nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2015‒12‒28
43 papers chosen by

  1. Forbearance by Contract: How Building and Loans Mitigated the Mortgage Crisis of the 1930s By Sebastián Fleitas; Price Fishback; Kenneth Snowden
  2. The International Monetary Fund: 70 Years of Reinvention By Carmen M. Reinhart; Christoph Trebesch
  3. Economic Impossibilities for our Grandchildren? By Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
  4. A Historical Analysis of the US Stock Price Index using Empirical Mode Decomposition over 1791-2015 By Aviral K. Tiwari; Arif B. Dar; Niyati Bhanja; Rangan Gupta
  5. The Word Criminology: A Philology and a Definition By Jeffrey R. Wilson
  6. Seguro de paro y protección a los desempleados en Uruguay (1958-2014): legislación y desempeño By Nicolás Bonino-Gayoso; Ulises Garcia Repetto
  7. The Time-Varying Correlation between Output and Prices in the United States over 1800 to 2014 By Nikolaos Antonakakis; Rangan Gupta; Aviral K. Tiwari
  8. Side Effects of War on the US Economy By Farhidi, Faraz
  9. Robert Lucas and the Twist of Modeling Methodology. On some Econometric Methods and Problems in New Classical Macroeconomics By Francesco Sergi
  10. A land of limitless possibilities: British commerce and trade in Siberia in the early twentieth century By Janet Hartley
  11. Money and Output: Friedman and Schwartz Revisited By Michael T. Belongia; Peter N. Ireland
  12. Time-Frequency Relationship between Inflation and Inflation Uncertainty for the U.S.: Evidence from Historical Data By Claudiu T. Albulescu; Aviral Kumar Twari; Stephen M. Miller; Rangan Gupta
  13. Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time? By Pierre Azoulay; Christian Fons-Rosen; Joshua S. Graff Zivin
  14. Stages of Diversification: France, 1836-1938 By Stéphane Becuwe; Bertrand Blancheton; Christopher M. Meissner
  15. The Tale of Two Great Crises By Michele Fratianni; Federico Giri
  16. D'un siècle à l'autre : salaire minimum, science économique et débat public aux Etats-Unis, en France et au Royaume-Uni (1890-2015) By Jérôme Gautié
  17. Sovereign Debt Default: Are Countries Trapped by Their Own Default History? By Vivian Norambuena
  18. Quantifying Human Capital Accumulation in Rural Ireland in the Nineteenth Century By Matthias Blum; Christopher L. Colvin; Laura McAtackney; Eoin McLaughlin
  19. The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence from the Kuba Kingdom By Sara Lowes; Nathan Nunn; James A. Robinson; Jonathan Weigel
  20. Momentum in Imperial Russia By William Goetzmann; Simon Huang
  21. The GATT's Starting Point: Tariff Levels circa 1947 By Chad P. Bown; Douglas A. Irwin
  22. Piketty's Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality By Mariacristina De Nardi; Giulio Fella; Fang Yang
  23. Why did the Democrats Lose the South? Bringing New Data to an Old Debate By Ilyana Kuziemko; Ebonya Washington
  24. Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Experience with Cap-and-Trade By Richard Schmalensee; Robert Stavins
  25. Das Komplexitätssyndrom: Gesellschaftliche 'Komplexität' als intellektuelle und politische Herausforderung in den 1970er-Jahren By Leendertz, Ariane
  26. Colonial Virginia’s Paper Money Regime, 1755-1774: a Forensic Accounting Reconstruction of the Data By Farley Grubb
  27. Update of Industrial Equipment and its Productivity Implication in Japan in the 1950s: "Industrial Rationalization" in the iron and steel industry (Japanese) By OKAZAKI Tetsuji; KORENAGA Takafumi
  28. Common Currency versus Currency Union: The U.S. Continental Dollar and Denominational Structure, 1775-1776 By Farley Grubb
  29. A History of U.S. Debt Limits By George J. Hall; Thomas J. Sargent
  30. The Plaza Accord, 30 Years Later By Jeffrey Frankel
  31. Professors and Bankers: Russia’S State Bank Charters of 1860 and 1894, Economic Expertise and Public Opinion By Igor A. Khristoforov
  32. Access to Schooling and the Black-White Incarceration Gap in the Early 20th Century US South: Evidence from Rosenwald Schools By Katherine Eriksson
  33. Path dependence and induced innovation By Karsten Wasiluk
  34. Norwegian gross domestic product by industry 1830 - 1930 By Ola Honningdal Grytten
  35. Business Groups in Canada: Their Rise and Fall, and Rise and Fall Again By Randall Morck; Gloria Y. Tian
  36. Declarations of Independence of the United States and the Spanish American Nations: Towards a Comparative Analysis By Andrey A. Iserov
  37. La internacionalización de las empresas familiares en el negocio corchero mundial: los casos de Reynolds, Mundet y Corticeira Amorim By Francisco Manuel Parejo Moruno; Amélia Branco; João Carlos Lopes; José Francisco Rangel Preciado
  38. The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV By Ruben Durante; Paolo Pinotti; Andrea Tesei
  39. Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs: Introduction By Robert Moffitt
  40. Unified Growth Theory Contradicted by the Economic Growth in the Former USSR By Ron W Nielsen
  41. Measuring trends and cycles in industrial production in Norway 1896-1948 By Jan Tore Klovland
  42. Customer-Labor Substitution: Evidence from Gasoline Stations By Emek Basker; Lucia Foster; Shawn Klimek
  43. Historical Origins of a Major Killer: Cardiovascular Disease in the American South By Richard H. Steckel; Garrett Senney

  1. By: Sebastián Fleitas; Price Fishback; Kenneth Snowden
    Abstract: During the Great Depression, Building and Loans (B&Ls), the leading home lenders, had a structure that mitigated the crisis. Borrowers were owners of the B&L and dissolution of the institution required a two-thirds majority vote. Using panel data from New Jersey in the 1930s, we find that this voting rule delayed dissolution by about one year. The year delay allowed one-fourth of the borrowers in the at-risk B&L to pay off their loans, but nonborrowers lost share value. The net loss was roughly -0.67 percent of the value of all New Jersey B&L assets in the mid-1930s.
