hard to document. We use occupational statistics from Protestant marriage registers of historical Kampala to investigate the hypothesis that African gender inequality and female disempowerment are rooted in colonial times. We find that the arrival of Europeans in Uganda ignited a century-long transformation of Kampala involving a gender Kuznets curve. Men rapidly acquired literacy and quickly found their way into white-collar (high-status) employment in the wage economy built by the Europeans. Women took somewhat longer to obtain literacy and considerably longer to enter into white-collar and waged work. This led to increased gender inequality during the first half of the colonial period. But gender inequality gradually declined during the latter half of the colonial era, and after Uganda’s independence in 1962 its level was not significantly different from that of pre-colonial times. Our data also support Boserup’s view that gender inequality was rooted in indigenous social norms: daughters of African men who worked in the traditional, informal economy were less well educated, less frequently employed in formal work, and more often subjected to marital gender inequality than daughters of men employed in the modernized, formal economy created by the Europeans.
    Keywords: Africa; church books; colonialism; development; female disempowerment; gender discrimination; gender inequality; missionaries; Uganda
    JEL: J12 J16 N37
    Date: 2015–01
  5. By: Anthony B. Atkinson
    Abstract: There has been a large rise in the UK ratio of personal wealth to national income. Personal wealth has grown since the 1970s about twice as fast in real terms as national income. Has this rise in the wealth-income ratio led to a corresponding increase in the wealth being passed on from one generation to the next? Are we returning to the levels of inheritance found in the 19th century? In France, the research of Thomas Piketty has highlighted the return of inheritance. The aim of this paper is to construct comparable UK evidence on the extent of the transmission of wealth in the form of estates and, insofar as it is possible, gifts inter vivos. It takes a long-run view of inheritance, starting from 1896, when the modern Estate Duty was introduced and exploits the extensive estate data published over the years in the UK. Construction of a long-run time series for more than a century is challenging, and there are important limitations to the resulting estimates which are discussed extensively in the paper. The resulting time-series demonstrates the major importance of inheritance in the UK before the First World War, when the total transmitted wealth represented some 20 per cent when expressed relative to net national income. In the inter-war period, the total was around 15 per cent, falling to some 10 per cent after the Second World War, and then falling further to below 5 per cent in the late 1970s. Since then, there has indeed been an upturn, although less marked than in France: a rise from 4.8 per cent in 1977 to 8.2 per cent in 2006. This increase was more or less in line with the increase in personal wealth, and has to be interpreted in the light of the changing net worth of the corporate and public sectors of the economy.
    Keywords: wealth; inheritance; estate data
    JEL: D31
    Date: 2013–11
  6. By: Merce, Emilian; Merce, Cristian Călin; Mureşan, Iulia
    Abstract: The archaic Romanian village was and still is ontological mentioned, if not as a human place, than as a safe and beauty place. We forgot a fundamental truth, proved by time and space: „many peasants, high misery”. Making such a mistake, the Romanians reached to praise and idolize the misery which the providence will remunerate. Us the Romanians we did not have the ability, and based on this not even the calling to modernize the agrarian structures. In 1901 England had only 9% of the population involved in agriculture, while we lament about the depopulation of the Romanian villages after the Second World War, when 80% of the population was living in the country side. At the beginning of the XVI century, Thomas Morus stated that England is the country “where sheep are eating the people”. The depopulation of the English villages had happened in that time. That had specific consequences, but at the same time leaded England to become the most powerful industrial country. The truth is that during the communist period the Romanian villages suffered the most major modernization from their entire history. For the total number, 70% of the dwelling stock of the Romanian villages went into use during 1948-1989. Exceptions from this fact are the Swabians and Saxon Villages, part of the Hungarian Villages and some villages from Mărginimea Sibiului, Ţara Făgăraşului and Bucovina de Nord.
    Keywords: Romanian village, dwelling stock, inter-war period, communist period
    JEL: Q0 Q19
    Date: 2014–11–20
  7. By: Pauline Grosjean (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales); Rose Khattar (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We document the implications of missing women in the short and long run. We exploit a natural historical experiment, which sent large numbers of male convicts and far fewer female convicts to Australia in the 18th and 19th century. In areas with higher sex ratios, women historically married more, worked less, and were less likely to occupy high-rank occupations. Today, people have more conservative attitudes towards women working, women are still less likely to have high-ranking occupations and earn a lower wage income. We document the role of vertical cultural transmission and of marriage homogamy in sustaining cultural persistence.
