nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2017‒01‒29
thirty-six papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Market Turn: From Social Democracy to Market Liberalism By Avner Offer
  2. Japanese colonialism in comparative perspective By Anne Booth; Kent Deng
  3. Micro foundations in the Great Divergence debate: opening up a new perspective By Luca Zan; Kent Deng
  4. Poverty and rural height penalty in inland Spain during the nutrition transition By José Cañabate-Cabezuelos; José M. Martínez-Carrión
  5. Land frontier expansion in settler economies (1830- 1950): Was it a Ricardian process? By Henry Willebald; Javier Juambeltz
  6. The Missing Bretton Woods Debate over Flexible Exchange Rates By Douglas A. Irwin
  7. The Greek merchant fleet as a national navy during the war of independence 1800-1830 By Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas; Prassa, Annita
  8. Housing Prices, Mortgage Interest Rates and the Rising Share of Capital Income in the United States By Gianni La Cava
  9. Trade costs and the Suez and Panama Canals By Jules Hugot; Camilo Umana Dajud
  10. Family Size and the Demand for Sex Selection: Evidence From China By Samuel Marden
  11. Fiscal pessimism in historical perspective : Tocqueville revisited By Fraile, Pedro
  12. Prestige and Profit: The Royal Society of Arts and Incentives for Innovation, 1750-1850 By B. Zorina Khan
  13. Long-tarm Monetary Statistics for Russia By Nakamura, Yasushi
  14. La industrialización de Medellín en el siglo XIX: construcción de un paradigma productivo en una zona poco industrializable By Vélez Tamayo, Julián Mauricio
  15. The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries By Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  16. Is Modern Technology Responsible for Jobless Recoveries? By Graetz, Georg; Michaels, Guy
  17. Israel's Triumph over Inflation: The Long and Winding Road By Razin, Assaf
  18. Related Investing: Corporate Ownership and Capital Mobilization during Early Industrialization By B. Zorina Khan
  19. Sovereign defaults during the Great Depression: the role of fiscal fragility By Andrea Papadia
  20. The Poor and the Poorest, fifty years on: Evidence from British Household Expenditure Surveys of the 1950s and 1960s By Ian Gazeley; Hector Gutierrez Rufrancos; Andrew Newell; Kevin Reynolds; Rebecca Searle
  21. The Long Shadows of Past Insults: Intergenerational Transmission of Health over 130 Years By Andreella, ClaudiA; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese; Westphal, Matthias
  22. Educational attainment: A snapshot of 50 years of trends in expanding education By OECD
  23. Winter is Coming: The Long-Run Effects of Climate Change on Conflict, 1400-1900 By Murat Iyigun; Nathan Nunn; Nancy Qian
  24. The agricultural roots of industrial development: ‘forward linkages’ in reform era China By Samuel Marden
  25. Capital stocks and capital services: integrated and consistent estimates for the United Kingdom, 1950–2013 By Nicholas Oulton; Gavin Wallis
  26. The Federal Reserve’s Evolving Monetary Policy Implementation Framework: 1914-1923 By Chabot, Benjamin
  27. "Decessit sine prole" Childlessness, Celibacy, and Survival of the Richest in Pre-Industrial England By David de la Croix; Eric B. Schneider; Jacob Weisdorf
  28. Beyond thirty: Treasury issuance of long-term bonds from 1953 to 1965 By Garbade, Kenneth D.
  29. The Rise of American Ingenuity: Innovation and Inventors of the Golden Age By Ufuk Akcigit; John Grigsby; Tom Nicholas
  30. George Stigler y su influencia en la transformación económica de Chile By Cristián Larroulet Vignau
  31. Rage Against the Machines: Labour-Saving Technology and Unrest in England, 1830-32 By Caprettini, Bruno; Voth, Hans-Joachim
  32. How Antitrust Enforcement Can Spur Innovation: Bell Labs and the 1956 Consent Decree By Fackler, Thomas A.; Nagler, Markus; Schnitzer, Monika; Watzinger, Martin
  33. Comment: Inferring Trade Costs from Trade Booms and Trade Busts By Guillaume Corlay; Stéphane Dupraz; Claire Labonne; Anne Muller; Céline Antonin; Guillaume Daudin
  34. The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries By Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  35. Potterian Economics By Levy, Daniel; Snir, Avichai
  36. Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures By Oded Galor; Ömer Özak; Assaf Sarid

  1. By: Avner Offer (All Souls College, University of Oxford)
    Abstract: Social democracy and market liberalism offered different solutions to the same problem: how to provide for life-cycle dependency. Social democracy makes lateral transfers from producers to dependents by means of progressive taxation. Market liberalism uses financial markets to transfer financial entitlement over time. Social democracy came up against the limits of public expenditure in the 1970s. The ‘market turn’ from social democracy to market liberalism was enabled by easy credit in the 1980s. Much of this was absorbed into homeownership, which attracted majorities of households (and voters) in the developed world. Early movers did well, but easy credit eventually drove house prices beyond the reach of younger cohorts. Debt service diminished effective demand, which instigated financial instability. Both social democracy and market liberalism are in crisis.
