nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2017‒01‒01
28 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Venture Capital Divide: Germany and the United States in the Post-War Era By Caroline Fohlin
  2. Political Regime and Social Spending in Spain: A Time Series Analysis (1850-2000) By Sergio Espuelas Barroso
  3. Wassily Leontief and the discovery of the input-output approach By Bjerkholt, Olav
  4. Quantifying music genius, or Handel on the balance: A scale of musical merit from 1776 By Chrissochoidis, Ilias
  5. Changing cultural space: The public molding of Handel's Esther into an English Oratorio (1732) By Chrissochoidis, Ilias
  6. Long Waves of Capitalist Development : An Empirical Investigation By Deepankar Basu
  7. Coal Smoke and the Costs of the Industrial Revolution By W. Walker Hanlon
  8. La Belgique et l’Europe dans la tourmente monétaire des années 1970 - Entretiens avec Jacques van Ypersele By Ivo Maes; Sabine Péters
  9. From Luxury to Necessity: Frankfurt am Main as the Pioneer of Urban Electrification By MORI, Takahito
  10. Failure or flexibility? exits from apprenticeship training in pre-modern Europe By Ruben Schalk; Patrick Wallis; Clare Crowston; Claire Lemercier
  11. Linking Individual Historical Demographic Data: Province of West Flanders, Belgium By Arne Aelvoet; Hideko Matsuo; Koenraad Matthijs; Erik Buyst
  12. A Review of James Forder, Macroeconomics and the Phillips Curve Myth, Oxford University Press, 2014 By Michel De Vroey
  14. Diversified quality production revisited the transformation of production systems and regulatory regimes in Germany By Sorge, Arndt; Streeck, Wolfgang
  15. Price shocks in disaster: the Great Kantō Earthquake in Japan,1923 By Janet Hunter; Kota Ogasawara
  16. "Distribution-led Growth through Methodological Lenses" By Michalis Nikiforos
  17. Structural Change in (Economic) Time Series By Christian Kleiber
  18. The Hidden Resources of Women Working Longer: Evidence from Linked Survey-Administrative Data By C. Adam Bee; Joshua Mitchell
  19. The Patriarchy Index: a new measure of gender and generational inequalities in the past By Mikołaj Szołtysek; Radosław Poniat; Siegfried Gruber; Sebastian Klüsener
  20. A Política Económica e Social na Guiné-Bissau – 1974 – 2016 By Carlos Sangreman
  21. Accounting for local impacts of photovoltaic farms: two stated preferences approaches By Cristina Joanaz; Lígia Costa Pinto; Paulo Ramísio; Estelita Vaz
  22. The Ages of Women and Men : Life Cycles, Family and Investment in the Fifteenth-Century Low Countries By Zuijderduijn, Jaco
  23. Securitisation, loan growth and bank funding: the Swiss experience since 1932 By Jonas Meuli; Thomas Nellen; Thomas Nitschka
  24. When 'No News' is Bad News: Complexity and Uncertainty in the Global Crisis of 1914 By Caroline Fohlin
  25. 1930-1943: Agrarian Transformation and the Famine in Bengal By Paul, Saumik
  26. Inequality, Financial Development and Economic Growth in the OECD, 1870-2011 By Jakob Brochner Madsen; MD. Rabiul Islam; Hristos Doucouliagos
  27. Argentina marginalized By Pierre Salama
  28. Disappearing Routine Jobs: Who, How, and Why? By Guido Matias Cortes; Nir Jaimovich; Henry E. Siu

  1. By: Caroline Fohlin
    Abstract: This paper analyzes and explains the disparate paths of development among venture capital organizations in the United States and Germany over the post-World War II period, contrasting the early emergence and burgeoning of the sector in the U.S. with the lagging development in Germany. The paucity of venture capital in Germany throughout the latter half of the 20th century is often seen as a result of that country's system of large, powerful universal banks and small, inactive capital markets. Lack of acceptance may additionally appear to result from cultural or social differences that make Germans suspicious or skeptical of such risk-taking and disdainful of the capitalistic drive it represents. I argue instead that a complex of political, social, and economic factors - many dating back to institutions put into place in the 19th century - explains the evolution of venture capital over the post-war era. These factors differed radically between the U.S. and Germany and produced divergent outcomes for venture capital institutions a century later. I emphasize the crucial role of the available pool of qualified, potential entrepreneurs and the incentives that either drove or hindered high-technology venturing, particularly during the middle of the twentieth century.
