nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒10‒04
25 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. IPR-beachheads. Babcock & Wilcox's business and innovation strategies in Spain By Saiz, Patricio
  2. What moved share prices in the nineteenth-century London stock market? By Campbell, Gareth; Quinn, William; Turner, John D.; Ye, Qing
  3. Was there a ‘Little Convergence’ in inequality? Italy and the Low Countries compared, ca. 1500-1800 By Guido Alfani; Wouter Ryckbosch
  4. Climate Shocks and (very) Long-Run Productivity By Carl-Johan Dalgaard; Casper Worm Hansen
  5. Analyzing food price trends in the context of Engel?s law and the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis By Baffes,John; Etienne,Xiaoli Liao
  7. Back to gold: Sterling in 1925 By Gerlach, Stefan; Kugler, Peter
  8. Cheap Industrial Workers and the Big Push: Evidence from Germany's post-war population transfer By Michael Peters
  9. Money, interest rates and prices in Ireland, 1933-2012 By Gerlach, Stefan; Stuart, Rebecca
  10. "Assessing the Effects of Japanese Industrial Policy Change during the 1960s" By Kozo Kiyota; Tetsuji Okazaki
  11. Any lessons for today? Exchange-rate stabilisation in Greece and South-East Europe between economic and political objectives and fiscal reality, 1841-1939 By Matthias Morys
  12. What Drives Inequality? By Jon D. Wisman
  13. Educational expansion and social composition of secondary schools: evidence from Bavarian school registries 1810-1890 By Semrad, Alexandra
  14. China's Role in the History of Globalization By Spree, Reinhard
  15. Unemployment and inflation in Ireland: 1926-2012 By Gerlach, Stefan; Lydon, Reamonn; Stuart, Rebecca
  16. Legal and illegal cartels in the European cement industry By Fink, Nikolaus; Frübing, Stefan
  17. India as a creditor: sterling balances, 1940-1953 By Marcelo de Paiva Abreu
  18. Friedrich Hayek and his visits to Chile By Bruce Caldwell; Leonidas Montes
  19. Evolution of trade patterns and economic performance:the case of France and Switzerland during the nineteenth century By Léo CHARLES
  20. Avoiding negligence and profusion: the failure of the joint-stock form in the Anglo-Indian tea trade, 1840–1870 By Michael Aldous
  21. Social Mobility among Christian Africans: Evidence from Ugandan Marriage Registers, 1895-2011 By Meier zu Selhausen, Felix P.; van Leeuwen, Marco H.D.; Weisdorf, Jacob L.
  22. Paridad de poder de compra, cambios estructurales y memoria larga: una aplicación para el caso de México. By Pedro Isaac Chávez López
  23. New media, competition and growth: European cities after Gutenberg By Jeremiah Dittmar
  24. Human Capital Persistence and Development By Claudio Ferraz; Rodrigo Reis Soares; Rudi Rocha
  25. Producer cooperatives and regulation in Europe's wine industry, 1880-1980 By Fernández, Eva; Simpson, James

  1. By: Saiz, Patricio (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, American corporations began their multinational expansion to Europe through direct investments in the most-developed economies. Being increasingly aware of scientific and technological knowledge business value, they also began to develop early IPR international protection strategies in order to defend their intangible assets abroad. Before World War II, many of these multinationals had also reached lagging peripheral countries, resulting in a complex European network of subsidiaries and affiliates that has been scarcely studied. This paper delves into the Babcock & Wilcox entrepreneurial conglomerate – one of the most interesting case studies of early multinational expansion – to analyze how it arrived and developed in Spain, what its business and innovation strategies in that market were, and the role of patent management in that process. Our findings reveal that corporate interests in patent capture, control, and administration not only shifted research and innovation handling within firms but also led to quick learning on how to successfully use IPRs as business, legal, and organizational tools for international expansion.
