nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2016‒01‒03
34 papers chosen by

  1. Diamonds Are Forever: Long-Run Effects of Mining Institutions in Brazil By Marcelo Sacchi de Carvalho
  2. The Paradox of Civilization: Pre-Institutional Sources of Security and Prosperity By Ernesto Dal Bó; Pablo Hernández; Sebastián Mazzuca
  3. The decentralised central bank: regional bank rate autonomy in Norway, 1850-1892 By Jan Tore Klovland; Lars Fredrik Øksendal
  4. The U.S. Debt Restructuring of 1933: Consequences and Lessons By Sebastian Edwards; Francis A. Longstaff; Alvaro Garcia Marin
  5. Who comes and Why? Determinants of Immigrants Skill Level in the Early XXth Century US By Matias Covarrubias; Jeanne Lafortune; José Tessada
  6. Working Paper: The Upward Redistribution of Income: Are Rents the Story? By Dean Baker
  7. International Business Cycle Synchronization Since the 1870s: Evidence from a Novel Network Approach By Antonakakis, Nikolaos; Gogas, Periklis; Papadimitriou, Theophilos; Sarantitis, Georgios
  8. Keynes on the Marginal Efficiency of Capital and the Great Depression By Tsoulfidis, Lefteris
  9. Hunting Activities of Russian Pomors on Spitsbergen in the 18th Century: New Evidences in Transnational Perspective By Margarita M. Dadykina; Alexei V. Kraikovski; Julia A. Lajus
  10. Corporate Governance Legal Issues By Svetlana Chekhovskaya
  11. An initial 'Keynesian illness'? Friedman on taxation and the inflationary gap By Levrero, Enrico Sergio
  12. Height and Industrialisation in a City in Catalonia during the Nineteenth Century By Ramon Ramon-Muñoz; Josep-Maria Ramon-Muñoz
  13. Karl Brunner, Scholar: An Appreciation By Allan H. Meltzer
  14. The International Monetary Fund: 70 Years of Reinvention By Reinhart, Carmen M.; Trebesch, Christoph
  15. Understanding Cluster Evolution By Trippl , Michaela; Grillitsch , Markus; Isaksen , Arne; Sinozic , Tanja
  16. Development economics as taught in developing countries By Mckenzie,David J.; Paffhausen,Anna Luisa
  17. Quantifying human capital accumulation in rural Ireland in the nineteenth century By Blum, Matthias; Colvin, Christopher L.; McAtackney, Laura; McLaughlin, Eoin
  18. Time-Varying Correlations between Trade Balance and Stock Prices in the United States over the Period 1792 to 2013 By Nikolaos Antonakakis; Rangan Gupta; Aviral Kumar Twari
  19. La inflación bajo una perspectiva monetaria: Un vistazo al período de la postguerra By Javier G. Gómez-Pineda
  20. Extractive Institutional Structure and Economic Development: Evidence from Nigeria By Khan, Karim
  21. Did Gender-Bias Matter in the Quantity-Quality Trade-off in 19th Century France? By Diebolt, Claude; Mishra, Tapas; Perrin, Faustine
  22. Is History of Economics What Historians of Economic Thought Do? A Quantitative Investigation By Maria Cristina Marcuzzo; Giulia Zacchia
  23. Notarial Credit in Eighteenth-Century Trentino: Dynamics and Trends By Marcella Lorenzini
  24. Karl Marx on wage labour: From natural abstraction to formal subsumption By Ernesto Screpanti
  25. Capital shares and income inequality: Evidence from the long run By Bengtsson, Erik; Waldenström, Daniel
  26. Even Keel and the Great Inflation By Humpage, Owen F.; Mukherjee, Sanchita
  27. Unified Growth Theory Contradicted by the Economic Growth in Europe By Ron W Nielsen
  28. A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy: the United States, 1899-1941 By Bakker, Gerben; Crafts, Nicholas; Woltjer, Pieter
  29. Infant mortality and the role of seigneurial tenure in Canada East, 1851 By Arsenault Morin, Alex; Geloso, Vincent; Kufenko, Vadim
  30. Capital Shares and Income inequality: Evidence from the Long Run By Bengtsson, Erik; Waldenström, Daniel
  31. Inclusión financiera y el desarrollo económico de México By Ricardo David Castañeda Orozco; David Juárez-Luna
  32. O Custo da Incerteza: Uma Análise do Pensamento Novo Institucional de Douglass North By Daniel Mendonça, Araújo
  33. Ideas; Instituciones y Líderes: La Escuela de Chicago y las Bases de la Transformación Económica Chilena By Francisco Rosende
  34. Le economiste in Italia negli anni ‘50: Il caso di Vera Cao Pinna By Giulia Zacchia

  1. By: Marcelo Sacchi de Carvalho
    Abstract: This paper uses a regression discontinuity approach to investigate whether a set of colonial policies adopted in the Diamond District of colonial Brazil have long-run impacts on development. Results regarding household income are still inconclusive. On the other hand, the estimated effects on adult literacy and light density from satellite images are positive. I also try to explore potential channels through which this historical event might influence the present. Using a geospatial road location database, I find that observations inside the District’s historical boundaries have denser road networks. Additionally I use microdata from the 1830s to show that slavery was more intense in untreated villages, which has been related in the literature to underdevelopment.
