nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2016‒03‒29
twenty-six papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality By Robert A. Margo
  2. How Successful Was the New Deal? The Microeconomic Impact of New Deal Spending and Lending Policies in the 1930s By Price V. Fishback
  3. The Influence of Ancestral Lifeways on Individual Economic Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa By Stelios Michalopoulos; Louis Putterman; David N. Weil
  4. Housing the Rangoon poor : Indians, Burmese, and town planning in colonial Burma By Osada, Noriyuki
  5. What Made Great Britain so Great? From the Fiscal-Military State to the First Industrial Revolution By Jordan Roulleau-Pasdeloup
  6. Comparing Income and Wealth Inequality in Pre-Industrial Economies: Lessons from 18th-Century Spain By Esteban A. Nicolini; Fernando Ramos Palencia
  7. A Drought-Induced African Slave Trade? By Boxell, Levi
  8. Network Contagion and Interbank Amplification during the Great Depression By Mitchener, Kris James; Richardson, Gary
  9. How Did Pre-Fed Banking Panics End? By Gary Gorton; Ellis W. Tallman
  10. The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries By Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  11. Colonial Virginia's Paper Money Regime, 1755-1774: Value Decomposition and Performance By Farley Grubb
  12. Two historical changes in the narrative of energy forecasts By Minh Ha-Duong; Franck Nadaud; Martin Jegard
  13. The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations By Francine D. Blau; Lawrence M. Kahn
  14. The education revolution on horseback II : using the Napoleonic wars to elicit the effect of tracking on student performance By Korthals R.A.
  15. Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Experience with Cap-and-Trade By Richard Schmalensee; Robert N. Stavins
  16. Mathematical analysis of the historical income per capita distributions By Ron W Nielsen
  17. Long-Term Effect of International Trade on the Gender Wage and Educational Gaps By Eiji Yamamura
  18. The very idea of democracy at work By Richard Hyman
  19. The Chance of Influence: A Natural Experiment on the Role of Social Capital in Faculty Recruitment By Olivier Godechot
  20. The 2008 Financial Crisis and the Lack of Retaliatory Trade Intervention By Chunding Li; John Whalley
  21. Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800) By Rafael González-Val
  22. The Theory of Economic Development of J.A. Schumpeter: Key Features By BAZHAL, IURII
  23. Popular Attitudes towards Markets and Democracy: Russia and United States Compared 25 Years Later By Maxim Boycko; Robert J. Shiller
  24. Three-generation Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940: The Role of Maternal and Paternal Grandparents By Claudia Olivetti; M. Daniele Paserman; Laura Salisbury
  25. The birth of social choice theory from the spirit of mathematical logic: Arrow's theorem in the framework of model theory By Daniel Eckert; Frederik Herzberg
  26. Evangélisation et éducation dans le Diocèse de Popokabaka en RD Congo (1915-2015). By Paulin Ibanda Kabaka

  1. By: Robert A. Margo
    Abstract: This paper is my presidential address to the Economic History Association. In it, I review and extend the economic history of racial differences in per capita income from 1870 to the present. Specifically, I revise pre-World War Two benchmark estimates of Black/White income ratios originally prepared by Robert Higgs. The Higgs benchmarks suggest that the Black/White income ratio increased from 1870 to 1900, but the trend was flat from 1900 to 1940. Compared with the Higgs benchmarks, mine show less convergence before 1900 but more between 1900 and 1940. When my new benchmarks are combined with standard post-World War Two census data they suggest that the underlying pace of Black/White income convergence has been absolutely slow, with the notable exceptions of the 1940s and the period of the modern Civil Rights Movement. I explore the interpretation of these long-run features with a model of intergenerational transmission of racial inequality in which racial differences in causal factors that determine income are initially enormous after the Civil War and which erode slowly across generations.