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: Sergio Espuelas Barroso (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Over the past century and a half, Spain has had a tumultuous political history. What impact has this had on social policy? Democracy has had a positive effect on both the levels of social spending and its long-term growth trend. With the arrival of democracy in 1931, the transition began from a traditional regime (with low levels of social spending) to a modern regime (with high levels of social spending). Franco’s dictatorship, however, reversed this change in direction, retarding the positive growth in social spending. At the same time, the effect of left-wing parties was statistically significant only in the nineteen-thirties (prior to the Keynesian consensus) and in the period of the Bourbon Restoration (when the preferences of low-income groups were systematically ignored).
    Keywords: Welfare State, Dictatorship, Democracy, Redistribution, Spain, History of social policy.
    JEL: I30 H53 N30
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Bjerkholt, Olav (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: The paper is about Wassily Leontief’s path towards the discovery of input-output economics, published in the Review of Economic Statistics in 1936 and 1937 and in the 1941 monograph The Structure of American Economy, 1919-1929. The aim has more specifically been to look more closely into how Leontief’s discovery was rooted in earlier career and experience. The paper sets out an account of Leontief’s life from his childhood and youth in St. Petersburg, his study years in Berlin, his research experience at the Institute of World Economics in Kiel, and the circumstances that brought him to the United States in 1931 and to Harvard shortly afterwards.
    Keywords: Leontief; input-output
    JEL: B31 D57
    Date: 2016–12–08
  4. By: Chrissochoidis, Ilias
    Abstract: The December 1776 issue of the "Gentleman's Magazine," flagship of British periodicals, features an item unique in the history of 18th-century music: the "Scale to Measure the Merits of Musicians." It comprises an evaluative chart of two-dozen composers, marking the first quantitative assessment of musical skill. This paper explicates the chart's structure and content, traces its methodology to the founder of modern art criticism Roger de Piles, proposes Charles Burney as its likely author, and places it in the context of a rising music historiography in Britain.
    Keywords: Music,quantification,Handel,Roger de Piles
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Chrissochoidis, Ilias
    Abstract: English oratorio engendered lasting changes in music history, yet the social context of its genesis remains under-explored. No convincing explanation has been offered for the Oratorio's revivals as Esther in February-March 1731/2 and the events leading to Handel's ambitious production two months later are still obscure. Moreover, scholarly emphasis on the textual affinities between the two works threatens to reduce its birth into mere compositional updating. This essay promotes Esther's cultural autonomy by shifting attention from music text to context, and from composition to reception. It examines the oratorio's historical milieu and suggests that political and cultural tensions in 1731-32 informed Handel's molding of a piece of chamber music into a public-oriented genre. It also upgrades the press as a shaping force in the new market of musical products and finds that rhetorical and typographical choices in Esther advertisements encoded ideological tensions between progressive and antiquarian claims on the oratorio.
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Deepankar Basu (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts - Amherst)
    Abstract: In this paper, I investigate the phenomenon of long waves of capitalist development from two perspectives. First, I look for evidence of long waves of economic growth taking the dates for turning points of long waves from the historical literature (Mandel, 1995). Using historical data for 20 capitalist countries from the Maddison-Project, I find that the growth rate of real per capita GDP (and real GDP) is significantly higher in the upswing than in the downswing phase of long waves. I interpret this as evidence of long waves of economic activity. Second, I revisit the method used by Gordon, Weisskopf and Bowles (1983) to identify long waves, using historical data on the U.S. economy from Dumenil and Levy (2013). I use this definition of long waves to test their hypothesis that business cycle downturns are ‘reproductive’ during the upswing phase and ‘non- reproductive’ during the downswing phase of long waves. I find evidence in support of the hypothesis.
    Keywords: capitalism, long waves, expected profitability
    JEL: B14 B24 B51
    Date: 2016
  7. By: W. Walker Hanlon
    Abstract: While the Industrial Revolution brought economic growth, there is a long debate in economics over the costs of the pollution externalities that accompanied early industrialization. To help settle this debate, this paper introduces a new theoretically-grounded strategy for estimating the impact of industrial pollution on local economic development and applies this approach to data from British cities for 1851-1911. I show that local industrial coal use substantially reduced long-run city employment growth over this period. Moreover, a counterfactual analysis suggests that plausible improvements in coal use efficiency would have led to substantially higher urbanization rates in Britain by 1911.