    Keywords: Institutions; Development; Colonial Brazil
    JEL: O43 O13 N56
    Date: 2015–12–03
  2. By: Ernesto Dal Bó; Pablo Hernández; Sebastián Mazzuca
    Abstract: The rise of civilizations involved the dual emergence of economies that could produce surplus (“prosperity”) and states that could protect surplus (“security”). But the joint achievement of security and prosperity had to escape a paradox: prosperity attracts predation, and higher insecurity discourages the investments that create prosperity. We study the trade-offs facing a proto-state on its path to civilization through a formal model informed by the anthropological and historical literatures on the origin of civilizations. We emphasize pre-institutional forces, such as physical aspects of the geographical environment, that shape productive and defense capabilities. The solution of the civilizational paradox relies on high defense capabilities, natural or manmade. We show that higher initial productivity and investments that yield prosperity exacerbate conflict when defense capability is fixed, but may allow for security and prosperity when defense capability is endogenous. Some economic shocks and military innovations deliver security and prosperity while others force societies back into a trap of conflict and stagnation. We illustrate the model by analyzing the rise of civilization in Sumeria and Egypt, the first two historical cases, and the civilizational collapse at the end of the Bronze Age.
    JEL: D74 N4 Z1
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Jan Tore Klovland (Norwegian School of Economics and Norges Bank); Lars Fredrik Øksendal (Norges Bank and Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: Before 1893 the regional branches of Norges Bank set their own bank rates. We discuss how bank rate autonomy could be reconciled with the fixed exchange rate commitments of the silver and gold standard. Although the headquarters of the bank was in Trondhjem, we find that the Christiania branch played the key role in providing leadership in bank rate policy. Foreign interest rate impulses were important for bank rate decisions, but there was also some leeway for responding to idiosyncratic shocks facing the Norwegian economy.
    Keywords: bank rate, gold standard, monetary policy
    JEL: E58 N23
    Date: 2015–12–23
  4. By: Sebastian Edwards; Francis A. Longstaff; Alvaro Garcia Marin
    Abstract: In 1933, the U.S. unilaterally restructured its debt by declaring that it would no longer honor the gold clause in Treasury securities. We study the effects of the abrogation of the gold clause on sovereign debt markets, the Treasury's ability to issue new debt, investors' willingness to hold Treasury bonds, and on the Treasury's borrowing costs. We find that the restructuring was followed by a flight to quality in the sovereign market. Despite this, there was little effect on the Treasury's ability to sell new debt or the willingness of investors to roll over restructured debt. The Treasury incurred a marginally higher cost of capital by issuing new bonds without the gold clause.
    JEL: E43 E44 E65
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Matias Covarrubias; Jeanne Lafortune; José Tessada
    Abstract: This paper first elaborates a model of intermediate selection where potential migrants must have both the resources to finance the migration cost (liquidity constraint restriction) and an income gain of migrating (economic incentives restriction). We then test the predictions of the model regarding the impact of output in the sending country and migration costs on average skill level of immigrants to the United States from 1899 to 1932, where immigration was initially unrestricted by law and then highly limited. Our panel of 39 countries includes data on occupations that immigrants had in their country of origin, providing a more accurate skill measure than previously available datasets. We find that migration costs have a negative but skill-neutral effect on quantity of immigrants and an increase in output, measured as GDP per capita, has a positive effect on quantity and a negative effect on average skill level of immigrants, suggesting that the main channel by which changes in output affected the average skill level of migrants in that time period is through the easing or tightening of the liquidity constraints and not through the economic incentives as in previous models. Also, using migrants’ occupation in the United States as a measure of skills would lead to misleading conclusions.