    JEL: G23 N22 R31
    Date: 2015–12
  2. By: Carmen M. Reinhart; Christoph Trebesch
    Abstract: A sketch of the International Monetary Fund’s 70-year history reveals an institution that has reinvented itself over time along multiple dimensions. This history is primarily consistent with a “demand driven” theory of institutional change, as the needs of its clients and the type of crisis changed substantially over time. Some deceptively “new” IMF activities are not entirely new. Before emerging market economies dominated IMF programs, advanced economies were its earliest (and largest) clients through the 1970s. While currency problems were the dominant trigger of IMF involvement in the earlier decades, banking crises and sovereign defaults became they key focus since the 1980s. Around this time, the IMF shifted from providing relatively brief (and comparatively modest) balance-of-payments support in the era of fixed exchange rates to coping with more chronic debt sustainability problems that emerged with force in the developing nations and now migrated to advanced ones. As a consequence, the IMF has engaged in “serial lending”, with programs often spanning decades. Moreover, the institution faces a growing risk of lending into insolvency, most widespread among low income countries in chronic arrears to the official sector, but most evident in the case of Greece since 2010. We conclude that these practices impair the IMF’s role as an international lender of last resort.
    JEL: E50 F33 F40 F55 G01 G15 G2 N0
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
    Abstract: The paper looks at the development of the secular stagnation thesis, in the context of the economic history of the time. It explores some 19th century antecedents of the thesis, before turning to its interwar development. Not only Alvin Hansen, but Keynes and Hicks were involved in the conversations that led to Hansen's eventual statement of the thesis that we are familiar with. The argument made sense in the context of the interwar period, but more so in Britain than the US.
    JEL: B22 N10
    Date: 2015–12
  4. By: Aviral K. Tiwari (Faculty of Management, IBS Hyderabad, IFHE University); Arif B. Dar (Institute of Management Technology, Rajnagar, Ghaziabad, Delhi, 201001, India); Niyati Bhanja (Department of Economics and IB UPES, Dehradun India); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: In this paper, the dynamics of Standard and Poor's 500 (S&P 500) stock price index is analysed within the time-frequency framework over a monthly period of 1791:08-2015:05. Using the Empirical Mode Decomposition technique, the S&P 500 stock price index is divided into different frequencies known as intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) and one residual. The IMFs and the residual are then reconstructed into high frequency, low frequency and trend components using the hierarchical clustering method. Using different measures, it is shown that the low frequency and trend components of the stock prices are relatively important drivers of the S&P 500 index. These results are also robust across various sub-samples identified based on structural break tests.The US stock prices are, therefore, mostly driven by fundamental laws rooted in economic growth and long-term returns on investment.
    Keywords: Empirical Mode Decomposition, Stock Prices, S&P 500 Index, United States
    JEL: C22 G10
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Jeffrey R. Wilson
    Abstract: This essay looks into the past of criminology as a way to think about its future. I take a philological approach to the word criminology, looking at the etymology and history of that word, to argue for a new definition of the field: Criminology is the systematic study of crime, criminals, criminal law, criminal justice, and criminalization. I expand and explain this definition with respect to some common and (I argue) misguided dictates of criminology as it is traditionally understood. Specifically, I argue that criminology is usually but not necessarily academic and scientific, which means that criminology can be public and/or humanistic. I arrive at these thoughts by presenting some early English instances of the word criminology which predate the attempt to theorize a field of criminology in Italy and France in the 1880s, and I offer some new readings of those Italian and French texts. These philological analyses then come into conversation with some twentieth-century attempts to define the field and some twenty-first-century innovations in an effort to generate a definition of criminology that is responsive to the diversity of criminology in both its original formation and its ongoing transformations. Thus, the virtue of this new understanding of criminology is its inclusiveness: It normalizes unorthodox criminological research, which opens up new possibilities for jobs and funding in the name of criminology, which holds the promise of new perspectives on crime, new theories of criminology, and new policies for prevention and treatment.
  6. By: Nicolás Bonino-Gayoso (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Ulises Garcia Repetto (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: From the beginning of the 20th century the issue of unemployed workers’ protection has occupied a central place in the political agenda of Uruguay. The problem has been attempted to address through three mechanisms: the so-called “pension for dismissal” (“jubilación por despido”, 1904-1979), the seasonal unemployment insurance (1944-1979) and the compulsory and autonomous unemployment insurance (from 1958 onwards). By the mid-1950s, in moments when the economic stagnation of the country started to be perceived, authorities felt the need to organize a scheme of unemployed workers’ protection that should be autonomous of retirement benefits. This aim is reached in 1958 when a compulsory an autonomous unemployment insurance program is approved for the private workers of industry and commerce. This paper examines the legislation that has ruled the program since 1958, its financial performance and real coverage, in comparison with international experience. Its conclusion is that in Uruguay unemployment insurance has been a marginal tool regarding its coverage and financial dimension, in spite of being Uruguay a country with a highly formalized labour market in relation to the rest of Latin America. This reveals the limitations of state’s action.
