nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒12‒01
34 papers chosen by

  1. Embodied energy in agricultural inputs. Incorporating a historical perspective By Eduardo Aguilera; Gloria I. Guzmán; Juan Infante-Amate; David Soto; Roberto García-Ruiz; Antonio Herrera; Inmaculada Villa; Eva Torremocha; Guiomar Carranza; Manuel González de Molina
  2. Spanish Land Reform in the 1930s: Economic Necessity or Political Opportunism? By Juan Carmona; Joan R. RosŽs; James Simpson
  3. Spanish land reform in the 1930s: economic necessity or political opportunism? By Joan R. Roses
  4. Power politics and princely debts: why Germany’s common currency failed, 1549-1556 By Oliver Volckart
  5. The global impact of the great depression By Thilo Albers; Martin Uebele
  6. Twentieth century enterprise forms: Japan in comparative perspective By Leslie Hannah; Makoto Kasuya
  7. The Rise of the Middle Class, Brazil (1839-1950) By Mar’a G—mez-Le—n
  8. Breakthrough innovations in aircraft and the intellectual property system, 1900-1975 By David C. Mowery
  9. Business Groups Exist in Developed Markets Also: Britain Since 1850 By Geoffrey G. Jones
  10. Development Dynamics in the Philippines Historical Perspectives: 1950-2010 By Florian A. Alburo
  11. Roots of the Industrial Revolution By Kelly, Morgan; Mokyr, Joel; Grada, Cormac O
  12. Property Rights and The First Great Divergence: Europe 1500-1800 By Cem Karayalcin
  13. World War II: Won by American Planes and Ships, or by the Poor Bloody Russian Infantry? By Harrison, Mark
  14. Intellectual property rights and pharmaceuticals: The case of antibiotics By Bhaven N. Sampat
  15. Building and Using Databases for Cliometric Research on Education and Demography: An Introduction to “HISTAT”. By Claude Diebolt; Gabriele Franzmann; Jürgen Sensch
  16. Loose Cannons – War Veterans and the Erosion of Democracy in Weimar Germany By Koenig, Christophauthor-workplace-Name: Department of Economics University of Warwick
  17. If You Do Not Change Your Behaviour: Managing Threats to State Security in Lithuania under Soviet Rule By Harrison, Mark
  18. An investigation of early modern Quakers’ business ethics By Esther Sahle
  19. Earthquakes in Japan: a review article By Janet Hunter
  20. Chinese Export Painting in the Collection of the National Library of Russia By Natalia V. Alferova; Anna V. Tarasenko
  21. China’s population expansion and its causes during the Qing period, 1644–1911 By Kent Deng
  22. Series enlazadas de Contabilidad Regional para España, 1980-2014 By Angel De la Fuente
  23. Time for growth By Lars Boerner; Battista Severgnini
  24. Is Neo-Walrasian Macroeconomics a Dead End? By Marchionatti, Roberto; Sella, Lisa
  25. Orígenes políticos del riesgo argentino By Jorge C. Ávila
  26. Honesty and beliefs about honesty in 15 countries By David Hugh-Jones
  27. The first stages of the mortality transition in England:a perspective from evolutionary biology By Romola J. Davenport
  28. The historical evolution of the wealth distribution: A quantitative-theoretic investigation By Per Krusell; Anthony Smith; Joachim Hubmer
  29. Breakthrough technologies – Semiconductor, innovation and intellectual property By Thomas Hoeren; Francesca Guadagno; Sacha Wunsch-Vincent
  30. Mallarme at Play By Yana Linkova
  31. From near-default to debt-restructuring: the inventive methods of the duke of Brabant and its council around 1290-1320 for the salvation of the public finances By Pierre-David Kusman; Jean Luc De Meulemeester
