nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2017‒02‒26
29 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Origins of the Italian Regional Divide: Evidence from Real Wages, 1861-1913 By Giovanni Federico; Alessandro Nuvolari; Michelangelo Vasta
  2. The ecological footprint of early-modern commodities Coefficients of land use per unit of product By Theodoridis, Dimitrios
  3. Family Background, Academic Ability, and College Decisions in the 20th Century U.S. By Lutz Hendricks; Christopher Herrington; Todd Schoellman
  4. Factors Affecting College Attainment and Student Ability in the U.S. since 1900 By Kevin Donovan; Christopher Herrington
  5. Keynes and the Dollar in 1933 By Sebastian Edwards
  6. A Historical Reconstruction of Capital and Labour in Italy, 1861-2013 By Claire Giordano; Francesco Zollino
  7. A Fiscal History of Ethiopia: Taxation and Aid Dependence 1960-2010 By Mascagni, Giulia
  8. Canadian Bank Notes and Dominion Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies By Ben Fung; Scott Hendry; Warren E. Weber
  9. Exports and American divergence. Lost decades and Emancipation collapse in Latin American and the Caribbean 1820-1870 By Tena Junguito, Antonio; Federico, Giovanni
  10. Non-linear discourse and control of technology: The Pharmaceutical Society and poisons legislation in nineteenth century Britain By Coles, Anne-Marie
  11. How Taxes and Required Returns Drove Commercial Real Estate Valuations over the Past Four Decades By Duca, John V.; Hendershott, Patric H.; Ling, David C.
  12. Technical Change, Non-Tariff Barriers, and the Development of the Italian Locomotive Industry,1850-1913 By Carlo Ciccarelli; Alessandro Nuvolari
  13. When Britain turned inward: Protection and the shift towards Empire in Interwar Britain By Alan de Bromhead; Alan Fernihough; Markus Lampe; Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
  14. Macroeconomic estimates of Italy’s mark-ups in the long-run, 1861-2012 By Claire Giordano; Francesco Zollino
  15. The Long-Term Costs of Government Surveillance: Insights from Stasi Spying in East Germany By Siegloch, Sebastian; Lichter, Andreas; Löffler, Max
  16. The Long Shadow of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Intergenerational Transmission of Education By Meng, Xin; Zhao, Guochang
  17. Labour market integration of immigrants - Evidence for the German guest workers By Smolny, Werner; Rieber, Alexander
  18. Das House-Kapital: A Theory of Wealth-to-Income Ratios By Steger, Thomas Michael; Grossmann, Volker
  19. Capacidad del estado, democracia y política en la Segunda República (1931-1936) : el fracaso de la reforma agraria en España By Simpson, James; Carmona, Juan
  20. The Economic Effects of the Abolition of Serfdom: Evidence from the Russian Empire By Andrei Markevich; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  21. Do democratic transitions attract foreign investors and how fast? By Jean Lacroix; Pierre-Guillaume Méon; Khalid Sekkat
  22. International financial flows, domestic banks, and the economic development of the periphery:Italy, 1861-1913 By Paolo di Martino; Barbara Pistoresi; Alberto Rinaldi
  23. Recovery from the Great Depression: The Farm Channel in Spring 1933 By Joshua K. Hausman; Paul W. Rhode; Johannes F. Wieland
  24. Labor Misallocation and Mass Mobilization: Russian Agriculture during the Great War By Paul Castaneda Dower; Andrei Markevich
  25. Choosing the optimal public choice scenario through a democratic educational procedure: A history from ancient Athens By Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
  26. The Effect of Fertility on Mothers’ Labor Supply over the Last Two Centuries By Aaronson, Daniel; Dehejia, Rajeev; Jordon, Andrew; Pop-Eleches, Cristian; Samii, Cyrus; Schultze, Karl
  27. Banking Deregulation and Growth: A Reappraisal By Stewen, Iryna
  28. Soviet Technological Projects and Technological Aid in Africa and Cuba, 1960s-1980s By Elena Kochetkova; David Damtar; Lilia Boliachevets; Polina Slyusarchuk; Julia Lajus
  29. The Stolypin Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Late Imperial Russia By Paul Castaneda Dower; Andrei Markevich

  1. By: Giovanni Federico; Alessandro Nuvolari; Michelangelo Vasta
    Abstract: The historical origins of the long lasting Italian North-South divide have always been controversial, but the scholarly debate has been hampered by the dearth of actual data on the size of the gap and its historical evolution. In this paper, we fill this gap by estimating a new provincial data-set of welfare ratios (Allen 2001) from the Unification of Italy in 1861 to World War One. Italy as a whole was very poor throughout the period, with a rather modest improvement since the late 19th century. This improvement had started in the North-West regions, the cradle of Italian industrialization, in the 1880s, while real wages in other macro-areas (North-East, Centre, South and islands) remained stagnant until the early 20th century, rising sizably only in the pre-war years. The gap between North-West and the South, already substantial in 1861 widened until the very end of the period. The Continental South was poorer than the North East, but not always of the Centre, while real wages in the Islands (i.e. Sicily) were close to national average.
