nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
thirty-one papers chosen by

  1. Sovereign Debt Relief and Its Aftermath By Reinhart, Carmen M.; Trebesch, Christoph
  2. The Antecedents and Aftermath of Financial Crises as Told by Carlos F. Diaz Alejandro By Reinhart, Carmen M.
  3. Fighting Infectious Disease: Evidence from Sweden 1870-1940 By Lazuka, Volha; Quaranta, Luciana; Bengtsson, Tommy
  4. Two Opposing Economic-Literary Critiques of Socialism: George Orwell Versus Eugen Richter and Henry Hazlitt By Makovi, Michael
  5. Is Africa Different? Historical Conflict and State Development By Mark Dincecco; James Fenske; Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato
  6. Blocking All Paths to an Iranian Bomb: How the West Can Avoid a Nuclear Maginot Line By Allison, Graham
  7. A chequered African history of commodity markets, part one: bauxite and aluminium By Yves Jégourel
  8. A formal analysis of the beginnings of coinage in antiquity By Melitz, Jacques
  9. Series enlazadas de Contabilidad Regional para España, 1980-2014. Parte I: Empleo y VAB. (RegDat_8014_1 versión 4.1) By Angel de la Fuente
  10. The Great Divergence: The Death Penalty in the United States and the Failure of Abolition in Transatlantic Perspective By Temkin, Moshik
  11. Leveraged Bubbles By Jordà, Òscar; Schularick, Moritz; Taylor, Alan M.
  12. Recent trends in co-authorship in economics: evidence from RePEc By Rath, Katharina; Wohlrabe, Klaus
  13. Dealing with Debt By Reinhart, Carmen M.; Reinhart, Vincent; Rogoff, Kenneth
  14. The Ongoing Evolution of US Retail: A Format Tug-of-War By Ali Hortaçsu; Chad Syverson
  15. Double Liability at Early American Banks By Howard Bodenhorn
  16. The Dawn of an ‘Age of Deposits’ in the United States By Matthew Jaremski; Peter L. Rousseau
  17. Brazil’s 35 years-old quasi-stagnation: facts and theory By BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos
  18. Crecimiento económico colombiano, 1950-2010: Una aproximación desde los sistemas sociales de innovación y de producción By Germán Sánchez Pérez
  19. Social Protection Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean: Jamaica By Milena Lavigne; Luis Hernán Vargas
  20. IS Imbalances and Current Account Surpluses in Japan: In Memory of Professor Ronald I. McKinnon By Charles Yuji Horioka
  21. Financialisation and the financial and economic crises: Theoretical framework and empirical analysis for 15 countries By Dodig, Nina; Hein, Eckhard; Detzer, Daniel
  22. In brief... American Idol: 65 years of admiration By Alan Manning; Amar Shanghavi
  23. And They in Their Humanity Answer Me: Part 1 By Applbaum, Arthur Isak
  24. The Intergenerational Transmission of War By Campante, Filipe; Yanagizawa-Drott, David
  25. Supply-side dynamics of chickpeas and pigeon peas in India: By Inbasekar, Kalimuthu; Roy, Devesh; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
  26. The Turnaround of Swedish Industry: Reforms, Firm Diversity and Job and Productivity Dynamics By Heyman, Fredrik; Norbäck, Pehr-Johan; Persson, Lars
  27. Reflecting on new developmentalism and classical developmentalism By BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos,
  28. Islam, Inequality and Pre-Industrial Comparative Development By Stelios Michalopoulos; Alireza Naghavi; Giovanni Prarolo
  29. Health Care Spending: Historical Trends and New Directions By Alice Chen; Dana Goldman
  30. The Political Legacy of American Slavery By Acharya, Avidit; Blackwell, Matthew; Sen, Maya
  31. The Banking Industry By Scherer, F. M.

  1. By: Reinhart, Carmen M. (Harvard University); Trebesch, Christoph (Ludwig Maximilian U Munich and CESifo, Munich)
    Abstract: This paper studies sovereign debt relief in a long-term perspective. We quantify the relief achieved through default and restructuring in two distinct samples: 1920-1939, focusing on the defaults on official (government to government) debt in advanced economies after World War I; and 1978-2010, focusing on emerging market debt crises with private external creditors. Debt relief was substantial in both eras averaging 21% of GDP in the 1930s and 16% of GDP in recent decades. We analyze the aftermath of debt relief and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis around the synchronous war debt defaults of 1934 and the Baker and Brady initiatives of the 1980s/1990s. The economic landscape of debtor countries improves significantly after debt relief operations, but only if these involve debt write-offs. Softer forms of debt relief, such as maturity extensions and interest rate reductions, are not generally followed by higher economic growth or improved credit ratings.