  32. Principales aportes de las mujeres al pensamiento económico entre los siglos XVIII-XX. By Natalia Ramírez Virviescas
  33. The Federal Reserve’s counterparty framework: past, present, and future By Potter, Simon M.
  34. The Long Walk: Considering the Enduring Spatial and Racial Dimensions of Deprivation Two Decades after the Fall of Apartheid By Burger, Ronelle; van der Berg, Servaas; van der Walt, Sarel; Yu, Derek

  1. By: Eduardo Aguilera; Gloria I. Guzmán; Juan Infante-Amate; David Soto; Roberto García-Ruiz; Antonio Herrera; Inmaculada Villa; Eva Torremocha; Guiomar Carranza; Manuel González de Molina
    Abstract: This working paper analyzes the energy embodied in agricultural inputs from a historical perspective. The study is based on a wide literature review, which has been complemented with own estimations in order to create a coherent database including all direct and indirect energy associated to the main agricultural inputs with the maximum possible level of disaggregation. The inputs studied include human labour, energy carriers such as fuels and electricity, materials, machinery, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic inputs, propagation material, irrigation inputs, buildings, greenhouses, transport and non-material services. For each input we describe its historical evolution from an energetic perspective, the most common methods used for the calculation of its embodied energy published in the literature and temporal data series on the historical evolution of this energy. The temporal data series are expressed in 10-year time-steps and, in the majority of cases, they cover the whole 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century. The values provided are global averages or covering the main producing regions. The results show the large changes that have occurred in the energy efficiency of the production of agricultural inputs, underlining the need for the use of dynamic coefficients in historical energy analyses of agricultural systems.
    Keywords: Embodied Energy, Energy Balances, Agricultural Inputs, EROI, Life Cycle Assessment, Industrial History, Energy Efficiency
    JEL: N54 Q01 Q18 Q57
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Juan Carmona (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Joan R. RosŽs (London School of Economics); James Simpson (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: Spanish land reform, involving the break-up of the large southern estates, was a central issue during the first decades of the twentieth century. This paper uses new provincial data on landless workers, land prices and agrarian wages to consider if government intervention was needed because of the failure of the free action of markets to redistribute land. Our evidence shows that the relative number of landless workers decreased significantly from 1860 to 1930 before the approval of the 1932 Land Reform. This was due to two interrelated market forces: the falling ratio between land prices and rural wages, which made land cheaper for landless workers to rent and buy land plots, and structural change that drained rural population from the countryside. Given that rural markets did not restrict access to land, the government-initiated land redistribution had no clear-cut economic justification.
    Keywords: land markets, structural change, land prices, landless peasants
    JEL: N54 N53 Q15
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Joan R. Roses
    Abstract: Spanish land reform, involving the break-up of the large southern estates, was a central issue during the first decades of the twentieth century. This paper uses new provincial data on landless workers, land prices and agrarian wages to consider if government intervention was needed because of the failure of the free action of markets to redistribute land. Our evidence shows that the relative number of landless workers decreased significantly from 1860 to 1930 before the approval of the 1932 Land Reform. This was due to two interrelated market forces: the falling ratio between land prices and rural wages, which made land cheaper for landless workers to rent and buy land plots, and structural change that drained rural population from the countryside. Given that rural markets did not restrict access to land, the government-initiated land redistribution had no clear-cut economic justification.
    Keywords: land markets; structural change; land prices; landless peasants
    JEL: N53 N54 Q15
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Oliver Volckart
    Abstract: The article argues that in the first half of the sixteenth century the need to avoid rounds of competitive debasements was the primary motive for the creation of a common currency valid in the whole Holy Roman Empire. In the years 1549 to 1551, the estates came close to achieving this. In contrast to what is suggested in the literature, their attempt did not fail because the Empire was economically poorly integrated or the will to co-operate was lacking. Rather, it failed because during the talks, the estates lost sight of the original motive, the princes favouring a bimetallic system that they hoped would allow them deflating the real value of their debts, and Charles V undervaluing the taler in the hope that this would weaken political opponents. These decisions antagonised important actors; when it proved impossible to enforce them, the Empire’s common currency failed.
    Keywords: monetary history; currency union; early modern Germany
    JEL: E42 E52 N13 N23 N43
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: Thilo Albers; Martin Uebele
    Abstract: This paper provides monthly economic activity indicators for 30 countries on six continents for the period 1925–36 based on more than 1200 historical time series. Aggregating these to a global economic activity indicator shows that the global recovery after 1931 was slower than much-cited contemporary evidence suggests. On a disaggregated level, we find that the majority of European countries experienced recessionary tendencies already in the mid-1920s, which puts the notion of a US-originated Great Depression into perspective. Our evidence cautions against employing industrial production to assess crises and recoveries across space as manufacturing catch-up growth occurs less developed countries. In this vein we find that in contrast to established historiography Spain, albeit floating her currency, was severely affected by the crisis, and Japan was hit harder than annual industrial production suggests. Finally, mapping the Depression suggests that economic improvements of major trading partners could have served as a catalyst for a country’s recovery. As a methodological contribution, we develop a framework to aggregate non-stationary series using principal component weights, and we scale the resulting indicators to an interpretable dimension using the standard deviation of annual industrial production indices.
