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

  1. Reports, articles and other writings 1955-1972 By Prebisch, Raúl
  2. Rethinking distance in international trade: World Trade Atlas 1870-2013 By Guillermo Garc\'ia-P\'erez; Mari\'an Bogu\~{n}\'a; Antoine Allard; M. \'Angeles Serrano
  3. D'un siècle à l'autre, salaire minimum, science économique et débat public aux États-Unis, en France et au Royaume-Uni (1890-2015) By Gautié, Jérôme
  4. Backtesting Systemic Risk Measures During Historical Bank Runs By Brownlees, Christian; Chabot, Benjamin; Ghysels, Eric; Kurz, Christopher J.
  5. Mujer y Fuerzas Armadas Latinoamericanas, una historia de superación By -
  6. The lasting health impact of leaving school in a bad economy: Britons in the 1970s recession By Garrouste, Clémentine; Godard, Mathilde
  7. Distribución funcional del ingreso en la Argentina, 1950-2007 By Kidyba, Susana; Vega, Daniel
  8. The vertical city: the price of land and the height of buildings in Chicago 1870-2010 By Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt; Daniel P. McMillen
  9. Human Capital Persistence and Development By Rudi Rocha; Claudio Ferraz; Rodrigo R. Soares
  10. Fraud and Financial Scandals: A Historical Analysis of Opportunity and Impediment By Toms, Steven
  11. A periodization of Latin American development in the Robinsonian tradition By Vernengo, Matías
  12. The Effect of the Spanish Reconquest on Iberian Cities By David Cuberes; Rafael González-Val
  13. Monetary circulation and archaeological data. The contribution of stratigraphy to monetary history By Stéphane Martin
  14. Total Factor Productivity and the Institutional Possibility Frontier: An Outline of a Link between Two Theoretical Perspectives on Institutions, Culture and Long Run Growth By Ilya Lokshin
  15. Invention and Development : Toward Schumpeter's early innovation theory By KOBAYASHI, Daisuke
  16. Instrucciones para la recolección de datos bibliográfico-documentales de caracter demográfico existentes en los archivos latinoamericanos By -

  1. By: Prebisch, Raúl (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) United Nations)
  2. By: Guillermo Garc\'ia-P\'erez; Mari\'an Bogu\~{n}\'a; Antoine Allard; M. \'Angeles Serrano
    Abstract: Here, we present the World Trade Atlas 1870-2013, a collection of annual world trade maps in which distances incorporate the different dimensions that affect international trade, beyond mere geography. The atlas provides us with information regarding the long-term evolution of the international trade system and demonstrates that, in terms of trade, the world is not flat, but hyperbolic. The departure from flatness has been increasing since World War I, meaning that differences in trade distances are growing and trade networks are becoming more hierarchical. Smaller-scale economies are moving away from other countries except for the largest economies; meanwhile those large economies are increasing their chances of becoming connected worldwide. At the same time, Preferential Trade Agreements do not fit in perfectly with natural communities within the trade space and have not necessarily reduced internal trade barriers. We discuss an interpretation in terms of globalization, hierarchization, and localization; three simultaneous forces that shape the international trade system.
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Gautié, Jérôme
    Abstract: L'actualité renouvelée des controverses autour du salaire minimum invite à resituer celles-ci dans une histoire longue qui commence à la fin du XIXème siècle. Cette histoire est abordée ici en articulant trois niveaux d'analyse. Les deux premiers portent respectivement sur l'étude des contenus empiriques et théoriques des controverses économiques, et sur celle de leurs enjeux méthodologiques et même, au-delà, épistémologiques. Un troisième niveau d'analyse, selon une approche de sociologie historique des sciences, vise à recontextualiser les débats économiques en tenant compte des modes d'articulation de la sphère académique à trois autres sphères : la sphère politique, la sphère administrative, et la sphère de la société civile et du monde économique et social. A partir de l'expérience des Etats-Unis, de la France et du Royaume-Uni (et de son Commonwealth), trois grandes périodes sont distinguées - autour de la première guerre mondiale, des années 1940 aux années 1980, et, enfin, du milieu des années 1990 à nos jours. Au-delà de la question du salaire minimum, l'histoire de ces débats éclaire sur l'évolution de l'économie du travail au cours de cette période, et, dans une certaine mesure, sur celle de la science économique dans son ensemble.
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Brownlees, Christian (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Chabot, Benjamin (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Ghysels, Eric (University of North Carolina); Kurz, Christopher J. (Board of the Governors of the Federal Reserve System)
    Abstract: The measurement of systemic risk is at the forefront of economists and policymakers concerns in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. What exactly are we measuring and do any of the proposed measures perform well outside the context of the recent financial crisis? One way to address these questions is to take backtesting seriously and evaluate how useful the recently proposed measures are when applied to historical crises. Ideally, one would like to look at the pre-FDIC era for a broad enough sample of financial panics to confidently assess the robustness of systemic risk measures but pre-FDIC era balance sheet and bank stock price data were heretofore unavailable. We rectify this data shortcoming by employing a recently collected financial dataset spanning the 60 years before the introduction of deposit insurance. Our data includes many of the most severe financial panics in U.S. history. Overall we find CoVaR and SRisk to be remarkably useful in alerting regulators of systemically risky financial institutions.