    JEL: E60 F30 H60 N00
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Reinhart, Carmen M. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Some of the best-known papers of Carlos F. Diaz Alejandro were about Latin America's crises in the 1980s and 1930s. I will show data, figures and evidence here about the crises in the advanced economies 30 years later that fit the same narrative. His unadulterated words aptly describe modern problems across geographical borders and, in this case, income levels. This attests to his timeless insight and understanding. Because some of the observations he made have general applicability to the study of recurring patterns across cities, I have taken the liberty to label these as lessons.
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Lazuka, Volha (Lund University); Quaranta, Luciana (Lund University); Bengtsson, Tommy (Lund University)
    Abstract: Fighting infectious disease in the past, much like today, focused on isolating the disease and thereby stopping its spread. New insights into the modes of transmission and the causal agents in the mid-nineteenth century, together with fear of new epidemic outbreaks, motivated public investments aimed at reducing mortality from infectious disease. Combining longitudinal individual-level data on 17,000 children in a rural/semi-urban region in southern Sweden with parish-level data on public health investment from local ledger registers, we explore the effects of public health initiatives, such as the establishment of isolation hospitals and improved midwifery, on infant and child mortality. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the establishment of isolation hospitals in the mid-1890s had been efficient in reducing child mortality, while the reformation of the midwife system after 1900s led to the decline in infant mortality, both by a magnitude of more than 50 per cent.
    Keywords: public health investment, infectious diseases, mortality, children, Sweden
    JEL: I14 I18 H51 J18
    Date: 2015–08
  4. By: Makovi, Michael
    Abstract: Orwell's famous fictions, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four criticized totalitarian forms of socialism from a Public Choice perspective, assuming that socialism would work as an economic system as long as the proper political institutions were in place to curb the potential for the abuse of power. This is contrasted with two novels by others who took the opposite approach: Richter's Pictures of the Socialistic Future and Hazlitt's Time Will Run Back. These two assumed that the political implementation of socialism would be perfect but that socialism would necessarily turn totalitarian because of the problem of economic calculation. These novels assumed away the Public Choice problem of institutions and the abuse of power and focused on the political implications of socialism as a purely economic system. Contrasting these two sets of novels shows how the Austrian and Public Choice schools criticize socialism in two entirely different ways.
    Keywords: Orwell; Richter; Hazlitt; democratic socialism; market socialism; totalitarianism
    JEL: A12 B24 B25 B31 B51 B53 D70 P11 P20 P30 Z11
    Date: 2015–02–27
  5. By: Mark Dincecco (University of Michigan); James Fenske (University of Oxford); Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato (IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca)
    Abstract: We show that the consequences of historical warfare for state development differ for Sub-Saharan Africa. We identify the locations of more than 1,500 conflicts in Africa, Asia, and Europe from 1400 to 1799. We find that historical warfare predicts common-interest states defined by high fiscal capacity and low civil conflict across much of the OldWorld. For Sub-Saharan Africa, historical warfare predicts special-interest states defined by high fiscal capacity and high civil conflict. Our results offer new evidence about where and when “war makes states.â€
    Keywords: Warfare, State development, Fiscal capacity, Civil conflict, Africa
    JEL: C10 H20 O55 N40 P48
    Date: 2015–08
  6. By: Allison, Graham (Harvard University)
    Abstract: French Minister of War Andre Maginot became famous among military strategists for his fixation on a single route of attack that led to fatal neglect of alternatives. Seeking to defeat a German invasion along the primary East-West axis, Maginot constructed an impregnable line of fortifications in the 1930s that succeeded in preventing the attack he most feared. But when German panzers outflanked that line and rolled through Belgium in 1940, their attack from the rear led to France's surrender in just six weeks. In concentrating so much of their mindshare on imposing constraints on Iran's known nuclear facilities at Natanz, Fordow, and Arak, are the US and its five negotiating partners at risk of creating a nuclear Maginot line?