    Keywords: Babcock & Wilcox, patents, foreign investments, Spain
    JEL: F23 N84 O32 O33 O34
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Campbell, Gareth; Quinn, William; Turner, John D.; Ye, Qing
    Abstract: Using a new weekly blue-chip index, this paper investigates the causes of stock price movements on the London market between 1823 and 1870. We find that economic fundamentals explain about 15 per cent of weekly and 34 per cent of monthly variation in share prices. Contemporary press reporting from the London Stock Exchange is used to ascertain what market participants thought were causing the largest movements on the market. The vast majority of large movements were attributed by the press to geopolitical, monetary, railway-sector, and financial-crisis news. Investigating the stock price changes on an independent list of events reaffirms these findings, suggesting that the most important specific events which moved markets were wars involving European powers.
    Keywords: British financial history,financial markets,share price movements
    JEL: N20 N23 N43
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Guido Alfani; Wouter Ryckbosch
    Abstract: The question of how economic inequality changed during the centuries leading up to the industrial revolution has been attracting a growing amount of research effort. Nevertheless, a complete picture of the tendencies in economic inequality throughout pre-industrial Europe has remained out of our grasp. This paper begins to resolve this problem by comparing long-term changes in inequality between Central and Northern Italy on the one hand and the Southern and Northern Low Countries on the other hand. Based on new archival material, we reconstruct regional estimates of economic inequality between 1500 and 1800 and analyze them in the light of the Little Divergence debate, assessing the role of economic growth, urbanization, proletarianization, and political institutions. We argue that different explanations should be invoked to understand the early modern growth of inequality throughout Europe, since several factors conspired to make for a society in which it was much easier for inequality to rise than to fall. We also argue that although there was apparently a ‘Little Convergence’ in inequality, at least some parts of southern and northern Europe diverged in terms of inequality extraction ratios. Keywords Economic inequality; early modern period; Sabaudian State; Florentine State; Italy; Low Countries; Belgium; The Netherlands; inequality extraction; wealth concentration; fiscal state; proletarianization
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Carl-Johan Dalgaard (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen and CEPR); Casper Worm Hansen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen; Kraka)
    Abstract: The present study examines the link between temperature and long-run productivity for a balanced panel of 21 countries, covering the period 1000?1800 CE. Collectively the countries examined accounted for about 2/3 of the global population by 1700. Each epoch in the analysis is a century long, which thus allows time for human adaptation after a temperature shock has occurred. Our principal ?nding is that lower temperatures worked to reduce productivity growth during the period in focus, consistent with contributions to the literature in economic history that argue the Little Ice Age was as a contractionary shock.
    Keywords: Climate shocks; Little Ice Age; Productivity growth
    JEL: O47 O57 N10
    Date: 2015–09–22
  5. By: Baffes,John; Etienne,Xiaoli Liao
    Abstract: Income growth in emerging economies has often been cited as a key driver of the past decade?s com-modity price boom?the longest and broadest boom since World War II. This paper shows that income has a negative and highly significant effect on real food commodity prices, a finding that is consistent with Engel?s Law and Kindleberger?s thesis, the predecessors of the Prebisch-Singer hypothe-sis. The paper also shows that, in the long run, income influences real food prices mainly through the manufacturing price channel (the deflator), hence weakening the view that income growth exerts strong upward pressure on food prices. Other (short-term) drivers of food prices include energy costs, inventories, and monetary conditions.