    JEL: F22 H56 J61 O15
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Dean Baker
    Abstract: In the years since 1980, there has been a well-documented upward redistribution of income. While there are some differences by methodology and the precise years chosen, the top one percent of households have seen their income share roughly double from 10 percent in 1980 to 20 percent in the second decade of the 21st century. As a result of this upward redistribution, most workers have seen little improvement in living standards from the productivity gains over this period. This paper argues that the bulk of this upward redistribution comes from the growth of rents in the economy in four major areas: patent and copyright protection, the financial sector, the pay of CEOs and other top executives, and protectionist measures that have boosted the pay of doctors and other highly educated professionals. The argument on rents is important because, if correct, it means that there is nothing intrinsic to capitalism that led to this rapid rise in inequality, as for example argued by Thomas Piketty.
    Keywords: rents, patents, wall street, financial transactions tax, intellectual property, CEO pay
    JEL: P P1 G G3
    Date: 2015–12
  7. By: Antonakakis, Nikolaos (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Gogas, Periklis (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics); Papadimitriou, Theophilos (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics); Sarantitis, Georgios (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In this study, we examine the issue of business cycle synchronization from a historical perspective in 27 developed and developing countries. Based on a novel complex network approach, the Threshold-Minimum Dominating Set (T-MDS), our results reveal heterogeneous patterns of international business cycle synchronization during fundamental globalization periods since the 1870s. In particular, the proposed methodology reveals that worldwide business cycles de-coupled during the Gold Standard, though they were synchronized during the Great Depression. The Bretton Woods era was associated with a lower degree of synchronization as compared to that during the Great Depression, while worldwide business cycle synchronization increased to unprecedented levels during the latest period of floating exchange rates and the Great Recession.
    Keywords: Business cycle synchronization; Globalisation; Complex networks
    JEL: E32 N10
    Date: 2015–12–14
  8. By: Tsoulfidis, Lefteris
    Abstract: This paper argues that Keynes’s analysis of the marginal efficiency of capital is consistent with the principle of effective demand and is, in this sense, characteristically different from the related classical or neoclassical conceptualisations. Furthermore, the notion of the marginal efficiency of capital is used not only as an explanation of the short term fluctuations in the level of economic activity but also as an interpretation of more serious long term fluctuations such as that of the great depression. Finally, some of Keynes’s economic policy proposals are critically evaluated.
    Keywords: Marginal efficiency of capital, effective demand, great depression, interest rate, overinvestment
    JEL: B10 B12 B14 B51 E32 E4 E6 E65 N20
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Margarita M. Dadykina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alexei V. Kraikovski (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Julia A. Lajus (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The Russian hunters used to kill animals in the Arctic long before the 18th c. However, the Petrine modernization has changed their life strongly. The Government has put the new goals in order to make the Russian blubber industry some kind of a driving force for the Europeanization of the enormous region of the Russian North. However, what were the economic and political contexts for that? And could this governmental project be successful at all?
    Keywords: Spitsbergen, Archangelsk, monopoly, blubber, international market.
    JEL: N5
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Svetlana Chekhovskaya (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper aims to add to the literature on the connection between corporate governance and corporate law development. “Corporate governance” came into vogue in the 1970s in the United States. Corporate governance had become the subject of debate worldwide by scholars, regulators, investors etc. This paper considers the nature and extent of corporate law contribution to the development of corporate governance and vice versa. In the last years, Russia and most continental countries (Germany, France, Italy) have enacted significant corporate law reforms. In Europe these reforms aim to strengthen the mechanisms of internal governance, empower shareholders, enhance disclosure requirements, and toughen public enforcement, which are the most effective tools for countering abuses by dominant shareholders. It is very much discussed among legal professionals in Russia that now we have the urgent need for the comprehensive review and modernization of corporate law and governance. However, the last two years Russian Civil Code and Federal Law “On Joint Stock Companies” were changed deeply. Under the new Civil Code, all legal entities (both commercial and non-commercial) are divided into corporate and unitary entities
    Keywords: Russian corporate law, soft corporate law, corporate governance
    JEL: K29
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Levrero, Enrico Sergio
    Abstract: This paper examines Friedman’s writings in the years 1941-1943 and compares them with those after the war with a view to assessing differences and similarities. Albeit a first assessment, Friedman’s “Keynesian illness” in his ‘Washington phase’ will appear to have been less ‘serious’ and deep than he himself feared.