    Date: 2014–07
  7. By: Yves Jégourel
    Abstract: The African endowment in mineral resources is well known and has often been a mixed blessing, according to the so-called “natural resources curse”. Bauxite, an ore that serves as a feedstock for aluminium production, is particularly present in Guinean soil but, notwithstanding its efforts to do so, this country has not yet succeeded in transforming this red treasure into a real source of social and economic development. Despite the difficult economic context and a long road ahead, there are a number of reasons to expect improvements on this front.
    Keywords: Africa, History, Commodities, economy
    Date: 2015–07
  8. By: Melitz, Jacques
    Abstract: This is the first attempt to model the beginnings of coinage in Ionia, Lydia and Greece before the fifth century B.C. Apart from bringing together all of the influences on the essential choices facing the government and the private sector within a coherent whole, the effort yields one important result. Contrary to popular assumption, early coinage was not highly profitable. The Lydian government and the Ionian and Greek city-states provided an extreme-ly wide array of denominations of coins in a single precious metal at considerable cost. Their willingness to bear this cost must have reflected a political strategy of promoting coinage. Such a political strategy would also be easy to explain. In addition, the paper examines the fact that the early Ionian and Lydian coins were composed of electrum, a subject of consider-able interest and importance in itself.
    Keywords: ancient coinage; ancient monetary history; full-bodied coins; seignorage; small change
    JEL: E40 E42 N10 N20
    Date: 2015–08
  9. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: En este trabajo se elaboran series homogéneas de distintos agregados de empleo y de VAB a precios corrientes y constantes para las comunidades autónomas españolas mediante el enlace de las diversas bases de la Contabilidad Regional de España.
    Date: 2015–09
  10. By: Temkin, Moshik (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This essay analyzes the persistence of the death penalty in the United States--a topic that has long been the subject of debate among legal scholars, social scientists, and historians. Adopting a comparative framework by focusing on the United States and France (the last Western European country to abolish the death penalty), this essay argues that the best explanation for the divergence in the practice of the death penalty between the two countries can be found in the very different histories, meanings, and practical applications of death penalty abolitionism. Whereas abolition in France (as elsewhere in Europe) was a political, top-down process, framed in normative terms, decided at the national level, and enshrined in supranational treaties, the abolitionist cause in the United States has been primarily legal, procedural, and decentralized. This divergence should also be understood in the context of a broader divide--whereas in Europe, human rights have been a binding principle for policymaking and political belonging, in the United States human rights are applied for the wider world but not for domestic affairs. The essay concludes with implications for thinking about the relationship between the transatlantic history of abolition and its prospects in the United States, arguing that abolitionism should be understood, and proceed, in terms that are political and normative rather than legal and procedural.
    Date: 2015–07
  11. By: Jordà, Òscar; Schularick, Moritz; Taylor, Alan M.
    Abstract: What risks do asset price bubbles pose for the economy? This paper studies bubbles in housing and equity markets in 17 countries over the past 140 years. History shows that not all bubbles are alike. Some have enormous costs for the economy, while others blow over. We demonstrate that what makes some bubbles more dangerous than others is credit. When fueled by credit booms, asset price bubbles increase financial crisis risks; upon collapse they tend to be followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries. Credit-financed housing price bubbles have emerged as a particularly dangerous phenomenon.
    Keywords: bank lending; boom; bust; crises; debt overhang; local projections
    JEL: C14 C32 E44 E51 G01 N10 N20
    Date: 2015–08
  12. By: Rath, Katharina; Wohlrabe, Klaus
    Abstract: This articles investigates the recent trends in co-authorship in economics. Using data from more than 700.000 journal articles we show that the average number of authors per article has increased over the last years. This process is likely to be continued in the future. In a regression analysis we present evidence how the authorship of papers is related to the number of citations, the JEL classification, the number of journal pages and the length of the title.