    Date: 2017–01–18
  2. By: Anne Booth; Kent Deng
    Abstract: The paper examines the economic consequences of Japanese colonialism in Taiwan, Korea and Manchuria in the years from 1910 to 1945, and compares Japanese policies with those implemented by other colonial powers in Southeast Asia. In particular it addresses the writings of an influential group of American scholars who have published widely on Japanese colonial policies over the last fifty years. Their work has been used to support the argument that Japanese colonial policy was more developmental than that of other colonial powers, and laid the foundations for the stellar economic performance of Taiwan and the Republic of Korea in the decades after 1950. The paper challenges this argument by comparing a number of economic and social indicators in Korea, Taiwan and Manchuria with those from other Asian colonies and also from Thailand. The main conclusion is that while the Japanese colonies, especially Taiwan, score well on some indicators, they do less well on others. The idea of Japanese exceptionalism cannot be accepted uncritically.
    Keywords: Japan; West; colonies in Asia; state policies; growth and development
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Luca Zan; Kent Deng
    Abstract: Prevailing approaches in historical studies adopt a macro view and place an overwhelming emphasis on the Industrial Revolution as a major discontinuity in Western development. On the contrary, recent research in accounting, management and business history has suggested a different direction. When opting for a micro-level focus, crucial discontinuities in management and accounting in the West can be traced back to the Renaissance Period. The paper thus searches for ‘micro foundations’ in managing and accounting practices to address the on-going debate on the East-West divergence. Despite the obvious problems with source availability, we outline a new research agenda for the debate.
    Keywords: Great Divergence Debate; Venice Arsenal; accounting and capitalism; proto-industrial settings; premodern bureaucracies
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: José Cañabate-Cabezuelos; José M. Martínez-Carrión
    Abstract: The article analyses nutritional inequalities and stunting in inner rural Spain from a case study carried out in Castile-La Mancha. The examination of the height of military draftees explores the gap between urban and rural populations and analyses the evolution of growth patterns in different habitational contexts. The results indicate that stunted growth and undernourishment were pervasive in the two initial decades of the 20th century, that the situation improved slightly in the 1920s and the first half of the 1930s, and that in the 1940s and 1950s the conditions again deteriorated considerably. Stunted growth was significant especially in rural areas, which were particularly penalized during Francoism. Height increased considerably in the 1960s and 1970s and although this improvement also reached the rural areas the gap that separated the countryside and the urban areas did not disappear until the early 1980s. The data suggests that a poor and limited diet, the economic policies and the social assistance-related institutional framework were key factors in the evolution of growth. Finally, the results also stress the need to extend the study to adolescent circumstances, and not only children, as well as the need to investigate social inequality among different professional groups during the nutritional transition.
    Keywords: Height, Stunting, Rural Poverty, Nutrition Transition, Spain
    JEL: D63 I14 I32 N34
    Date: 2016–07
  5. By: Henry Willebald (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Javier Juambeltz (Universidad del Trabajo del Uruguay (Uruguay). Ingeniería Tecnológica)
    Abstract: Settler economies (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Uruguay) benefited from the consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution as their temperate climate and fertile soils were especially suitable for the production of meat, wheat, wool and other commodities. The main domestic contribution to economic growth was the incorporation of “new” land, of variable quality, into the commercial and productive relationships of the first expansion of the world capitalism. Therefore our aim is to understand this process in the long-run (1830-1950) using the land frontier expansion as pivotal concept. Initially, we discuss the economic theories about the role of land in the economic activity and then, present an analytical model based on the classical Ricardian view to explain the land frontier expansion in terms of extensive and intensive margins in the agrarian production. Our empirical strategy uses a quantification method based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and we consider different agrarian land aptitudes and distances to centres of gravity to test our hypotheses. Our evidence supports the predominance of the extensive margin in the land frontier expansion of Argentina, Uruguay and New Zealand and the intensive margin in the two first economies and Chile but not in the other members of the “club”.
