nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2016‒03‒10
nineteen papers chosen by

  1. Regional inequality and convergence in southern Europe. Evidence from Height in Italy and Spain, 1850-2000. By José Miguel Martínez-Carrión y Ramón María-Dolores; Ramón María-Dolores
  2. A Brief History of Human Time: Exploring a database of 'notable people' By Olivier Gergaud; Morgane Laouénan; Etienne Wasmer
  3. "Money, Power, and Monetary Regimes" By Pavlina R. Tcherneva
  4. Una aproximación a la historia del ferrocarril en Brasil (1850-1950: Legislación, empresas y capitales británicos By Domingo Cuéllar, Eduardo Romero de Oliveira y Lucas Mariani Correa; Eduardo Romero de Oliveira; Lucas Mariani Correa
  5. A tale of two globalizations: gains from trade and openness 1800-2010 By Federico, Giovanni; Tena Junguito, Antonio
  6. Kontribusi Sarjana Muslim bagi Peradaban Eropa: Melacak Akar Sejarah dan Perkembangan Ekonomi By Jaelani, Aan
  7. Protectionism and the Education-Fertility Trade-off in Late 19th Century France By Vincent Bignon; Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa
  8. Towards the Panopticon: School Building and Discipline in Early Modern Russia By Igor Fedyukin
  9. Game Theory and Cold War Rationality: A Review Essay By E. Roy Weintraub
  10. Fact and Fantasy in Soviet Records:The Documentation of Soviet Party and Secret Police Investigations as Historical Evidence By Mark Harrison
  11. Mapeamento agropecuário das mesorregiões do estado de Goiás (1970 – 2010) By Isadora Moreira Miranda; Waldemiro Alcântara da Silva Neto
  12. The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries By Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  13. The historically high cost of tertiary education in South Africa By Estian Calitz; Johan Fourie
  14. Two historical changes in the narrative of energy forecasts By Minh Ha-Duong; Franck Nadaud; Martin Jegard
  15. Situational Analysis By Kevin D. Hoover
  16. Barley, Corn, Oats, Rye Historic Estimates, 1955-1970 By Price, John R.; Vossen, Robert L.
  17. Effects of internationalization, privatisation and demutualization of the financial sector on supply of finance and stability By Alfred Janc; Pawel Marszalek
  18. La Gran Depresión en Colombia: Un estímulo a la industrialización, 1930-1953 By Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri; Adolfo Meisel-Roca; María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo
  19. Effects of Oscar awards on movie production By Agnani, Betty; Aray, Henry

  1. By: José Miguel Martínez-Carrión y Ramón María-Dolores (Universidad de Murcia); Ramón María-Dolores (Universidad de Murcia)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the growth of height and its regional variability in Spain and Italy, among the generational cohorts of 1850 and 1980. Using male height data drawn from the military enlistment records of the period between 1870 and 2000, this paper explores inequality and regional convergence in the two countries. This long period was characterised by economic growth and the expansion of human welfare. Regional inequality and convergence are analysed using sigma and beta convergence, a methodology based on panel data to obtain the speed of convergence. The results show that in 1850 in both countries the height measurements started at low levels, but the two countries recorded a significant increase in the average height over the long term, which became more intense in Italy as from the beginning of the twentieth century, and in Spain from 1950. Therefore, there was divergence in the first half of the century and strong convergence at the end of the century. The regional inequality was more significant in the Italian case. Processes of regional convergence can be observed in both countries during the second half of the twentieth century, but at the end of the period, inequality was lower in Spain than in Italy.
    Keywords: height, biological welfare, Spain, Italy, economic development, regional inequality, convergence.