    Keywords: co-authorship, economics, trends, RePEc
    JEL: A12 A14
    Date: 2015–08–17
  13. By: Reinhart, Carmen M. (Harvard University); Reinhart, Vincent (American Enterprise Institute); Rogoff, Kenneth (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper explores the menu of options for renormalizing public debt levels relative to nominal activity in the long run, should governments eventually decide to do so. Orthodox ones for medium-term debt stabilization, the standard fare of officialdom, include enhancing growth, running primary budget surpluses, and privatizing government assets. Heterodox polices include restructuring debt contracts, generating unexpected inflation, taxing wealth, and repressing private finance. We examine 70 episodes across 22 advanced economies from 1800 to 2014 where there were significant and sustained reductions in public debt relative to nominal GDP. In the event, advanced countries have relied far more on heterodox approaches than many observers choose to remember.
    JEL: E43 H63
    Date: 2015–02
  14. By: Ali Hortaçsu; Chad Syverson
    Abstract: We review major changes in the economics of the US retail sector over the past 15-20 years and discuss what these portend for the future evolution of retail. The sector has been shrinking in relative size over the long term, though this stopped around the onset of the Great Recession. Retail has experienced stronger-than-average productivity growth that has not been accompanied by commensurate wage growth. The main forces shaping the retail landscape in recent decades have been the expansions of two formats: e-commerce and warehouse clubs. While both formats have been the subject of study and discussion, we find evidence that warehouse clubs have had to this point a greater effect on retail than e-commerce has. This impact has been manifested in changes in the retail sector’s scale, concentration, dynamism, and urbanization. Thus while e-commerce will continue to expand and physical retail will further evolve in the coming years, the physical format is unlikely to meet its demise soon.
    JEL: D4 L1 L81
    Date: 2015–08
  15. By: Howard Bodenhorn
    Abstract: Limited liability is a defining feature of the modern corporation, but it was not always so. In the nineteenth century, several states imposed extended liability on some firms with all the other characteristics of corporations, including perpetual life and freely tradable shares. But by 1850 about one-half of all US states imposed double liability on bank shareholders. This paper shows that double liability was associated with more concentrated bank shareholdings and that the change from single to double liability increased bank leverage ratios. In forcing bank shareholders to have more “skin in the game,” double liability changed investor and banker behaviors.
    JEL: G21 K2 N21
    Date: 2015–08
  16. By: Matthew Jaremski; Peter L. Rousseau
    Abstract: U.S. Bank deposits by individuals grew from 4% of GDP at the time of the National Banking Acts in 1863-64 to 23% by the time of the Federal Reserve’s founding. A comprehensive collection of bank- level data shows that most gains occurred immediately after the Acts, Specie Resumption in 1879, and the Election of 1896, and occurred across banks of all ages and types. Checking accounts, clearinghouses, rising incomes, and urbanization contributed to the increasing preference for deposits, but greater confidence in banks also seems to have been central, with highly capitalized banks from earlier entry cohorts seeing the largest gains.
    JEL: E21 G21 N21
    Date: 2015–08
  17. By: BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos
    Abstract: Brazil is growing around 1% per capita a year from 1981; this means for a country that is supposed to catch up, quasi-stagnation. Four historical new facts explain why growth was so low after the Real Plan: the reduction of public savings, and three facts that reduce private investments: the end of the unlimited supply of labor, a very high interest rate, and the 1990 dismantling of the mechanism that neutralized the Dutch disease, which represented a major competitive disadvantage for the manufacturing industry. New-developmental theory offers an explanation and two solutions for the problem, but does not underestimate the political economy problems involved
    Date: 2015–08–07
  18. By: Germán Sánchez Pérez
    Abstract: Este trabajo aborda, desde el enfoque de Sistemas Sociales de Innovación y de Producción –SSIP-, el crecimiento económico colombiano entre 1950-2010, periodo que se subdivide en los periodos 1950-1990 y 1990-2010. La investigación muestra que el crecimiento de largo plazo es el resultado de las características, las interacciones y las complementariedades que se dan entre los subsistemas que componen la economía. Entre 1950-1990, los subsistemas que componen la economía colombiana no siempre interactuaron o lo hicieron de forma débil, lo que implicó que éstos no siempre se complementaran o se complementaran débilmente, lo que explica el crecimiento promedio del 5% observado de la economía en este periodo. Desde finales de la década de 1980, el país introdujo un conjunto de reformas que significaron un viraje en el manejo de la economía que modificó las características, las interacciones y las complementariedades que existían entre los subsistemas, lo que significó un cambio del modelo de producción. Sin embargo, el viraje dado a la economía no dinamizó las interacciones y complementariedades entre los subsistemas. Para este segundo periodo, el crecimiento promedio de la economía fue de 3.6%. La investigación muestra que el crecimiento económico no es un problema del modelo económico que se adopte, sino de las características, interacciones y conjunto de complementariedades que se den entre los diferentes subsistemas que lo componen.