    Keywords: Culture, gender roles, sex ratio, natural experiment, Australia
    JEL: I31 N37 J16
    Date: 2014–12
  8. By: Stavros Thomadakis; Dimitrios Gounopoulos; Christos Nounis; Michalis Riginos
    Abstract: The study explores the growth of the Athens Stock Exchange through new listings and IPOs over the period 1880-1940. We examine institutional changes in exchange governance and listing requirements. On a theme that has not been addressed before, we find that simple listings were far more numerous than actual IPOs, while even during ‘hot’ listing periods IPO activity was relatively limited. IPOs in Greece remained unregulated throughout the period and there is only sparse evidence on the involvement of professional investment banking services. IPOs over-pricing in the early decades gives way to under-pricing in the 1920s. The growth of the Greek stock market was coincident with development episodes in the economy, as well as phases of protectionism. It has been driven by a demand for listings basically serving the liquidity needs of company owners. Finally, the study presents data on "quasi-IPOs" (i.e. capital increases shortly after listing)and shows that they offer a more accurate assessment of the demand for the financing of listing firms.
    Keywords: listings; initial public offerings; financial history; financial innovation
    JEL: G18 N23 N43
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Nathan Foley-Fisher (Research and Statistics Division, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C., USA); Eoin McLaughlin (Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: Land reform and its financial arrangements are central elements of modern Irish history. Yet to date, the financial mechanisms underpinning Irish land reform have been overlooked. The paper outlines the mechanisms of land reform in Ireland and the importance of land bonds to the process. The paper introduces a new database on Irish land bonds listed on the Dublin Stock Exchange from 1891 to 1938. It illustrates the nature of these b onds and presents data on their size, liquidity and market returns. The paper finds a high level of state banking in Ireland: large issues of land bonds were held by state owned savings banks.
    Keywords: Irish financial history, land reform, land bonds, Dublin Stock Exchange.
    JEL: N24 N53 N54 G15 Q15
    Date: 2015–01
  10. By: Keita, Moussa
    Abstract: Without any pretension of exhaustiveness, this manuscript revisits, in a historical approach, the main concepts that have contributed to forge economic science in the last five centuries. In this respect, It retraces the great schools of thought and doctrines that have developed successively or that coexisted sometimes with oppositions and debates whose terms are still alive. Written intentionally in a pedagogical style, the manuscript is aimed at a broad public; primarily for students and teachers in the first university cycles of Economics but also to anyone wishing to enhance their knowledge on doctrinal and ideological foundations of many contemporary economic questions.
    Keywords: Histoire de la pensée économique
    JEL: B00
    Date: 2015–02
  11. By: Crucini, Mario J. (Vanderbilt University); Smith, Gregor W. (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)
    Abstract: We study the role of distance and time in statistically explaining price dispersion for 14 commodities from 1732 to 1860. The prices are reported for US cities and Swedish market towns, so we can compare international and intranational dispersion. Distance and commodity-specific fixed effects explain a large share - roughly 60% - of the variability in a panel of more than 230,000 relative prices over these 128 years. There was a negative "ocean effect": international dispersion was less than would be predicted using distance, narrowing the effective ocean by more than 3000 km. Price dispersion declined over time beginning in the 18th century. This process of convergence was broad-based, across commodities and locations (both national and international). But there was a major interruption in convergence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at apoleonic Wars, stopping the process by two or three decades on average.
    JEL: N70
    Date: 2014–11–01
  12. By: Akhabbar, Amanar; Allisson, Francois
    Abstract: In September 2009, the editors of this special issue organized at Lausanne University a Workshop on the History of Russian Political Economy and Statistics at the turn of the 20th century. When preparing a call for paper for this journal, the editors realized that papers presented at the Lausanne Workshop addressed implicitly or explicitly questions about how to combine Economic Theory, Social Engineering and Utopia. The contributions contained in this issue suggest various possible configurations between these three categories of scientific inquiry.