    JEL: N13 N53 Q52 R11
    Date: 2016–12
  8. By: Ivo Maes (Senior Advisor at the Economics and Research Department of the National Bank of Belgium and a Professor, Robert Triffin Chair, at the Université Catholique de Louvain, as well as at ICHEC Brussels Management School); Sabine Péters (Professor at ICHEC Brussels Management School)
    Abstract: Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou is a discrete person but well-known in Belgian and international political and economic circles. After an outstanding academic career at the Universities of Namur, Leuven and Louvain and then at Yale in the United States where he gained a PhD, he started out his professional life as an official at the International Monetary Fund. He then returned to Belgium where he held important posts in various Finance Ministers’ cabinets. He played a major role in European and international monetary negotiations, notably in his capacity as President of the European Monetary Committee when the European Monetary System was being set up. Later, as head of Prime Minister Wilfried Martens’ cabinet, he was one of the architects of the 1982 devaluation of the Belgian franc. Discretion and modesty prevented Jacques van Ypersele from talking about himself much. He took some convincing before agreeing to be interviewed. The end result was these three interviews which took place at his home between June and October 2015 which he re-read the following summer. We were also given access to his private archives, the source of the documents published in the Annex.
    Keywords: Jacques van Ypersele, economic crisis of the 1970s, European Monetary System, Belgian devaluation of 1982
    JEL: A11 B22 E60 F50 N74
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: MORI, Takahito
    Abstract: In the urban history of Germany, it was the theory of Dieter Schott, the ‘networking of the city’, that turned historians' attention to the socioeconomic changes caused due to the introduction of electricity into a city. However, the paradigm shift in urban energy brought by electricity was not adequately elucidated as most studies were limited to the period before WWI, when electric lights were still a luxury and less than 10% of households used them. In this context, this paper examines the socioeconomic dynamism of urban electrification— fixation of the electricity as necessary energy in the urban life —using Frankfurt am Main as a case study.
    Keywords: Paradigm shift in the electricity consumption, Change of the tariff system, Innovation of illumination techniques, Experiment of the completely electrified life, Strategy of the municipal electric service
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Ruben Schalk; Patrick Wallis; Clare Crowston; Claire Lemercier
    Abstract: Preindustrial apprenticeship is often considered more stable than its nineteenth- and twentieth century counterparts, apparently because of the more durable relationships between masters and apprentices. Nevertheless, recent studies have suggested that many of those who started apprenticeships did not finish them. This paper examines how often individuals who had begun the process of qualification for skilled work failed to complete it, and how many conversely achieved local mastership. We provide new evidence on the completion of over 7,000 contracts across several cities in three countries. Even though apprenticeship regulation varied, in all cases a substantial minority of youths entering apprenticeship contracts failed to complete them. In turn, only a minority of journeymen would attain the status of masters. We consider the nature, frequency and causation of these failures. At least some exits reflect the balance of opportunities that youths faced, while obtaining mastership was affected by local and kin ties. By allowing premature exits, cities and guilds sustained labour markets by lowering the risks of entering long training contracts. Training flexibility was a pragmatic response to labour market tensions.
    Keywords: apprenticeship; labour markets; human capital; skill; mastership; guilds; Europe; France; The Netherlands; England.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2016–11
  11. By: Arne Aelvoet; Hideko Matsuo; Koenraad Matthijs; Erik Buyst
    Abstract: The West-Flemish Demographic database (WFDD) is constructed as part of the project ‘New approaches to the social dynamics of long-term fertility change’ ( led by Prof. dr. Koen Matthijs. This work builds on the specific work package implemented by Prof. dr. Erik Buyst, who is co-promotor in the aforementioned interdisciplinary research project. This database is specially tailored to the needs of life course analysts and covers 239 West-Flemish communities (Belgium) during the period 1600-1910. In this technical report we describe the construction of the WFDD in detail. Section 1 describes the historical sources, field work activities and coverage. Section 2 defines the variables used during the linkage process. Section 3 outlines the linkage procedure. Section 4 evaluates the linkage procedure and section 5 concludes.
    Date: 2016–12–09
  12. By: Michel De Vroey (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: In this review, I argue that Forder makes a fine job in debunking the story told by Friedman in his Nobel prize lecture about the Phillips curve yet fails to assess the validity of Phelps’s and Friedman’s contributions to the Phillips curve theory.