    Keywords: Unemployment insurance, Social Security, Unemployment, Social Public Spending, Public Finances
    JEL: N46
    Date: 2015–12
  7. By: Nikolaos Antonakakis (University of Portsmouth, Department of Economics and Finance, Portsmouth Business School, Portland Street, Portsmouth, PO1 3DE, United Kingdom; Webster Vienna Private University, Department of Business and Management, Praterstrasse 23, 1020, Vienna, Austria; Johannes Kepler University, Department of Economics, Altenberger Strasse 69, 4040 Linz-Auhof, Austria.); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Aviral K. Tiwari (Faculty of Management, IBS Hyderabad, IFHE University, Donthanapally Shankarapalli Road, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 501203, India)
    Abstract: In this study, we examine the time-varying correlations between output and prices, while controlling for the impact of monetary policy stance, and output and in flation uncertainties over the period of 1800-2014. The results of the empirical analysis reveal that dynamic correlations of output and prices were typically negative, suggesting a countercyclical behaviour of prices, apart from the early 1840s, and from the beginning till the mid of the 20th century wherein correlation were positive, indicating the procyclicality of prices. A historical decomposition analysis based on a sign-restricted structural vector autoregressive model is able to relate the procyclical and countercyclical behavior to the predominance of aggregate supply, and aggregate demand and/or monetary policy shocks, respectively. Moreover, infl ation uncertainty (monetary policy stance) was found to have a positive (negative) effect on in ation over the last 215 years.
    Keywords: Conditional correlation, GARCH, Price-Output Comovement, US Economy
    JEL: E3 C5
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Farhidi, Faraz
    Abstract: Having studied the ancient empires, achieving political and economic powers, have been hovered one of the most critical issues all the time for the nations. The strategies to secure those might be different, but the intension still stays the same: controlling the labor and capital markets. Reviewing the historical colonization, one would recognize that there is a significant correlation between the political power and economic power within the countries. Among all the explanations on the approaches to attain these ambitions, using conquest other nations to gain resources and new territory and labor force seems to be one the unfortunate motives in this discussion. In the current study, having analyzed the macro data, I claim the feasibility of a positive causal relationship between having wars abroad and government expenditure in the long run within the studied period in the United States. While in the investigated duration, war seems to have a positive effect on the personal consumptions and the negative one on the export of goods and services, as well as private investments in the short run, as a consequence.
    Keywords: US Economy, War, Causal relation, Macro elements
    JEL: C20 E20 H56 N42 O41
    Date: 2015–09
  9. By: Francesco Sergi (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The purpose of this contribution to the epistemology and history of recent macroeconomics is to construct a clear understanding of econometric methods and problems in New Classical macroeconomics. Most historical work have focused so far on theoretical or policy implication aspects of this research program set in motion by Robert Lucas in the early seventies. On the contrary, the empirical and econometric works of New Classical macroeconomics have received little attention. I focus especially on the contributions gathered in Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice, edited in 1981 by Lucas and Thomas Sargent. The main claim of this article is that the publication of this book must be regarded as a turn in macroeconomics, that would bring macroeconometric modeling methodology closer to Lucas's conception of models. The analysis of the New Classical macroeconometrics through the Lucas methodology allow us to propose an original historical account of the methods presented in Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice, but also of the problems that flawed this approach.
    Abstract: L'objectif de cette contribution à l'épistémologie et à l'histoire de la pensée économique est de proposer une compréhension claire des méthodes et des problèmes économétriques de la nouvelle macroéconomie classique. La plupart des travaux historiques à ce sujet se sont focalisés sur les aspects théoriques ou sur les implications de politique économique de ce programme de recherche, lancé par Robert Lucas au début des années soixante-dix. En revanche, le travail empirique et économétrique de la nouvelle macroéconomie classique a reçu peu d'attention par les historiens. L'article s'intéresse plus particulièrement aux contributions rassemblées dans Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice, ouvrage collectif de 1981 dirigé par Lucas et Thomas Sargent. La principale thèse de l'article est que la publication de ce livre entérine un tournant dans la modélisation macroéconométrique, en étroite résonance avec la conception méthodologique de Lucas sur les modèles. L'analyse de la macroéconométrie des nouveaux classiques par le prisme de la méthodologie lucasienne nous permet de proposer une vision historique originale des méthodes présentées dans Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice, tout comme des problèmes qui ont entravé le développement de cette approche.
    Keywords: history of macroeconomics,macroeconometrics,modeling methodology,histoire de la macroéconomie,Lucas (Robert),Sargent (Thomas),macroéconométrie,méthodologie et modélisation
    Date: 2015–11
  10. By: Janet Hartley
    Abstract: This article looks at the prospects and the reality of British commercial activity in Siberia in the early twentieth century, before the outbreak of the First World War, and is based on contemporary comments by travellers, businessmen and commercial agents. Contemporaries agreed that the dynamic Siberian economy opened up opportunities for British exports and trade. British firms, however, lagged behind her commercial rivals, in particular Germany, and the United States. The article explores the reasons for this and also looks at the subjects of the British empire who went to Siberia and the conditions under which they worked. The artilce demonstrates the vibrancy of Siberian economic development in this period and the active participation of Western powers in this process.