    JEL: I14 N33 N94 R13
    Date: 2016–02
  2. By: Olivier Gergaud (KEDGE BUSINESS SCHOOL); Morgane Laouénan (Sciences Po LIEPP); Etienne Wasmer (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: This paper describes a database of 1,243,776 notable people and 7,184,575 locations (Geolinks) associated with them throughout human history (3000BCE-2015AD). We first describe in details the various approaches and procedures adopted to extract the relevant information from their Wikipedia biographies and then analyze the database. Ten main facts emerge. 1. There has been an exponential growth over time of the database, with more than 60% of notable people still living in 2015, with the exception of a relative decline of the cohort born in the XVIIth century and a local minimum between 1645 and 1655. 2. The average lifespan has increased by 20 years, from 60 to 80 years, between the cohort born in 1400AD and the one born in 1900AD. 3. The share of women in the database follows a U-shape pattern, with a minimum in the XVIIth century and a maximum at 25% for the most recent cohorts. 4. The fraction of notable people in governance occupations has decreased while the fraction in occupations such as arts, literature media and sports has increased over the centuries; sports caught up to arts and literature for cohorts born in 1870 but remained at the same level until the 1950s cohorts; and eventually sports came to dominate the database after 1950. 5. The top 10 visible people born before 1890 are all non-American and have 10 different nationalities. Six out of the top 10 born after 1890 are instead U.S. born citizens. Since 1800, the share of people from Europe and the U.S. in the database declines, the number of people from Asia and the Southern Hemisphere grows to reach 20% of the database in 2000. Coincidentally, in 1637, the exact barycenter of the base was in the small village of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises (Champagne Region in France), where Charles de Gaulle lived and passed away. Since the 1970s, the barycenter oscillates between Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. 6. The average distance between places of birth and death follows a U-shape pattern: the median distance was 316km before 500AD, 100km between 500 and 1500AD, and has risen continuously since then. The greatest mobility occurs between the age of 15 and 25. 7. Individuals with the highest levels of visibility tend to be more distant from their birth place, with a median distance of 785km for the top percentile as compared to 389km for the top decile and 176km overall. 8. In all occupations, there has been a rise in international mobility since 1960. The fraction of locations in a country different from the place of birth went from 15% in 1955 to 35% after 2000. 9. There is no positive association between the size of cities and the visibility of people measured at the end of their life. If anything, the correlation is negative. 10. Last and not least, we find a positive correlation between the contemporaneous number of entrepreneurs and the urban growth of the city in which they are located the following decades; more strikingly, the same is also true with the contemporaneous number or share of artists, positively affecting next decades city growth; instead, we find a zero or negative correlation between the contemporaneous share of “militaries, politicians and religious people” and urban growth in the following decades.
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Pavlina R. Tcherneva
    Abstract: Money, in this paper, is defined as a power relationship of a specific kind, a stratified social debt relationship, measured in a unit of account determined by some authority. A brief historical examination reveals its evolving nature in the process of social provisioning. Money not only predates markets and real exchange as understood in mainstream economics but also emerges as a social mechanism of redistribution, usually by some authority of power (be it an ancient religious authority, a king, a colonial power, a modern nation state, or a monetary union). Money, it can be said, is a "creature of the state" that has played a key role in the transfer of real resources between parties and the redistribution of economic surplus. In modern capitalist economies, the currency is also a simple public monopoly. As long as money has existed, someone has tried to tamper with its value. A history of counterfeiting, as well as that of independence from colonial and economic rule, is another way of telling the history of "money as a creature of the state." This historical understanding of the origins and nature of money illuminates the economic possibilities under different institutional monetary arrangements in the modern world. We consider the so-called modern "sovereign" and "nonsovereign" monetary regimes (including freely floating currencies, currency pegs, currency boards, dollarized nations, and monetary unions) to examine the available policy space in each case for pursuing domestic policy objectives.
    Keywords: History of Money; Monetary Sovereignty; Chartalism; Counterfeiting; Public Monopoly; Currency Issuers vs. Currency Users; Exchange Rate Systems
    JEL: B5 E6 E42 E63 N1 Z1
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Domingo Cuéllar, Eduardo Romero de Oliveira y Lucas Mariani Correa (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Eduardo Romero de Oliveira; Lucas Mariani Correa
    Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to study the long-term Brazilian railways, between 1850 and 1950, since the beginning of the construction of the first railways until the end of British hegemony. We understand that the history of the railways shows how few cases the effects of the processes of mobility of factors that boosted the dissemination of the first and second industrial revolution. Brazil is a good example. The early development of the railways and the presence of British capital, in a time when the state was still in the process of consolidation, reinforcing the theory of dependency that has been described by many as an informal empire. The large size of the territory, which led to the emergence of networks of regional vocation that had no connection with each other, the crucial importance of export flows, with special emphasis of coffee, in the configuration of the network from the inside to periphery, and continuous adaptation legislation to facilitate business financing, are some of the points on which we focus our analysis.