    Keywords: Russia; Russian Political Economy;Political Economy; Utopia; Social Engineering;
    JEL: B1 B2 B3 B4
    Date: 2014–01
  13. By: Irina Savelieva (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In modern academia, history is occasionally classified as a social science. My aim is to demonstrate why history has not become a ‘real’ social science, although historians who represent the most advanced trends within the discipline aspired to this. Two-faced status of history is problematized as a conflict between social theory and historical method when historians adopt the theories of the social sciences. I consider two topics to be central here: the uneasy relationship between social theories and methods, and the indispensability of the cognitive potential of the humanities. Although historians have sought theoretical renewal by turning to the theories of various social sciences, they rarely could use techniques that represent ways of cognition normally used by sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, etc. – psychometric testing, sociometric monitoring, ethnographic description, in-depth interview, long-term observation. This situation has undeniable positive effects. The impossibility of using social science techniques ensures the autonomy of history and enables it to preserve its disciplinary core. At the same time, dealing with meanings and using the cognitive methods of the humanities, history can catch things more ephemeral than trends, patterns, mechanisms and statistical rules.
    Keywords: the humanities, social sciences, history, theory, method, symbolic interactionism, cultural interpretation, vague theories
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Henrekson, Magnus (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Stenkula, Mikael (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper examines the development of taxation in Sweden from 1862 to 2013. The examination covers six key aspects of the Swedish tax system: the taxation of labor income, capital income, consumption, inheritance and gift, wealth and real estate. The importance of these taxes varied greatly over time and Sweden increasingly relied on broad-based taxes (such as income taxes and general consumption taxes) and taxes that were less visible to the public (such as payroll taxes and social security contributions). The tax-to-GDP ratio was initially low and relatively stable, but from the 1930s, the ratio increased sharply for 50 years. Towards the end of the period, the tax-to-GDP ratio declined significantly. The analysis is based on a project conducted at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and provides both a unique length and breadth of the development of a national tax system.
    Keywords: Keywords: Income tax; Wealth tax; Inheritance and gift tax; Consumption tax; Real estate tax; Tax reforms
    JEL: H20 H71 N43 N44
    Date: 2015–01–02
  15. By: Hans-Michael Trautwein (University of Oldenburg - International Economics & ZenTra)
    Abstract: Despite the transnational character of the Great Depression of the years 1929-33, there are few works in the inter-war literature that deal in depth with the propagation of business cycles across national borders and systemic risks of depression in the world economy. Two notable exceptions are Hans Neisser’s monograph on Some International Aspects of the Business Cycle (1936) and chapter 12 in Gottfried Haberler’s Prosperity and Depression (1937), which carries the heading “International Aspects of Business Cycles”. Both works differ substantially from each other and from the modern way of thinking about international business cycles in Open Economy Macroeconomics. This paper argues that Neisser’s and Haberler’s approaches provide more straightforward routes to capturing some of the transnational aspects of the recent Great Recession (of 2008/09) than the modern standard approach. At the first stage, the two older approaches are presented and compared with each other. At the second stage, they are contrasted with the current state of open-economy macroeconomics, as represented by Uribe & Schmitt-Grohé (2014), a textbook in the making that puts international macro in a business cycle framework. Since Haberler’s account accentuates the role of transport costs, imperfections of capital markets and monetary policies, it can be used as a catalogue of criteria for checking what modern attempts to connect international trade, international finance and economic growth have got (back) in sight. More importantly, both Haberler’s and Neisser’s approach also serve to identify what has been lost out of sight.
    Keywords: international business cycles, open economy macroeconomics, Hans Neisser, Gottfried Haberler
    JEL: B22 E32 F41 F44
    Date: 2015–02
  16. By: Spaenjers , Christophe; Goetzmann , William
    Abstract: Aggregate art price patterns mask a lot of underlying variation — both in the time series and in the cross-section. The authors argue that, to increase our understanding of the market for aesthetics, it is helpful to take a micro perspective on the formation of art prices, and acknowledge that each artwork gives rise to a market for trading in its private-value benefits. They discuss relevant recent literature, and illustrate the potential of this approach through a historical study of art price records between 1701 and 2014. Their newly constructed series also points to the importance of developments in the industrial organization of the art market for long-term price trends.