    Keywords: Britain; Britons; Siberia; industry; trade; mining; butter industry
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2014–12–01
  11. By: Michael T. Belongia; Peter N. Ireland
    Abstract: More than fifty years ago, Friedman and Schwartz examined historical data for the United States and found evidence of pro-cyclical movements in the money stock, which led corresponding movements in output. We find similar correlations in more recent data; these appear most clearly when Divisia monetary aggregates are used in place of the Federal Reserve’s official, simple-sum measures. When we use information in Divisia money to estimate a structural vector autoregression, identified monetary policy shocks appear to have large and persistent effects on output and prices, with a lag that has lengthened considerably since the early 1980s.
    JEL: E31 E32 E51 E52
    Date: 2015–12
  12. By: Claudiu T. Albulescu (Management Department, Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania); Aviral Kumar Twari (Faculty of Management, IBS Hyderabad, IFHE University, India); Stephen M. Miller (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, USA.); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: We provide new evidence on the relationship between inflation and its uncertainty in the U.S. on an historical basis, covering the period 1775-2014. First, we use a bounded approach for measuring inflation uncertainty, as proposed by Chan et al. (2013), and we compare the results with the Stock and Watson (2007) method. Second, we employ the wavelet methodology to analyze the co-movements and causal effects between the two series. Our results provide evidence of a relationship between inflation and its uncertainty that varies across time and frequency. First, we show that in the medium- and long-runs, the Freidman–Ball hypothesis holds when the measure of uncertainty is unbounded, while if the opposite applies, the Cukierman–Meltzer reasoning prevails. Second, we discover mixed evidence about the inflation–uncertainty nexus in the short-run, findings which explain the mixed results reported to date in the empirical literature.
    Keywords: historical inflation rate, uncertainty, continuous wavelet transform, bounded series, U.S.
    JEL: C22 E31 N11 N12
    Date: 2015–12
  13. By: Pierre Azoulay; Christian Fons-Rosen; Joshua S. Graff Zivin
    Abstract: We study the extent to which eminent scientists shape the vitality of their fields by examining entry rates into the fields of 452 academic life scientists who pass away while at the peak of their scientific abilities. Key to our analyses is a novel way to delineate boundaries around scientific fields by appealing solely to intellectual linkages between scientists and their publications, rather than collaboration or co-citation patterns. Consistent with previous research, the flow of articles by collaborators into affected fields decreases precipitously after the death of a star scientist (relative to control fields). In contrast, we find that the flow of articles by non-collaborators increases by 8% on average. These additional contributions are disproportionately likely to be highly cited. They are also more likely to be authored by scientists who were not previously active in the deceased superstar’s field. Overall, these results suggest that outsiders are reluctant to challenge leadership within a field when the star is alive and that a number of barriers may constrain entry even after she is gone. Intellectual, social, and resource barriers all impede entry, with outsiders only entering subfields that offer a less hostile landscape for the support and acceptance of “foreign” ideas.
    JEL: I23 O31 O33
    Date: 2015–12
  14. By: Stéphane Becuwe; Bertrand Blancheton; Christopher M. Meissner
    Abstract: A large literature has documented an association between economic growth and export diversification. We study this question in France between 1836 and 1938. The period witnessed the onset of modern economic growth and sharp changes in the level of international competition. We use a new long term database on French foreign trade at a high level of disaggregation. At the dawn of the first Globalization, France appears to have specialized along Ricardian lines, exporting a handful of textile products in large quantities. There is a decrease in specialization from 1860 to World War I along the lines of modern studies. Changes in trade costs along with economic growth help explain the evolution of France’s comparative advantage. The decline of export concentration is associated with a chronic deficit in the balance of trade during the Belle Époque and the major part of the interwar period particularly after 1927.
    JEL: N23 N73
    Date: 2015–12
  15. By: Michele Fratianni (Indiana University, Kelly School of Business, Bloomington US, Univ. Plitecnica Marche and MoFiR); Federico Giri (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze economiche e sociali)
    Abstract: The great depression of 1929 and the great financial crisis of 2008 have been the two big events of the last 75 years. Not only have they produced serious economic consequences but they also changed our view of economics and policymaking. The aim of this work is to compare these two great crises and highlight similarities as well as differences. Monetary policy, the exchange rate system and the role of the banks are our fields of investigation. Our findings are that two big events have more similarities than dissimilarities.
    Keywords: Eurozone, Great Depression, Great Financial Crisis, gold standard, money multiplier, shadow banking
    JEL: E31 E42 E5 G21
    Date: 2015–12
  16. By: Jérôme Gautié (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The recent revival of the minimum wage debates is an incentive to recall their long history, which started at the end of the XIXth century. Three levels of analysis are combined here. The first one is the study of both the empirical and theoretical contents of the economic controversies. The second one is the analysis of the methodological, and beyond, epistemological issues at stake. Eventually, the third one relies on an historical sociology of science, focusing on the relations and interactions of the academic field with three other fields: the political field, the administrative field, and the field of the actors from civil society and the economic and social world. The study focuses on three countries: the United-States, France and the United-Kingdom (and its Commonwealth). Three key periods are distinguished: around World War I, the period from the 1940s to the 1980s, and the present period starting in the mid-1990s. From the history of the minimum wage debates, one can also learn about the evolution of labour economics, and beyond, the history of economics as a scientific discipline.
    Abstract: L'actualité renouvelée des controverses autour du salaire minimum invite à restituer 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.