    Keywords: Commodities,Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets,Markets and Market Access,Climate Change Economics
    Date: 2015–09–28
  6. By: Alain Béraud (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: Alors qu’en 1943, Allais se présentait comme un disciple de Walras, il en vint à critiquer, à la fin des années 1960 le modèle moniste de l’économie de marché et à lui opposer le modèle pluraliste de l’économie de marchés. On analyse, ici, les divers aspects de cette critique. En 1943, Allais reprochait déjà à Walras d’avoir conçu un modèle statique et il avançait une modification de ce modèle, l’introduction des prévisions, qui permettait d’y introduire le temps, donc de développer une dynamique. A la fin des années 1960, ce qu’Allais critique c’est, avant tout, le processus d’ajustement. Walras admettait qu’il n’existe pour un bien qu’un seul prix et que les échanges ne sont effectifs qu’aux prix d’équilibre. Allais lui oppose un modèle où les prix utilisés sont spécifiques aux transactions considérées et où les marchandises sont échangées avant même que l’équilibre ne soit atteint. Il conclut que les théories actuelles de l’équilibre qui s’appuient sur les hypothèses du modèle walrassien doivent être reformulées. [Le modèle d’équilibre général de Walras] a été utile en son temps, mais son maintien dogmatique s’oppose aujourd’hui au progrès de la science économique. Allais (1994 : 92, note 21) Allais fut, d’abord, un disciple de Walras. Il lui a dédié son premier ouvrage et, plus tard, il soulignera que « l’oeuvre de Walras a marqué un tournant majeur dans l’histoire de la pensée économique et dans la transformation de l’Économique en une science véritable » (Allais, 1971 : 332). Mais, dès 1943, s’il s’appuie sur Walras, c’est pour aller plus loin. Quand il développe un modèle qu’il qualifie lui-même de walrassien, c’est pour établir un résultat dont Walras a, en vain, chercher la démonstration : sous quelles hypothèses peut-on affirmer que l’équilibre général est stable ? Quand il définit le cadre théorique dans lequel il raisonne, il soutient que l’économie politique pure s’est jusqu’alors limitée à l’étude de l’équilibre en un instant donné du temps. Il entend aller plus loin, établir la théorie de l’équilibre général à travers le temps. Il est ainsi conduit à introduire dans son analyse une hypothèse de prévision parfaite qui lui permet, en éliminant la notion de risque, de proposer une représentation simple des lois économiques et de rendre possible une analyse de la formation de l’intérêt dont, à son sens, ses prédécesseurs n’avaient pas pu rendre compte (Allais, 1994 [1943] : 33). Progressivement, après la publication du Traité, Allais réorienta ses recherches vers des thèmes qui ne faisaient guère référence à la théorie de l’équilibre général. Ce ne fut qu’une étape. À la fin des années 1960, il revint sur les questions qui avaient d’abord retenu son attention. Sa position a, cependant, profondément évolué. Il reste convaincu de la fécondité du concept d’équilibre général mais il est persuadé que les théories « qui ont été développées dans le sillage de Walras… présentent, malgré leur rigueur mathématique, de grandes faiblesses d’ordre économique et [pour celles qui utilisent la théorie des ensembles] une incompatibilité radicale avec les enseignements de l’observation » (Id., 1971 : 332). Elles se heurtent pour démontrer des propositions essentielles — la stabilité de l’équilibre et son optimalité — à des difficultés. Mais ces difficultés sont artificielles et tiennent simplement au modèle employé. Il faut donc abandonner le modèle d’économie de marché que Walras avait développé. La théorie de l’équilibre général doit être reformulée. Pour ce faire, Allais propose de s’appuyer sur la notion de surplus distribuable à partir de laquelle il élabore un modèle d’économie de marchés qu’il oppose au modèle walrassien. Il apparaît donc qu’il convient d’opposer les deux phases de l’oeuvre d’Allais. Dans un premier temps, il se présente comme un disciple dont l’objectif est de poursuivre les recherches de son maître en résolvant une série de questions auquel celui-ci n’a pu apporter de réponse. Dans un second temps, la critique devient radicale. Certes, Allais s’appuie toujours sur la notion fondamentale qu’avait avancée Walras, la notion d’équilibre général ; mais, il s’agit maintenant non de poursuivre l’oeuvre du maître mais de lui substituer une nouvelle approche, un nouveau modèle.