    Keywords: settler economies, land frontier expansion, GIS, land quality
    JEL: N5 N9 O13 Q24
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Douglas A. Irwin
    Abstract: The collapse of the gold standard in the 1930s sparked a debate about the merits of fixed versus floating exchange rates. Yet the debate quickly vanished: there was almost no discussion about the exchange rate regime at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 because John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White agreed that exchange rate stability through fixed but adjustable pegs was the right approach. In light of the difficult macroeconomic tradeoffs experienced under the gold standard a decade earlier, the outright rejection of floating exchange rates seems surprising. This paper explores the views of leading economists about the exchange rate provisions in the Bretton Woods agreement and examines why arguments for floating exchange rates were so quickly dismissed.
    JEL: B22 F31 F33
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas; Prassa, Annita
    Abstract: We analyse the emergence of the Greek merchant navy in the wider European context after the Treaty of Vienna, in particular that of the maritime islands - Hydra, Spetsai and Psara - during the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 19th century, when Greece was still a part of the Ottoman Empire. We examine the structure of the merchant fleet and the impetus it received after they could raise mainly the Russian flag as a flag of opportunity. We trace its history as blockade runners for France during the Napoleonic wars and the necessity to be armed in order to face the challenge of the Barbary corsairs (from Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli). These armed merchantmen and their crews, who had gained valuable experience during the Napoleonic Wars and by fighting against the Barbary corsairs, formed the nucleus of Greece’s navy during the War of Independence of 1821-1830. Combining superior naval skill and “terror weapons” as, for example, fireships, the Greek armed merchantmen achieved a number of astonishing victories against the Ottoman navy which was superior in numbers and tonnage (including dedicated ships of the line), thus contributing crucially to Greece’s independence.
    Keywords: Greek merchant fleet, war of independence, merchantmen under a nation’s service
    JEL: N23 N43 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2016–02–12
  8. By: Gianni La Cava (Reserve Bank of Australia)
    Abstract: Piketty (2014) documents how the share of aggregate income going to capital in the United States has risen in the post-war era. Rognlie (2015) has since shown that this is largely due to the housing sector. I explore the determinants of the secular rise in the share of housing capital income (or 'rental income') in the US economy. I first decompose the aggregate national accounts by geographic region and also by type of housing. I then exploit variation across US states in factors that could explain housing capital income, such as interest rates, housing prices and income growth. I show that the long-run increase in the aggregate share of housing capital income is mainly due to higher imputed rental income going to owner-occupiers. I also find evidence that the rise in the share of housing capital income over recent decades reflects a combination of: 1) lower real interest rates; 2) lower consumer price inflation; and 3) constraints on the supply of new housing in some large US cities. In effect, I argue that the fall in nominal interest rates over the 1980s and 1990s raised the demand for housing and pushed up housing prices and rents (relative to non-housing prices) in supply-constrained areas. I estimate that the long-term decline in interest rates can explain more than half the increase in the share of nominal income spent on housing since the early 1980s.
    Keywords: interest rates; housing prices; housing supply; imputed rent; inequality
    JEL: D33 D63 E01 E21 E43 R31
    Date: 2016–05
  9. By: Jules Hugot; Camilo Umana Dajud
    Abstract: Current estimates offer a puzzling picture of the magnitude and historical evolution of the distance elasticity of trade. We take advantage of historical episodes that changed bilateral distance to estimate the distance elasticity in the time dimension and characterize its evolution over time. The openings of the Suez and Panama Canals -- as well as the closure of the Suez Canal from 1967 to 1975 -- allow us to control for unobserved time-invariant country pair characteristics in a gravity setting. Our estimates show that the impact of distance on trade remains particularly low, even if it has increased during the last half century. These results reconcile the distance elasticity of trade with its two components: the elasticity of trade to trade costs and the elasticity of trade costs to distance. In a second stage, we use these estimates to quantify the trade and welfare effects associated with the openings of the Suez and Panama Canals. We also perform the counterfactual exercise of closing the Panama Canal in 2012 to evaluate its current welfare effect.
    Keywords: Distance elasticity;Distance Puzzle;Gravity;Suez Canal;Panama Canal;Welfare effects of trade
    JEL: F14 F15 N70
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Samuel Marden (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: In China, many fewer girls are born than would be expected given natural birth rates. This imbalance has worsened dramatically over the last 40 years. The roughly contemporaneous fall in fertility per woman is often mooted as a source of this apparent increased demand for sex selection: fewer births make it harder to have a son by chance. Despite this, causal evidence is limited. This paper exploits geographic variation in changes in fertility, arising as a consequence of China’s agricultural reforms (1978-84), to provide this evidence. Specifically, I show that households living in counties that benefitted more from the reforms, increased their fertility relative to households elsewhere. I then show that these households are also less likely to engage in sex selection. These changes appear to have been due to higher local incomes interacting with the enforcement of the One Child Policy. The timing of the changes in fertility and sex selection are informative: while fertility increased almost immediately, the decline in sex selection only emerged from the mid 1980s— contemporaneous with the widespread availability of ultrasound. These results suggest that the dramatic decline in fertility in 1970s China, as well as the smaller decline due to the One Child Policy in the 1980s, may have had an important role in fuelling the demand for sex selection.