    Keywords: Brazil, Railway History, Finance, Foreign Capital
    JEL: N76 N56 Q13 R11
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Federico, Giovanni; Tena Junguito, Antonio
    Abstract: This paper compares the wave of globalization before the outbreak of the Great Recession in 2007 with its alleged historical antecedent before the outbreak of World War One. We describe trends in trade and openness, estimate the gains from trade and investigate the proximate causes of the growth of openness. We argue that the conventional wisdom has to be revised. The first wave of globalization started around 1820 and culminated around 1870. In the next century, trade continued to grow, with the exception of the Great Depression, but openness and gains fluctuated widely. Growth resumed in the early 1970s. By 2007, the world was more open than a century earlier and its inhabitants gained from trade substantially more than their ancestors did. The current wave of globalization, in spite of some similarities with previous trends, has no historical antecedents.
    Keywords: openness; Trade; welfare gains
    JEL: F14 F43 N70
    Date: 2016–02
  6. By: Jaelani, Aan
    Abstract: The development of economic thought in the Islamic tradition started since the beginning of the first century of the Hijrah. This period is a time when the scientific works about how to achieve economic progress and strengthen the country through foreign trade intangibles movements in the West, known as mercantilism in the economic literature. At this stage of history, after the transmission of Greek ideas, the Muslim scholars to innovate and enrich life interpretations of thought in the world at large, then gradually those ideas into decline and forgotten in history. However, these ideas are not recognized by Western scholars, resulting in a missing link that led to the "great gap" in the history of the world economy.
    Keywords: economics mainstream, Islamic economics, economic thought
    JEL: A2 A23 B0 B1 B11 B15 B5 I2 I3 I38 N0 N01 N1 N10 N2 N20 N23 N25 N3 N4 P0 P5 Z0 Z11 Z12
    Date: 2015–12–01
  7. By: Vincent Bignon (Banque de France. DGEI-DEMFI-Pomone); Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa (Aix-Marseille University (Aix Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS and CESifo. AMSE)
    Abstract: The assumption that education and fertility are endogenous decisions that react to economic circumstances is a cornerstone of the unified growth theory that explains the transition to modern economic growth, yet evidence that such a mechanism was in operation before the 20th century is limited. This paper provides evidence of how protectionism reversed the education and fertility trends that were well under way in late 19th-century France. The Méline tariff, a tariff on cereals introduced in 1892, led to a substantial increase in agricultural wages, thus reducing the relative return to education. Since the importance of cereal production varied across regions, we use these differences to estimate the impact of the tariff. Our findings indicate that the tariff reduced education and increased fertility. The magnitude of these effects was substantial, and in regions with large shares of employment in cereal production the tariff offset the time trend in education for up to 15 years. Our results thus indicate that even in the 19th century, policies that changed the economic prospects of their offspring affected parents’ decisions about the quantity and quality of children.
    Keywords: Education, Fertility, Unified growth theory, Protectionism, France
    JEL: J13 N33 O15
    Date: 2016–01
  8. By: Igor Fedyukin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This article explores the notion of discipline in Russia since the late 17th century and up to the accession of Catherine II. Discipline and disciplining occupy a central place in our thinking about early modern state, and the reconstruction of debates about school building helps to illuminate the ways in which this notion has been articulated. The article traces the emerging concern with using the school building as an instrument of confinement and surveillance, and demonstrates unexpected links between the Noble Cadet Corps in St Petersburg and Bentham's «Panopticn» via the Ecole Militaire in Paris. It argues that the peculiarly modern understanding of discipline was rooted in specific religious sensibilities that had not been developed in seventeenth-century Orthodox thinking. Rather, it stresses the central role of Pietism and the Pietists in introducing these notions in post-Petrine Russia, as well as the ways in which these notions have been appropriated, «domesticated,» and «secularized» by a variety of Russian palters. At the end, the article reflects on the relationship between discipline, religious sensibilities, was, and the estate in a non-Western early modern context
    Keywords: Russia, Peter I, Schools, Discipline, Pietism, Noble Cadet Corps, Panopticon, Surveillance
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2016
  9. By: E. Roy Weintraub
    Abstract: This essay reviews new histories of the role of game theory and rational decision-making in shaping the social sciences, economics among them, in the post war period. The recent books The World the Game Theorists Made by Paul Erickson and How Reason Almost Lost Its Mind by Paul Erickson, Judy Klein, Lorraine Daston, Rebecca Lemov, Thomas Sturm, and Michael Gordin raise a number of complex historical questions about the interconnections among game theory, utility theory, decision-theory, optimization theory, information theory and theories of rational choice. Moreover the contingencies of time, place, and person call into question the usefulness of economists’ linear narratives about the autonomous and progressive development of modern economics. The essay finally reflects on the challenges that these issues present for historians of recent economics.