    JEL: J71 N31 N32
    Date: 2016–01
  2. By: Price V. Fishback
    Abstract: The New Deal during the 1930s was arguably the largest peace-time expansion in federal government activity in American history. Until recently there had been very little quantitative testing of the microeconomic impact of the wide variety of New Deal programs. Over the past decade scholars have developed new panel databases for counties, cities, and states and then used panel data methods on them to examine the examine the impact of New Deal spending and lending policies for the major New Deal programs. In most cases the identification of the effect comes from changes across time within the same geographic location after controlling for national shocks to the economy. Many of the studies also use instrumental variable methods to control for endogeneity. The studies find that public works and relief spending had state income multipliers of around one, increased consumption activity, attracted internal migration, reduced crime rates, and lowered several types of mortality. The farm programs typically aided large farm owners but eliminated opportunities for share croppers, tenants, and farm workers. The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation’s purchases and refinancing of troubled mortgages staved off drops in housing prices and home ownership rates at relatively low ex post cost to taxpayers. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation’s loans to banks and railroads appear to have had little positive impact,although the banks were aided when the RFC took ownership stakes.
    JEL: H5 N42
    Date: 2016–01
  3. By: Stelios Michalopoulos; Louis Putterman; David N. Weil
    Abstract: We explore the role of an individual’s historical lineage in determining economic status, holding constant his or her current location. This is complementary to the more common approach to studying how history shapes economic outcomes across locations. Motivated by a large literature in social sciences stressing the beneficial influence of agricultural transition on contemporary economic performance at the level of countries, we examine the relative status of descendants of agriculturalists vs. pastoralists. We match individual-level survey data with information on the historical lifeways of ancestors, focusing on Africa, where the transition away from such modes of production began only recently. Within enumeration areas and occupational groups, we find that individuals from ethnicities that derived a larger share of subsistence from agriculture in the pre-colonial era are today more educated and wealthy. A tentative exploration of channels suggests that differences in attitudes and beliefs as well as differential treatment by others, including less political power, may contribute to these divergent outcomes.
    JEL: O0 O1 O13 O40 Z00 Z1
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Osada, Noriyuki
    Abstract: In Rangoon/Yangon, the ex-capital city of Burma/Myanmar, there still remain many old buildings today. Those buildings were constructed in the British colonial period, especially from the 1900s to the 1930s, and formed Rangoon's built environment as something modern. In focusing on the period before and after the inauguration of the Rangoon Development Trust in 1921, this paper describes how the colonial administrative authorities perceived urban problems and how their policy and practice affected urban society. It also suggests the possibility that competition for habitation among the lower strata of Rangoon society was a cause of the serious urban riot in 1930.
    Keywords: Myanmar, Urban planning, Housing, Colonial policy, Colonialism, Migration, Urban societies, History, Burma/Myanmar, Urban history, Town-planning, Immigration
    JEL: N95
    Date: 2016–03
  5. By: Jordan Roulleau-Pasdeloup
    Abstract: Recent research in economic history casts doubts on the role played by good economic institutions in Great Britain after the 1688 Glorious Revolution. What undoubtedly emerged from the latter is a strong Fiscal-Military state under the influence of a Parliament dominated by Whigs. After presenting related empirical evidence, I develop a parsimonious model to understand how the influence of a strong military apparel on international trade can foster the implementation of more productive technologies. When this is the case, development by one country can foster de-industrialization for its trading partners, as has been the case historically in India during the 19th century.
    Keywords: Industrial Revolution; Productivity; Conflict; Imperialism
    JEL: N13 O14 O41 F51 F54
    Date: 2016–02
  6. By: Esteban A. Nicolini (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Fernando Ramos Palencia (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Most research on the history of inequality in pre-industrial economies has focused on either wealth or income. Characterizing the distribution of wealth (resp., income) is problematic owing to insufficient information about the distributionÕs low (resp., high) end. Because the sources and methodologies differ between these two approaches, their results are not readily comparable and it is difficult to establish links between the respective distributions that result. In this paper, we shall use a unique data set for different regions of Spain circa 1750 and present resultsÑthe first for any preÐ20thcentury economyÑon both income and wealth distributions for the same sample of households. Information on wealth and income is derived from (respectively) probate inventories and the Ensenada Cadastre. Our main findings are that poor households are not entirely absent from the data set of inventories, that a householdÕs position in the income distribution is strongly correlated with its position in the wealth distribution, and that increases in a householdÕs wealth are associated with less thanproportional increases in its income.