    JEL: J11 J13 J16
    Date: 2016–03
  11. By: Fraile, Pedro
    Abstract: This paper explores Alexis de Tocqueville´s thought on fiscal political economy as a forerunner of the modern school of preference falsification and rational irrationality. Although he initially shared the cautious optimism of most Classical economists with respect to taxes under extended suffrage, Tocqueville's view turned more pessimistic in the second volume of his Democracy in America. Universal enfranchisement and democratic governments would lead to higher taxes, more intense income redistribution and government control. Under democracy, the continuous search for unconditional equality would eventually jeopardized liberty and economic growth.
    Keywords: Equality; Rational irrationality; Mores; Enfranchisement; Preference falsification; Tocqueville's Cross; Income redistribution; Fiscal capacity; Social rights; Ricardian fiscal optimism; Extension of the franchise; Report on Pauperism; Democracy in America; Alexis de Tocqueville
    Date: 2016–12
  12. By: B. Zorina Khan
    Abstract: Debates have long centered around the relative merits of prizes and other incentives for technological innovation. Some economists have cited the experience of the prestigious Royal Society of Arts (RSA), which offered honorary and cash awards, as proof of the efficacy of innovation prizes. The Society initially was averse to patents and prohibited the award of prizes for patented inventions. This study examines data on several thousand of these inducement prizes, matched with patent records and biographical information about the applicants. The empirical analysis shows that inventors of items that were valuable in the marketplace typically chose to obtain patents and to bypass the prize system. Owing to such adverse selection, prizes were negatively related to subsequent areas of important technological discovery. The RSA ultimately became disillusioned with the prize system, which they recognized had done little to promote technological progress and industrialization. The Society acknowledged that its efforts had been “futile” because of its hostility to patents, and switched from offering inducement prizes towards lobbying for reforms to strengthen the patent system. The findings suggest some skepticism is warranted about claims regarding the role that elites and nonmarket-oriented institutions played in generating technological innovation and long-term economic development.
    JEL: D02 N13 O31 O33 O34 O43
    Date: 2017–01
  13. By: Nakamura, Yasushi
    Abstract: Monetary statistics in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation were reviewed. The result showed that it is difficult to construct some historical time series of monetary indicators consistent for the entire period of 150 years, because the financial systems in these three periods were very different from each other and that in a market economy. We need to understand the characteristics of each monetary and financial system to use the monetary and financial statistics. The financial system in the Russian Empire developed slower than that of West Europe and was characterized by strong government influence. This characteristic seemed to be carried over to the Soviet Union. The state budget was the main pillar of the Soviet financial system; bank financing merely had a minor and subsidiary role, and its main source of finance was government funds. This pattern of Soviet finance changed in the mid-1960s. Bank financing expanded rapidly using increasing household deposits as its source of finance, while the government sector became a net absorber of financial resources. This financial system was unsustainable and eventually collapsed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian financial system returned to a standard financial system for a market economy; however, a sound financial system is still under construction.
    Date: 2016–11
  14. By: Vélez Tamayo, Julián Mauricio
    Abstract: The industrialization process in Colombia, usually located in the twentieth century, after the coffee takeoff and international missions, also It has been the subject of heated debate by scholars studying the economic history of Colombia; and this process However, we want to show the process of industrialization of Medellin during the second half of the nineteenth century, from elements such as: the inadequate conditions for the development of agriculture, which nevertheless allowed the productive migration extraction the agriculture, coupled with the cultural characteristics of Antioquia and in particular the emergence of "free" activities and assimilation of religious sentiment of the Calvinists in the paisa "ethos". To do this, it is to demonstrate growth of productive factors, represented in the population and the emergence of the first industries in the territory of Antioquia, which would, in the twentieth century industrial center.
    Keywords: Industrialization, Colombian Economy, Economic History.
    JEL: N00 N96 O14
    Date: 2016–06
  15. By: Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: We draw lessons from existing work and our own analysis on the effects of parental leave and other interventions aimed at aiding families. The outcomes of interest are female employment, gender gaps in earnings and fertility. We begin with a discussion of the historical introduction of family policies ever since the end of the nineteenth century and then turn to the details regarding family policies currently in effect across high-income nations. We sketch a framework concerning the effects of family policy to motivate our country- and micro-level evidence on the impact of family policies on gender outcomes. Most estimates of the impact of parental leave entitlement on female labor market outcomes range from negligible to weakly positive. There is stronger evidence that spending on early education and childcare increases labor force participation of women and reduces gender gaps.