    Keywords: game theory, rational choice
    JEL: A11 A12 B2 C02 C6 C7 D01 D7
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Mark Harrison (The University of Warwick)
    Abstract: When we use Soviet documentation of political and secret police investigations to write history, to what extent are we vulnerable to the biases and inventions of the investigators? The problem is framed as one of principal and agent. It is argued that Soviet principals allowed their agents scope to manipulate facts and bias interpretations, not freely, but within strict limits that were laid down from above and varied from time to time. These limits were set by the leader’s “revolutionary insight,” the communist equivalent of what passes in more open societies today as “truthiness.” An understanding of the Soviet truthiness of the particular time is the best guide we have to interpreting the documentary records of that time. Evaluating them in this light, we see that Soviet historical documents are little different from the records of any other time and place.
    Keywords: communism, dictatorship, information, Soviet Union, JEL Classification: D83, N44
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Isadora Moreira Miranda (FACE-UFG, Ciências Econômicas); Waldemiro Alcântara da Silva Neto (FACE-UFG, Ciências Econômicas)
    Abstract: In this study, it's presented the process of agricultural development in the state of Goiás and their mesoregions. The mapping comprise the period between 1970's, when started the process of transforming livestock and agricultural production, until 2000's, when the state established itself as a major producer of commodities. Was used the methodology quantitative and qualitative of literature research to analyze the farming structure of Goiás and see how evolved through the years, showing your representativeness to the economy of the state. During the work, there is emphasize about the role of government, facilitation of credit and adoption of tecnologies that results in increase of production and productivity gains. The results show that the financing activities of the federal government, from the 1970's, seeked expand the agricultural frontiers in the central region of the country and helped the agriculture goiana, making comercially competitive and abandoning the old aspect of subsistence. From the second half of the twentieth century, the priority changed to production of grains, especially soybeans and corn. The bovine herd is also very important to production structure of the state, because supply the domestic market and generate foreign exchange. In the last two decades highlights the growing increase in the cultivation of sugar cane in order to meet the high demand for sugar and ethanol.
    Keywords: Goias; Agriculture; Productivity; Farm Credit.
    Date: 2014–06
  12. By: Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: Women in developed economies have made major inroads in labor markets throughout the past century, but remaining gender differences in pay and employment seem remarkably persistent. This paper documents long-run trends in female employment, working hours and relative wages for a wide cross-section of developed economies. It reviews existing work on the factors driving gender convergence, and novel perspectives on remaining gender gaps. The paper finally emphasizes the interplay between gender trends and the evolution of the industry structure. Based on a shift-share decomposition, it shows that the growth in the service share can explain at least half of the overall variation in female hours, both over time and across countries.
    Keywords: Female employment, gender gaps, industry structure
    JEL: E24 J16 J31
    Date: 2016–02
  13. By: Estian Calitz (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The #FeesMustFall-campaign’s main objection was against the high and rising tuition fees of higher education in South Africa. This short note investigates this assertion from a historical perspective: Are university fees more expensive than a decade or a century ago? We document historical tuition fees at one of South Africa’s premier universities – Stellenbosch University. The answer is an unequivocal yes.
    Keywords: South Africa, tertiary education, university, protests, budget, public economics, fiscal spending
    JEL: H52
    Date: 2016
  14. By: Minh Ha-Duong (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - AgroParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CleanED - Clean Energy and Sustainable Development Lab - USTH - Université des Sciences et des Technologies de Hanoi); Franck Nadaud (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - AgroParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Martin Jegard (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - AgroParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: A collection of 417 energy scenarios was assembled and harmonized to compare what they said about nuclear, fossil and renewable energy thirty years from their publication. Based on data analysis, we divide the recent history of the energy forecasting in three periods. The first is defined by a decline in nuclear optimism, approximately until 1990. The second by a stability of forecasts, approximately until 2005. The third by a rise in the forecasted share of renewable energy sources. We also find that forecasts tend to cohere, that is they have a low dispersion within periods compared to the change across periods.