    Keywords: Phillips curve, A.W. Phillips, M. Friedman, E. Phelps
    JEL: B22 B30 E24 E31
    Date: 2016–12–15
  13. By: Jakob Brochner Madsen
    Abstract: This paper constructs annual data for the aggregate wealth-income ratio, W-Y, saving, s, and growth, g, for Britain over the period 1210-2013 and tests Piketty’s central hypothesis that the W-Y ratio is governed by the s-g ratio in the long run. Furthermore, Piketty’s model is extended by the share of non-reproducibles in total wealth to explain the W-Y ratio during different eras of capitalism – pre-industrialization, industrialization and the knowledge economy. It is shown that savings, growth and the share of non-reproducibles in total wealth have been the fundamental drivers of the W-Y ratio over the past eight centuries
    Keywords: W-Y ratio, inequality, non-reproducibles versus reproducibles factors of production
    JEL: E1 E2 O4 P1
    Date: 2016–11
  14. By: Sorge, Arndt; Streeck, Wolfgang
    Abstract: We revisit the concept of Diversified Quality Production (DQP), which we introduced about thirty years ago. Our purpose is to examine the extent to which the concept can still be considered tenable for describing and explaining the development of the interaction between the political economy and concepts of production, notably in Germany. First, we show why and in which ways DQP was more heterogeneous than we had originally understood. Then, on the basis of evidence with respect to political, business, and economic changes in Germany, we show that DQP Mark I, a regime by and large characteristic of the 1980s, turned into DQP Mark II. In the process, major "complementarities" disappeared between the late 1980s and now - mainly the complementarity between production modes on the one hand and industrial relations and economic regulation on the other. While the latter exhibit greater change, business strategies and production organization show more continuity, which helps explain how Germany maintained economic performance after the mid-2000s, more than other countries in Europe. Conceptually, our most important result is that the complementarities emphasized in political economy are historically relative and limited, so that they should not be postulated as stable configurations.
    Keywords: production concepts,manufacturing,diversified quality production,industrial organization,industrial relations,industrial restructuring,globalization,skills,Germany,Produktionskonzepte,industrielle Fertigung,diversifizierte Qualitätsproduktion,Industrieökonomik,Arbeitsbeziehungen,Strukturwandel,Globalisierung,Qualifikationen,Deutschland
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Janet Hunter; Kota Ogasawara
    Abstract: This paper tests the operation of markets in the wake of a sudden exogenous shock in prewar Japan, the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923. Using a unique monthly wholesale price dataset of provincial cities, we found that the earthquake had a positive impact on the price of rice and timber in the sample cities. Our results also indicate that the wholesale price of rice in cities in the northeast of Japan, which were more closely integrated with the affected region, experienced more significant price rises than those in western Japan. Nevertheless, although further research using retail as opposed to wholesale prices of goods is needed, these preliminary findings suggest that the diffusion of price instability outwards from the affected region was on a lesser scale than might have been expected.
    Keywords: Great Kantō Earthquake; Natural disaster; Price shocks;
    JEL: O53 N0
    Date: 2016–11
  16. By: Michalis Nikiforos
    Abstract: This paper presents a methodological discussion of two recent "endogeneity" critiques of the Kaleckian model and the concept of distribution-led growth. From a neo-Keynesian perspective, and following Kaldor (1955) and Robinson (1956), the model is criticized because it treats distribution as quasi-exogenous, while in Skott (2016) distribution is viewed as endogenously determined by a series of (exogenous) institutional factors and social norms, and therefore one should focus on these instead of the functional distribution of income per se. The paper discusses how abstraction is used in science and economics, and employs the criteria proposed by Lawson (1989) for what constitutes an appropriate abstraction. Based on this discussion, it concludes that the criticisms are not valid, although the issues raised by Skott provide some interesting directions for future work within the Kaleckian framework.
    Keywords: Kaleckian Model; Distribution-led Growth; Abstraction
    JEL: B22 B41 B50 E11 E12
    Date: 2016–12
  17. By: Christian Kleiber (University of Basel)
    Abstract: Methods for detecting structural changes, or change points, in time series data are widely used in many fields of science and engineering. This chapter sketches some basic methods for the analysis of structural changes in time series data. The exposition is confined to retrospective methods for univariate time series. Several recent methods for dating structural changes are compared using a time series of oil prices spanning more than 60 years. The methods broadly agree for the first part of the series up to the mid-1980s, for which changes are associated with major historical events, but provide somewhat different solutions thereafter, reflecting a gradual increase in oil prices that is not well described by a step function. As a further illustration, 1990s data on the volatility of the Hang Seng stock market index are reanalyzed.