    JEL: N33 N01 N13
    Date: 2017–02
  2. By: Theodoridis, Dimitrios (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Land availability and overseas trade have been central topics in economic history. The current paper contributes to this literature by setting the empirical foundations necessary for the calculation of the direct ecological footprints of more than eighty traded commodities throughout the 19th and early 20th century. The main focus is placed upon products which were heavily traded by and within the British Empire during this period. Various secondary sources have been reviewed and are critically discussed while the methodological steps that have been followed for the calculation of an acreage conversion factor for each product are analyzed in detail. The data presented here can be useful for researchers examining the importance of ghost acreages and ecological footprint historically but also the role of natural resources and land use in a long term perspective.
    Keywords: ecological footprint; trade; 19th century; ghost acres; Britain; land productivity
    JEL: N01 N50 N70 Q16 Q17
    Date: 2017–02–14
  3. By: Lutz Hendricks (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Christopher Herrington (Virginia Commonwealth University); Todd Schoellman (Arizona State University.)
    Abstract: We harmonize the results of a number of historical studies to document changes in the patterns of who attends college over the course of the 20th century. We find that family income or socioeconomic status were more important predictors of who attended college before World War II, whereas academic ability was afterward. We construct and calibrate a model to understand what forces can explain the magnitude and timing of these changes. We find that changes in college financing play a small role. The rise in the college earnings premium explains the greatest part.
    Date: 2016–03
  4. By: Kevin Donovan (University of Notre Dame); Christopher Herrington (Virginia Commonwealth University)
    Abstract: We develop a dynamic lifecycle model to study long-run changes in college com- pletion and average ability of college students in cohorts born from 1900 to 1972. The model is disciplined in part by constructing a historical time series on real college costs from printed government documents covering this time period. The model captures nearly all of the increase in attainment for 1900 to 1950 cohorts. In counterfactual exercises we show that attainment would have been lower by almost half, on average, for 1925 to 1950 cohorts absent a large decrease in college costs relative to income. For post-1950 cohorts simultaneously rising college costs and education premia act in opposite directions to result in low college enrollment growth; however, endogenously declining average ability of college students lowers overall completion rates in the model. Furthermore, we find that economic factors have little impact on average student ability; rather, the precision of signals about true ability are the key driver of changes in average ability. We utilize historical data on the share of students who take SATs as a proxy for the increasing preci- sion of ability signals, and show that this allows the model to match the aggregate ability sorting patterns.