    Keywords: inequality, income, wealth, Spain, probate inventories, Ensenada Cadastre
    JEL: D31 N33 O15
    Date: 2016–03
  7. By: Boxell, Levi
    Abstract: Historians have frequently suggested that droughts helped facilitate the African slave trade. By introducing a previously unused dataset on historical rainfall levels in Africa, I provide the first empirical answer to this hypothesis. I demonstrate how negative rainfall shocks and long-run shifts in the mean level of rainfall increased the number of slaves exported from a given region and can have persistent effects on the level of development today. Using a simple economic model of an individual's decision to participate in the slave trade, along with observed empirical heterogeneity and historical anecdotes, I argue that consumption smoothing and labor allocation adjustments are the primary causal mechanisms for the negative relationship between droughts and slave exports. These findings contribute to our understanding of the process of selection into the African slave trade and have policy implications for contemporary human trafficking and slavery.
    Keywords: slave trade; climate; droughts; consumption smoothing; human trafficking
    JEL: N37 N57 O15 Q54
    Date: 2016–03–03
  8. By: Mitchener, Kris James (Santa Clara University); Richardson, Gary (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)
    Abstract: Interbank networks amplified the contraction in lending during the Great Depression. Banking panics induced banks in the hinterland to withdraw interbank deposits from Federal Reserve member banks located in reserve and central reserve cities. These correspondent banks responded by curtailing lending to businesses. Between the peak in the summer of 1929 and the banking holiday in the winter of 1933, interbank amplification reduced aggregate lending in the U.S. economy by an estimated 15 percent.
    JEL: E44 G01 G21 L14 N22
    Date: 2016–03–15
  9. By: Gary Gorton; Ellis W. Tallman
    Abstract: How did pre-Fed banking crises end? How did depositors’ beliefs change? During the National Banking Era, 1863-1914, banks responded to the severe panics by suspending convertibility, that is, they refused to exchange cash for their liabilities (checking accounts). At the start of the suspension period, the private clearing houses cut off bank-specific information. Member banks were legally united into a single entity by the issuance of emergency loan certificates, a joint liability. A new market for certified checks opened, pricing the risk of clearing house failure. Certified checks traded at a discount to cash (a currency premium) in a market that opened during the suspension period. Confidence was restored when the currency premium reached zero.
    JEL: E32 E42 E44 E58
    Date: 2016–02
  10. 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.
    JEL: E24 J16 J31
    Date: 2016–01
  11. By: Farley Grubb
    Abstract: I decompose Virginia’s paper money into expected real-asset present value, risk discount, and transaction premium or “moneyness” value. The value of Virginia’s paper money was determined primarily by its real-asset present value. The transaction premium was small. Positive risk discounts occurred in years when treasurer malfeasance was suspected. Virginia’s paper money was not a fiat currency, but a barter asset, with just enough “moneyness” value to make it the preferred medium of exchange for local transactions. Compared with alternative models, my decomposition model of inside monies is superior conceptually and statistically for explaining the performance of American colonial paper monies.
    JEL: E42 E51 G12 H60 N12 N22
    Date: 2016–01
  12. 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
  13. By: Francine D. Blau; Lawrence M. Kahn
    Abstract: Using PSID microdata over the 1980-2010, we provide new empirical evidence on the extent of and trends in the gender wage gap, which declined considerably over this period. By 2010, conventional human capital variables taken together explained little of the gender wage gap, while gender differences in occupation and industry continued to be important. Moreover, the gender pay gap declined much more slowly at the top of the wage distribution that at the middle or the bottom and by 2010 was noticeably higher at the top. We then survey the literature to identify what has been learned about the explanations for the gap. We conclude that many of the traditional explanations continue to have salience. Although human capital factors are now relatively unimportant in the aggregate, women’s work force interruptions and shorter hours remain significant in high skilled occupations, possibly due to compensating differentials. Gender differences in occupations and industries, as well as differences in gender roles and the gender division of labor remain important, and research based on experimental evidence strongly suggests that discrimination cannot be discounted. Psychological attributes or noncognitive skills comprise one of the newer explanations for gender differences in outcomes. Our effort to assess the quantitative evidence on the importance of these factors suggests that they account for a small to moderate portion of the gender pay gap, considerably smaller than say occupation and industry effects, though they appear to modestly contribute to these differences.
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2016–01
  14. By: Korthals R.A. (GSBE)
    Abstract: Previous literature has found inconsistent effects of tracking students in secondary school on student performance using various ways to alleviate the endogeneity in tracking. Sociological literature argues that the threat for war with and invasion by the French around the 1800s induced European countries to introduce mass public education systems. I use this theory to estimate the effect of tracking on student performance in Europe, instrumenting tracking by the political pressure caused by the Napoleonic Wars. The relation between political pressure by Napoleon and tracking is strong and leads in the second stage to a consistent positive effect of tracking on student performance. One important limitation of this analysis is that it is reasonable to assume that political pressure from Napoleon influenced many facets of European countries.