    Keywords: art market; auctions; art prices; records; private values
    JEL: D10 D44 G10 N00 Z10
    Date: 2014–08–11
  17. By: Stan, Darius
    Abstract: Romanian agriculture is closely related to Romanian village life and is defined as the creatures and the whole of eternity. To think that there is little work to invest in land fertility, agricultural durability invest without having in mind that in Romania the whole eternity of mankind was born in the country. I forget a fundamental truth, proven time and space. Under state law defining Roman in all investments are taken into account the principle of Corpus en Animo where body is the earth that is more stable investment. The study examined a mistake exercised due modernism and of which we Romans have come to praise and idolism mess. It is said that we Romans did not have the capacity, nor the call to use and to modernize agricultural structures. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Thomas More was a descriptive statement of England considering it as "country where sheep outnumber people." Somewhere in England in 1901 when industrial explosion occur only 9% of the farming population has chosen to respond to migration of rural population to urban areas. It is true that later happened industrial expansion and depopulation of villages in England, but the agricultural sector did not happen to be neglected and fall in disuse time. Structural changes in the agricultural sector have been made with specific consequences, but the same sector at a time proved to be a key ally of England leading the way to becoming the most powerful industrial countries. Romanian agriculture required to adapt perpetual metamorphoses upgrades, misuse, dismantling disuse and writing his own history as the volume and whole chapters.
    Keywords: Romanian agriculture, investments, Roman law, principle
    JEL: D01 K0 K00 Q19 R19
    Date: 2014–11–20
  18. By: James Mak (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: This article recounts the early years of one of the most successful tourist destinations in the world, Hawaii, from about 1870 to 1940. Tourism began in Hawaii when faster and more predictable steamships replaced sailing vessels in trans-Pacific travel. Governments (international, national, and local) were influential in shaping the way Hawaii tourism developed, from government mail subsidies to steamship companies, local funding for tourism promotion, and America's protective legislation on domestic shipping. Hawaii also reaped a windfall from its location at the crossroads of the major trade routes in the Pacific region. The article concludes with policy lessons.
    Keywords: Hawaii, tourism, tourism development
    Date: 2015–02
  19. By: Nicos Christodoulakis
    Abstract: The paper provides a quantitative analysis of the armed confrontation that took place in Greece between the Communist Party and the Centre-Right Government during 1946-1949. Using monthly data for battle casualties a dynamic Lotka-Volterra framework is estimated, pointing to the existence of a conflict trap that explains the prolongation of the civil war and its dire consequences for the country. To examine the extent to which the confrontation was influenced by socio-economic factors, a regional analysis finds that political discontent was mainly correlated with pre-war grievances rather than class-structure, while the mobilization of guerilla forces was crucially affected by morphology and the local persecutions by the Government. The economic cost of the conflict is estimated to be close to an annual GDP, and its effect to last for at least a decade, in line with similar findings in contemporary civil wars. The failure to prevent the conflict or stop its escalation is discussed together with some conclusions for the long term repercussions and the current social discontent in Greece.
    Keywords: civil war; Greece; production function; equilibrium and stability condition
    JEL: C62 E23 N44 O52
    Date: 2014–03
  20. By: Liisa Kurunmaki; Peter Miller
    Abstract: This paper examines how the category of failure was economised and made calculable. It explores the preconditions for this shift in three stages. First, it explores how failure came to be ‘forgiven’ in both the U.S. and the U.K. across the nineteenth century, how it came to be defined as something that is economic or financial, rather than personal or moral. Second, it explores the rapid growth of narrating and rating failure in the mid nineteenth century, with particular attention to the formation of credit rating agencies from the 1840s onwards. We consider also the roles played in this process by two fortuitous technological developments – the typewriter, and carbon paper for copying. Third, we examine the emergence of the calculative infrastructure which has helped to establish an industry of attempts to forecast failure from the beginning of the twentieth century, initially on the basis of financial ratios, and more recently through the use of risk indexes. We use the term ‘calculating failure’ to describe this transformation and economisation of both the ideas and the instruments of failure, and suggest that this has significant implications for the study of strategy.