    Keywords: change point problem, segmentation, structural change, time series
    JEL: C22 C87
    Date: 2016
  18. By: C. Adam Bee; Joshua Mitchell
    Abstract: Despite women’s increased labor force attachment over the lifecycle, household surveys such as the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) do not show increases in retirement income (pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs) for women at older ages. We use linked survey-administrative data to demonstrate that retirement incomes are considerably underreported in the CPS ASEC and that women’s economic progress at older ages has been substantially understated over the last quarter century. Specifically, the CPS ASEC shows median household income for women age 65-69 rose 21 percent since the late 1980s, while the administrative records show an increase of 58 percent. Survey biases in women’s own incomes appear largest for women with the longest work histories. We also exploit the panel dimension of our data to follow a cohort of women and their spouses (if present) as they transition into retirement in recent years. In contrast to previous work, we find that most women do not experience noticeable drops in income up to five years after claiming social security, with retirement income playing an important role in maintaining their overall standard of living. Our results pose a challenge to the literature on the “retirement consumption puzzle” and suggest total income replacement rates are high for recent retirees.
    JEL: D14 D91 H55 J14 J26
    Date: 2016–12
  19. By: Mikołaj Szołtysek (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Radosław Poniat; Siegfried Gruber (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In this article, we present a new measure for use in cross-cultural studies of family-driven age- and gender-related inequalities. This composite measure, which we call the Patriarchy Index, combines a range of variables related to familial behaviour that reflect varying degrees of sex- and age-related social inequality across different family settings. We demonstrate the comparative advantages of the index by showing how 266 historical populations living in regions stretching from the Atlantic coast of Europe to Moscow scored on the patriarchy scale. We then compare the index with contemporary measures of gender discrimination, and find a strong correlation between historical and current inequality patterns. Finally, we explore how variation in patriarchy levels across Europe is related to the socio-economic and institutional characteristics of the regional populations, and to variation across these regions in their degree of demographic centrality and in their environmental conditions. Overall, the results of our study confirm previous findings that family organisation is a crucial generator of social inequality, and point to the importance of considering the historical context when analysing the current global contours of inequality.
    Keywords: Europe, gender, patriarchy, social heterogeneity, spatial analysis
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2016–12
  20. By: Carlos Sangreman
    Abstract: Que políticas económicas e sociais a Guiné-Bissau concebeu e executou ao longo de 42 anos? Que base colonial existia em 1974 que tenha sido um ponto de partida para a governação do PAIGC, partido que tinha acabado de ganhar a guerra contra o regime português também ele próprio derrubado por militares? Com governos e presidentes fortes e fracos, com uma imagem de instabilidade permanente, acusados de favorecer o tráfico de drogas para a Europa, mas com uma paz social relevante para uma região assolada por guerras civis, como se expressou a governação na escolha de modelos económicos e sociais a partir de um ideário construído por Amilcar Cabral, Aristides Pereira, Pedro Pires, Nino Vieira e outros, uns mais guerrilheiros outros mais politícos? São estas as questões para cuja resposta este Working Paper pretende contribuir no seguimento do artigo de Carlos Sangreman, Sousa Júnior, Rodrigues Zeverino e Miguel Barros [Lusotopie, XV (1), 2008]
    Date: 2016–11
  21. By: Cristina Joanaz (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IHC); Lígia Costa Pinto (Universidade do Minho, NIMA); Paulo Ramísio (Universidade do Minho, CTAC); Estelita Vaz (Universidade do Minho, Departamento de Matemática)
    Abstract: The waterscape defined by the Afife creek (Portugal) is a hotspot of time and cultural cross-references. In the 1200s, the presence of Benedictine monks, in the Convent of S. João de Cabanas, suggest the existence of a Catholic agrarian landscape. Benedictine monks ought to provide shelter, food, wool for blankets, and products for religious sacred services to pilgrims. Therefore, wheat, hay or barley, vineyards and olive trees would be cultivated. As such, the landscape should reveal the cultivation of cereals, olive trees, vineyards, and grazing lands, and mills to mow the cereals, produce olive oil, and saw the wood. The design of the former landscape on cereals, wine, olive trees, sheep, goats and sawing industry in the area, under the Benedictine convent of S. João de Cabanas, together with its architectural structure, is strongly related to the XVIth century. In particular, the cross of S. Tiago de Compostela (Spain), indicating a route of pilgrimage, and the concentration of seven water mills in a 100 meters upstream distance to the convent, reveal a great presence of permanent water power. The present irregular distribution of the remaining pine-trees, oaks, eucalyptus and acacias indicate changes in the agrarian exploitation throughout the XIXh and XXth centuries. The Ecalyptus, original from Australia and New-Zeeland, was introduced in Portugal in the 1800s, while the Acacia was introduced in the 1900s, to sustain moving sands. Their expansion in the slopes of the Afife creek suggests very recent farming abandonment (after 1940s). This paper proposes to discuss agro-forest sustainable adjustments to changing culturaleconomic drivers in the long run, through a case study. The case study is the Afife waterscape transformation, located in the village of Afife in the North of Portugal. The analyses will adopt an interdisciplinary approach crossing diverse sources of information and methodologies.
