nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2016‒07‒16
seventeen papers chosen by

  1. The roots of regional trade in the Americas 1870 to 1950 By Restrepo-Estrada, Maria Isabel; Tena Junguito, Antonio
  2. The Influence of Ancestral Lifeways on Individual Economic Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa By Michalopoulos, Stelios; Putterman, Louis; Weil, David
  4. Episodes of financial deepening: credit booms or growth generators? By Peter L. Rousseau; Paul Wachtel
  5. In the Eye of a Storm: Manhattan's Money Center Banks during the International Financial Crisis of 1931 By Richardson, Gary; Van Horn, Patrick
  6. Segregation or homologation? Gender differences in recent Italian economic thought By Zacchia, Giulia
  7. Finance and System of Provision of Water; The Case of Istanbul By Gaye Yilmaz; Ozlem Celik
  8. On Historical Household Budgets By Brian A'Hearn; Nicola Amendola; Giovanni Vecchi1
  9. Social mobility during South Africa’s industrial take-off By Jeanne Cilliers and Johan Fourie
  10. Cultural Assimilation during the Age of Mass Migration By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Katherine Eriksson
  11. Notas sobre la intervención política de la clase dominante en la Argentina, 1955-1976 By Gonzalo Sanz Cerbino
  12. The Extrinsic Value of Low-Denomination Money Holdings By Hernandez-Chanto, Allan
  13. Land Inequality or Productivity: What Mattered in Southern Vietnam after 1975? By Minh-Tam T. Bui and Arayah Preechametta
  14. Historical and Economic Considerations of Sustainable Development By Oana CHINDRIS-VASIOIU
  15. Trading gains: new estimates of Swiss GDP, 1851 to 2008 By Christian Stohr
  16. Los problemas del desarrollo de la industria autopartista argentina durante el peronismo (1945-1955) By Ianina Harari
  17. George Stigler y su influencia en la transformación económica de Chile By Cristián Larroulet Vignau

  1. By: Restrepo-Estrada, Maria Isabel; Tena Junguito, Antonio
    Abstract: The oft-mentioned failure of the economic integration of South America contrasts with the North American, European and East Asian experiences. While low levels of development, geographical and historical explanations are at the root of our understanding of South America's scarce regional trade integration, due to data limitations such explanations have been little analyzed quantitatively in the long run before the Second World War. We use for the first time a new database on bilateral trade for 11 countries of the region between 1870 and 1950. Our results confirm the conventional view of the existence of a historical handicap of regional trade in the Americas, especially during the commodity boom of the Atlantic globalization prior to the First World War.
    Keywords: 19th and 20th Centuries; the Americas; revealed trade preferences; Regional trade
    JEL: F1 N7
    Date: 2016–07–01
  2. By: Michalopoulos, Stelios; Putterman, Louis; Weil, David
    Abstract: Does a person's historical lineage influence his or her current economic status? Motivated by a large literature in social sciences stressing the effect of an early transition to agriculture on current economic performance at the level of countries, we examine the relative contemporary status of individuals as a function of how much their ancestors relied on agriculture during the pre-industrial era. We focus on Africa, where by combining anthropological records of groups with individual-level survey data we can explore the effect of the historical lifeways of one's forefathers. 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 differential political power, may contribute to these divergent outcomes.
    Keywords: Africa; agriculture; Culture; Development; Ethnicity
    JEL: J6 N37 O15 Z1
    Date: 2016–06
  3. By: Luca Fiorito; Cosma Orsi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide a compressive assessment of Thomas Nixon Carver’s thought - from his early formative years in the 1880s to his post WWII career as a journalist and pamphleteer. The main (albeit not exclusive) focus of this paper will be on the theoretical and philosophical coordinates of Carver’s “new liberalism” - his own definition - and how this broad vision was intrinsically connected with an explicit hierarchical and eugenic approach to human nature. Just as important, what follows is also an attempt to increase our general understanding of the extent in which eugenic considerations permeated the realm of political economy during the first decades of the last century and how, in some specific cases as that of Carver, this influence persisted after the end of the Progressive Era.