    Keywords: accounting; bankruptcy; calculative infrastructure; calculative technologies; credit rating; economisation; failure; insolvency; marketization
    JEL: M40
    Date: 2013–10–10
  21. By: Patrick O'Brien; Kent Deng
    Abstract: Since the publication of Kenneth Pomeranz’s seminal book The Great Divergence, the landscape of world and global history has changed dramatically. For the first time, living standards, instead of labour, land and capital productivities, have become the prime concern among historians in various parts of the world. The key to this decade-long debate hinges on quantity and quality of information for transnational and cross-regional comparisons. But due to the obvious constraints we historians constantly face, genuinely good data are frustratingly hard to obtain and thus set the upper limits for what we can possibly achieve. The task of the present study is to put some currently circulated nominal wages for the Ming-Qing Period (1368-1911) under the microscope to check their feasibility. Our main findings from Chinese sources suggest that published cash wages did not reflect the actual living wages needed in reality to support a worker and his family of the average size. This means that we may have been barking at the wrong tree.
    Keywords: great divergence; Ming-Qing China; wages
    JEL: O53 N0
    Date: 2015–01
  22. By: Roger E. Backhouse; Beatrice Cherrier
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper conjectures that economics has changed profoundly since the 1970s and that these changes involve a new understanding of the relationship between theoretical and applied work. Drawing on an analysis of John Bates Clark medal winners, it is suggested that the discipline became more applied, applied work be ing accorded a higher st atus in relation to pure theory than was previously the case. Discussing new types of applied work, the changing context of applied work, and new sites for applied work, the paper outlines a research agenda that will test the conjecture that there has been a changed understanding of the nature of applied work and hence of economics itself.
    Keywords: Applied economics, theory, Clark Medal, JEL codes, core, policy, computation, data, econometrics
    JEL: A10 B20 B40 C00
    Date: 2014
  23. By: Kopczuk, Wojciech
    Abstract: I discuss available evidence about the evolution of top wealth shares in the United States over the last one hundred years. The three main approaches – Survey of Consumer Finances, estate tax multiplier techniques and capitalization method – generate generally consistent findings until mid-1980s but diverge since then, with capitalization method showing a dramatic increase in wealth concentration and the other two methods showing at best a small increase. I discuss strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. The increase in capitalization estimates since 2000 is driven by a dramatic and surprising increase in fixed income assets. There is evidence that estate tax estimates may not be sufficiently accounting for mortality improvements over time. The non-response and coverage issues in the SCF are a concern. I conclude that changing nature of top incomes and the increased importance of self-made wealth may explain difficulties in implementing each of the methods and account for why the results diverge.
    Keywords: wealth inequality
    JEL: D31
    Date: 2015–01
  24. By: Ulises García Repetto (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: The Uruguayan pension system has been recorded as one of the most advanced in the region, being a pillar of the protection policies of the country. However, the financial crisis of the system and the discussions about the cost of social security has been a constant in the national debate. In this analyze the process of capitalization of pension funds in Uruguay during the period of 1943 and 1967, by the process known as "empapelamiento" (or “wallpapering”). This episode contributed, together with other causes (aging population, the falling real purchasing power of wages, deterioration of the quality of employment, etc.) in the reforms of 1979 and 1996. In addition, it’s an important process due to the role of the State to accelerate the underfunding and its impact on fiscal sustainability of the Central Government, during the period of consolidation and rise of the welfare system that characterized this period of the industrialization by substitution of imports. It is known as "empapelamiento" (or “wallpapering”) the mechanism by which the State placed a high percentage of Public Debt with fixed interest rate on pension funds. The problem arises in the mid-fifties when the economy enters an inflationary process. In this scenario the general rise in prices, the Public Debt not indexed and limited investment option permitted by law, led to the evaporation of savings in few years. That meant that afterwards during the seventies the public social security system will be deficient and became a heavy burden for the State finances.
    Keywords: social security, pension funds, underfunding, inflation
    JEL: N1 N16
    Date: 2014–12
  25. By: Casper Worm Hansen (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University); Holger Strulik (University of Goettingen, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In this study we investigate the causal impact of increasing adult longevity on higher education. We exploit the fourth stage of the epidemiological transition, i.e. the unexpected decline of deaths from heart attack and stroke in the 1970s as a large positive health shock that affected predominantly old age mortality. Using a differences-in-differences estimation strategy we find across U.S. states that the cardiovascular revolution led to an increase in adult life expectancy by about 2 years, which caused higher education enrollment to increase by 7 percentage points, i.e. 30 percent of the observed increase from 1970 to 2000. Our findings are robust to the inclusion of state-specific health trends and a host of confounding variables. They suggest large effects of improving longevity on higher education enrollment.