    Keywords: great depression; economic activity indices; 20th century; business cycles
    JEL: C3 E32 E58 N14
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Leslie Hannah; Makoto Kasuya
    Abstract: La Porta et al see Anglo-American common law as most favourable to economic development, but in 1899 Japan explicitly preferred the German corporate law tradition. Yet its new Commercial Code omitted the GmbH (private company) form, which Guinnane et al see as the jewel in the crown of Germany’s organizational menu. Neither apparent “mistake” retarded Japan’s business development because its corporate laws offered flexible governance and liability options, implemented liberally. Surprisingly (given that Germany’s organizational menu predated Japan’s by many decades and the country was wealthier), by the 1930s Japanese businesses already used not only corporations proper (kabushiki kaisha) but also commandite partnerships (goshi kaisha, with more corporate characteristics than Anglo-American partnerships) more intensively than Germany. After the introduction of the yugen kaisha (a GmbH-equivalent) in 1940, corporate forms were nearly as widely used in Japan as in the US, the UK or Switzerland.
    Keywords: corporations; private companies; partnerships; commandite; zaibatsu; kaisha; Tokyo Stock Exchange
    JEL: K22 L51 N25 P1
    Date: 2015–03
  7. By: Mar’a G—mez-Le—n (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This article investigates the rise of the middle class in Brazil between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries and its connection with inequality. To this purpose BrazilÕs income distribution is explored from two dimensions: inequality and polarisation. A new middle class index (MCI), based on polarisation methods, is used to assess the evolution of the middle class in terms of both income and status. Results suggest that during the nineteenth century low income levels prevented the achievement of high inequality values and the emergence of a middle class. Then in the early twentieth century Brazil experienced a process of economic growth accompanied by increasing inequality in a Kuznetsian sense in which the middle class arose. Yet, despite rapid economic growth during the following decades, the continued increase of inequality, especially between 1930 and 1950, impeded the consolidation of the middle class and the reduction of poverty.
    Keywords: Middle class, inequality, polarisation, Brazil
    JEL: D31 D63 N16 N36 O15
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: David C. Mowery (Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, USA)
    Abstract: Modern commercial aircraft are complex products that incorporate innovations in technologies ranging from advanced materials to software and electronics. Although commercial aircraft assuredly qualify as a transformative innovation, in fact today’s commercial aircraft are the result of a process of incremental innovation and improvement that dates back more than a century. A great many of these improvements and incremental innovations originated from government-supported R&D programs sponsored by the military services or government research laboratories. The adoption of commercial-aircraft innovations within many industrial economies, including the United States, also has been influenced by government regulation of air transportation. This paper provides a historical characterization of the innovation and record of technical progress in US commercial aircraft during the 1900-1975 period. It identifies the sources of support for innovation and technological adoption, and examines the origins and impacts of “breakthrough innovations” on the overall evolution of the global commercial aircraft industry. The paper also assesses the role of patents in these important innovations.
    Keywords: Innovation, airplane, intellectual property
    JEL: O3 O34 O38 N7
    Date: 2015–11
  9. By: Geoffrey G. Jones (Harvard Business School, General Management Unit)
    Abstract: Diversified business groups are well-known phenomenon in emerging markets, both today and historically. This is often explained by the prevalence of institutional voids or the nature of government-business relations. It is typically assumed that such groups were much less common in developed economies, and largely disappeared during the twentieth century. This working paper contests this assumption with evidence from Britain between 1850 and the present day. During the nineteenth century merchant houses established business groups with diversified portfolio and pyramidal structures overseas, primarily in developing countries, both colonial and independent. In the domestic economy, large single product firms became the norm, which over time merged into large combines with significant market power. This reflected a business system in which a close relationship between finance and industry was discouraged, but were there few restrictions on the transfer of corporate ownership. Yet large diversified business groups did emerge, which had private or closely held shareholding and substantial international businesses. The working paper argues that diversified business groups added value in mature markets such as Britain. In the domestic economy, Pearson and Virgin created well-managed and performing businesses over long periods. The much-criticized conglomerates of the 1970s-1990s era such as Hanson and BTR were also quite financially successful forms of business enterprise. The demise of many of them appears to owe at least as much to management fads as to serious financial under-performance.
    Date: 2015–11
  10. By: Florian A. Alburo (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: This paper attempts to explore the use of an OECD Multi-Dimensional Country Review (MDCR) framework in understanding the long-term development history of the Philippines. The MDCR recognizes the multiplicity of development objectives countries usually pursue and therefore the associated multiplicity of challenges and opportunities. Following a conventional dichotomy of explaining the country’s development dynamics into economic and non-economic factors, the paper reviews the historical economic record and examines more recent non-economic hypotheses. While the latter is mostly political explanations it tries to link them to economic outcomes yet it is weak in tracing the mechanisms of the linkage despite using more rigorous methodologies. The paper then proceeds with hypothesizing that the long-term (political) behavior of breaking the country into finer geographical (and political) entities has been inimical to its sustainable long-term (economic) growth. The splitting of provinces, creation of new ones, of legislating more congressional districts, and further break-up of even the lowest government levels clearly fragment markets, raise real financial and transactions costs, bloat government budgets and the bureaucracy, and add burden to the private sector environment. Partial evidence is explored showing this behavior along the country’s long-term development history and some policy directions are suggested.