    Keywords: Minimum wage,history of economic thought,rhetoric of economics,rhétorique économique,salaire minimum,histoire de la pensée économique
    Date: 2015–11
  17. By: Vivian Norambuena
    Abstract: Why are sovereign debt defaults so persistent in some EMEs, even at relatively low levels of external debt? The empirical literature has argued that the country?s record of defaults is the main determinant of the future default risk. However, there are two factors generating the effect from history on the probability of default: state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity. Is a country more likely to default because it has experienced a default in the past (state dependence) or does the country have some previous speci?c characteristics that make it more prone to default (unobserved heterogeneity)? Results indicate that state dependence effects are large. Nevertheless, this paper presents evidence indicating that the omission of unobserved heterogeneity -which accounts for both unobserved and observed time invariant characteristics- has drastic consequences when assessing countries?risk of default. When unobserved het- erogeneity is accounted for there are countries with high risk of default even if negligible levels of debt are assigned to them. Conversely, other countries show a low probability of default even with assigned levels of indebtedness higher than those observed in the sample. Finally, this paper presents evidence suggesting that unobserved heterogeneity could be associated to a set of different historical, political, and cultural factors that have deeply and persistently shaped institutions.
    Date: 2015–12
  18. By: Matthias Blum (Economics, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast); Christopher L. Colvin (Economics, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast); Laura McAtackney (Aarhus Universitet); Eoin McLaughlin (Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: Geary and Stark find that Ireland’s Post-Famine per capita GDP converged with British levels, and that this convergence was due to TFP growth rather than mass emigration. We devise new long-run measurements of human capital accumulation in Ireland in order to facilitate an assessment of sources of this TFP growth, including the relative contribution of men and women. We do so by exploiting the frequency at which age data heap at round ages, a measure that has been widely interpreted as an indicator of a population’s basic numeracy skills. Because Földvári, Van Leeuwen and Van Leeuwen-Li find that gender-specific trends in this measure derived from census returns are biased by who is reporting and recording the age information, we correct any computed numeracy trends using data from prison and workhouse registers, sources in which women self-reported their age. We find that rural Irish women born early in the nineteenth century had substantially lower levels of human capital than uncorrected census data would otherwise suggest. Our results are large in magnitude and economically significant. The speed at which women converged is consistent with Geary and Stark’s interpretation of Irish economic history; Ireland likely graduated to Europe’s club of advanced economies thanks in part to rapid advances in female human capital
    Keywords: age heaping, female numeracy, selection bias, prisons, workhouses, Ireland
    JEL: D44 D82 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2015–12
  19. By: Sara Lowes; Nathan Nunn; James A. Robinson; Jonathan Weigel
    Abstract: We use variation in historical state centralization to examine the impact of institutions on cultural norms. The Kuba Kingdom, established in Central Africa in the early 17th century by King Shyaam, had more developed state institutions than the other independent villages and chieftaincies in the region. It had an unwritten constitution, separation of political powers, a judicial system with courts and juries, a police force and military, taxation, and significant public goods provision. Comparing individuals from the Kuba Kingdom to those from just outside the Kingdom, we find that centralized formal institutions are associated with weaker norms of rule-following and a greater propensity to cheat for material gain.
    JEL: D03 N47
    Date: 2015–12
  20. By: William Goetzmann; Simon Huang
    Abstract: Some of the leading theories of momentum have different empirical predictions about its profitability conditional on market composition and structure. The overconfidence explanation provided by Daniel, Hirshleifer, and Subrahmanyam (1998), for example, predicts lower momentum profits in markets with more sophisticated investors. The information-based theory of Hong and Stein (1999) predicts lower momentum profits in markets with lower informational frictions. The institutional theory of Vayanos and Woolley (2013) predicts lower momentum profits in markets with less agency. In this paper, we use a dataset from a major 19th century equity market to test these predictions. Over this period, there was no evidence of delegated management in Imperial Russia. A regulatory change in 1893 made speculating on the St. Petersburg stock market more accessible to small investors. We find a momentum effect that is similar in magnitude to those in modern markets and stronger during the post-1893 period than during the pre-1893 period, consistent with the overconfidence theory of momentum.
    JEL: G10 G12 G14 G23 N2
    Date: 2015–11
  21. By: Chad P. Bown; Douglas A. Irwin
    Abstract: How high were import tariffs when GATT participants began negotiations to reduce them in 1947? Establishing this starting point is key to determining how successful the GATT has been in bringing down trade barriers. If the average tariff level was about 40 percent, as commonly reported, the implied early tariff reductions were substantial, but this number has never been verified. This paper examines the evidence on tariff levels in the late 1940s and early 1950s and finds that the average tariff level going into the first Geneva Round of 1947 was about 22 percent. We also find that tariffs fell by relatively more in the late 1940s and early 1950s for a core group of GATT participants (the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia) than they did for many other important countries, including the set of other (non-core) GATT participants.
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2015–12
  22. By: Mariacristina De Nardi; Giulio Fella; Fang Yang
    Abstract: Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, discusses several factors affecting wealth inequality: rates of return on capital, output growth rates, tax progressivity, top income shares, and heterogeneity in saving rates and inheritances. This paper studies the role of various forces affecting savings in quantitative models of wealth inequality, discusses their successes and failures in accounting for the observed facts, and compares these model's implications with Piketty's conclusions.