    Keywords: Friedman; inflationary gap; price inflation; spending tax; quantity theory of money
    JEL: B22 B31 E31 E51
    Date: 2015–12–28
  12. By: Ramon Ramon-Muñoz (Universitat de Barcelona); Josep-Maria Ramon-Muñoz (Universidad de Murcia)
    Abstract: Drawing on anthropometric information, this article investigates the evolution of the biological standard of living in nineteenth-century Catalonia. We focus on the city of Igualada, one of Catalonia’s main textile centres in the early part of the century. The results show a decline in the height of males born between the 1830s and the 1860s, the period in which factory-based industrialisation emerged and became consolidated. The article also suggests that height inequality rose during the third quarter of the nineteenth century. The empirical evidence gathered provides further support for the pessimistic view of the evolution of the standard of living during the early stages of industrialisation.
    Keywords: Biological Standard of Living, Inequality, Industry, Urbanization, Southern Europe.
    JEL: I12 I14 I31 N33 N63
    Date: 2015
  13. By: Allan H. Meltzer
    Abstract: This paper discusses the contributions of Karl Brunner and the enormous influence of his insights and analysis. It considers his work on economic policy--and monetary policy in particular--as well as his ideas for broadening the utility maximizing hypothesis of textbooks by describing how individuals search and grope as they confront incomplete information and uncertainty. It shows how, early on, he highlighted information, institutions and uncertainty as well as the importance of microanalysis in macroeconomics. Karl Brunner explained that nominal monetary impulses changed real variables by changing the relative price of assets to output prices. And he concluded that economic fluctuations occurred because of an unstable public sector—especially the monetary sector—that disturbs a more stable private sector, a policy lesson forgotten or never learned by many central banks.
    Date: 2015–10
  14. By: Reinhart, Carmen M.; Trebesch, Christoph
    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.
    Keywords: currency crashes; financial crashes; IMF; international borrowing; lender of last resort; sovereign default
    JEL: E5 F33 F4 F55 G01 G15 G2 N0
    Date: 2015–12
  15. By: Trippl , Michaela (CIRCLE, Lund University); Grillitsch , Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Isaksen , Arne (Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder, Norway); Sinozic , Tanja (Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria)
    Abstract: The past few years have seen an increasing popularity of cluster life cycle approaches. These models, however, suggest a rather deterministic view, are indifferent with respect to context and suffer from biological connotations. This chapter intends to go beyond the cluster life cycle models. We review the literature on industrial districts, innovative milieu and regional innovation systems and investigate how these alternative approaches contribute to the development of a more context-sensitive approach to cluster change. We argue that future research may benefit from developing theoretically relevant categorizations of different cluster types and from carrying out comparative empirical studies.
    Keywords: cluster evolution; cluster life cycle; regional industrial change; regional innovation systems
    JEL: O10 O30 R10 R50
    Date: 2015–12–21
  16. By: Mckenzie,David J.; Paffhausen,Anna Luisa
    Abstract: This paper uses a combination of survey questions to instructors and data collected from course syllabi and examinations to examine how the subject of development economics is taught at the undergraduate and masters levels in developing countries, and benchmark this against undergraduate classes in the United States. The study finds that there is considerable heterogeneity in what is considered development economics: there is a narrow core of only a small set of topics such as growth theory, poverty and inequality, human capital, and institutions taught in at least half the classes, with substantial variation in other topics covered. In developing countries, development economics is taught largely as a theoretical subject coupled with case studies, with few courses emphasizing data or empirical methods and findings. This approach contrasts with the approach taken in leading U.S. economics departments and with the evolution of development economics research. The analysis finds that country income per capita, the role of the state in the economy, the education level in the country, and the involvement of the instructor in research are associated with how close a course is to the frontier. The results suggest there are important gaps in how development economics is taught.