    Keywords: Development dynamics in the Philippines, MDCR, Philippines
    JEL: O11 O15 O43 J68
    Date: 2015–11
  11. By: Kelly, Morgan (University College Dublin); Mokyr, Joel (Northwestern University); Grada, Cormac O (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: We analyze factors explaining the very di.erent patterns of industrialization across the 42 counties of England between 1760 and 1830. Against the widespread view that high wages and cheap coal drove industrialization, we find that industrialization was restricted to low wage areas, while energy availability (coal or water) had little impact. Instead we find that industrialization can largely be explained by two related factors related to the human capability of the labour force. Instead of being composed of landless labourers, successful industrializers had large numbers of small farms, which are associated with better nutrition and height. Secondly, industrializing counties had a high density of population relative to agricultural land, indicating extensive rural industrial activity: counties that were already reliant on small scale industry, with the technical and entrepreneurial skills this generated, experienced the strongest industrial growth. Looking at 1830s France we find that the strongest predictor of industrialization again is quality of workers shown by height of the population, although market access and availability of water power were also important there.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Cem Karayalcin (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: Recent literature on developing countries has revived interest in structural change involving the reallocation of resources from agriculture to industry. Here, we focus on the first such historically important structural transformation in which some parts of Europe escaped from the Malthusian trap centuries earlier than the Industrial Revolution, while others stagnated. There is as yet no consensus as to the causes of this First Great Divergence. The paper advances the thesis that what lies at the root of different paths is the type of property rights inherited. As populations everywhere in Europe recovered from the catastrophes of the late medieval period, what mattered for the direction taken was the size of the landlord class and their landholdings. In western Europe where peasant proprietors tilled small plots, increases in population levels led to lower real wages. Given the low incomes of landlords and peasants, demand for manufactured goods remained low. At the other extreme, in eastern Europe, second serfdom kept wages low, and rents high. Yet given the small size of the land-owning class, these rents could not generate enough demand for high-end manufacturing processes either. Northwestern Europe, being in the middle in terms both of the size of the landholding classes and their properties, prospered as wages failed to decline even when population levels rapidly rose. Combined demand from landlords and workers kindled an expansion of the manufacturing sector.
    Date: 2015–11
  13. By: Harrison, Mark (Department of Economics University of Warwick and CAGE)
    Abstract: This short paper reviews a new book about World War II. In most such books, what is new is not usually important, and what is important is not new. This one is an exception. How the War Was Won: Air-Sea Power and Allied Victory in World War II, by Phillips Payson O'Brien, sets out a new perspective on the war. An established view is that World War II was decided on the Eastern front, where multi-million armies struggled for supremacy on land and millions died. According to O’Brien, this neglects the fact that the preponderance of the Allied productive effort was devoted to building ships and planes for an air-sea battle that was fought to a limited extent in the East and with much higher intensity across the Western and Pacific theatres. The Allies’ air-sea power framed the outcomes of the great land campaigns by preventing Germany and Japan from fully realizing their economic potentials for war. Finding much to be said for this reinterpretation, I reconsider the true significance of the Eastern front.
    Keywords: attrition ; air-sea power ; strategy ; war losses ; World War II
    JEL: F51 N40
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Bhaven N. Sampat (Columbia University and NBER)
    Abstract: The development and diffusion of antibiotics contributed to large improvements in human health and living standards. The antibiotic revolution also spawned the modern pharmaceutical industry. This paper reviews the development of the early antibiotics, and the roles of intellectual property rights (in particular, patents) in their development and diffusion. Though today the pharmaceutical sector is typically characterized as one industry where patents are absolutely essential for innovation incentives, patent incentives had a subtle role in the early years of the antibiotic revolution. Indeed, in successive stages of the antibiotic revolution there was increasing focus of pharmaceutical firms on patents and exclusivity. The new technologies shaped patent laws and practices as much as patents influenced innovation incentives: technology and institutions co-evolved. Beyond patents and intellectual property, wartime exigencies and several forms of university-industry collaboration also appear to have been important in supporting breakthrough antibiotic innovations.