    Keywords: Development ;
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Gerlach, Stefan; Kugler, Peter
    Abstract: Expectations of Sterling returning to Gold have been disregarded in empirical work on the US dollar - Sterling exchange rate in the early 1920s. We incorporate such considerations in a PPP model of the exchange rate, letting the probability of a return to gold follow a logistic function. We draw several conclusions: (i) the PPP model works well from spring 1919 to spring 1925; (ii) wholesale prices outperform consumer prices; (iii) allowing for a return to gold leads to a higher speed of adjustment of the exchange rate to PPP; (iv) interest rate differentials and the relative monetary base are crucial determinants of the expected return to gold; (v) the probability of a return to Gold peaked at about 72% in late 1924 and but fell to about 60% in early 1925; and (vi) our preferred model does not support the Keynes' view that Sterling was overvalued after the return to gold.
    Keywords: Gold Standard,Sterling,exchange rate,PPP,expectations
    JEL: E5 F31 N1
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Michael Peters (Yale University)
    Abstract: If firms can adapt their production technology, changes in labor supply will induce biased technological adoption. If this technological response is strong enough, the long-run demand function will be upward sloping. In this paper I test this hypothesis using data from one of the largest population transfer programs of the 20th century. After WW2, Germany lost part of its Eastern Territories as means of reparation payments. Within 2 years, more than 8m people were expelled and transferred to Western Germany. Using individual-level data of the 1960s and 70s I show that refugees experienced substantial reallocation into unskilled occupations, that refugee-rich counties have higher employment shares in occupations which require little formal human capital and which use unskill-biased technologies and that wages in those occupations are especially high in refugee-rich counties. This is consistent with theories of biased technological adoption but hard to rationalize in a neoclassical framework.
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Gerlach, Stefan; Stuart, Rebecca
    Abstract: In this paper we assemble an annual data set on broad and narrow money, prices, real economic activity and interest rates in Ireland from a variety of sources for the period 1933-2012. We discuss in detail how the data set is constructed and what assumptions we have made to do so. Furthermore, we estimate a simple SVAR model to provide some empirical evidence on the behaviour of these time series. Money supply shocks appear to be the most important drivers of both money and prices. Interest rate shocks, which capture monetary policy, play an important role driving output and, of course, interest rates. The GDP shocks, which raise prices, seem of less importance.
    Keywords: Ireland,historical statistics,long time series,business cycles,SVAR
    JEL: E3 E4 N14
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Kozo Kiyota (Keio Economic Observatory, Keio University); Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper provides a systematic analysis of the effects of the industrial policy change in the 1960s in Japan. We utilize a panel of 227 manufacturing industries between 1960 and 1969. We find that on the one hand, the removal of de facto import quotas had significantly negative effects on real output, real output per establishment, and employment. On the other hand, for those industries where import quotas were removed, tariff protection was effective in maintaining real output and employment. However, this does not necessarily mean the success of industrial policy change because neither tariff protection nor the removal of quotas contributed to productivity growth. In that sense, the industrial policy change had limited effects. --
    Date: 2015–10
  11. By: Matthias Morys
    Abstract: We add a historical and regional dimension to the debate on the Greek debt crisis. Analysing the 1841-1939 exchange-rate experience of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia/Yugoslavia, we find surprising parallels to the present: repeated cycles of entry to and exit from gold, government debt build-up and default, and financial supervision by West European countries. Periods of stable exchange-rates were more short-lived than in any other part of Europe as a result of “fiscal dominanceâ€, i.e., a monetary policy subjugated to the treasury’s needs. Granger causality tests show that patterns of fiscal dominance were only broken under financial supervision, when strict conditionality scaled back the influence of treasury; only then were central banks able to pursue a rule-bound monetary policy and, in turn, stabilize their exchange-rates. Fiscal institutions have remained weak in the case of Greece and are at the heart of the current crisis. A lesson for today might be that the EU-IMF programmes – with their focus on improving fiscal capacity and made effective by conditionality similar to the earlier South-East European experience – remain the best guarantor of continued Greek EMU membership. Understandable public resentment against “foreign intrusion†needs to be weighed against their potential to secure the long-term political and economic objective of exchange-rate stabilisation.