    Keywords: Education and Research Institutions: General;
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Richard Schmalensee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Robert N. Stavins (, Harvard Kennedy School, Resources for the Future and National Bureau of Economic Research)
    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.
    Keywords: Market-based instruments, Cap-and-trade, Leaded Gasoline Phasedown, Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Sulfur Dioxide, Acid Rain, Carbon Dioxide, Global Climate Change, European Union Emissions Trading System
    JEL: Q54 Q58 Q40 Q48
    Date: 2015–10
  16. By: Ron W Nielsen
    Abstract: Data describing historical growth of income per capita [Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDP/cap)] for the world economic growth and for the growth in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, former USSR, Africa and Latin America are analyzed. They follow closely the linearly-modulated hyperbolic distributions represented by the ratios of hyperbolic distributions obtained by fitting the GDP and population data. Results of this analysis demonstrate that within the range of mathematically-analyzable data, epoch of Malthusian stagnation did not exist and the dramatic escapes from the Malthusian trap never happened because there was no trap. Unified Growth Theory is fundamentally incorrect because its central postulates are contradicted repeatedly by data, which were used but never analyzed during the formulation of this theory. Data of Maddison open new avenues for the economic and demographic research.
    Date: 2016–03
  17. By: Eiji Yamamura
    Abstract: This paper uses cross-country data to examine the long-term effect of trade openness on the gender gaps in wages, education, political empowerment and health. Key findings are: trade openness since 1970 reduced the gender gaps in wages and educational attainment as of 2011 but did not influence the gaps in political attainment and health status. The effect of trade openness on the gender wage gap remained observable in later years (1980, 1990 and 2000), although it decreased in degree over time. On the other hand, the effect of trade openness on the gender gap in educational attainment disappeared in 2000. Similar results were obtained even after controlling for endogenous bias.
    Date: 2016–03
  18. By: Richard Hyman
    Abstract: The employer-employee relationship involves the right to command on the one hand, the duty to obey on the other. Is democracy at work possible? This article explores some of the contrasting understandings of industrial democracy over time and across countries, discusses how the historical advance of rights and citizenship at work has been reversed under neoliberalism, and ends by considering how labour movements might fight to regain the achievements of previous decades.
    Keywords: citizenship; democracy; neoliberalism; solidarity; struggle
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2015–12–14
  19. By: Olivier Godechot (MaxPo, Sciences Po)
    Abstract: The effect of social capital is often overestimated because contacts and centrality can be a consequence of success rather than its cause. Only rare randomized or natural experiments can assess the real causal effect of social capital. This paper relies on data from one such experiment: faculty recruitment at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) between 1960 and 2005, a leading French institution of higher education in the social sciences. It exploits the fact that the electoral commission, a hiring committee which produces a first ranking of applicants, is partly composed of faculty members drawn at random. It shows that when the PhD advisor is randomly drawn, it doubles the chances of an applicant of being shortlisted.
    Keywords: recruitment; networks; social capital; academia; causality
    Date: 2016
  20. By: Chunding Li; John Whalley
    Abstract: The 2008 financial crisis did not precipitate global retaliatory trade intervention, in seeming contrast to the Great Depression in 1930s. This paper discusses the influence of model structure in optimal tariff (OT) calculations in explaining this puzzle. We emphasize how earlier literature reports high optimal tariffs in numerical calculation (of a hundred of percent) but only uses simple trade models. We use numerical general equilibrium calibration and simulation methodology to calculate optimal tariffs both with and without retaliation in a series of observationally equivalent models, and explore the influence of model structures on optimal tariff levels. We gradually add more realistic features into basic general equilibrium model, and show sharply decline optimal tariffs, which suggests that trade retaliation incentives effectively disappear with the deepening of globalization in 2008 compared to 1930.
    JEL: C63 F11 F13
    Date: 2016–01
  21. By: Rafael González-Val (Universidad de Zaragoza & IEB)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the evolution of the European urban system from a long-term perspective (from 1300 to 1800) considering the historical data set of Bairoch et al. (1988). Using the method recently proposed by Clauset et al. (2009), a Pareto-type city size distribution (power law) is rejected from 1300 to 1600. A power law is a plausible model for the city size distribution only in 1700 and 1800, although the log-normal distribution is another plausible alternative model that we cannot reject. Moreover, random growth of cities is rejected using parametric and non-parametric methods. The results reveal a clear pattern of convergent growth in all periods.
