nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
twenty papers chosen by

  1. A Dainty Review of the Business and Economic History of Chile and Latin America By Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
  2. Famines in late Medieval and Early Modern Italy: A test for an advanced economy By Guido Alfani
  3. Banking, Currency, Stock Market and Debt Crises: Revisiting Reinhart & Rogoff Debt Analysis in Spain, 1850-1995 By Maixé-Altés, J. Carles; Iglesias, Emma M.
  4. The First 100 Years of Tariffs in Australia: The Colonies By P.J. Lloyd
  5. Porter vs Krugman: History, Analysis and Critique of Regional Competiveness By Psofogiorgos, Nikolaos - Alexandros; Metaxas, Theodore
  6. Max Weber and the First World War: Protestant and Catholic living standards in Germany, 1915-1919 By Matthias Blum; Matthias Strebel
  7. Did Gender-Bias Matter in the Quantity-Quality Trade-off in the 19th Century France? By Claude Diebolt; Tapas Mishra; Faustine Perrin
  8. Pigou on War Finance and State Action By Rogério Arthmar; Michael McLure
  9. Endogenous Enforcement Institutions By Gani Aldashev; Giorgio Zanarone
  10. Migration and Law in Japan By Atsushi Kondo
  11. Between aritmetic and accounting : the contribution of Lazare Moulin-Collin (1792-1850) By Luc Marco; Robert Noumen
  12. The time value of housing: historical evidence from London residential leases By Philippe Bracke; Ted Pinchbeck; James Wyatt
  13. Unified Growth Theory Contradicted by the GDP/cap Data By Ron W Nielsen
  14. Creación y trayectoria de una empresa pública uruguaya: La Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado (AFE) By Magdalena Bertino; Gastón Díaz Steinberg; Cecilia Moreira Goyetche
  15. A Gramática da Moradia no Complexo do Alemão: história, documentos e narrativas By Patrícia Brandão Couto; Rute Imanishi Rodrigues
  16. Long run demand for energy services: income and price elasticities over two hundred years By Roger Fouquet
  17. The rise of the middle class : Brazil (1839-1950) By María Gómez León
  18. Sins of the Fathers: The Intergenerational Legacy of the 1959-1961 Great Chinese Famine on Children’s Cognitive Development By Chih Ming Tan; Zhibo Tan; Xiaobo Zhang
  19. ‘Shaken, but not stirred’: six decades defining social innovation By Edwards-Schachter,Mónica; Wallace,Matthew
  20. Regional convergence – theoretical approaches By Daniela, Antonescu

  1. By: Bernardo Batiz-Lazo (Bangor University)
    Abstract: This introductory piece provides a context to the special edition on business and economic history of Chile and Latin America. It also provides an introduction to better understanding research and method in business history while inviting for this field to be further developed in Chile.
    Keywords: economic history, business history, Chile, Latin America
    JEL: N0 N01 N86
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Guido Alfani
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how advanced Medieval and Early Modern Italian economies attempted to cope with famines. First, it provides an overview of the occurrence of famines and food shortages in Italy from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, underlining the connections with overall climatic and demographic trends. Second, it focuses on the 1590s famine (the worst to affect Italy in the period), providing a general discussion and interpretation of its causes and characteristics, and describing and evaluating the strategies for coping with the crisis that developed within the Republic of Genoa and the Duchy of Ferrara. The article argues that when such a large-scale food crisis as that of the 1590s occurred, public action played a key role in providing relief.
    Keywords: Famine; mortality crises; subsistence crises; Italy; early modern period; 1590s; markets integration; grain trade; agrarian innovation.
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Maixé-Altés, J. Carles; Iglesias, Emma M.
    Abstract: What type of crisis is generated when debt increases? We study the Spanish debt evolution in the 19th and 20th centuries by introducing currency and stock-market crises in the Reinhart and Rogoff (2011) framework. We find their same results for the determinants of banking and debt crises but substituting external and public debt with perpetual debt. Moreover, we find that currency crises depend strongly and positively on financial centers crises and negatively and mildly on perpetual debt. We justify the negative relationship due to an inflation tax. We also find that stock-market crises depend only positively and strongly on financial centers crises.