    Keywords: fiscal dominance, gold standard, financial supervision, South-East Europe
    JEL: N13 N14 N23 N24 E63 F34
    Date: 2015–08
  12. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: Over the past 40 years, inequality has exploded in the U.S. and significantly increased in virtually all nations. Why? The current debate typically identifies the causes as economic, due to some combination of technological change, globalization, inadequate education, demographics, and most recently, Piketty’s claim that it is the rate of return on capital exceeding the growth rate. But to the extent true, these are proximate causes. They all take place within a political framework in which they could in principle be neutralized. Indeed, this mistake is itself political. It masks the true cause of inequality and presents it as if natural, due to the forces of progress, just as in pre-modern times it was the will of gods. By examining three broad distributional changes in modern times, this article demonstrates the dynamics by which inequality is a political phenomenon through and through. It places special emphasis on the role played by ideology – politics’ most powerful instrument – in making inequality appear as necessary.
    Keywords: political power, distribution, legitimation, ideology
    JEL: D63 B00 Z18 N3
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Semrad, Alexandra
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between social class, educational attainment, and social mobility. While educational expansion has been shown to increase educational attainment and social mobility in contemporary countries, the 19th century has received little attention. The German state of Bavaria experienced an enormous expansion of secondary education in the course of the 19th century, also due to the introduction of modern secondary education (Gewerbeschule). In this context, it is asked whether educational expansion (1) led to changes in the association between social class and educational attainment, and especially so after the introduction of the Gewerbeschule; (2) weakened the link between social class of origin (father’s occupation) and class of destination (son’s occupation) and thereby increased social mobility? Employing a unique dataset based on annual school reports of 21 Bavarian cities covering the 19th century, the analysis of occupational background information on students by the use of HISCO/HISCLASS reveals that introduction of the Gewerbeschule increased self-selection of the upper class into traditional and the middle class into modern education. Even though educational expansion did not increase participation of lower social classes, the prospect of social mobility for underprivileged classes was high especially in the Gymnasium.
    JEL: N33 I24
    Date: 2015–08
  14. By: Spree, Reinhard
    Abstract: In my view, globalization is a process that has taken place episodically since approximately the beginning of the 16th century. Previously, there were a number of attemps at globalization, which however failed to attain the precondition of regular commercial and communicative relationships among the parts of the globe; nor did they lead to the kind of stable multilateral interdependence that later took place (Osterhamme/Petersson). In chronologically sequenced chapters, I briefly present the driving forces and the consequences of globalization. In the respective chapters, Chinas highly variegated role is explored: from the first attempt at globalization in the 14/15 centuries, which was of an expansive nature; in the first push at globalization from 1500, China was increasingly in retreat; during the surge of globalization in the 19th century, China was an almost insignificant push‐toy of the European powers; and in the current situation China may be characterized as a tardive beginner, yet then advancing to a leadership role. In concluding I undertake a framework for understanding the so‐called "Chinese Economic Miracle," for which the German term Wirtschaftswunder may readily be substituted. The highly differential significance of China for these various phases of globalization is an arresting example for my hypothesis that globalization may not unreasonably be regarded as a market‐driven and invariably politically‐fashioned process.
    Keywords: China; History; Globalization; Macroeconomic Policy; Policy Making; Development; Integration; Public Economics; Slavery; Industrial Revolution; Divergence; Catching Up; Transformation
    JEL: E65 N4
    Date: 2015–07–30
  15. By: Gerlach, Stefan; Lydon, Reamonn; Stuart, Rebecca
    Abstract: Since the 1970s, the overarching view in the literature has been that a Phillips curve relationship did not exist in Ireland prior to the 1979 exchange rate break with Sterling. It was argued that, as a small open economy, prices were determined externally. To test this relationship, we study the determination of inflation between 1926 and 2012, a longer sample period than any previously used. We find that the difference between unemployment and the NAIRU is a significant determinant of inflation both in the full sample and in the subsamples spanning the periods before and after the Sterling parity link.