    Keywords: energy,scenario,periodization
    Date: 2016–02–17
  15. By: Kevin D. Hoover
    Abstract: Situational analysis (also known as situational logic) was popularized by Karl Popper as an appropriate method for the interpretation of history and as a basis for a scientific social science. It seeks an objective posit ive explanation of behavior through imputing a dominant goal or motive to individuals and then identifying the action that would be objectively appropriate to the situation as the action actually taken. Popper regarded situational analysis as a generalization to all of social science of the prototypical reasoning of economics. Applied to history, situational analysis is largely an interpretive strategy used to understand individual behavior. In social sciences, however, it is applied many to types of beh avior or to group behavior (e.g., to markets) as is used to generate testable hypothesis. Popper’s account of situational analysis and some criticisms that have been levied against it are reviewed. The charge that situational analysis contradicts Popper’s view that falsification is the hallmark of sciences is examined and rejected: situational analysis is precisely how Popper believes social sciences are able to generate falsifiable, and, therefore, scientific hypotheses. Still, situational analysis is in tension with another of Popper’s central ideas: situational analysis as a method for generating testable conjectures amounts to a logic of scientific discovery, something that Popper argued elsewhere was not possible.
    Keywords: Situational analysis, situational logic, Karl Popper, falsification, context of discovery, context of justification
    JEL: B40 B41 A12
    Date: 2016
  16. By: Price, John R.; Vossen, Robert L.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries,
  17. By: Alfred Janc (The Poznan University of Economics, Department of Money and Banking); Pawel Marszalek (The Poznan University of Economics, Department of Money and Banking)
    Abstract: The last fifty years brought along rapid changes in the conditions of functioning financial and monetary systems. They were connected, among others, with such factors as globalization and internationalization of the financial markets and institutions, liberalization and deregulation, disintermediation, demutualization, technological progress or, last but not least, financialization. Those processes have contributed to changes in creation and regulation of money, in functioning of financial intermediaries (as well as changes of those institutions themselves), processes and savings and investments, as well as to changes in ownership and structure of the domestic financial systems and economies. The aimof the paper is to characterize, also in the context of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007, features and consequences of three among mentioned processes, namely financial systems internationalization, demutualization of financial institutions and privatization of them, and to draw some insights on their potential influence on stability of financial systems and economic performance. First, we present internationalization processes and its different aspects. Then, we describe demutualization and its impact. After that we present survey of studies on privatization in the financial sector
    Keywords: internationalization, privatisation, de-mutualization, financial sector, financialization
    JEL: G21 G28
    Date: 2015–09–01
  18. By: Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri; Adolfo Meisel-Roca; María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo
    Abstract: Este trabajo analiza el papel de los factores que determinaron la rápida industrialización del período 1934-1953. Se concluye que después de 1934 el mercado impulsó la industrialización a través de la reducción de costos, la generación de economías de escala, el desarrollo del aprendizaje por medio de la práctica, las economías de aglomeración y la transformación tecnológica. Se examina la estructura de la industria manufacturera colombiana en 1945, que fue el resultado de la profunda transformación económica que tuvo lugar en la década anterior. Las estimaciones de una función de producción para la industria en 1945 evidencian diferencias importantes en las elasticidades factoriales y la productividad entre sectores y regiones. Los resultados indican que la productividad de la mano de obra está positivamente relacionada con el nivel de capital humano y físico, mientras la antigüedad de las firmas se asocia con bajos niveles de la misma. ******ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the role of the factors that determined the rapid industrialization of the period 1934-1953 .We conclude that the market pushed industrialization by reducing costs, generating economies of scale, learning by doing, giving place to agglomeration economies, and rapid technological change. This paper also examines the structure of the Colombian manufacturing sector in 1945, which was the result of the deep economic transformations that took place in the previous decade. Estimations of a production function for industry in 1945 show that there were important differences in factor elasticities and productivities among sectors and regions, which led to different regional patterns of industrialization. In addition, the results indicate that labor productivity in 1945 was positively and significantly related to education and capital, whereas it was negatively related to the unskilled workers and the age of the firms.
    Keywords: Industrialización, Gran Depresión, industria impulsada por el mercado, Colombia.
    JEL: N1 N66 O14
    Date: 2016–01–19
  19. By: Agnani, Betty; Aray, Henry
    Abstract: This article tests the effects of Oscar awards on the production of feature films. Time series data for Spain over the 1953-2014 period are used and a production function is estimated assuming that the Oscar effects accrue through the total factor productivity. A lag structure is introduced which allows for a general specification so that the Oscar awards could have constant or diminishing effects over time. The results show that the Oscar wins have significant positive effects on movie production and that some of them have caused structural breaks, while others have vanishing effects over time. The results are fairly robust to the introduction of control variables and different methods of estimation.
    Keywords: Movie production,Oscar awards,Cobb-Douglas Production Function
    JEL: Z10 L82 C13
    Date: 2016

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