    Keywords: Austerity, Macroeconomic Policy, Fiscal Policy, Banking Crises, Currency Crises, Stock Market Crises, Debt Crises, Financial History
    JEL: E44 E60 E62 F34 F44 G01 H63 N10 N20
    Date: 2015–12–04
  4. By: P.J. Lloyd
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Psofogiorgos, Nikolaos - Alexandros; Metaxas, Theodore
    Abstract: The subject of this study is to determine the competitiveness through an interdisciplinary approach of the theories of the new economic geography and regional economy. This article describes in detail the theory of competitiveness, which is defined differently by many authors, with particular emphasis on opposing views of Michael Porter and Paul Krugman. One of the first writers who stressed the importance of the geographical position was Michael Porter. In his model, the author emphasizes that the geographical concentration of firms enhances productivity, innovation and export sector. Following this theory, many authors have focused on the research of the "location problem ", which led to better connection of economics and geography. The result of these activities is the new guidelines that have been developed, such as the new theory of economic geography and regional economy. The new economic geography is mainly related to the Nobel prized, Paul Krugman, whose theories often conflict with those of Porter. This study initially sets out the views of both authors, in terms of competitiveness and then attempts to make a comparative analysis between the theories they developed.
    Keywords: Michael Porter, Paul Krugman, Regional Competitiveness
    JEL: R11 R19 R38
    Date: 2015–12
  6. By: Matthias Blum; Matthias Strebel
    Abstract: We assess informal institutions of Protestants and Catholics by investigating their economic resilience in a natural experiment. The First World War constitutes an exogenous shock to living standards since the duration and intensity of the war exceeded all expectations. We assess the ability of Protestant and Catholic communities to cope with increasing food prices and wartime black markets. Literature based on Weber (1904, 1905) suggests that Protestants must be more resilient than their Catholic peers. Using individual height data on some 2,800 Germans to assess levels of malnutrition during the war, we find that living standards for both Protestants and Catholics declined; however, the decrease of Catholics’ height was disproportionately large. Our empirical analysis finds a large statistically significant difference between Protestants and Catholics for the 1914-19 birth cohort, and we argue that this height gap cannot be attributed to socioeconomic background and fertility alone.
    Keywords: Germany, First World War, Religion, Protestantism, Catholicism, Economic History, Anthropometrics, Biological Standard of Living, Height, Stature
    JEL: N14 I20 I30
    Date: 2015–12
  7. By: Claude Diebolt (BETA, University of Strasbourg Strasbourg, France); Tapas Mishra (Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, United-Kingdom); Faustine Perrin (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Rogério Arthmar (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil); Michael McLure (Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper reviews Arthur C. Pigou’s intellectual contribution to the debates on economic policy during World War I in Britain, showing how many of his ideas on the subject can be traced back to his major pre-war work, Wealth and Welfare. Initially, we present Pigou’s arguments in favour of an increase in taxation and on how individual choices affect the distribution of war costs over time. Attention is also drawn to his understanding of the nature of inflation in Britain during the war, as well as to his remarks about the efficacy of state wartime controls continuing into the post-war era. Pigou’s rejection of Ricardian equivalence and his concerns with Britain’s massive national debt are considered in regard to the controversy over the convenience of a capital levy after the war. Lastly, his recommendations on European political and financial reconstruction are addressed, along with his specific proposals for state action in matters connected with national defence.
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Gani Aldashev; Giorgio Zanarone
    Abstract: Better legal institutions favor economic development, but only in States withsufficiently constrained executive power. We document this novel pattern acrossdeveloping countries, and build a simple model that illustrates how power, and theinstitutions that constrain or complement it, may affect development. We show that thereis a tradeoff between the two facets of power—enforcement and expropriation. As aruler’s power grows, his temptation not to enforce diminishes while the temptation toexpropriate grows. As a consequence, private enforcement optimally evolves into Stateenforcement, and legal institutions, which relax the ruler’s incentive constraint onenforcement, lose economic importance vis-à-vis political institutions, which limit theexecutive’s ability to expropriate. Our results are consistent with the observed crosscountrypatterns, as well as with historical evidence on the transition from the “LawMerchant” private enforcement system to the State.