    Keywords: Cultural landscpes, Agro-forest sustainable adjustments, Watersacape, Environmental Impacts
    JEL: Q2
    Date: 2016–12
  22. By: Zuijderduijn, Jaco (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: Recent literature has suggested how late-medieval families may have used financial markets to navigate the life cycle. Precious little is known about the precise connections between the life cycle and family on the one hand and investments in financial instruments on the other, though. We analyse late-medieval investment behaviour using a new dataset of hundreds of life annuities. Our data give ages at purchase of annuitants as well as the pairings of investors in joint and survivor annuities and thus they allow us to link life-cycle events and family relationships to participation in financial markets. We demonstrate that the late-medieval public did not purchase single life annuities for children and argue this points to contemporaries having preferences other than for maximizing profits. We find that women were prominent investors in life annuities, but they also showed a preference for joint and survivor annuities, which were less profitable but provided insurance for (junior) family members. Finally, although the majority of joint and survivor annuities were purchased by family members, a substantial number were for people who appear not to have been related: we suggest godparenthood may help explain pairings of apparently unrelated adults and children.
    Keywords: life annuities; investment behaviour; financial history
    JEL: D10 D12 E21 G11 N13
    Date: 2016–12–09
  23. By: Jonas Meuli; Thomas Nellen; Thomas Nitschka
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyses securitisation in Switzerland from a macroeconomic and bank balance sheet perspective based on a novel and near-comprehensive data set on a specific form of securitisation over the sample period from 1932 to 2014. The Swiss Pfandbrief is a distinct covered bond with a similar institutional framework as the U.S. Federal Home Loan Bank System.
    Keywords: Securitisation, covered bonds, mortgage loans, bank balance sheet management, business cycles, financial cycle, financial stability
    JEL: E43 E44 E51 G12 G21 G23 N24
    Date: 2016
  24. By: Caroline Fohlin
    Abstract: I use the global crisis of 1914 as a window onto the phenomenon of investor reaction to complex news - such as sudden political upheaval. Based on a novel database of all stocks traded on the NYSE during 1914, along with "real-time" news accounts from major newspapers, I show that NYSE investors ignored the assassination of the Austrian heir and hardly reacted to the Austrian Ultimatum, which in retrospect insured the imminent start of a protracted, pan-European war. Signs of uncertainty - spikes in volatility and illiquidity, as well as trading volume - appeared in the NYSE only after Austria invaded Serbia and stock exchanges began to shut down around the world. I attribute the lagging reaction to the complexity of the political situation and inability of investors to foresee (or to believe) the broader breakdown of international relations and the inevitable impact on world financial markets. I also examine the ability of market interventions to mitigate the impact of disasters and related uncertainty shocks. The analysis demonstrates that, following a four-and-a-half-month closure, the NYSE returned to near normal levels of volatility and liquidity, suggesting that traders felt confident that the U.S. would remain neutral. Trading volumes increased after the closure, due to renewed confidence in the liquidity of U.S. financial markets and banks - a finding supported as well by falling rates in the overnight call money market. Notably, U.S. stocks with the most international activity showed essentially no greater response to the political upheaval than those without.