    JEL: B31 B13 B25
    Date: 2016–07
  4. By: Peter L. Rousseau (Vanderbilt University); Paul Wachtel (Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University)
    Abstract: One strand of the economics literature addresses financial deepening as a precursor to economic growth. Another views it as a cause of financial crises. We examine historical data for 17 economies from 1870 to 1929 to distinguish episodes of growth induced by financial deepening from crises induced by credit booms. Cross-country panel regressions with five-year averages indicate that deepening episodes, defined as increases of more than thirty percent (and alternatively more than twenty percentage points) in the ratio of M2 to GDP over a ten year period, significantly enhanced the standard finance-growth dynamic, while deepening associated with financial crises sharply hindered it. We then describe some specific episodes of financial deepening in our sample.
    Keywords: finance-growth nexus, Atlantic economies, financial deepening, financial crisis
    JEL: E4 N1
    Date: 2016–07–07
  5. By: Richardson, Gary (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond); Van Horn, Patrick (Southwestern University)
    Abstract: In 1931, a financial crisis began in Austria, spread to Germany, forced Britain to abandon the gold standard, crossed the Atlantic, and afflicted financial institutions in the United States. This article describes how banks in New York City, the central money market of the United States, reacted to this trans-Atlantic financial disturbance. An array of sources tells a consistent tale. Banks in New York anticipated events in Europe, prepared for them by accumulating substantial reserves, and during the crisis, continued business as usual. New York's leading bankers deliberately and collectively decided on the business-as-usual policy in order to minimize the impact of the panic in the United States.
    JEL: E51 E52 E58 G21 G28 N12 N22
    Date: 2016–07–06
  6. By: Zacchia, Giulia
    Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to the analysis of recent changes in Italian economic thought by examining them from a gender perspective. Following a popular international trend, the use of bibliometric indicators for the purposes of personnel selection has been introduced in Italy, creating a more competitive environment heavily founded on rigid standardized indexes of “scientific productivity”. In this context, recent studies analyze gender differences by considering the willingness to enter competition. By contrast, we aim at describing what were the strategies adopted by men and women economists in terms of research fields, at different stages of their careers. We find that women progressively have converged to the research interests of their male colleagues. Specifically, we find that the decrease in non-mainstream publications, in particular in the fields of heterodox approaches and history of economic thought, is larger among female economists. Systematic follow-up is essential, in particular the creation of specific committee or observatory embodying a gender perspective in all aspects of the academic and research activity in economics in Italy.
    Keywords: recent economic thought; women; research evaluation
    JEL: A14 B40 J16
    Date: 2016–06–28
  7. By: Gaye Yilmaz (Bogazici University and Middle Eastern Technical University, Department of Political Science and Public Administration); Ozlem Celik (Bogazici University and Middle Eastern Technical University, Department of Political Science and Public Administration)
    Abstract: Unlike many other metropolises around the world, water supply in Instanbul has been subject to commercial practices since the 19th century. The difference today, however, it is in the stage of a privatisation process of water resources, rather than the provision of water itself to the consumers. The role of the state at different levels still has an important and major role in the provision of water. Even if the water resources are started to be privatised, the financialisation of water provision is quite limited. That is why this paper focuses on the changing finance tools and the changing role of the state in water provision in Istanbul in a historical context.
    Keywords: Istandbul, water provision, SoP, Systems of Provision.
    JEL: H4 G28 L95 P16 Q25 R38
    Date: 2016–04–30
  8. By: Brian A'Hearn (Pembroke College, University of Oxford); Nicola Amendola (Dept. of Economics and Finance, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”); Giovanni Vecchi1 (Dept. of Economics and Finance, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”)
    Abstract: Rational retrospective voting models have dominated the literature on election forecasting and the economic vote since they were first proposed by Anthony Downs in 1957. The theory views voters as appraisers of incumbent government’s past performance, which acts as the principal source of information individuals use when making their vote. Pure retrospective voting requires far less of the electorate in order to hold a government accountable and empirical work based on this theory has been very adept at predicting election outcomes and explaining individual voting decisions. In terms of the time period assessed to form judgements on past performance however, there is a surprising disconnect between the theoretical line of thought and actual testing. The sensible assumption of retrospective voting models is that voters, looking to judge a government’s past performance, should assess changes in their own welfare over an entire term of office, with little or no discounting of past events. The majority of empirical studies however, focus on economic performance over shorter time horizons, usually within a year of an election. There have only been a handful of studies attempting to empirically test the correct temporal relationship between changes in economic indicators and election outcomes, despite its importance for retrospective voting models and democratic accountability. This working paper empirically tests over which time horizons changes in macroeconomic fundamentals continue to have a significant bearing on election outcomes in Post War Britain. It finds that longer-term measures of economic change, over entire government terms, are better at predicting changes in incumbent’s vote shares than shorter-term measures, closer to the election period. This has important consequences for future voting models and is a promising result for democratic accountability.