    Keywords: coercive power; expropriation; enforcement; state
    JEL: H11 K42 P48
    Date: 2015–10
  10. By: Atsushi Kondo
    Abstract: It has been claimed that Japan is not a country of immigration. Where is Japan's distinctiveness evident, and what features does it share with other countries? This article examines the unique points of Japan and investigates problems of residence and citizenship. This article argues that Japan's historical legacy and international human rights have had an impact on Japan's migration and law, takes into consideration the need for new policies and examines some thorny issues. Globalisation and an ageing population are generating a debate on implementing a more liberal admission policy for highly skilled workers, students and nurses/care workers. Thorny issues comprise ethnic discrimination underscored by a colonial legacy and the still existing cold war in East Asia. Drawing a comparison with selected developed countries, this article indicates several challenges for Japan's migration and law. Markedly, Japan is the only developed industrialised democracy that does not have an anti-discrimination law.
    Keywords: immigration law;regularisation;citizenship;quota refugees;highly skilled migrants
    Date: 2015–01–05
  11. By: Luc Marco (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Robert Noumen (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The history of the small business schools in Province in the nineteenth century can be made through the works of his professors. The link between arithmetic and accounting is essential to understand the education at the average level for pupils having between 12 and 16 years. The rediscovery of a mathematician doubled by an accountant, Lazare Moulin-Collin, allows to understand the formation of the teachers and the experts in these domains. From new archival sources we rediscover the biography and the contents of his very interesting works.
    Abstract: L'histoire des petites écoles de commerce en Province au dix-neuvième siècle peut être faite au travers des ouvrages de ses professeurs. Le lien entre arithmétique et comptabilité est essentiel pour comprendre l'enseignement au niveau moyen pour des élèves ayant entre 12 et 16 ans. La redécouverte d'un mathématicien doublé d'un comptable, Lazare Moulin-Collin, permet de comprendre la formation des enseignants et des experts dans ces domaines. A partir de sources archivistiques nouvelles nous redécouvrons la biographie et le contenu de ses ouvrages très intéressants.
    Keywords: Arithmetic, accounting,Arithmétique, comptabilité
    Date: 2015–11–24
  12. By: Philippe Bracke; Ted Pinchbeck; James Wyatt
    Abstract: Most housing transactions in London involve trading long leases of varying lengths. We exploit this feature to estimate the time value of housing --- the relationship between the value of a property and the length of time it will be owned for --- over the range 1-99 years. To do so, we compile a unique historical dataset from 1987 to 1992 to abstract from current institutional features of the UK system, for instance rights to extend leases that could confound our results. By applying hedonic techniques to these data we provide new evidence on how the market values leasehold properties. We find that the time value of housing over the range 1-99 is similar to an exponential shape, a finding that suggests sophisticated pricing behaviour in the London residential market. Digging deeper, however, we show that leasehold prices depart from this predictable pattern in a way that is consistent with a declining discount rate schedule
    Keywords: house prices; discount rates; historical data
    JEL: G12 R30
    Date: 2014–12
  13. By: Ron W Nielsen
    Abstract: Mathematical properties of the historical GDP/cap distributions are discussed and explained. These distributions are frequently incorrectly interpreted and the Unified Growth Theory is an outstanding example of such common misconceptions. It is shown here that the fundamental postulates of this theory are contradicted by the data used in its formulation. The postulated three regimes of growth did not exist and there was no takeoff at any time. It is demonstrated that features interpreted as three regimes of growth represent just mathematical properties of a single, monotonically-increasing distribution, indicating that a single mechanism should be used to explain the historical economic growth. It is shown that using different socio-economic conditions for different perceived parts of the historical GDP/cap data is irrelevant and scientifically unjustified. The GDP/cap growth was indeed increasing slowly over a long time and fast over a short time but these features represent a single, uniform and uninterrupted growth process, which should be interpreted as whole using a single mechanism of growth.