    Keywords: adult life expectancy, higher education, cardiovascular diseases, 2SLS strategy, dierences-in-differences first-stage.
    JEL: I15 J24 N30 O10 O40
    Date: 2015–01–20
  26. By: Patrick McGovern
    Abstract: Despite significant achievements in empirical research, considerable unease exists about the lack of conceptual and theoretical debate within the sociology of work. One potentially significant problem is the uncritical use of concepts that have their origins in Marxism and purport to explain the essential features of the employment relationship. Using evidence from a systematic review of four highly ranked British journals I chart the growing influence of the concept of contradiction, notably within the labour process perspective where it has become a key concept, especially in relation to the problem of labour control. In spite of its popularity, I argue that the concept contains two sets of flaws. The first set, which relate to its utility as a concept, include problems of logic, differentiation and operationalization. The second set relate to the substantive use of the concept, especially its dependence on supporting assumptions, and its expectation of social change. The article concludes by calling for a moratorium on further usage.
    Keywords: concept redundancy; concept stretching; contradiction; labour control; labour process; Marxism; qualitative research
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2014–02
  27. By: José Miguel Matus
    Abstract: This paper describes the main regulatory changes regarding the provisions for credit risk in the local bank industry. In doing so, this article focuses its analysis in the 1975 - 2014 period, were some major advances and regulatory changes occurred; not only in the regulation of credit risk provision, but also in supervisory systems that were implemented by the Superint endency. Furthermore, it describes the main changes implemented in the accounting standards of credit risk provisions.
    Date: 2015–01
  28. By: Theodore R. Breton
    Abstract: Annual growth in GDP/adult in Japan has declined from over 10% in 1969 to an average of 1% since the financial crisis in 1991. I show that a dynamic Solow growth model, augmented with human capital, weekly labor-hours, and oil prices, explains Japan’s annual growth rates from 1969 to 2007 as conditional convergence to a steady-state rate of 1%/year. Each additional year of average adult schooling attainment raised GDP/adult directly and indirectly by 20 percent, and weekly hours worked had an output elasticity of 0.5. The marginal product of schooling was double the marginal product of physical capital.
    Keywords: Japan; Human Capital; Schooling; Productivity; Economic Growth; Convergence
    JEL: I25 O41 O53
    Date: 2014–11–20
  29. By: Rosengren, Eric S. (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston); Peek, Joe (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: Remarks by Eric S. Rosengren, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Joe Peek, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, to the International Banking, Economics, and Finance Association and American Economic Association, Boston, Massachusetts, January 3, 2015.
    Date: 2015–01–03
  30. By: Greenwald, Daniel L.; Lettau, Martin; Ludvigson, Sydney
    Abstract: Three mutually uncorrelated economic disturbances that we measure empirically explain 85% of the quarterly variation in real stock market wealth since 1952. A model is employed to interpret these disturbances in terms of three latent primitive shocks. In the short run, shocks that affect the willingness to bear risk independently of macroeconomic fundamentals explain most of the variation in the market. In the long run, the market is profoundly affected by shocks that reallocate the rewards of a given level of production between workers and shareholders. Productivity shocks play a small role in historical stock market fluctuations at all horizons.
    Keywords: labor income; stock market wealth; stock prices
    JEL: G10 G12 G17
    Date: 2015–01
  31. By: Ian Gordon; Ioannis Kaplanis
    Abstract: The growth of “global cities” in the 1980s was supposed to have involved an occupational polarization, including the increase in low-paid service jobs. Although held to be untrue for European cities at the time, some such growth did emerge in London a decade later than first reported for New York. The question is whether there was simply a delay before London conformed to the global city model or whether another distinct cause was at work in both cases. This article proposes that the critical factor in both cases was actually an upsurge of immigration from poor countries that provided an elastic supply of cheap labor. This hypothesis and its counterpart based on the growth in elite jobs are tested econometrically for the British case with regional data spanning 1975–2008, finding some support for both effects, but with immigration from poor countries as the crucial influence in late 1990s London.
    Keywords: polarization; global cities thesis; migrant labor; labor markets; London; wages; untraded services
    JEL: N0 R14 J01
    Date: 2014–01

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