    Keywords: Ireland,historical statistics,inflation,unemployment,import prices
    JEL: E3 E4 N14
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Fink, Nikolaus; Frübing, Stefan
    Abstract: Due to being much better documented, legal cartels have recently attracted the interest of many researchers who aim to understand the functioning of illegal cartels in detail. This paper contributes to the question of what we can learn from legal cartels by taking a closer look at the cement industry which has a rich history of both legal and illegal cartels. We undertake a cross-country comparison for Austria, Germany, Poland and Norway, providing narrative evidence for many traits of the cases based on a variety of detailed sources. We identify similarities between legal and illegal cartels in aspects such as monitoring efforts, information exchange, the importance of industry associations and the role of capacities, whereas we also find substantial differences in the allocation of clients, reactions to deviations and pricing schedules.
    Keywords: cartels,collusion,cement
    JEL: L41 L43 L61
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Marcelo de Paiva Abreu (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: The British war effort in the Second World War depended on United States Lend Lease and the accumulation of sterling balances by neutrals, some of which would become belligerents and by the Empire. In the end of the war sterling balances corresponded to 60% of British net receipts under Lend Lease and were 15% higher than total Marshall Plan grants in 1948-52. Of the total sterling balances, about 40% were accumulated by India. This paper seeks to evaluate the costs incurred by India in the process of reduction of these balances after the war. The sources of accumulation of balances are examined and the use of the balances to repatriate India´s sterling debt is described. The issue of a British counterclaim entailing a partial cancellation of Indian balances is considered. British efforts to convince India to accept a partial cancellation of the balances are analyzed singling out the crucial role of Keynes in defining British policy The AngloIndian sterling balance negotiations after independence are detailed, including the disposal of balances through releases, transfer of assets to Pakistan, settlement of pensions, purchase of military stores and British gold sales. The possible contribution of British divestment to reduce outstanding balances is assessed, The Indian case is compared with those of other sterling balance holders such as Portugal, Brazil and Argentina. The links between the accumulation of sterling balances and inflation in India are considered. In the end there was a significant reduction in the purchasing power of sterling balances but not for the reasons anticipated by London.
    Date: 2015–06
  18. By: Bruce Caldwell; Leonidas Montes
    Abstract: F. A. Hayek took two trips to Chile, the first in 1977, the second in 1981. The visits were controversial. On the first trip he met with General Augusto Pinochet, who had led a coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in 1973. During his 1981 visit, Hayek gave interviews that were published in the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio and in which he discussed authoritarian regimes and the problem of unlimited democracy. After each trip, he complained that the western press had painted an unfair picture of the economic situation under the Pinochet regime. Drawing on archival material, interviews, and past research, we provide a full account of this controversial episode in Hayek’s life.
    Keywords: F. A. Hayek; Chile; Chicago boys; Augusto Pinochet; Salvador Allende; Milton Friedman; Centro de Estudios Publicos (CEP); El Mercurio
    JEL: B1 B2 B21 B25 B3 B4
    Date: 2015–09
  19. By: Léo CHARLES
    Abstract: Using two original databases, built from external trade statistic of France and Switzerland, this article uses a highly disaggregated product-level to analyze the type, the nature and the dynamic of French and Swiss specialization. Despite of differences between France and Switzerland in terms of economic environment, this article underlines some common trends regarding the three aspects of specialization. For instance, the article shows that intra-industry trade flows were occurring between both countries and their partners. The articles also emphasizes that the skilled labor force as well as the choice of a ‘right’ economic policy allowed Switzerland to adapt its comparative advantage structure to the world demand, and to enjoy a fast economic growth.
    Keywords: Comparative advantages, economic growth, first globalization
    JEL: F13 N13 O2
    Date: 2015
  20. By: Michael Aldous
    Abstract: In the nineteenth century, firms operating in the Anglo-Indian tea trade were organized using a variety of ownership forms, including partnership, joint-stock, and a combination of the two, known as the managing agency. Faced with both an increasing need for fixed capital and high agency costs caused by the distance between owners and managers, the firms adapted and increasingly adopted the hybrid managing agency model to overcome these problems. Using new data from Calcutta and Bengal Commercial Registers and detailed case studies of the Assam Company and Gillanders, Arbuthnot and Co., this article demonstrates that British entrepreneurs did not see the choice of ownership as a dichotomy or firm boundaries as fixed, but instead drew innovatively on the strengths of different forms of ownership to compete and grow successfully.