    JEL: J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2017–01
  16. By: Graetz, Georg; Michaels, Guy
    Abstract: Since the early 1990s, recoveries from recessions in the US have been plagued by weak employment growth. One possible explanation for these 'jobless' recoveries is rooted in technological change: middle-skill jobs, often involving routine tasks, are lost during recessions, and the displaced workers take time to transition into other jobs (Jaimovich and Siu, 2014). But technological replacement of middle-skill workers is not unique to the US - it also takes place in other developed countries (Goos, Manning, and Salomons, 2014). So if jobless recoveries in the US are due to technology, we might expect to also see them elsewhere in the developed world. We test this possibility using data on recoveries from 71 recessions in 28 industries and 17 countries from 1970-2011. We find that though GDP recovered more slowly after recent recessions, employment did not. Industries that used more routine tasks, and those more exposed to robotization, did not recently experience slower employment recoveries. Finally, middle-skill employment did not recover more slowly after recent recessions, and this pattern was no different in routine-intensive industries. Taken together, this evidence suggests that technology is not causing jobless recoveries in developed countries outside the US.
    Keywords: Job polarization; jobless recoveries; robots; routine-biased technological change
    JEL: E32 J23 O33
    Date: 2017–01
  17. By: Razin, Assaf
    Abstract: The paper gives an economic-history perspective of the long struggle with Inflation. It covers the early acceleration to three-digit levels, lasting 8 years; The stabilization program, based on political backing triggered sharp fall in inflationary expectation, and consequently to sharp inflation reduction to two- digit levels; The convergence to the advanced countries' levels during the "great Moderation", And Israel's resistance to the deflation-depression forces that the 2008 crisis created. The emphasis is on the forces of globalization and the building of institutions, political, regulatory, financial, budget design, and monetary, which helped stabilize prices and output.
    Keywords: Deflation-Depression forces; Hyperinflation; Stabilization
    JEL: E00 E6 F3 F38
    Date: 2017–01
  18. By: B. Zorina Khan
    Abstract: Scholars engage in extensive debate about the role of families and corporations in economic growth. Some propose that personal ties provide a mechanism for overcoming such transactions costs as asymmetrical information, while others regard familial connections as conduits for inefficiency, with the potential for nepotism, corruption and exploitation of other stakeholders. This empirical study is based on a unique panel dataset comprising all of the shareholders in a sample of early corporations, including information on such characteristics as gender, age, occupation, household composition, real estate holdings and personal wealth. Related investing was widespread among directors and elite shareholders, but was also pervasive among women and small shareholders. Personal ties were especially evident among ordinary investors in the newer, riskier ventures, and helped to ensure persistence in shareholding. “Outsider investors” were able to overcome a lack of experience and information by taking advantage of their own networks. The link between related investing and the concentration of ownership in these corporations suggests that this phenomenon was likely associated with a reduction in perceptions of risk, especially beneficial for capital mobilization in emerging ventures. These patterns are consistent with a more productive interpretation of related investing and its function in newly developing societies.
    JEL: D22 G32 L2 N21 N81
    Date: 2017–01
  19. By: Andrea Papadia
    Abstract: The debt crisis of the early 1930s was probably the largest and most widespread in history. The defaults of national and sub-national governments were pivotal events of the Great Depression and contributed to shaping post-World War II finance in the United States and worldwide. I study the role of a so-far largely unexplored factor - fiscal fragility - in the crisis. In order to do this, I construct and analyse a dataset comprising a new measure of default size and new estimates of the size and composition of public debts for around 25 countries. The data accounts for maturity structures, sub-national borrowing as well as other key characteristics of debt burdens. I show econometrically that the severe deterioration in public revenues experienced by national and sub-national governments in a number of countries was a key determinant of the defaults above and beyond the Great Depression income shock. Countries hardest hit by the slump were more likely to renege on their external debts at both the national and subnational level, but countries whose public revenues fell more moderately were able avoid or limit the size of default. I furthermore show that the collapse in public revenues was not part of an explicit strategy to counter the slump through an active fiscal policy. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that fiscally weak countries saw their public expenditures collapse alongside revenues.