    Keywords: Pro-Poor Growth,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers
    Date: 2015–12–21
  17. By: Blum, Matthias; Colvin, Christopher L.; McAtackney, Laura; McLaughlin, Eoin
    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: I25 N33 O47
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Nikolaos Antonakakis (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Portsmouth; Department of Business and Management, Webster Vienna Private University and Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Aviral Kumar Twari (Faculty of Management, IBS Hyderabad, IFHE University, India)
    Abstract: The relationship between stock prices and the trade balance can be either negative or positive, depending on the signs of the wealth effect channel and the exchange rate channel. While previous studies examined this relationship in a time-invariant framework, we employ a time-varying approach so as to examine the dynamic correlations of trade balance and stock prices in the United States over the period 1792-2013. The results of our empirical analysis, which remain robust to alternative specifications, reveal that correlations between the trade balance and stock prices in the United States are indeed not constant, but evolve heterogeneously overtime. In particular, the correlations are, in general, significantly positive between 1800 and 1870, while significantly negative thereafter. The policy implications of these findings are then discussed..
    Keywords: Conditional correlation, GARCH, Trade-Balance and Stock Price Comovement, US Economy
    JEL: E3 C5 N1
    Date: 2015–12
  19. By: Javier G. Gómez-Pineda (Banco de la República de Colombia)
    Abstract: El artículo estudia la inflación en Colombia durante la posguerra y su relación con el crecimiento del dinero en el largo plazo. El artículo aborda el tema de los desplazamientos de la velocidad de circulación del dinero por medio de una estimación de la demanda de dinero en donde la monetización de la economía sigue un proceso estocástico, específicamente una tendencia lineal local. En el artículo se evalúa la predictibilidad de la velocidad de circulación del dinero por medio de una medición de su error de pronóstico. Los resultados muestran que la velocidad no fue predecible debido a la magnitud del error de pronóstico. La principal implicación de política es que la implementación de la estrategia monetaria de control de la inflación y la balanza comercial fue difícil debido a que la velocidad fue inestable y poco predecible. De todas formas, el dinero sirvió de ancla para la inflación en el largo plazo, aunque ajustado, expost, por los desplazamientos de la velocidad. Classification JEL:N1, N16, E5, E4
    Keywords: Enfoque monetario, demanda de dinero, velocidad, programas de ajuste, inflación
    Date: 2015–12
  20. By: Khan, Karim
    Abstract: The institutional perspective of cross-country differences in economic outcomes gives contrasting explanations on the persistence of extractive institutions in developing countries. Colonization, social fragmentation and the existence and use of natural resources are the most frequently discussed causes in the available literature. In this study, we analyze all the three explanations together by providing a case study of Nigeria. Nigeria is characterized by colonial legacy, social divide revealed by ethnicity and religion, and huge windfalls from oil. Based on our analysis, we argue that the lack and incoherence of formal institutional order is the main factor for Nigerian underdevelopment. Ethnic politics has shaped the formal institutional framework as a central stage for the disbursement of patronage and other types of the largesse. Colonial legacy has reinforced the effect of ethnicity by failing to provide a national ideology; and instead, providing a regional structure to rule. Similarly, the windfalls from oil have intensified the effect of ethnicity by invoking civil conflicts, arising mainly from the distribution of common pool. Thus, no single factor on its own can explain the persistence of extractive institutions; rather, it is the combination of exogenous and endogenous factors that collectively shape institutions.
    Keywords: Extractive Institutions, Economic Development, Colonization, Social Fragmentation, Natural resources, Nigeria
    JEL: E0 E01 O43 O55
    Date: 2015–12
  21. By: Diebolt, Claude (BETA/CNRS, Université de Strasbourg); Mishra, Tapas (Southampton Business School, University of Southampton); Perrin, Faustine (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: Recent theoretical developments of growth models, especially on unified theories of growth, suggest that the child quantity-quality trade-off has been a central element of the transition from Malthusian stagnation to sustained growth. Using an original censusbased dataset, this paper explores the role of gender on the trade-off between education and fertility across 86 French counties during the nineteenth century, as an empirical extension of Diebolt-Perrin (2013). We first test the existence of the child quantity-quality trade-off in 1851. Second, we explore the long-run effect of education on fertility from a gendered approach. Two important results emerge: (i) significant and negative association between education and fertility is found, and (ii) such a relationship is non-unique over the distribution of education/fertility. While our results suggest the existence of a negative and significant effect of the female endowments in human capital on the fertility transition, the effects of negative endowment almost disappear at low level of fertility.