    JEL: D14 E21 H2
    Date: 2015–11
  23. By: Ilyana Kuziemko; Ebonya Washington
    Abstract: After generations of loyalty, Southern whites left the Democratic party en masse in the second half of the twentieth century. To what extent did Democrats' 1960s Civil Rights initiatives trigger this exodus, versus Southern economic development, rising political polarization or other trends that made the party unattractive to Southern whites? The lack of data on racial attitudes and political preferences spanning the 1960s Civil Rights era has hampered research on this central question of American political economy. We uncover and employ such data, drawn from Gallup surveys dating back to 1958. From 1958 to 1961, conservative racial views strongly predict Democratic identification among Southern whites, a correlation that disappears after President Kennedy introduces sweeping Civil Rights legislation in 1963. We find that defection among racially conservative whites explains all (three-fourths) of the decline in relative white Southern Democratic identification between 1958 and 1980 (2000). We offer corroborating quantitative analysis—drawn from sources such as Gallup questions on presidential approval and hypothetical presidential match-ups as well as textual analysis of newspapers—for the central role of racial views in explaining white Southern dealignment from the Democrats as far back as the 1940s.
    JEL: D72 H23 J15 N92
    Date: 2015–11
  24. By: Richard Schmalensee; Robert Stavins
    Abstract: This essay provides an overview of the major emissions trading programs of the past thirty years on which significant documentation exists, and draws a number of important lessons for future applications of this environmental policy instrument. References to a larger number of other emissions trading programs that have been implemented or proposed are included
    JEL: Q40 Q48 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2015–11
  25. By: Leendertz, Ariane
    Abstract: In den 1970er-Jahren begannen Soziologen und Politikwissenschaftler, einen analytischen Begriff von Komplexität zu entwickeln, indem sie aus der allgemeinen Systemtheorie und Kybernetik entnommene Konzepte in die Gesellschaftstheorie, Policy-Forschung und Politikberatung übertrugen. Gesellschaftliche 'Komplexität' war jedoch nicht allein ein Problem sozialwissenschaftlicher Theoriebildung, sondern wurde im Übergang von den 1960er- in die 1970er-Jahre zugleich als intellektuelles und politisches Problem 'entdeckt' und diskutiert: Der Begriff verbreitete sich simultan in Sozialwissenschaften, Politik und öffentlich-intellektuellen Debatten. Auch in den theoretischen Überlegungen wurde Komplexität nicht allein in einem streng analytischen Sinn, sondern als zeitdiagnostisches Schlagwort und Metapher verwendet. Vor dem Hintergrund historiografischer Debatten über Entwicklungen im letzten Drittel des 20. Jahrhunderts untersucht der Aufsatz das Bedeutungskontinuum der Rede über gesellschaftliche Komplexität in den USA. Wieso gelangte das Thema in den 1970er-Jahren gleichzeitig zu wissenschaftlicher und zu politischer Prominenz? Was bedeutete es, Gesellschaft als 'komplex' zu denken? Welche Konsequenzen waren aus Komplexitätsdiagnosen zu ziehen und wie veränderten sie Konzeptionen und Selbstverständnisse politischen Handelns?
    Abstract: In the 1970s, sociologists and political scientists began to develop a notion of 'complexity' using concepts from general systems theory and cybernetics and applying them to the fields of social theory as well as to policy research and consultation. Social complexity was, however, not just an issue for social scientific theorists. During the period spanning the 1960s and 1970s, the term gained currency across the social sciences as well as across political and intellectual debates where it was used not only in its narrow analytical sense but also as an explanatory catchword and metaphor for the era. Against the background of historiographical debates on developments during the final third of the twentieth century, this paper examines epistemic and political implications of the discourse on social complexity in the USA. Why did the topic rise to both academic and political prominence in the 1970s? What did it mean to view society as 'complex'? What consequences emerged from the identification of social complexity as a problem, and what consequences did the associated ideas and concepts have for policy-makers?
    Date: 2015
  26. By: Farley Grubb
    Abstract: I reconstruct the data on Virginia’s paper money regime using forensic accounting techniques. I correct the existing data on the amounts authorized and outstanding. In addition, I reconstruct yearly data on previously unknown aspects of Virginia’s paper money regime, including printings, net new emissions, redemptions and removals, denominational structures, expected tax revenues, and specie accumulating in the treasury for paper money redemption. These new data form the foundation for narratives written on the social, economic, and political history of Virginia, as well as for testing models of colonial paper money performance.
    JEL: C82 E51 N11
    Date: 2015–12
  27. By: OKAZAKI Tetsuji; KORENAGA Takafumi
    Abstract: In the 1950s, the Japanese economy was faced with international competition, with old industrial equipment built before and during World War II. In this situation, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) launched the "Industrial Rationalization" policy, whose main purpose was updating the equipment of strategic industries such as iron and steel and electricity. In this paper, we investigated the change in the vintage distribution of the equipment in the iron and steel industry in the 1950s and its productivity implication, using equipment-level and plant-level data. It was found that, on average, vintages of the equipment became newer in this period, which raised the total factor productivity. Also, we estimated the average treatment effect of the Japan Development Bank (JDB) loan on the vintages and found that the JDB loan had a significant positive impact on the rejuvenation of the equipment.
    Date: 2015–12
  28. By: Farley Grubb
    Abstract: I use denominational structure (the spacing and size of monetary units) to explain how the Continental Congress attempted to manage a successful common currency when sub-national political entities were allowed to have separate currencies and run independent monetary policies. Congress created a common currency that was too large to use in ordinary transactions. Congress hoped this currency would be held for post-war redemption and would not circulate as money during the war. As such, it would not contribute to wartime inflation. By contrast, individual state currencies were emitted in small enough denominations to function as the domestic medium of exchange.