    Keywords: Great Depression; Sovereign Defaults; Public Debt; Local Borrowing; Fiscal Development
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–01
  20. By: Ian Gazeley (Department of History, University of Sussex); Hector Gutierrez Rufrancos (Department of Economics, University of Sussex); Andrew Newell (Department of Economics, University of Sussex and IZA, Bonn); Kevin Reynolds (Department of History, University of Sussex); Rebecca Searle (Department of History, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: We re-explore Abel-Smith and Townsend’s landmark study of poverty in early post WW2 Britain. They found a large increase in poverty between 1953-4 and 1960, a period of relatively strong economic growth. Our re-examination is a first exploitation of the data extracted from the recent digitisation of the Ministry of Labour’s Enquiry into Household Expenditure in 1953-4. First we closely replicate their results. We find that Abel-Smith and Townsend’s method generated a greater rise in poverty than other reasonable methods. Using contemporary standard poverty lines, we find that the relative poverty rate grew only a little at most, and the absolute poverty rate fell, between 1953-4 and 1961, as might be expected in a period of rising real incomes and steady inequality. We also extend the poverty rate time series of Goodman and Webb (1995) back to 1953-4.
    Keywords: poverty, inequality, 1950s, Britain
    JEL: N14 N34 O15
    Date: 2016–04
  21. By: Andreella, ClaudiA (University of Duisburg-Essen); Karlsson, Martin (University of Duisburg-Essen); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Westphal, Matthias (University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the intergenerational transmission of health in the very long run. Using a unique purpose-built administrative dataset on individuals born in Sweden between 1930–34 and their parents, we study the intergenerational transmission (IGT) of health and the impact of previous generations’ health shocks on socioeconomic outcomes. Our results provide strong evidence in favour of IGT of health, in particular for males. In contrast to the existing literature that focuses on early life health outcomes, our paper shows that the effect on later-life mortality might be even more relevant. However, the story appears to be complex and multi-faceted: the IGT exhibits an inverted socioeconomic gradient, and the impact on socioeconomic outcomes is often very different from the effect on health.
    Keywords: Early environment; Intergenerational transmission; Barker hypothesis; Maternal
    JEL: I12 J13
    Date: 2016–05–31
  22. By: OECD
    Abstract: Countries have seen a major increase in the educational attainment level of their populations. In 1965, only 43% of young adults aged 25-34 had attained upper secondary education or higher on average across OECD countries. Fifty years later, upper secondary education had almost doubled with attainment levels reaching 84% in 2015.
    Date: 2017–01–27
  23. By: Murat Iyigun; Nathan Nunn; Nancy Qian
    Abstract: We investigate the long-run effects of cooling on conflict. We construct a geo-referenced and digitized database of conflicts in Europe, North Africa, and the Near East from 1400-1900, which we merge with historical temperature data. We show that cooling is associated with increased conflict. When we allow the effects of cooling over a fifty-year period to depend on the extent of cooling during the preceding period, the effect of cooling on conflict is larger in locations that experienced earlier cooling. We interpret this as evidence that the adverse effects of climate change intensify with its duration.
    JEL: N43 N53 O13 P16 Q34
    Date: 2017–01
  24. By: Samuel Marden (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: A classic literature argues that improvements in agricultural productivity result in higher non-agricultural output, particularly at low levels of development. The proposed mechanisms for these ‘forward linkages’ centre on increases in the supply of factors—usually labour or capital—or demand externalities in product markets. Regardless of the mechanism, empirical evidence for substantial linkages from agriculture is limited. In this paper, I show that improvements in agricultural productivity were an important factor in the growth of the non-agricultural sector in early reform-era China. I obtain plausibly exogenous variation in agricultural productivity growth by exploiting the fact that reforms between 1978 and 1984 were more beneficial to farmers endowed with land suited to cash crops. Then, using a newly digitised panel of economic data for 561 counties, I trace the growth of agricultural and non-agricultural output over forty years. Over the 15 or 25 year periods following the reforms, I estimate elasticities of county level non-agricultural output with respect to agricultural output of 1.2 or 0.8. Several pieces of additional evidence indicate that the linkages identified were primarily due to higher agricultural surpluses increasing the supply of capital to local non-state firms.
    JEL: O11 O13 O43 P32
    Date: 2016–03
  25. By: Nicholas Oulton; Gavin Wallis
    Abstract: The evolution of capital services is crucial for understanding labour productivity growth. Capital stocks and the wealth–income ratio are important for understanding welfare and inequality. Accordingly, we present annual estimates of fixed capital services and capital stocks for the United Kingdom, 1950–2013, for the whole economy and for the market sector. Our estimates cover nine asset types including R&D. We compare estimates of capital services based on an endogenous (ex post) rate of return with ones based on a hybrid method which allows for ex ante risk: firms' expectations may not be satisfied. Contrary to expectation, we find that capital intensity (capital services per hour worked) rose during the Great Recession even though labour productivity fell. And the wealth–income ratio is now substantially lower than it was in the early 1980s unless dwellings are included in the total.