    Keywords: Cliometrics; Education; Fertility; Demographic Transition; Unified growth theory; Nineteenth century France
    JEL: C22 C26 C32 C36 C81 C82 I20 J13 N01 N33
    Date: 2015–12–15
  22. By: Maria Cristina Marcuzzo; Giulia Zacchia
    Abstract: This paper presents a quantitative investigation into the history of economic thought. Building on previous work (Marcuzzo 2008, 2012), we propose an empirical study in with the aim of describing the dynamics of changes in HET in recent years, detecting three trends: 1) a sort of ‘stepping down from the shoulders of giants’, namely a move towards studies of ‘minor’ figures and/or economists from a more recent past; 2) the blossoming of archival research into unpublished work and correspondence; 3) less theory-laden investigations, connecting intellectual circles, linking characters and events. Using data from Econlit we show the evolution of HET journals and articles for two sub-periods: 1955-2013 and 1993-2013; for the latter, by devising proxies which are amenable to quantitative assessment, we demonstrate that there is some evidence to support these claims.
    Keywords: History of economic thought; Bibliometrics; Economics journals; History of economics; Quantitative assessment
    JEL: B40 B20 A14
    Date: 2015–12
  23. By: Marcella Lorenzini
    Abstract: This paper investigates the informal credit market in Trentino in the second half of the eighteenth century by drawing upon notaries’ loan contracts. The analysis focuses on four benchmark years: 1750, 1760, 1770, and 1780. More than 10,000 contracts from the period were examined, including 1,200 credit transactions registered in two different cities, Trent and Rovereto. The research aims to analyze dynamics and trends, as well as the mechanisms that characterize the two credit markets, specifically who the borrowers and the lenders were, what capital was borrowed for, and at what price. The findings show stark differences between the two cities’ financial markets. In Trent, whose population amounted to some 9,000, credit activity accounted for 7.7% of all notarial transactions, whereas in nearby Rovereto, with about half that population, credit contracts represented twice as much, 15% of business. Likewise, capital flow reflects the different nature and dynamism of the two towns. In Trent, loans were mainly to finance agriculture and the urban economy (craftsmen, retailers). In Rovereto, where capital flow was nearly three times that of Trent, went largely to sustain agriculture and the flourishing international silk trade. The political and institutional frameworks around the two towns were indeed quite different. Trent, as the capital of the Prince- Bishopric, was chiefly an administrative town and apparently impervious to innovation. But Rovereto, part of the Habsburg Monarchy, was a well-integrated node in an international trade network of rapidly expanding silk manufacturing, whose growth was fostered by the vivid and effective credit market.
    Keywords: informal credit market, notaries, early modern age
    JEL: N23 N53 N63 N93
    Date: 2015
  24. By: Ernesto Screpanti
    Abstract: Marx develops two different theories of the employment relationship: in one it results from a contract for the sale of a commodity, in the other from a contract establishing a social relationship. According to the first, the worker sells a commodity, which is conceived as a flow of abstract labour springing from a stock of labour power. This commodity seems to be a ‘natural’ abstraction with the properties of a productive force. Exploitation occurs when the value of labour power is lower than the value-creating capacity of abstract labour. According to the second theory, the employment relationship is based on a transaction establishing the conditions for the worker’s subordination to the capitalist and the subsumption of his productive capacity under capital. This is an illuminating anticipation of the modern theory which considers the employment contract as an institution generating an authority relationship. It is not liable to criticisms of essentialism, hyposta-tization or naturalism and is able to sustain a consistent and realistic theory of exploitation, which explains it as being based on the power relationship the worker undergoes in the production pro-cess. Now abstract labour is seen not as a productive force, but as a social relationship, and is con-sidered an abstraction that is real in a socio-historical sense rather than in a natural sense
    JEL: B14 B24 J41
    Date: 2015–11
  25. By: Bengtsson, Erik; Waldenström, Daniel
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the capital share in national income and personal income inequality over the long run. Using a new historical cross-country database on capital shares in 19 countries and data from the World Top Income Database, we find strong long-run links between the aggregate role of capital in the economy and the size distribution of income. Over time, this dependence varies; it was strong both before the Second World War and in the early interwar era, but has grown to its highest levels in the period since 1980. The correlation is particularly strong in Anglo-Saxon and Nordic countries, in the very top of the distribution and when we only consider top capital incomes. Replacing top income shares with a broader measure of inequality (Gini coefficient), the positive relationship remains but becomes somewhat weaker.