    Keywords: Innovation;Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights; Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation; Health.
    JEL: O3 N4 I1
    Date: 2015–11
  15. By: Claude Diebolt; Gabriele Franzmann; Jürgen Sensch
    Abstract: The ‘Data Service for Historical Studies’ (‘Datenservice Historische Studien’) is part of the department ‘Data Archive for the Social Sciences (‘Datenarchiv für Sozialwissenschaften‘, DAS), located at GESIS, a Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. The study and data inventory of this area are characterized by a very large heterogeneity of the data material collected in the archived studies, which are concerned substantially with aspects of the economic and social history of Germany. An important focus of the historical studies is on historical education statistics. A total of 121046 historical time series on the development of Germany’s educational system are currently on offer – free of charge – via the platform HISTAT (Historical Statistics). The data inventory on historical educational research shall be presented in this article.
    Keywords: Cliometrics, Databases, Demography, Education, Germany.
    JEL: C8 N3
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Koenig, Christophauthor-workplace-Name: Department of Economics University of Warwick
    Abstract: I study the effect of war participation on the rise of right-wing parties in Inter-war Germany. After the democratisation and surrender of Germany in 1918, 8m German soldiers of WWI were demobilised. I argue that defeat made veterans particularly sceptical about the new democratic state. Their return undermined support for democratic parties from the very beginning and facilitated the reversion to autocratic rule 15 years later. In order to quantify this effect, I construct the first disaggregated estimates of German WWI veterans since official army records were destroyed. I combine this data with a new panel of voting results from 1881 to 1933. Diff-in-Diff estimates show that war participation had a strong positive effect on support for the right-wing at the expense of socialist parties. A one standard deviation increase in veteran inflow shifted vote shares to the right by more than 2 percentage points. An IV strategy based on draft exemption rules substantiates my findings. The effect of veterans on voting is highly persistent and strongest in working class areas. Gains for the right-wing, however, are only observed after a period of Communist insurgencies. I provide suggestive evidence that veterans must have picked up especially anti- Communist sentiments after defeat, injected these into the working class and in this way eroded the future of the young democracy.
    JEL: P16 N44 P26 D74 D72 H56
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Harrison, Mark (Department of Economics University of Warwick and CAGE)
    Abstract: In Soviet Lithuania (and elsewhere) from the 1950s to the 1980s, the KGB applied a form of "zero-tolerance" policing, or profilaktika, to incipient threats to state security. Petty deviation from socio-political norms was regarded as a person's first step towards more serious state crimes, and as a bad example for others. As long as petty violators could be classed as confused or misled rather than motivated by anti-Soviet conviction, their mistakes would be corrected by a KGB warning or "preventive discussion." Successful prevention avoided the costly removal of the subject from society. This represented a complete contrast to the Stalin years, when prevention relied largely on eliminating the subject from society. Preventive discussions were widely practised in many different circumstances. KGB internal evaluations concluded that these discussions were extremely effective in preventing further violations. This was the front line of the Soviet police state; it was perhaps the largest programme for personally targeted behaviour modification anywhere in the world at that time outside the education sector. It was also a front line of the Cold War because the foreign adversary was seen as the most important source of misleading or confusing influence. My work in progress aims to understand the origins and operation of profilaktika, including how and to whom it was applied, how it worked on the individual subject, and its wider influence on the Soviet Union’s social and political order.
    Keywords: coercion ; communism ; deviance ; nudge ; security ; social norms ; surveillance ; Soviet Union ; zero-tolerance
    JEL: N44 P37
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Esther Sahle
    Abstract: During the late seventeenth century, when the Atlantic trade experienced unprecedented growth, Quakers emerged as the region’s most prominent trading community. Economic Historians credit the group and its business ethics with shaping the economic environment of early modern England and, consequently, its long term economic growth. This paper, however, argues that Friends’ business ethics were identical to those of their non-Quaker contemporaries. Using a wide range of both Quaker and non-Quaker sources, including sermons and merchant advice literature, this paper constitutes the first in-depth study of Quaker and non-Quaker business ethics. Having refuted the claim that the community’s commercial achievements reflect a unique blend of honesty, reliability, and swift payment of debts, the paper suggests an alternative explanation for Friends’ business success.