    JEL: E42 E52 H77 N11
    Date: 2015–11
  29. By: George J. Hall; Thomas J. Sargent
    Abstract: Congress first imposed an aggregate debt limit in 1939 when it delegated decisions about designing US debt instruments to the Treasury. Before World War I, Congress designed each bond and specified a maximum amount of each bond that the Treasury could issue. It usually specified purposes for which proceeds could be spent. We construct and interpret a Federal debt limit before 1939.
    JEL: E6 H6 N21 N41
    Date: 2015–12
  30. By: Jeffrey Frankel
    Abstract: The paper reviews an event of 30 years ago from the perspective of today: a successful G-5 initiative to reverse what had been an overvalued dollar. The “Plaza Accord” is best viewed not as the precise product of the meeting on September 22, 1985, but as shorthand for a historic change in US policy that began when James Baker became Treasury Secretary in January of that year. The change had the desired effect, bringing down the dollar and reducing the trade deficit. In recent years concerted foreign exchange intervention, of the sort undertaken by the G-7 in 1985 and periodically over the subsequent decade, has died out. Indeed the G-7 in 2013, fearing “currency manipulation,” specifically agreed to refrain from intervention in a sort of “anti-Plaza accord.” But some day coordinated foreign exchange intervention will return.
    JEL: F33 F42 N1
    Date: 2015–12
  31. By: Igor A. Khristoforov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper considers the role of public opinion and economic expertise in planning and realization of two important Russia’s financial reforms of the nineteenth century: the creation of the State Bank in 1860 and its reform in 1894. It aims at expanding the limits of institutional history and complimenting it with the analysis of ideological and political context. The focus on the images of «ideal» economic development that existed in public imagination as well as in expert opinion enables to look at the financial policy of the 1860s-1890s from a new prospective.
    Keywords: Russian Empire, banking system, reforms, economic expertise.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  32. By: Katherine Eriksson
    Abstract: A large gap in incarceration rates between black and white men has been evident since the early 20th century. This paper examines the effect of access to primary schooling on black incarceration in this period. I use the construction of 5,000 schools in the US South, funded by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, as a quasi-natural experiment that increased the educational attainment of southern black students. I link individuals across Census waves in order to assign exposure to a Rosenwald school during childhood and to measure adult incarceration. I find that one year of access to a Rosenwald school decreased the probability of being a prisoner by 0.1 percentage points (seven percent of the mean). Using other data from archival and government sources, I find that Rosenwald schools affected juvenile crime and all categories of adult crime. I argue that most of the reduction in incarceration comes from increased opportunity costs of crime through higher educational attainment but also investigate school quality and migration responses. Effects are largest in counties which have less racist attitudes and which have a more literate population. These results contribute to a broader literature on racial gaps in social outcomes in the US throughout the 20th century.
    JEL: I20 N32
    Date: 2015–11
  33. By: Karsten Wasiluk (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper presents an endogenous growth model that captures the origins of path dependence and technological lock-in and introduces a mechanism of induced innovation, which can trigger new research. Imperfect spillovers of secondary development can make the development of new technologies unattractive until research ceases in the long run. Changes in the relative supply of primary factors act as a stimulus for research as new technologies are better suited for the new environment. A simulation using changes of crude oil prices in the US shows the quantitative significance of the model's implications. The model is able to explain long waves of economic development where growth cycles are triggered by changes in the relative factor supply. It also provides a new rationale for governmental regulations such as Pigouvian taxes and pollution permits as they can stimulate innovation and provide the base for the development of "green" technologies.
    Keywords: Path Dependence, Induced Innovation, Directed Technological Change, Growth Cycles
    JEL: O30 O31 O33 O44
    Date: 2015–04–21
  34. By: Ola Honningdal Grytten (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: The present paper offers new knowledge of historical national accounting in Norway in several ways. Firstly, a new and novel set of annual gross domestic product series by industry are presented for the period 1830-1930. Secondly, the new estimates suggest revision of the historical national accounts published by Statistics Norway. Thirdly, this may lead to necessary revisions of both Norwegian industrial history and business cycle history.
    Keywords: Historical national accounting, national accounts, industrial development, Norwegian economic history
    JEL: L6 L7 L8 L9 N3 N13 N14 O11 O14 O16
    Date: 2015–12–17
  35. By: Randall Morck; Gloria Y. Tian
    Abstract: Family-controlled pyramidal business groups were important in Canada early in the 20th century, amid rapid catch-up industrialization, but largely gave way to widely held free-standing firms by mid- century. In the 1970s and early 1980s – an era of high inflation, financial reversal, unprecedented state intervention, and explicit emulation of continental European institutions – pyramidal groups abruptly regained prominence. The largest of these were politically well-connected and highly leveraged. The two largest collapsed in the early 1990s in a recession characterized by very high real interest rates. The smaller groups that survived were more vertically integrated and less diversified at the time. Widely held freestanding firms and Anglo-Saxon concepts of the role of the state soon regained predominance.
    JEL: G3 L22 N22
    Date: 2015–11
  36. By: Andrey A. Iserov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This research is an attempt of an outline of the relevant lines of comparison between the declarations of independence of the United States and Spanish American nations. For the first time in historiography the exhaustive list of Spanish American declarations of independence is compiled. The questions risen by this attempted comparison lead to a reconsideration of the main problems of the New World independence movements and in the final account, to the discussion of a nature of the British and the Spanish colonial societies in Americas, and thus do not have clear and final answers.