    Keywords: Financial crisis; Systemic risk; Stress testing; credit risk; High-frequency data
    JEL: C13 G14 G21 G28
    Date: 2015–07–02
  5. By: - (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) United Nations)
    Abstract: Pero lo social no se juega solo en lo social, sino que también en la economía, en la política y en el medio ambiente. Tampoco la diversificación productiva y el cambio estructural se deciden solo en el campo económico: el desarrollo social inclusivo y la mejora de las condiciones de vida de la población son un requisito necesario para asegurar la prosperidad económica. Contribuir en esa dirección es el objetivo de la Conferencia Regional sobre Desarrollo Social de América Latina y el Caribe, que se celebrará en Lima, del 2 al 4 de noviembre de 2015. En el presente documento, se expone el análisis de la CEPAL sobre los temas que estarán en discusión en la Conferencia.
    Date: 2015–11–02
  6. By: Garrouste, Clémentine; Godard, Mathilde
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether leaving school in a bad economy deteriorates health in the long-run. It focuses on individuals in England and Wales who left full-time education in their last year of compulsory schooling immediately after the 1973 oil crisis. Unemployment rates sharply increased in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, so that between 1974 and 1976, each school cohort faced worse economic conditions at labour-market entry than the previous one. Our identification strategy relies on the comparison of very similar pupils – born the same year and with a similar quantity of education (in months) – whose school-leaving behaviour in different economic conditions was exogeneouly implied by compulsory schooling laws. Unlike school-leavers who did postpone their entry on the labour market during the 1980s and 1990s recessions, we provide evidence that pupils’ decisions to leave school at compulsory age immediately after the 1973 oil crisis were not endogeneous to the contemporaneous economic conditions at labour market entry. We use a repeated cross section of individuals over 1983-2001 from the General Household Survey (GHS) and take a lifecourse perspective, from 7 to 26 years after school-leaving. Our results show that poor economic conditions at labour-market entry are particularly damaging to women’s health. Women who left school in a bad economy are more likely to report poorer health and to consult a general practitioner over the whole period under study (1983-2001). Additional evidence suggests that they are also more likely to suffer from a longstanding illness/disability over the whole period. As for men, the health impact of poor economic conditions at labour-market entry is more mixed, and not robust across all specifications. However, we never find that leaving school in a bad economy is beneficial to their health. Finally, our results show that leaving school in a bad economy does not have a lasting impact on labour-market outcomes from 7 to 26 years after school-leaving, neither for men, nor for women.
    Keywords: health, school-leaving, macroeconomic shocks
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Kidyba, Susana; Vega, Daniel (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) United Nations)
    Abstract: En el presente documento la CEPAL retoma su interés por la generación de información histórica para brindar a los analistas las herramientas necesarias para estudiar el desarrollo económico desde una perspectiva de largo plazo. El objetivo de este trabajo en particular ha sido la construcción de una serie histórica homogénea de la distribución funcional del ingreso en la Argentina para el período 1950-2007 que sea de utilidad para el estudio de la generación del ingreso.
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt; Daniel P. McMillen
    Abstract: We analyze the determinants of building heights in Chicago by combining a micro-geographic data set on tall buildings with a unique panel of land prices covering 140 years. Consistent with the predictions of classic urban economics models, we find that developers respond to increasing land prices by increasing density, i.e. building taller. In 2000, the elasticity of height with respect of land price was about 45% for tall commercial buildings and 30% for tall residential buildings. As expected given significant improvement in construction technology over time, we find that the height elasticity approximately doubled over the last 100 years. We find evidence for dissipative height competition within cities, as excessively tall buildings are significantly less likely to be constructed near to each other than other buildings. Proximity to scenic amenities creates an extra incentive to outrival competitors, particularly in the residential market.
    Keywords: Chicago; density; height; land value; skyscraper
    JEL: R20 R30
    Date: 2015–07
  9. By: Rudi Rocha; Claudio Ferraz; Rodrigo R. Soares
    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
  10. By: Toms, Steven
    Abstract: The paper presents a conceptual framework of financial fraud based on the historical interaction of opportunity and impediment. In the long run the character of opportunity is determined by the technical characteristics of assets and their unique, unknowable or unverifiable features. Impediment is promoted by consensus about the real value of assets, such that through active governance processes, fraudulent deviations from real value can be easily monitored. Active governance requires individuals in positions of responsibility to exercise a duty of care beyond merely being honest themselves. Taking a long run historical perspective and reviewing a selection of British financial frauds and scandals, from the South Sea Bubble to the Global Financial Crisis, the paper notes the periodic occurrence of waves of opportunity and the evolutionary response of passive governance mechanisms.