    Date: 2016–11
  25. By: Paul, Saumik
    Abstract: Since the advent of British rule in 1765, the colony of Bengal, once hailed as the most fertile and prosperous region of India, witnessed numerous incidents of food shortages. Apart from the supply and demand side factors are typically associated with a food shortage at an escalated or disastrous level (famine), the role of persistent and long-term factors is also critical. This paper, both qualitatively and quantitatively, provides a deeper understanding of the process of agrarian transformation in Bengal. It argues that the 1943 Bengal famine could have been less likely had there been a buoyant agricultural credit market and a better patronage system with less exploitative farming practices. Quantitatively, I find that frequency of distress sale of occupancy holdings in the 1930s is positively associated with the famine intensity throughout many districts, and this relationship increases in the presence of sharecroppers' struggles.
    Keywords: Famine, Land transfer, Bengal
    JEL: N O
    Date: 2016–12
  26. By: Jakob Brochner Madsen; MD. Rabiul Islam; Hristos Doucouliagos
    Abstract: Inequality's effect on growth remains elusive, largely due to endogeneity, complex interactions, and lead-lag relationships. We revisit this issue by examining the four main channels through which inequality transmits to growth: savings, investment, education, and knowledge production. We construct new panel data for 21 OECD countries spanning 142 years. External communist influence is used as a new time-varying instrument for inequality and the effects of inequality on the outcome variables are made conditional on the stage of financial development. Our results show that inequality hampers growth at low to moderate levels of financial development but promotes growth at advanced levels.
    Keywords: inequality, financial development, transmission channels
    JEL: E20 O15 O40
    Date: 2016–11
  27. By: Pierre Salama (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The marginalization of the Argentina comes from far away. While in 1913, income per head of the Argentina correspond to 65% of that of Britain, in 1945 it was still 60% to spend in 2001 to 39 percent. Comparison with income per head of the Spaniards is even more eloquent: 393% in 1913, 290% in 1945 and 51% in 2001. The per capita income for the Argentine went thus from four times that of the Spaniards to a little more than half. Today it is again in crisis and same time inflation starts rising. Its gross domestic product (GDP) growth is negative. Despite the rebound, the Argentina’s deindustrializes. The level of labour productivity, growth are very low, especially when compared to those of other emerging Asian countries. Worse, the dispersion around the average is very pronounced, rather than those observed in developed countries. It is also the same wages. The purpose of this article is to analyze the causes of marginalization and the persistance of inflation during the last 15 years.
    Abstract: La marginalisation de l’Argentine vient de loin. Alors qu’en 1913, le revenu par tête de l’Argentine correspondait à 65% de celui de la Grande-Bretagne, en 1945 il se situait encore à 60% pour passer en 2001 à 39%. La comparaison avec le revenu par tête des espagnols est encore plus éloquente : 393% en 1913, 290% en 1945 et 51% en 2001. Le revenu par tête des argentins est passé ainsi du quadruple de celui des espagnols à un peu plus de la moitié. Aujourd’hui elle est de nouveau en crise et en même temps l’inflation repart à la hausse. La croissance de son produit intérieur brut (PIB) est négative. Malgré des rebonds, l’Argentine se désindustrialise. Le niveau de la productivité du travail, sa croissance sont très faibles, surtout si on les compare à ceux d’autres pays asiatiques émergents. Pire, la dispersion autour de la moyenne est très prononcée, bien plus que celles observées dans les pays avancés. Il en est également de même des salaires. L’objet de cet article est d’analyser les causes de cette marginalisation et de la persistance de l’inflation.
    Keywords: economic development,trade policy,industrialization,comparatives studies of countries,poverty,middle class,économie du développement,politique commerciale,insertion internationale,industrialisation,étude comparative,pauvreté,classes moyennes
    Date: 2016–12–09
  28. By: Guido Matias Cortes; Nir Jaimovich; Henry E. Siu
    Abstract: We study the deterioration of employment in middle-wage, routine occupations in the United States in the last 35 years. The decline is primarily driven by changes in the propensity to work in routine jobs for individuals from a small set of demographic groups. These same groups account for a substantial fraction of both the increase in non-employment and employment in low-wage, non-routine manual occupations observed during the same time period. We analyze a general neoclassical model of the labor market featuring endogenous participation and occupation choice. We show that in response to an increase in automation technology, the model embodies an important tradeoff between reallocating employment across occupations and reallocation of workers towards non-employment. Quantitatively, we find that advances in automation technology on their own account for a relatively small portion of the joint decline in routine employment and associated rise in non-routine manual employment and non-employment.
    JEL: E0 J0
    Date: 2016–12

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