    Keywords: crecimiento económico, sistema capitalista, subsistemas sociales de innovación y de producción
    JEL: O43 P19
    Date: 2015–08–25
  19. By: Milena Lavigne (IPC-IG); Luis Hernán Vargas (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: The current social protection policies and programmes in Jamaica can trace their origins to the beginning of the second decade of the 20th century. With the independence of the country from the United Kingdom in 1962, the new Jamaican government moved away from past colonial social policies, increasing social spending and establishing a new social protection system through the implementation of the Old Age and Superannuation Scheme Law in 1958 and the National Insurance Act of 1965, which created the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), a pay-as-you-go social security system, which is compulsory for the entire active population.(…)
    Keywords: Social Protection Systems, Latin America, Caribbean, Jamaica
    Date: 2015–05
  20. By: Charles Yuji Horioka
    Abstract: In this paper, I find (1) that Japan showed massive and persistent current account surpluses from at least 1981 and until at least 2011, (2) that Professor Ronald McKinnon was correct, at least in the case of Japan, and that these large and persistent current account surpluses were due primarily to Japanfs large and persistent IS imbalances (the excess of saving over investment), (3) that the specific causes of the IS imbalances have changed dramatically over time, and (4) that future trends in Japanfs IS imbalances (current account surpluses) are difficult to project but that they will probably not change dramatically in either direction in the foreseeable future.
    Date: 2015–08
  21. By: Dodig, Nina; Hein, Eckhard; Detzer, Daniel
    Abstract: This paper analyses the long-run effects of financialisation and of the recent financial and economic crises for 15 countries. In order to provide a theoretical framework, we first outline three types of regimes under the conditions of financialisation, namely a debtled private demand boom, an export-led mercantilist, and a domestic demand-led regime. We then take a look at the sectoral financial balances of the main macroeconomic sectors and at the growth contributions of the demand aggregates for each of the 15 countries, focusing in particular on the trade cycle before the crises. This enables us to cluster these countries according to the typology of regimes and describe the development dynamics among various groups, which were complementary and often mutually reinforcing, in the years leading up to the crises. Subsequently, we focus on the period following the outbreak of the crises and, by considering transmission mechanisms and main obstacles to recovery, analyse how countries in each of these clusters were affected. Finally, we focus on the regime shifts which have taken place in the course of the crises and we discuss the implications of these recent developments for the world economy.
    Keywords: finance-dominated capitalism,financialisation,financial and economic crises,trade cycle,financial balances,distribution of income,current account imbalances
    JEL: D31 D33 E44 E63 E65 F40 F43 G01 H12
    Date: 2015
  22. By: Alan Manning; Amar Shanghavi
    Abstract: Every year for over half a century, the US opinion pollsters Gallup have asked Americans to say which person they most admire. Alan Manning and Amar Shanghavi consider what their answers reveal about how public attitudes have and have not changed since the late 1940s.
    Keywords: Admiration, trust
    JEL: Z1
    Date: 2015–07
  23. By: Applbaum, Arthur Isak (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Can political philosophy be made interesting and accessible to teenage readers? The author tries to respect the intelligence of young adults in this first installment of a novel of ideas. Ella Seifenblasen, a spirited fifteen-year old cellist, is given a summer assignment by her bookish father: write letters to the great 16th century essayist, Michel de Montaigne. Then Ella's Palestinian friend disappears en route to a music festival on the Maine coast, and her Iranian roommate is hunted, escaping only through Ella's ingenuity. Suspecting government intrigue, Ella steals an explosive intelligence report from her father (who is more than he appears to be) and hides it in her cello. Montaigne writes back, and Ella thinks she is going mad. She isn't. Montaigne helps Ella navigate her own divided loyalties, while Ella helps Montaigne mediate the end of one of the French Wars of Religion and thwart the Spanish Armada. The story alternates between a tiny Maine island, Montaigne's fabled library, the steam tunnels under Harvard Yard, and a final confrontation at Camp David. We meet along the way Henri of Navarre, heir presumptive to the French crown, Maryam, the flirtatious daughter of a prominent Palestinian peace activist, Niall, a charming young spy of mysterious origins, Neda, a devout and elegant Iranian pianist, Frederick, a brave nonagenarian, Herrick Eaton's Eldest, a laconic young lobsterman, Francis Wallsingham, Queen Elizabeth's spymaster, and the President of the United States.