    Keywords: declarations of independence, U.S. Declaration of Independence, Spanish American War of Independence, Atlantic revolutions, inter-American relations, popular sovereignty
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  37. By: Francisco Manuel Parejo Moruno; Amélia Branco; João Carlos Lopes; José Francisco Rangel Preciado
    Abstract: The internationalization of family firms has become an important field of economic research, which could be addressed from different theoretical approaches. In all of them, historical perspective is a very useful tool, since a long-term approach allows a deeper understanding of the internationalization process and their geographic, economic and social implications. The purpose of this work is to analyze the processes of internationalization followed by family firms, with an emphasis on factors linked to them which favor their success in the global markets. In particular, we present a historical analysis of three relevant family firms in the world cork business history; first, the Reynolds family firm, which is a paradigm of commercial success in the cork business until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and of failure thereafter; second, the Mundet & Sons company, which, despite having become a leading company in the world cork business, is also a paradigmatic example of failure because of its final outcome in the 1980s; and third, Corticeira Amorim, an example of success and leadership in the international market since the mid-twentieth century to today.
    Keywords: Family firms, internationalization, cork, cork industry, Reynolds, Mundet, Corticeira Amorim
    JEL: F23 H00 L73 P25
    Date: 2015–12
  38. By: Ruben Durante (Sciences Po and CEPR); Paolo Pinotti (Bocconi University and DONDENA Center); Andrea Tesei (Queen Mary University of London and CEP (LSE))
    Abstract: We investigate the political impact of entertainment television in Italy over the past thirty years by exploiting the staggered introduction of Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, in the early 1980s. We find that individuals in municipalities that had access to Mediaset prior to 1985 - when the network only featured light entertainment programs - were significantly more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office. This effect persists for almost two decades and five elections, and is especially pronounced for heavy TV viewers, namely the very young and the old. We relate the extreme persistence of the effect to the relative incidence of these age groups in the voting population, and explore different mechanisms through which early exposure to entertainment content may have influenced their political attitudes.
    Keywords: Television, Entertainment, Voting, Political participation, Italy
    JEL: L82 D72 Z13
    Date: 2015–12
  39. By: Robert Moffitt
    Abstract: This volume collects a series of essays by prominent economists on each of the major means-tested, or welfare, programs in the United States: the Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, Subsidized Housing, Training, and Early Education programs. Each essay covers the institutional history of a program, the policy issues surrounding it, its rules and regulations, its history of expenditure and caseloads, and, most importantly, a summary of the research that economists have conducted on the program and the findings from that research. The volume is an update of a popular first volume in 2003 which became a reference Handbook on the shelf of all economists and policy-makers who work on, or who are interested in, transfer programs in the United States. The new volume focuses primarily on the changes in programs which have occurred since 2003 and the results of new research since that date. The volume will be a timely contribution to on-going policy discussions in Washington and elsewhere, bringing the available evidence to bear on the many issues surrounding those programs.
    JEL: I3
    Date: 2015–11
  40. By: Ron W Nielsen
    Abstract: Historical economic growth in countries of the former USSR is analysed. It is shown that Unified Growth Theory is contradicted by the data, which were used, but not analysed, during the formulation of this theory. Unified Growth Theory does not explain the mechanism of economic growth. It explains the mechanism of Malthusian stagnation, which did not exist and it explains the mechanism of the transition from stagnation to growth that did not happen. Unified Growth Theory is full of stories but it is hard to decide which of them are reliable because they are based on unprofessional examination of data. The data show that the economic growth in the former USSR was never stagnant but hyperbolic. Industrial Revolution did not boost the economic growth in the former USSR. Unified Growth Theory needs to be revised or replaced by a reliable theory to reconcile it with data and to avoid creating the unwarranted sense of security about the current economic growth.
    Date: 2015–12
  41. By: Jan Tore Klovland (Norwegian School of Economics and Norges Bank)
    Abstract: This paper presents new indices for industrial production in Norway covering the years 1896-1948. Separate annual and monthly indices of gross output and labour productivity are computed for 45 manufacturing and mining industries, using annually updated weights based on value added at factor cost. The new industrial production index shows somewhat stronger growth of output in the years before WWI and, in particular, in the 1930s, than the existing index published by Statistics Norway. The new monthly data set also provides a basis for identifying a business cycle chronology for Norway in the first half of the twentieth century.
    Keywords: Industrial production, business cycles, labour productivity
    JEL: E32 N64 O47
    Date: 2015–12–08
  42. By: Emek Basker; Lucia Foster; Shawn Klimek
    Abstract: Employment by gasoline stations increased between 1977 and 1992, a period during which many stations converted from full-service to self-service pumps, outsourcing to customers tasks previously performed by employees. Applying several identification strategies to establishment-level data from the Census of Retail Trade over this period, we show that self-service stations employ approximately 0.4 fewer workers per pump. At the same time, stations that adopted self service expanded their size and diversified operations by adding convenience stores, mitigating the job-loss impact of self service.
    Keywords: Customer-labor substitution, retail, gasoline station, self service, full service, outsourcing
    JEL: D22 D24 J23 L81
    Date: 2015–12
  43. By: Richard H. Steckel; Garrett Senney
    Abstract: When building major organs the fetus responds to signals via the placenta that forecast post-natal nutrition. A mismatch between expectations and reality creates physiological stress and elevates several noninfectious chronic diseases. Applying this concept, we investigate the historical origins of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the American South using rapid income growth from 1950 to 1980 as a proxy for socioeconomic forces that created unbalanced physical growth among southern children born after WWII. Using state-level data on income growth, smoking, obesity and education, we explain over 70% of the variance in current CVD mortality rates across the country.
    JEL: I15 N32
    Date: 2015–12

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.