    JEL: R14 J01 L81
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Meier zu Selhausen, Felix P. (University of Southern Denmark and University of Sussex); van Leeuwen, Marco H.D. (Utrecht University); Weisdorf, Jacob L. (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, and CEPR)
    Abstract: We use marriage registers from colonial and post-colonial Uganda to investigate long-term trends in social mobility among Christian Africans, finding a stark contrast to the pessimistic view that colonialism retarded Africa. Colonial influences in Uganda brought much greater and more equal opportunities for social advancement than in pre-colonial times. The colonial labour market was the main ladder for upward mobility, and the mission society helped provide the education and social reference needed to climb it. We find no “buffer zone” preventing sons of blue-collar descent from entering into white-collar work. The patterns continued throughout the post-colonial era despite political turmoil.
    Keywords: Africa, Colonialism, Labour History, HISCO, Missionaries, Uganda, Social Mobility
    Date: 2015
  22. By: Pedro Isaac Chávez López (Division of Economics, CIDE)
    Date: 2014–06
  23. By: Jeremiah Dittmar
    Abstract: This research studies how variations in competition and in media content characterized the use and impact of Gutenberg's printing press technology during the European Renaissance. The research constructs annual firm-level panel data on the publications produced by 7,000+ printing firms operating in over 300 European cities 1454- 1600. Evidence on the timing of the premature deaths of firm owner-managers is used to isolate shocks to competition. Firms where owner-managers died experienced large negative shocks to output. However, at the citylevel deaths of incumbent managers were associated with significant increases in entrance and with a positive and persistent impact on competition and city output. Variations in city supply induced by heterogeneous manager deaths are used to study the relationship between the diffusion of ideas in print and city growth. A uniquely strong relationship is observed between the new business education literature and local growth. This is consistent with historical research on the transformative impact business education ideas had on commercial practices and European capitalism.
    Keywords: Information technology; IO; media; growth; history; business education
    JEL: L1 N9 N93 O11 O18 O33
    Date: 2015–08
  24. By: Claudio Ferraz (Department of Economics PUC-Rio); Rodrigo Reis Soares (São Paulo School of Economics); Rudi Rocha (UFRJ - Instituto de Economia)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of human capital persistence in explaining long-term development. We exploit variation induced by a state-sponsored settlement policy that attracted a pool of immigrants with higher levels of schooling to particular regions of Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th century. We show that municipalities that received settlements experienced increases in schooling that persisted over time. One century after the policy, localities that received state-sponsored settlements had higher levels of schooling and income per capita. We provide evidence that long-run effects were driven by persistently higher supply and use of educational inputs and shifts in the structure of occupations towards skill-intensive sectors.
    Date: 2015–06
  25. By: Fernández, Eva; Simpson, James
    Abstract: Wine cooperatives were relatively scarce in Europe before the Second WorldWar, but accounted for more than half of all wines made in France, Italy, and Spain, thethree major producer countries, by the 1980s. This article argues that their initial slowdiffusion was caused by the difficulties in measuring and controlling grape quality, andthat this provided incentives for members to produce large volumes of poor fruit whichadversely affected the wines. Cooperatives only became popular when the state offeredmaterial incentives to growers that helped compensate these problems of collectiveaction. This initially involved cheap credit to help build wineries but, from the 1950s,growers enjoyed additional incentives to join cooperatives as governments attempted toregulate wine markets and provide income support. The problems associated with grapequality were never resolved and, with the major decline in consumption from the 1980sand move away from bulk towards premium wines, cooperatives became increasinglyuncompetitive in the market place.
    Keywords: Wine cooperatives , Regulation , Economic history , Europe
    JEL: N53 N54 O13 Q10
    Date: 2015–08

This nep-his issue is ©2015 by Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.