    Keywords: household budgets; household budget surveys; living standards; inequality; poverty; survey; globalization; purchasing power parities; grouped data; poststratification.
    JEL: N30 I31 I32 C81 C83 D60 D63 O12 O15
    Date: 2016–05–10
  9. By: Jeanne Cilliers and Johan Fourie
    Abstract: In the absence of historical income or education data, the change in occupations over time can be used as a measure of social mobility. This paper investigates intergenerational occupational mobility using a novel genealogical dataset for settler South Africa, spanning its transition from an agricultural to an early industrialized society (1800–1909). We identify fathers and sons for whom we have complete information on occupational attainment. We follow a two-generation discrete approach to measure changes in both absolute and relative mobility over time. Consistent with qualitative evidence of a shift away from agriculture as the economy’s dominant sector, we see the farming class shrinking and the skilled and professional classes growing. Controlling for changes in the structure of the labor market over time, we find increasing upward social mobility, becoming significant following the discovery of minerals in 1868. We find this mobility particularly for semi-skilled workers but virtually no improved mobility for sons of farmers. We also test hypotheses related to the mobility prospects for first-born sons and sons of immigrants.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, Social Mobility, resource curse, industrialization, colonialism, longitudinal data
    JEL: J60 J61 J62 N30 N37
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Katherine Eriksson
    Abstract: Using two million census records, we document cultural assimilation during the Age of Mass Migration, a formative period in US history. Immigrants chose less foreign names for children as they spent more time in the US, eventually closing half of the gap with natives. Many immigrants also intermarried and learned English. Name-based assimilation was similar by literacy status, and faster for immigrants who were more culturally distant from natives. Cultural assimilation affected the next generation. Within households, brothers with more foreign names completed fewer years of schooling, faced higher unemployment, earned less and were more likely to marry foreign-born spouses.
    JEL: J15 N32
    Date: 2016–07
  11. By: Gonzalo Sanz Cerbino
    Abstract: En el presente trabajo intentaremos poner en cuestión una idea dominante respecto a la intervención política de la burguesía argentina: la fortaleza de la burguesía agraria más concentrada para imponer sus intereses económico-corporativos a diferentes gobiernos en la segunda mitad del siglo XX, discutiendo la pertinencia del concepto de "oligarquía". Luego de evaluar críticamente la producción sobre el tema, analizaremos algunos datos cuantitativos que nos permitirán poner en duda los supuestos dominantes. Por último, presentaremos un estudio de caso en el que observaremos la relación política establecida por la burguesía agropecuaria con los gobiernos que siguieron al golpe de estado de 1966. En particular, las gestiones de los diferentes equipos que pasaron por la cartera de Agricultura y Ganadería entre 1966 y 1971, su relación con las corporaciones agrarias y los límites que encontraron para desplegar su política.
    Keywords: Oligarquía, Dominación social, Política agropecuaria.
    JEL: D72 D74 D78
    Date: 2014–12–12
  12. By: Hernandez-Chanto, Allan
    Abstract: There have been many episodes in history where low-denomination money holdings have been exchanged with a premium over its face value. The most recent occurred in Panama only twenty five years ago, under a modern banking system. In such episodes, even where there is an entity capable to provide convertibility of money holdings at a fixed rate, and when agents expect this rate to prevail in the long run, arbitrage possibilities in the denomination of money arise as a consequence of a shortage of liquid assets and the presence of low prices in the economy. Despite of its relevance and recurrence, this phenomenon cannot be explained by current models of fiat money. To explain it we need a model where: (i) fiat money comes in different denominations which are used as a medium of exchange, (ii) there is an entity that provides convertibility of denominations at fixed rate, (iii) the natural rate is a feasible equilibrium of the model, and (iv) there are parameterizations where low denomination money holdings are given an extrinsic value. In this paper we build a money search model with all this characteristics and determine theoretically the specific conditions under which such equilibrium naturally arises.