    Keywords: Inequality; Top incomes; Wage share
    JEL: D30 N30
    Date: 2015–12
  26. By: Humpage, Owen F. (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland); Mukherjee, Sanchita (University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC))
    Abstract: Using IV-GMM techniques and real-time data, we estimate a forward looking, Taylor-type reaction function incorporating dummy variables for even-keel operations and a variable for foreign official pressures on the U.S. gold stock during the Great Inflation. We show that when the Federal Reserve undertook even-keel operations to assist U.S. Treasury security sales, the FOMC tended to delay monetary-policy adjustments and to inject small amounts of reserves into the banking system. The operations, however, did not contribute significantly to the Great Inflation, because they occurred during periods of both monetary ease and monetary tightness, at least in the FOMC’s view. Consequently, the average federal funds rate during months containing even-keel events was no different than the average federal funds rate in other months, suggesting that even keel had no effect on the thrust of monetary policy. We also show that prospective gold losses had no effect on the FOMC’s monetary-policy decisions in the 1960s and early 1970s.
    Keywords: Even Keel; Taylor Rule; Federal Reserve; U.S. Treasury
    JEL: E5 F3 N1
    Date: 2015–12–21
  27. By: Ron W Nielsen
    Abstract: Historical economic growth in Western and Eastern Europe is analysed. These regions should have produced the best and the most convincing confirmation of the Unified Growth Theory because they, and in particular Western Europe, were the centre of the Industrial Revolution, which according to Galor was the prime engine of economic growth. However, the data for Western and Eastern Europe show a remarkable disagreement with the Unified Growth Theory. There is no connection, whatever, between the data and the Unified Growth Theory. The data show that there was never a transition from stagnation to growth because there was no stagnation. Industrial Revolution, which should have the strongest influence in these regions, had absolutely no impact on changing the economic growth trajectories. The alleged remarkable or stunning escape from Malthusian trap did not happen because there was no trap. Unified Growth Theory does not explain the mechanism of the economic growth because its explanations are based on mythical features, which did not exist, the features contradicted by data. This theory needs to be either thoroughly revised or most likely replaced by a theory supported by a professional analysis of economic growth data.
    Date: 2015–12
  28. By: Bakker, Gerben; Crafts, Nicholas; Woltjer, Pieter
    Abstract: We develop new aggregate and sectoral total factor productivity (TFP) estimates for the United States between 1899 and 1941 through better coverage of sectors and better measured labor quality, and show TFP growth was lower than previously thought, broadly based across sectors, strongly variant inter-temporally, and consistent with many diverse sources of innovation. we then test and reject three prominent claims. First, the 1930s did not have the highest TFP growth of the twentieth century. Second, TFP growth was not predominantly caused by four leading sectors. Third, TFP growth was not caused by a 'yeast process' originating in a dominant technology such as electricity.
    Keywords: growth; Harberger diagram; mushrooms; productivity growth; TFP
    JEL: N11 N12 O47 O51
    Date: 2015–12
  29. By: Arsenault Morin, Alex; Geloso, Vincent; Kufenko, Vadim
    Abstract: This paper aims to explain differences in infant mortality across the colony of Quebec, known in the 1850s as Canada East, by institutional settings. Areas settled under French laws (known as seigneurial law) implied important transfers from peasants to landlords through private taxes and duties, restrictions on mobility, scant provision of public goods and disincentives to invest in agricultural productivity. As a result, areas under this law system tended to be poor and prone to high mortality. Upon conquering Quebec, the British maintained French land laws but, in 1791, the boundaries of its application were frozen - all newly settled lands would be under British land laws. By 1851, the two legal systems had cohabited for six decades - allowing us to compare them. Using the 1851 census, we argue that French seigneurial law - which reduced living standards through a variety of channels - translated into higher rates of infant mortality. After estimating a Zero-inflated Negative Binomial Regression we find that the effect of seigneurial tenure results in an increase in infant death rates from 43.79 to 44.89 for the age group below one and from 5.21 to 5.277 for the age group from one to five. Additionally, we conduct robustness checks by limiting the sample to large settlements and changing the age groups for the dependent variable.