    Keywords: institutions; business ethics; religion; Quakers; economic thought; early modern England; seventeenth century history; eighteenth century history; trade; Protestantism
    JEL: B1 N00 N3
    Date: 2015–03
  19. By: Janet Hunter
    Abstract: This review examines three monographs that make conspicuous contributions to our understanding of major earthquake disasters in Japan from the mid-nineteenth century through to 2011. They focus on different events and different time periods, and ask different questions, but raise a host of shared issues relating to the ongoing importance of disaster in Japan's history over the long term. They cause us to consider how seismic disaster is explained, understood, interpreted and actualised in people's lives, how the risks are factored in and how people respond to both immediate crisis and longer term consequences. One recurrent issue in these volumes is the extent to which these large natural disasters have the capacity to change, and actually do change, the ways in which societies organise themselves. In some cases disaster may be perceived as opportunity, but the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that a desire to return to the previous 'normality' is a powerful impulse in people's responses to major natural disasters. The review also argues that the issue of trust lies at the core of both individual and collective responses. A lack of trust may be most conspicuous in attitudes to government and elites, but is also inherent in more everyday personal interactions and market transactions in the immediate aftermath of disaster. *
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2015–11–20
  20. By: Natalia V. Alferova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anna V. Tarasenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Throughout history Chinese artistic culture has developed a fairly complex system of diverse art forms and styles. Chinese export art, being created particularly to satiate constantly growing appetite of the Western world for Chinese goods, holds a specific place among them. In spite of being considered as insignificant in terms of artistic merits, nevertheless, Chinese export painting succeeded to cover a modest segment in the European market in the XVIII – XIX centuries. Unlike most other types of Chinese decorative and applied arts, Chinese export painting until recently has never been taken as a subject of scientific research. The collection of the National Library of Russia possesses a number of Chinese painting albums. Comprehensive study of these art works might bridge lacunas for research of other multitudinous kinds of Chinese export arts and crafts of the XVIII-XIX centuries
    Keywords: Chinese export painting, 19th century China, collection of the National Library of Russia, Canton, watercolors on pith, Tetrapanax papirifer , wove paper, laid paper, Whatman.
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Kent Deng
    Abstract: The Qing Period (1644–1911) has been recognised as one of the most important eras in China’s demographic history. However, factors that determined and contributed to the rise in the Qing population have remained unclear. Most works so far have only speculated at what might have caused the population to increase so significantly during the Qing Period. This study uses substantial amounts of quantitative evidence to investigate the impact of changes in China’s resource base (farmland), farming technology (rice yield level and spread of maize-farming), social welfare (disaster relief), peasant wealth (rice prices), cost of living (silver’s purchasing power), as well as exogenous shocks (wars and natural disasters) on the Qing population.
    Keywords: economic growth; demography; household incomes; market prices; tax burden; proto-welfare; sectoral differences
    JEL: E2 J1 N5
    Date: 2015
  22. By: Angel De la Fuente
    Abstract: En este trabajo se elaboran series homogeneas de distintos agregados de empleo y de VAB a precios corrientes y constantes para las comunidades autonomas españolas mediante el enlace de las diversas bases de la Contabilidad Regional de Espana.
    Keywords: Análisis Macroeconómico , Documento de Trabajo , España
    JEL: E01 R1
    Date: 2015–09
  23. By: Lars Boerner; Battista Severgnini
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the early adoption of one of the most important high-technology machines in history, the public mechanical clock, on long-run growth in Europe. We avoid en- dogeneity by considering the relationship between the adoption of clocks with two sets of instru- ments: distance from the first adopters and the appearance of repeated solar eclipses. The latter instrument is motivated by the predecessor technologies of mechanical clocks, astronomic instru- ments that measured the course of heavenly bodies. We find significant growth rates between 1500 and 1700 in the range of 30 percentage points in early adoptor cities and areas.
    Keywords: technological adoption; cities; mechanical clocks; information technology
    JEL: N13 N93 O33
    Date: 2015–08–27
  24. By: Marchionatti, Roberto; Sella, Lisa (University of Turin)
    Abstract: After the ‘new Great Crisis’ exploded in 2008 it is widely recognized that mainstream macroeconomics - the last result of Lucas’s anti-Keynesian revolution of the 1980s which tried to give macroeconomics sound neo-Walrasian microeconomic bases - has failed to anticipate and then appraise the crisis. Has this crisis revealed a failure of this macroeconomics as a scientific theory? Mainstream macroeconomists defend their models on the basis of their alleged superiority in terms of clarity and coherence. The thesis of this paper is that this claim about superiority is false. The paper argues that the reasons for the failure of mainstream macroeconomics – in particular its poor predictive performance and interpretative weakness - reside in the implications of the neo-Walrasian legacy and the problems connected with the implementation of that programme.