    Keywords: Convertibility, Extrinsic value, Money holdings, Poisson technology
    JEL: E50 E52
    Date: 2016–01–15
  13. By: Minh-Tam T. Bui and Arayah Preechametta
    Abstract: Land redistribution and agricultural collective production were the key components of agrarian reforms implemented by the Vietnamese Communist Party in the south of the country after 1975. Land inequality was serious in the region under the Republic of Vietnam's regime. The new government struggled with agricultural collectivisation contributing to the decline in rice productivity. This study explains the persistence of a market-based agricultural production in the southern economy under the new political regime. Beside the economic reasons and arguments of local peasants' everyday politics cited in the literature, we argue that the de facto political power of the middle-class landowners was an important factor impeding the performance of agricultural cooperatives. It also implies that agricultural productivity was more vital than land inequality during the study period. We apply the model of Acemoglu and Robinson explaining how de facto political power helps elites to maintain their economic institutions in spite of a political change.
    Keywords: land inequality, agrarian reform, collectivisation, de facto political power, Vietnam
    Date: 2016–07–01
  14. By: Oana CHINDRIS-VASIOIU (Faculty of Economics, Ecological University of Bucharest)
    Abstract: The concept of sustainable development starts from the premise that the human civilization is a subsystem of the Ecosphere, dependent on raw material and energy flows within it and the capacity for self-regulation, and maintaining the Ecosphere of stability. At the same time the concept believes that human civilization in turn has a significant impact on the ecosphere. In the early 1970s, the Club of Rome published a report entitled "limits of growth", in which it claimed that Terra has a limited capacity to meet the increasing demand for natural resources to socio-economic system and to alleviate the destructive effects of the use of these resources. This paper tries to define sustainable development in economic terms taking into account the historical evolution of the concept and, at the same time, to highlight its importance in the context of economic growth.
    Keywords: sustainable development, economic indicators, economic growth, the European Union
    JEL: Q41 Q51
    Date: 2015–11
  15. By: Christian Stohr
    Abstract: This paper revises Swiss GDP emphasizing the difference between single and double deflation, which depends on trading gains: i.e. gains from terms of trade and from the real exchange rate. These gains contributed significantly to Swiss economic growth between 1930 and 1990. Earlier series of Swiss GDP have neglected trading gains. In backward projections, this leads to overestimation of GDP (per capita) levels. The Maddison database (Bolt & Zanden 2014), for example, suggests that Swiss GDP per capita was 38 percent above that of the USA in 1875. My series shows that Swiss GDP per capita was still below the Western European average
    Keywords: Historical National Accounts; Gross Domestic Income; Double deflation; Real Exchange Rate; Terms of Trade; Switzerland
    JEL: N0 L81
    Date: 2016–06
  16. By: Ianina Harari
    Abstract: Este artículo se propone examinar el desarrollo de la industria autopartista argentina durante los dos primeros gobiernos peronistas (1945 y 1955). Nos centramos en las políticas de incentivo al sector, principalmente a través de la fábrica automotriz de Industrias Aeronáuticas y Mecánicas del Estado. Asimismo, analizamos los límites con que esta actividad se encontró al expandirse en el período, en especial en relación con las materias primas y el equipamiento. Creemos que a pesar de los incentivos estatales, el desarrollo de esta rama encontró obstáculos propios de la estructura económica del país. En este trabajo utilizamos fuentes tanto oficiales como publicaciones de entidades empresariales, entre otras.
    Keywords: Industria autopartista, industria metalúrgica, Argentina, peronismo.
    JEL: N66 O14 O25
    Date: 2014–12–12
  17. By: Cristián Larroulet Vignau (School of Business and Economics, Universidad del Desarrollo)
    Keywords: Economic Development; Economic policy; Chile
    Date: 2016

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