    Keywords: capital services; capital stocks; rate of return; depreciation
    JEL: D24 E22 E23 O47
    Date: 2016–04
  26. By: Chabot, Benjamin (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: The Federal Reserve has relied upon a number of different monetary policy implementation frameworks throughout its history. This paper describes the original implementation framework that evolved between 1914 and 1923 in response to new policy objectives and changing market conditions.
    Keywords: Monetary policy implementation; standing facilities; open market operations
    JEL: E52 E58 E59
    Date: 2017–01–18
  27. By: David de la Croix (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)); Eric B. Schneider (London School of Economics and CEPR); Jacob Weisdorf (University of Southern Denmark and CEPR)
    Abstract: Previous work has shown that England's pre-industrial elites had more surviving off-spring than their lower-class counterparts. This evidence was used to argue that the spread of upper-class values via downward social mobility helped England grow rich. We contest this view, showing that the lower classes outperformed the rich in terms of reproduction once singleness and childlessness are accounted for. Indeed, Merchants, Professionals and Gentry married less, and their marriages were more often childless. Many died without descendants (decessit sine prole). We also establish that the most prosperous socio-economic group in terms of reproduction was the middle class, which we argue was instrumental to England's economic success because most of its new industrialists originated from middle-class families.
    Date: 2017–01–05
  28. By: Garbade, Kenneth D. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Ever since the emergence of regular and predictable issuance of coupon-bearing Treasury debt in the 1970s, thirty years has marked the outer boundary of Treasury bond maturities. However, longer-term bonds were not unknown in earlier years. Seven such bonds, including one with a forty-year term, were issued between 1955 and 1963. This paper examines the circumstances that led to the issuance of these seven bonds.
    Keywords: Treasury debt management; long-term bonds; U.S. Treasury
    JEL: H63 N22
    Date: 2017–01–01
  29. By: Ufuk Akcigit; John Grigsby; Tom Nicholas
    Abstract: We examine the golden age of U.S. innovation by undertaking a major data collection exercise linking historical U.S. patents to state and county-level aggregates and matching inventors to Federal Censuses between 1880 and 1940. We identify a causal relationship between patented inventions and long-run economic growth and outline a basic framework for analyzing key macro and micro-level determinants. We find a positive relationship between innovation and drivers of regional performance including population density, financial development and geographic connectedness. We also explore the impact of social structure measured by slavery and religion. We then profile the characteristics of inventors and their life cycle finding that inventors were highly educated, positively selected through exit early in their careers, made time allocation decisions such as delayed marriage, and tended to migrate to places that were conducive to innovation. Father's income was positively correlated with becoming an inventor, though not when controlling for the child's education. We show there were strong financial returns to technological development. Finally, we document an inverted-U shaped relationship between inequality and innovation but also show that innovative places tended to be more socially mobile. Our new data help to address important questions related to innovation and long-run growth dynamics.
    JEL: N11 N12 O31 O40
    Date: 2017–01
  30. By: Cristián Larroulet Vignau (School of Business and Economics, Universidad del Desarrollo)
    Keywords: Economic Development; Economic policy; Chile
    Date: 2016
  31. By: Caprettini, Bruno; Voth, Hans-Joachim
    Abstract: Can the adoption of labor-saving technology lead to social instability and unrest? We examine a canonical historical case, the so-called 'Captain Swing' riots in 1830s Britain. Variously attributed to the adverse consequences of weather shocks, the shortcomings of the Poor Law, or the after-effects of enclosure, we emphasize the importance of a new technology - the threshing machine. Invented in the 1780s, it spread during and after the Napoleonic Wars. Using farm advertisements from newspapers published in 66 English and Welsh towns, we compile a new measure of the technology's diffusion. Parishes with ads for threshing machines had much higher riot probabilities in 1830 - and the relationship was even stronger for machine-breaking attacks. Threshing machines were mainly useful in wheat-growing areas. To establish a causal role for labor-saving technology, we instrument technology adoption with the FAO measure of soil suitability for wheat, and show that this in turn predicts unrest.
    Keywords: Labor-saving technology; social instability; riots; welfare support; agricultural technology; factor prices and technological change.