    Date: 2015–09
  14. By: Magdalena Bertino (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Gastón Díaz Steinberg (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Cecilia Moreira Goyetche (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper studies the historical evolution of the State Railway Administration (AFE, by its Spanish initials), the state-owned company that has the monopoly on railway services in Uruguay. The railway was nationalized in 1948 when the British owned companies that had operated the network since the 19th century were purchased by the Uruguayan state, and occurred in the context of the post-war move, worldwide, towards greater state intervention. AFE was formed in 1952 when the ex-British railways were merged with the rest of the network that was already in state hands. The company faced grave problems from the start, since it had inherited a railway network that was in very bad shape, and a fleet of locomotives and wagons that was insufficient and excessively old. In addition, the railway network was too large for the country’s needs. The main problem, which grew worse over the years, and which affected railways in many parts of the world, was the increasing competition from the automobile. Given this situation, and along with the failure of the state’s attempts to regulate the transport market and its incapacity to finances the necessary investments to maintain and modernize the railway, the company grew smaller and the railway services declined, losing their place as the country’s primary mode of transport. The goal of this paper is to explain the local determinants of the deterioration of the company and the loss of importance of the railway within the transport sector. The sources used are primarily the company’s own records, and using the Argentine case as a point of comparison, we examine the railway’s productive and financial performance.
    Keywords: state-owned companies, railways, Uruguay
    JEL: N76
    Date: 2015–10
  15. By: Patrícia Brandão Couto; Rute Imanishi Rodrigues
    Abstract: Este texto tem por objetivo discutir as formas de ler e descrever os distintos modos de fixação e moradia, na evolução do processo de ocupação da área administrativamente reconhecida como Complexo do Alemão. Esta área corresponde a um conjunto de favelas com cerca de 70 mil habitantes, localizado na zona norte do Rio de Janeiro, segundo dados do Censo 2010 (IBGE, 2010).1 O repertório etnográfico que será apresentado neste estudo constituiu-se a partir da memória e perspectiva dos moradores mais antigos dessas comunidades. O propósito desta pesquisa é recuperar os processos históricos que formaram e consolidaram as favelas dessa área, tomando como eixo central de abordagem o histórico fundiário da região e as memórias e experiências de sujeitos sociais que participaram e testemunharam a constituição desse território. The Complexo do Alemão, as a place in Rio de Janeiro city, only acquired nominal, administrative and symbolic existence, from 1993, when it was recognized as a neighborhood. However, for its inhabitants, the particularities of the places that compound that administrative place, remain routed on the vast landscape of Serra da Misericórdia, that gathers the favelas of Morro do Alemão, Grota or Joaquim de Queiróz, Nova Brasília, Reservatório de Ramos, Parque Alvorada, Fazendinha, Morro das Palmeiras, Casinhas, Canitar, Pedra do Sapo, Mineiros, Matinha, Morro do Adeus e Morro da Baiana, bordering the neighborhoods of Ramos, Olaria, Higienópolis, Bonsucesso and Inhaúma.Although we are not ignoring the symbolic representation of this area considering its connection to urban violence, this work aims to get back in time and shad some light on peculiarities of the evolution of the ways of stablishing residence on the first settling spots on the region. A previous study on the land history for that large region oriented the field job performed during the year of 2012, in favelas of Morro do Alemão, Grota or Joaquim de Queiróz, Nova Brasília, Reservatório de Ramos, Parque Alvorada, Mineiros e Fazendinha. The aim of the research, based on testimonies of the oldest local people, was to identify the different ways of stablishing residence that explain the settling of those places within the years 1920’s and 1970’s.We identify distinctive definitions for the usage and occupation of land that sprang out of the relations between the land owners and the residents, or their associations, such as: soil renting, allowed occupation, collective invasion, selling of leveled land by neighborhoods associations. We verified also other ways of stablishing residence that derivate from actions between “diffuse actors” and the residents as: invasion to sell (“faveleiro”), squatting and informal selling of land, rent of houses without identification of the owner or the. Renting and selling houses or lots were observed as usual practices in all the localities studied. The ethnographic analysis of the accounts presented throughout the text allow the redimensioning of the actual participation and responsibility of both the private sector – in that case represented by local landowners who disseminated and perpetrated the practice of soil renting – and the State – institutionally represented by IAPC and its officers, who distributed land based on personal preference. Therefore, the origin of these slums is not the result of “invasions”. On the contrary, the invasions that actually happened, according to the narratives, were the result of other and previous situations, which we intend to demonstrate.