    Date: 2014–06
  24. By: Campante, Filipe (Harvard University); Yanagizawa-Drott, David (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We study whether war service by one generation affects service by the next generation in later wars, in the context of the major US theaters of the 20th century. To identify a causal effect, we exploit the fact that general suitability for service implies that how close to age 21 an individual's father happened to be at a time of war is a key determinant of the father's likelihood of participation. We find that a father's war service experience has a positive and significant effect on his son's likelihood of service. We estimate an intergenerational transmission parameter of approximately 0.1, across all wars, and that each individual war had a substantial impact on service in those that followed. We find evidence consistent with cultural transmission of war service from fathers to sons, and with the presence of substitutability between this direct transmission and oblique transmission (from society at large). In contrast, father's war service increases sons' educational achievement and actually reduces the likelihood of military service outside of wartime, suggesting that the results cannot be explained by material incentives or broader occupational choice. Taken together, our results indicate that a history of wars helps countries overcome the collective action problem of getting citizens to volunteer for war service.
    JEL: D74 D90 I20 J12 J13 O15 Z10
    Date: 2015–07
  25. By: Inbasekar, Kalimuthu; Roy, Devesh; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: This study was undertaken to analyze the dynamics of production for pulses in India, one of the most important crops in India from the perspective of nutrition as well as environmental sustainability. India has been persistently deficient in pulses in spite of significant investment by the government over time. Using secondary data for a long period of time, from 1950 to 2011, we study how production of pulses has changed across regions and over time in India. Realizing the role of pulses in the cereals complex, the study shows the changing scenario in pulses production as it was crowded out by cereals with the advent of Green Revolution technologies. We create typologies of different phases in the evolution of production in India. Results show that there have been pronounced movements in pulses, with production centers shifting regionally from north to south and east to west and some concentration in central India. Notwithstanding the turnaround in pulses in the past three to four years, pulses have been moving increasingly to marginal unirrigated areas. The econometric results based on fixed-effects estimation establish that as irrigation becomes available there is a switch away from pulses toward competing crops. Recent advances in technology with short- to extra-short-duration varieties that fit into cereal-based systems have opened up new avenues for pulses reflected in increasing production. Also, we find no evidence of crowding out of domestic production because of liberalized trade, which has been the case in pulses for a long period of time.
    Keywords: grain legumes, pigeon peas, chickpeas, green revolution, pulses, competing crops,
    Date: 2015
  26. By: Heyman, Fredrik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Norbäck, Pehr-Johan (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Persson, Lars (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: In this paper, we argue that fundamental reforms of the Swedish business sector can explain the remarkable productivity and employment growth that followed the deep economic crisis in Sweden in the early 1990s. In the 1970s and 1980s, Sweden had one of the most regulated business sectors in the developed world. In the 1990s, however, Sweden reformed its labour market, product market, and corporate tax system as well as removed barriers to foreign direct investment (FDI). Our main finding from our institutional and theoretical examination is that the removal of barriers to entry and growth for new and productive firms and the increased rewards for investments in human capital and effort in workplaces were crucial to the success of these reforms. We find support for our thesis using detailed matched plant-firm-worker data. In particular, we observe increased allocative efficiency, measured as increased market share for more productive firms. Moreover, we show that foreign firms substantially contributed to productivity and employment growth during this period, which suggests that the liberalization of FDI was an important factor in the success of the reforms. Finally, we discuss how other countries can benefit from the Swedish experience by examining factors that appear to be specific to Sweden and others that can be generalized to other countries.