    Date: 2015–06
  25. By: Jorge C. Ávila
    Abstract: The purpose of the essay is twofold: a) explore the ability of S. Huntington’s model of political development for societies in process of modernization to explain the Argentine political history in 1880-1955; b) prove the hypothesis that mass pretorianism is inherently unstable. We conclude the evidence supports the Huntington’s model. In other words, the model explains the changes that the political system underwent in the period, as much as the growing instability between the traditional civil order of 1862-1912 and the mass pretorian order of 1946-1955. Furthermore, we show that Argentine risk was high for mass pretorian orders and relatively low for civil orders and (radical and oligarchic) pretorian orders. It seems that the fiscal deficit plays an important role in connecting the political regime with Argentine risk.
    JEL: P16
    Date: 2015–11
  26. By: David Hugh-Jones (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: The honesty of resident nationals of 15 countries was measured in two experiments: reporting a coin flip with a reward for "heads", and an online quiz with the possibility of cheating. There are large differ- ences in honesty across countries. Average honesty correlates with per capita GDP: this relationship is driven mostly by GDP differences arising before 1950, rather than by GDP growth since 1950, suggesting that the growth-honesty relationship was more important in earlier periods than today. The experiment also elicited participants’ beliefs about honesty in different countries. Beliefs were not correlated with reality. Instead they appear to be driven by cognitive biases, including self-projection.
    Date: 2015–09–25
  27. By: Romola J. Davenport
    Abstract: This paper examines the origins of the Mortality Revolution from an evolutionary point of view, in terms of the trade-offs between virulence and disease transmission. For diseases that are transmitted person-to-person and cannot persist outside a host then there is evidence of strong selective pressure against high host lethality. However for pathogens which don’t depend on their human host for transmission or can persist outside a human host (including plague, typhus, smallpox and malaria) then the conflict between virulence and dispersal is reduced. Importantly, the properties that permitted these diseases to be so lethal also made it easier for relatively weak interventions to break the chain of disease transmission. The early control of these major diseases was associated with large reductions in mortality, but also shifted the distribution of causes of death towards the less virulent diseases of the extremes of age and of poverty.
    Keywords: demographic transition, mortality transition, evolutionary biology, smallpox, vaccination. JEL Classification: I14; I15; I18; N33; N93
    Date: 2015
  28. By: Per Krusell (Stockholm University); Anthony Smith (Yale University); Joachim Hubmer (Yale University)
    Abstract: We derive qualitative and quantitative predictions of a microfounded model of wealth inequality and look at how the model's predictions compare with actual outcomes in the United States over the postwar period. The model's microeconomic core emphasizes that a household faces important earnings risks (deriving from the risk of unemployment and from uncertain wages) and cannot fully insure against these risks. To capture these features, we base our work on the broadly used Bewley-Huggett-Aiyagari (BHA) setup. Our model also features stochastic movements in saving rates that go beyond the mere precautionary-savings motive inherent in the BHA setup: we posit some randomness in discount factors, as in Krusell and Smith (1998). We demonstrate that such randomness gives rise to a Pareto-shaped right tail of the wealth distribution, a feature that appears to approximate the data well and that has been discussed much recently and derived in a variety of highly stylized models. Piketty and Zucman (2014) develop one such model and we argue that it can be viewed as a reduced form for the model we present here, and indeed also for the one in Krusell and Smith (1998).
    Date: 2015
  29. By: Thomas Hoeren (Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law (ITM), University of Münster (Germany).); Francesca Guadagno (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.); Sacha Wunsch-Vincent (Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.)
    Abstract: Semiconductor technology is at the origin of today’s digital economy. Its contribution to innovation, productivity and economic growth in the past four decades has been extensive. This paper analyzes how this breakthrough technology came about, how it diffused, and what role intellectual property (IP) played historically. The paper finds that the semiconductor innovation ecosystem evolved considerably over time, reflecting in particular the move from early - stage invention and first commercialization to mass production and diffusion. All phases relied heavily on contributions in fundamental science, linkages to public research and individual entrepreneurship. Government policy, in the form of demand-side and industrial policies were key. In terms of I P, patents were used intensively. However, they were often used as an effective means of sharing technology, rather than merely as a tool to block competitors. Antitrust policy helped spur key patent holders to set up liberal licensing policies. In contrast, and potentially as a cautionary tale for the future, the creation of new IP form s – the sui generis system to protect mask design - did not produce the desired outcome. Finally, copyright has gained in importance more recently.
    Keywords: semiconductors, innovation, patent, sui generis, copyright, intellectual property.