    Date: 2015–11
  16. By: Roger Fouquet
    Abstract: This article investigates how the demand for energy services has changed since the Industrial Revolution. It presents evidence on the income and price elasticities of demand for domestic heating, passenger transport, and lighting in the United Kingdom over the last two hundred years. As the economy developed and energy service prices fell, income elasticities have generally followed an inverse U-shape curve, and price elasticities have generally followed a U-shape curve. However, these general trends also appear to have been affected by energy and technological transitions, which boosted demand (by either encouraging poorer consumers to fully enter the market or offering new attributes of value to wealthier consumers). The evidence presented offers insights that will be helpful for identifying likely future trends in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, and for developing long-term climate policies.
    Keywords: demand elasticity; energy use; income; price dynamics
    JEL: D12 N73 N74 Q41
    Date: 2014–07
  17. By: María Gómez León
    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 Brazil's 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
  18. By: Chih Ming Tan (Department of Economics, University of North Dakota, USA; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy); Zhibo Tan (School of Economics, Fudan University, China); Xiaobo Zhang (China Center for Economic Research, Peking University, China; International Food Policy Research Institute, USA)
    Abstract: The effect of early exposure to malnutrition on the next generation’s cognitive abilities has rarely been studied in human beings in large part due to lack of data. A natural experiment, the Great Chinese Famine, and a novel dataset are employed to study this effect. The paper finds that the cognitive abilities of children born to rural famine fathers were affected and that the impact is more pronounced in girls than in boys, whereas children born to female survivors are not affected. The uncovered gender-specific effect is almost entirely attributable to son preference exhibited in families with male famine survivors.
    Date: 2014–05
  19. By: Edwards-Schachter,Mónica; Wallace,Matthew
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution in the conceptualization of Social Innovation (SI) under the assumption of SI as a trans-disciplinary construct which comprises a diversity of discourses from different fields and actors. We performed a comprehensive and systematic literature review along six decades (1950-2014), extracting definitions of SI through a search of 2,339 documents in various languages retrieved from Web of Science, SCOPUS and Google scholar. To guide the inductive analysis of pluri-vocal discourses we assume innovation to be a learning-based process, introducing the notion of social practice linked to its intertwined institutional and socio-cultural dimensions. We applied mixed qualitative methodologies, combining content analysis based on a social constructionist/interpretivist ontology with cognitive mapping techniques. Our findings identify some core and secondary elements underpinning two complementary perspectives (transformative and instrumental) of SI as scientific construct. They also point to a number of promising avenues for research towards the advancement of a socio-technical theory of innovation.
    Keywords: social innovation, innovation process, collective learning, social practice, social change, technological innovation
    JEL: O17 O30
    Date: 2015–12–04
  20. By: Daniela, Antonescu
    Abstract: Within theoretical economic approaches, the convergence concept generated a great scientific literature elaborated at international , national and regional level . Also, the numerous studies from another field (economy , geography , history , sociology , and political science ) have an important impact of answers regarding the origin, evolution emergence, persistence, deepening, and more noticeable spatial inequalities in the field of incomes and standard living. The issues regarding convergence and dynamics of spatial distribution have an important role in the present economic literature, even though the approach of these topics remains still insufficiently explored and analysed. The regional convergence (along with nominal and institutional convergence) presents a special interest, considering the important gap between the new and old regions of EU Member-States. In this paper we limit approaching the field to main theoretical aspects regarding to regional convergence.
    Keywords: regional convergence
    JEL: C1 C10 R50
    Date: 2014–11–01

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