    Keywords: City size distribution, power law, Pareto distribution, Zipf’s law, Gibrat’s law
    JEL: C12 C14 R11 R12
    Date: 2016
    Abstract: This paper comprises translation into English the preface of Iurii Bazhal to the first Ukrainian edition of Joseph Schumpeter’s famous fundamental book “The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle” that was translated in Ukrainian and published in 2011 in commemoration of its 100th anniversary. The paper reveals the contemporary significance of this classical book as the challenger on replacing the neoclassical approaches in capacity to become the mainstream of modern economic theory. It is shown the Schumpeter’s approach gives a new vision of driving forces for economic development where a crucial conceptual place belongs to category the innovation. Second part of the paper reviews modern Neo-Schumpeterian approaches which have substantiated the importance of the structural innovation technological change of national economy for economic development. The government must permanently analyze a compliance of the actual production structure in the country with the current and future technological paradigms.
    Keywords: Schumpeter, Dynamics of economic development, Innovation theory, Technological paradigm, Innovation policy
    JEL: B31 O11 O30 O40
    Date: 2016–02–25
  23. By: Maxim Boycko; Robert J. Shiller
    Abstract: We repeat a survey we did in the waning days of the Soviet Union (Shiller, Boycko and Korobov, AER 1991) comparing attitudes towards free markets between Moscow and New York. Additional survey questions, from Gibson Duch and Tedin (J. Politics 1992) are added to compare attitudes towards democracy. Two comparisons are made: between countries, and through time, to explore the existence of international differences in allegiance to democratic free-market institutions, and the stability of these differences. While we find some differences in attitudes towards markets across countries and through time, we do not find most of the differences large or significant. Our evidence does not support a common view that the Russian personality is fundamentally illiberal or non-democratic.
    JEL: O57 P10
    Date: 2016–02
  24. By: Claudia Olivetti (Boston College; NBER); M. Daniele Paserman (Boston University; NBER); Laura Salisbury (York University; NBER)
    Abstract: This paper estimates intergenerational elasticities across three generations in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We extend the methodology in Olivetti and Paserman (2015) to explore the role of maternal and paternal grandfathers for the transmission of economic status to grandsons and granddaughters. We document three main findings. First, grandfathers matter for income transmission, above and beyond their e↵ect on fathers’ income. Second, the socio-economic status of grandsons is influenced more strongly by paternal grandfathers than by maternal grand- fathers. Third, maternal grandfathers are more important for granddaughters than for grandsons, while the opposite is true for paternal grandfathers. We present a model of multi-trait matching and inheritance that can rationalize these findings.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility, Multiple Generations, Gender, Marriage, Assortative Mating
    JEL: J62 J12
    Date: 2016–01–01
  25. By: Daniel Eckert (University of Graz); Frederik Herzberg (Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: Arrow's axiomatic foundation of social choice theory can be understood as an application of Tarski's methodology of the deductive sciences which is closely related to the latter's foundational contribution to model theory. In this note we show in a model-theoretic framework how his use of von Neumann and Morgenstern's concept of winning coalitions allows to exploit the algebraic structures involved in preference aggregation and provides an alternative indirect ultrafilter proof for Arrow's dictatorship result. This link also connects Arrows seminal result to key developments and concepts in the history of model theory, notably ultraproducts and model-preservation results.
    Keywords: Arrow's theorem; model theory; winning coalitions; ultrafilter; ultraproducts; Boolean algebra; homomorphism
    Date: 2016–03
  26. By: Paulin Ibanda Kabaka (LAM - Les Afriques dans le monde - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Nous présentons dans cet article l'apport de l 'Eglise catholique du Congo-Kinshasa au développement social de la population du Kwango Popokabaka par le biais de l'éducation et de l'enseignement. Depuis l'époque coloniale, l'effort missionnaire épousait l'objectif de la mission coloniale qui consistait à viser d'abord la jeunesse qui devait être modelée pour l'avenir de la Nation .
    Keywords: histoire éducative,jeunesse, Congo,Eglise, éducation
    Date: 2015–12

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