    Date: 2015
  30. By: Bengtsson, Erik (Lund University); Waldenström, Daniel (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the capital share in national income and personal income inequality over the long run. Using a new historical cross-country database on capital shares in 19 countries and data from the World Wealth and Income Database, we find strong long-run links between the aggregate role of capital in the economy and the size distribution of income. Over time, this dependence varies; it was strong both before the Second World War and in the early interwar era, but has grown to its highest levels in the period since 1980. The correlation is particularly strong in Anglo-Saxon and Nordic countries, in the very top of the distribution and when we only consider top capital incomes. Replacing top income shares with a broader measure of inequality (Gini coefficient), the positive relationship re-mains but becomes somewhat weaker.
    Keywords: wage share, top incomes, inequality, wealth, economic history
    JEL: D30 N30
    Date: 2015–12
  31. By: Ricardo David Castañeda Orozco (INAI); David Juárez-Luna (Division of Economics, CIDE)
    Abstract: There is a historical relationship between economic development and a proper access to financial services. In this paper we test the hypothesis that the positive relationship among the number of financial institutions, the financial inclusion and the economic development is not straightforward. We use Markov chains to analise the transitions that happened in the Mexican financial sector during the period 2007-2014. The main result shows that the number of financial institutions increased considerably. However, most of the new financial institutions are SOFOM ENR. Such entities have many disadvantages: pursue lucrative aims; face a basic regulation; do not focus on vulnerable sectors of the population and; their services are more expensive. As a consequence the increase in financial institutions cannot be considered as an improvement in economic development.
    Keywords: Inclusion financiera, Regulación, Desarrollo.
    Date: 2015–12
  32. By: Daniel Mendonça, Araújo
    Abstract: The theme of economic development has always had an important role at the center of macroeconomic research, meanwhile microeconomic environment; uncertainty has its due prominence. However, few authors develop these issues jointly, although the uncertainty holds an important role in decision making of agents, and therefore the array of choices that determine the development of a country. This paper aims to examine how to establish the relationship between uncertainty and economic development, from the perspective proposed by Nobel 1993, Douglass North (05Nov1920 – 23Nov2015). Based on an analysis of the notion of uncertainty proposed by Knight in 1927, this paper advances to the contemporary notion developed by North. Then, through a breakdown of development theory proposed by North, will be discussed how the uncertainty is associated with each factor of development, aiming to demonstrate the critical role played by the control of Uncertainty in development or decline a country.
    Keywords: Development; Douglass North; Uncertainty; Economic Transition
    JEL: B15 B4 B52 K2 O1 O11 O17 O31 O34 O38 O43 O44 P14 Z13
    Date: 2015–12
  33. By: Francisco Rosende
    Date: 2014
  34. By: Giulia Zacchia
    Abstract: Si propone l’analisi del contributo delle economiste italiane alla professione da una prospettiva storica andando ad analizzare la produzione scientifica delle donne in dodici riviste di settore negli anni ’50. Ci si sofferma poi su una figura femminile di rilievo in quegli anni in Italia, quasi del tutto dimenticata: Vera Cao Pinna. Cao Pinna ha dato un forte contributo alla ricerca economica quantitativa quale supporto alla politica economica nel processo di ricostruzione in Italia. Per prima utilizzò modelli econometrici formalizzati, al fine di rappresentare i fattori che influiscono sulle variabili economiche per fare previsioni, o meglio affinò e adattò alla realtà sia italiana che europea il modello basato sulle relazioni tra i settori di attività economica ricavabili attraverso una tavola a doppia entrata input-output. Attraverso le testimonianze di ex allievi, colleghi, collaboratori insieme alla consultazione di archivi storici, è stato possibile tracciare il profilo dell’attività di ricerca svolta e dei contributi resi portando ad una amara riflessione sul contributo storico delle donne economiste che rischia di andare perso.
    Keywords: Vera Cao Pinna, Women economists, Economic forecast, Input Output Analysis
    JEL: B31 N14 R50 Z13
    Date: 2015–09

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.