    Keywords: Financial fraud; South Sea Bubble; Railway Mania; Royal Mail Steam Packet; Slater Walker; Polly Peck; Global Financial Crisis
    JEL: M41 M42 M48 N23 N24 N83 N84
    Date: 2015–12–07
  11. By: Vernengo, Matías (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) United Nations)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes Joan Robinson's growth model and then adapts it in order to provide an explanatory taxonomy of Growth Eras. The Growth Eras or Ages were for Robinson a way to provide logical connections between output growth, capital accumulation, the degree of thriftiness, the real wage and illustrate a catalogue of growth possibilities. This modified taxonomy follows the spirit of Robinson's work, but it takes different theoretical approaches. which imply that some of the classifications do not fit perfectly the ones here suggested. Latin America has moved from a Golden Age in the 1950s and 1960s to a Leaden Age in the 1980s, having two traverse periods, one of which the process of growth and industrialization accelerated in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which is referred to as a Galloping Platinum Age, an one in which a process of deindustrialization and reprimarization and maquilization of the productive structure took place, starting in the 1990s, which could be referred as the Creeping Platinum Age.
    Date: 2014–11
  12. By: David Cuberes (Clark University); Rafael González-Val (Universidad de Zaragoza and Institut d’Economia de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of the Spanish Reconquest, a military campaign that aimed to expel the Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula, on the population of its most important cities. The almost four centuries of Reconquest offer a “quasi-natural” experiment to study the persistence of population shocks at the city level. Using a generalized difference in differences approach, we find that the Reconquest had an average significant negative effect on the relative population of the main Iberian cities even after controlling for a large set of country and city-specific geographical and economic indicators, as well as city-specific time trends. Nevertheless, our results show that this negative shock was short-lived, vanishing within the first one hundred years after the onset of the Reconquest. These results can be interpreted as weak evidence on the negative effect that war and conflict have on urban primacy. They also suggest that the locational fundamentals that determined the relative size of Iberian cities before the Reconquest were more important determinants of the fate of these cities than the direct negative impact that the Reconquest had on their population.
    Keywords: Locational Fundamentals, City Growth, Lock-in Effects, Warfare and Cities
    JEL: R12 N9
    Date: 2015–09
  13. By: Stéphane Martin (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
    Abstract: For the lack of texts on the subject, studies in monetary history necessarily rely on numismatics. However, when it comes to grasping the temporal dimension of monetary phenomena, traditional numismatic methods appear lacking. Drawing mainly on data from Roma Gaul, this paper identifies a way to bypass the problem. It consists in using stratified data, which archaeological context is precisely recorded. By taking into account extrinsic elements of dating, along with the intrinsic dating of the coins themselves, we can at the same time avoid circular reasonings and have a finer view on the chronology of the phenomena under study.
    Abstract: En l’absence de textes sur le sujet, les études d’histoire monétaire ne peuvent se passer de l’apport de la numismatique. Toutefois, lorsqu’on s’intéresse à la dimension temporelle des phénomènes monétaires, les méthodes traditionnellement employées par la numismatique s’avèrent insuffisantes. En s’appuyant principalement sur des exemples de la Gaule romaine, cet article essaie de montrer que le recours aux données stratifiées, dont le contexte archéologique est précisément connu, permet de contourner cette difficulté. La prise en compte d’éléments de datation extrinsèques, en plus de la datation intrinsèque du numéraire, permet d’éviter les raisonnements circulaires, tout en permettant une chronologie plus fine des phénomènes observés.
    Keywords: Money,Numismatics,Roman Antiquity,Economic history,Histoire économique,Monnaie,Numismatique,Epoque romaine
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Ilya Lokshin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper proposes an outline for the link between two theoretical perspectives on the prerequisites of high institutional quality and long run growth. One framework is based on the tradeoff between disorder and dictatorship and introduces the notion of the institutional possibility frontier, another perspective focuses upon the role of total factor productivity as a parameter underlying long run growth. The connection between these frameworks is proposed and elaborated. The paper sheds some light on the nature of total factor productivity and designates the directions for further research on fundamental conditions of high-quality development
    Keywords: total factor productivity, institutional possibility frontier, social capital
    JEL: E02 Y90
    Date: 2015
  15. By: KOBAYASHI, Daisuke
    Abstract: It has been the consensus among researchers that Schumpeter clearly distinguished the notions of innovation and invention, even neglecting the notion of invention in his work. Consequently, there has been very little effort made to tackle the relationship between Schumpeter’s development theory and the invention theories that were popular in the fields of anthropology and archaeology at that time, making it difficult to grasp how Schumpeter elaborated his own development theory. However, a close examination of his early works demonstrates that Schumpeter’s development theory can also be understood in the context of the debates surrounding the notion of invention. In Theorie der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, Schumpeter presented his static agent/innovator dyad with reference to ideas or terms used in the debates of invention being conducted around that time by anthropologists and archaeologists. In the present paper, the author seeks to depict the history of the concept of invention, helped by the work of Benoît Godin, and discusses how Schumpeter presented his development theory based on the ideas involved in the invention debates.
    Keywords: invention, evolutionism, diffusionism, unilinear development, psychic unity,
    Date: 2015–11
  16. By: - (Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) United Nations)

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.