    JEL: O33 O34 O47 O38
    Date: 2015–11
  30. By: Yana Linkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper deals with devices typical for the oeuvre of the French poet Stephane Mallarme. He belonged to that category of authors for whom the quest for a new poetic language was almost more vital than their own creations. As a result, his poetic texts present a certain structure wherein all elements, words, symbols and rhythms, serve a single purpose, i.e. to embody an absolute text, which goes to prove the everlasting beauty of Poetry. Mallarme’s new approach to the nature of words has largely presaged the discoveries of the 20th century modernist poets. This paper methodologically follows the works aimed at deciphering and interpreting the “hermetic” verse of the poet. Taking a closer look at his articles and analyzing just two of Mallarme’s poems the author reconstructs the way of creating a new poetic and enigmatic language
    Keywords: symbol, Mallarme, play, space, poetic language, symbolism
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  31. By: Pierre-David Kusman; Jean Luc De Meulemeester
    Abstract: This paper analyzes an example of sovereign debt financial crisis in the Late Middle Ages, and is an attempt to analyze a case of debt-restructuring. We also show the political reconfiguration of power implied by the interaction of the various actors and the reinforcement of the controlling power of various local and urban elite. The debt was mainly caused by war expenses and was initially funded at least partially by heavy tax levies. When the new young duke of Brabant John III came in power, his position was weakened both by the huge amount of the debt and the reaction of the various elite groups dissatisfied with the tax levies. We show that the recourse to foreign merchant-bankers was quite considerable – probably a chosen move by the duke to avoid political negociations implied by the recourse to either taxes or internal credit. But the reimbursement of the debt was quite difficult and needed some urgent measures, the more so that Brabantine merchants suffered from trade sanctions abroad. A process of debt restructuring was therefore launched under the influence of various influential financial groups coming mainly from the local burghers. Their interests were put forward in the innovative use of classical financial tools to reimburse the debt as well as new representative institutions of control and monitoring of ducal expenses and debt. We have particularly analyzed the case of the Flemish and Walloon charters of 1314, confirming the rising weight and influence of the interests of the mercantile and urban elite, but also various experts and technicians of more modest social ranks. The mechanisms put in place were nevertheless rather constraining for the ducal discretion regarding the management of its debt and expenses. This was really the rise of a clear debt-monitoring mechanism, that could only reinsure future lenders (especially domestic ones).
    JEL: H63 H83 N43 N93
    Date: 2015–10–08
  32. By: Natalia Ramírez Virviescas
    Abstract: El Propósito central del presente escrito es destacar ciertos estudios realizados por pensadoras entre los siglos XVIII y XX, que han contribuido significativamente al desarrollo al pensamiento económico, principalmente a las líneas clásica y marxista, con el interés de resaltar su papel en la construcción de dichas teorías económicas. De este modo, a partir de una revisión bibliográfica se logra rescatar las ideas de varias mujeres que expusieron importantes puntos de vista teóricos, y que por razones sociales, culturales, entre otras, quedaron -en su mayoría- bajo la sombra de otro autor, o simplemente no tuvieron la divulgación necesaria para su reconocimiento académico.
    Keywords: Pensamiento económico, mujeres economistas, marxismo.
    JEL: B31 B54
    Date: 2015–11–19
  33. By: Potter, Simon M. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Remarks at the 2015 Roundtable on Treasury Markets and Debt Management, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City.
    Keywords: primary dealer system; Treasury Market Practices Group (TMPG); secondary market for Treasury Securities; counterparty risks; Ken Garbade; dealer surveillance; the Desk; transparency; daily reverse repurchase agreement (RRP)
    Date: 2015–11–19
  34. By: Burger, Ronelle (Stellenbosch University); van der Berg, Servaas (Stellenbosch University); van der Walt, Sarel (Stellenbosch University); Yu, Derek (Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: This study examines the enduring spatial and racial dimensions of poverty and deprivation in South Africa to assess the progress made by the post-apartheid society and state. A multi-dimensional approach is required to assess progress because it can reflect the reduction in deprivation attributable to the improved affordability and expanded coverage of government services. While there has been previous studies tracking poverty trends over segments of the post-apartheid period, no previous work has considered multi-dimensional deprivation over the two decades following the official fall of apartheid. We adopt the Total Fuzzy and Relative approach proposed by Cheli and Lemmi (1995) to derive a poverty index with nine dimensions of deprivation, including education, employment, dwelling type, overcrowding, access to electricity, water, telephone, sanitation and refuse collection. Our analysis shows that there has been a significant improvement in South African deprivation levels between 1996 and 2011, but it also finds that geography and race continue to play an important role in explaining patterns of deprivation.
    Keywords: poverty, deprivation, fuzzy sets, South Africa
    JEL: I32 I38 N97 D31
    Date: 2015–11

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.