    JEL: J21 J43 N33 P16
    Date: 2017–01
  32. By: Fackler, Thomas A.; Nagler, Markus; Schnitzer, Monika; Watzinger, Martin
    Abstract: We study the 1956 consent decree against the Bell System to investigate whether patents held by a dominant firm are harmful for innovation and if so, whether compulsory licensing can provide an effective remedy. The consent decree settled an antitrust lawsuit that charged Bell with having foreclosed the market for telecommunications equipment. The terms of the decree allowed Bell to remain a vertically integrated monopolist in the telecommunications industry, but as a remedy, Bell had to license all its existing patents royalty-free. Thus, the path-breaking technologies developed by the Bell Laboratories became freely available to all US companies. We show that in the first five years compulsory licensing increased follow-on innovation building on Bell patents by 17%. This effect is driven mainly by young and small companies. Yet, innovation increased only outside the telecommunications equipment industry. The lack of a positive innovation effect in the telecommunications industry suggests that market foreclosure impedes innovation and that compulsory licensing without structural remedies is ineffective in ending it. The increase of follow-on innovation by small and young companies is in line with the hypothesis that patents held by a dominant firm act as a barrier to entry for start-ups. We show that the removal of this barrier increased long-run U.S. innovation, corroborating historical accounts.
    Keywords: Antitrust; Compulsory Licensing; innovation; Intellectual Property
    JEL: K21 L40 O3 O33 O34
    Date: 2017–01
  33. By: Guillaume Corlay (École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique (ENSAE)); Stéphane Dupraz (Columbia University); Claire Labonne (ENSAE ParisTech); Anne Muller (ENSAE ParisTech); Céline Antonin (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Guillaume Daudin (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: Jacks et al. (2011) offer an alternative to price gaps to quantify trade costs. Implementing a method which consists in deducing international trade costs from trade flows, they argue that the reduction in trade costs was the main driving force of trade growth during the first globalization (1870-1913), whereas economic expansion was the main driving force during the second globalization (1950-2000). We argue that this important result is driven by the use of an ad hoc aggregation method. What Jacks et al. (2011) capture is the difference in the relative starting trade of dyads experiencing faster trade growth in the first and second globalization. More generally, we cast doubts on the possibility to reach conclusions of such nature with a method that infers trade costs from trade flows, and then uses these costs to explain trade flows. We argue that it can only rephrase the information already contained in openess ratios.
    Keywords: Trade costs; Globalization; Gravity model; Aggregation; Structure effect
    JEL: F14 N70
    Date: 2016–07
  34. By: Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: We draw lessons from existing work and our own analysis on the effects of parental leave and other interventions aimed at aiding families. The outcomes of interest are female employment, gender gaps in earnings and fertility. We begin with a discussion of the historical introduction of family policies ever since the end of the nineteenth century and then turn to the details regarding family policies currently in effect across high-income nations. We sketch a framework concerning the effects of family policy to motivate our country- and micro-level evidence on the impact of family policies on gender outcomes. Most estimates of the impact of parental leave entitlement on female labor market outcomes range from negligible to weakly positive. The verdict is far more positive for the beneficial impact of spending on early education and childcare.
    Keywords: parental leave, childcare, family policies, gender gaps
    JEL: J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2017–01
  35. By: Levy, Daniel; Snir, Avichai
    Abstract: Recent studies in psychology and neuroscience find that fictional works exert strong influence on readers and shape their opinions and worldviews. We study the Potterian economy, which we compare to economic models, to assess how Harry Potter books affect economic literacy. We find that some principles of Potterian economics are consistent with economists’ models. Many others, however, are distorted and contain numerous inaccuracies, which contradict professional economists’ views and insights, and contribute to the general public’s biases, ignorance, and lack of understanding of economics.
    Keywords: Economic and Financial Literacy,Political Economy,Public Choice,Rent Seeking,Folk Economics,Popular Opinion,Harry Potter,Social Organization of Economic Activity,Literature,Fiction,Potterian Economy,Potterian Economics
    JEL: A13 A14 D72 D73 H00 H11 I20 P16 P48 P51 Z11 Z13
    Date: 2017
  36. By: Oded Galor (Brown University); Ömer Özak (Southern Methodist University); Assaf Sarid (Brown University)
    Abstract: This research explores the economic causes and consequences of language structures. It advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that variations in pre-industrial geographical characteristics that were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment, larger gender gap in agricultural productivity, and more hierarchical society, are at the root of existing cross-language variations in the presence of the future tense, grammatical gender, and politeness distinctions. Moreover, the research suggests that while language structures have largely reflected the coding of past human experience and in particular the range of ancestral cultural traits in society, they independently affected human behavior and economic outcomes.
    Keywords: Comparative Development, Cultural Evolution, Language Structure, Future Tense, Politeness Distinctions, Grammatical Gender, Human Capital, Education
    JEL: I25 J24 O1 O10 O11 O12 O40 O43 O44 Z10
    Date: 2016–08

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