    Keywords: Regulations; Allocative efficiency; Productivity; Job dynamics; Matched employer-employee data; Industrial structure and structural change
    JEL: D22 E23 J21 J23 K23 L11 L16 L51
    Date: 2015–09–01
  27. By: BRESSER-PEREIRA, Luiz Carlos,
    Abstract: This paper, first, distinguishes new developmentalism, a new theoretical system that is being created, from really existing developmentalism – a form of organizing capitalism. Second, it distinguishes new developmentalism from its antecedents, Development Economics or classical developmentalism and Keynesian Macroeconomics. Third, it discusses the false opposition that some economists have adopted between new developmentalism and social-developmentalism, which the author understands as a form of really existing developmentalism; as theory, it is just a version of classical developmentalism with a bias toward immediate consumption. Finally, it makes a summary of new developmentalism – of its main political economy, economic theory and economic policy claims
    Date: 2015–07–23
  28. By: Stelios Michalopoulos; Alireza Naghavi; Giovanni Prarolo
    Abstract: This study explores the interaction between trade and geography in shaping the Islamic economic doctrine. We build a model where an unequal distribution of land quality in presence of trade opportunities conferred differential gains from trade across regions, fostering predatory behavior by groups residing in the poorly endowed territories. We show that in such an environment it was mutually beneficial to institute an economic system of income redistribution featuring income transfers in return for safe passage to conduct trade. A commitment problem, however, rendered a merely static redistribution scheme unsustainable. Islam developed a set of dynamic redistributive rules that were self-enforcing, in regions where arid lands dominated the landscape. While such principles fostered the expansion of trade within the Muslim world they limited the accumulation of wealth by the commercial elite, shaping the economic trajectory of Islamic lands in the pre-industrial era.
    JEL: F10 O1 Z0 Z12
    Date: 2015–08
  29. By: Alice Chen; Dana Goldman
    Abstract: Over the last five decades, broad changes in the US health care system have dramatically influenced growth in health care expenditures. These structural changes have also influenced the trajectory of the health economics research. This paper reviews some of the seminal health economics papers (measured by citations) and identifies the salient factors driving the growth of medical expenditures. We find that the research identified – and was strongly influenced by – four eras of expenditure growth: (1) coverage expansion; (2) experimentation with financial incentives; (3) the managed care backlash; and (4) a golden era of declining expenditure growth. We conclude by discussing some themes from this research suggesting optimism that, going forward, we can curb excess expenditure growth above GDP growth without harming population health.
    JEL: I1 I11 I12 I13 I18
    Date: 2015–08
  30. By: Acharya, Avidit (Stanford University); Blackwell, Matthew (Harvard University); Sen, Maya (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We show that contemporary differences in political attitudes across counties in the American South trace their origins to slavery's prevalence more than 150 years ago. Whites who currently live in Southern counties that had high shares of slaves in 1860 are more likely to identify as a Republican, oppose affirmative action policies, and express racial resentment and colder feelings toward blacks. These results cannot be explained by existing theories, including the theory of racial threat. To explain these results, we offer evidence for a new theory involving the historical persistence of racial attitudes. We argue that, following the Civil War, Southern whites faced political and economic incentives to reinforce racist norms and institutions. This produced racially conservative political attitudes, which in turn have been passed down locally across generations. Our results challenge the interpretation of a vast literature on racial attitudes in the American South.
    JEL: N32 N91 O17
    Date: 2014–12
  31. By: Scherer, F. M. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper, written as a chapter for the forthcoming 13th edition of the case study volume, The Structure of American Industry, examines the structure, conduct, and economic performance of the U.S. banking industry, focusing mainly on commercial and investment banking. It finds a strongly rising trend in the concentration of banking activity among the top ten banks despite weak evidence of scale economies. An intense merger history is a main reason. During the first decade of the 21st century, the conduct of U.S. banking firms left much to be desired. It precipitated the "great recession" of 2008, intensified consumption reductions, sustained diverse inter-bank collusive activity. The sharp increase in the financial industries' share of total U.S. corporation profits between the 1980s and the 2000s is analyzed, as is the extraordinary growth of financial employee compensation to roughly three times levels for college graduates employed in other sectors. Changes in banking regulation and governmental merger controls are examined.
    Date: 2014–09

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