    Keywords: College attainment; student ability; borrowing constraints; college costs; education premia
    JEL: J24 N31
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Sebastian Edwards
    Abstract: On December 1933, John Maynard Keyes published an open letter to President Roosevelt, where he wrote: “The recent gyrations of the dollar have looked to me more like a gold standard on the booze than the ideal managed currency of my dreams.” In this paper I use high frequency data to investigate whether the gyrations of the dollar were unusually high throughout this period. My results show that although volatility was pronounced, it was not higher than during October 1931- July 1933. I analyze Keynes writings on the international monetary system in an effort to understand what he meant in his letter. I compare Keynes’s “The means to prosperity” with James P. Warburg’s plan for a “modified international standard.”
    JEL: B22 B26 B3 E31 E5 F31 N22
    Date: 2017–02
  6. By: Claire Giordano (Bank of Italy, Economic Outlook Division, Directorate General for Economics, Statistics and Research); Francesco Zollino (Bank of Italy, Economic Outlook Division, Directorate General for Economics, Statistics and Research)
    Abstract: In this paper we provide a detailed explanation of the methodology underlying the construction of a new labour and capital stock dataset for Italy since 1861. The existing seminal paper (Rossi, Sorgato and Toniolo 1993) only covered the period 1911-1990 for labour and 1890-1990 for capital; moreover, sectoral disaggregation was limited. The labour dataset presented here includes both headcount and full-time equivalent annual estimates and provides a ten-sector breakdown. Net capital stock annual estimates are instead disaggregated by asset type (transport equipment, machinery and equipment, and construction, in turn divided into residential and non-residential). We then analyse the key features of the structural change in the Italian economy over the more than 150 years since unification. This dataset, combined with the new historical national accounts time series published by the Bank of Italy, finally makes a sectoral analysis of Italy’s long-run development possible.
    Keywords: labour, capital, historical national accounts, Italy
    JEL: N00 N01 O10
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Mascagni, Giulia
    Abstract: This paper reviews the fiscal history of Ethiopia, focusing particularly on the period between 1960 and 2010, for which detailed fiscal data is available to underpin the analysis. While reviewing the key fiscal and economic events of this period, particular attention is paid to the relation between Ethiopia and its donors, which in fiscal terms can be seen as a relation between mobilising own tax revenue while negotiating aid and the conditions attached to it. While looking at the main drivers and constraints to tax revenue mobilisation in this period, the paper explores the role that aid and donors have played, and how this historical background influences Ethiopia today.
    Keywords: Development Policy, Economic Development, Governance,
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Ben Fung; Scott Hendry; Warren E. Weber
    Abstract: This paper studies the period in Canada when both private bank notes and government-issued notes (Dominion notes) were simultaneously in circulation. Because both of these notes shared many of the characteristics of today's digital currencies, the experience with these notes can be used to draw lessons about how digital currencies might perform. The paper begins with a brief historical review of how these notes came into existence and of the regulations regarding their issuance. It examines historical evidence on how desirable bank notes were as media of exchange by examining how well they functioned with respect to ease of transacting, counterfeiting, safety, scarcity, and par exchange (a uniform currency). It then examines whether the introduction of government-issued notes improved how bank notes functioned as media of exchange. It finds that they did not. Improvements in the functioning of bank notes were due to changes in government regulation. Using the Canadian experience and that of the United States, the paper concludes that privately issued digital currencies will not be perfectly safe without government intervention, government-issued digital currency will not drive out existing private digital currencies, and government intervention will be required for privately issued and government-issued digital currencies to be a uniform currency.
    Keywords: Bank notes, E-Money, Financial services
    JEL: E41 E42 E58
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Tena Junguito, Antonio; Federico, Giovanni
    Abstract: The period 1820-1870, or 'lost decades', is widely regarded as the key moment in the opening of gap between Latin America and the United States. We test this statement with a new set of export series. We show that the performance of Latin American countries was quite good, although not outstanding. Mexico was hit by foreign policy crisis, but the only real basket case have been the British and French colonies in the Caribbean. The emancipation of slaves caused a collapse in their exports, favoring other tropical countries, including Cuba and Brazil. Further South, independent countries such as Argentine and Chile increased their share of world trade. In a nutshell, most of the divergence in the 1820-1870 in the Americas was between tropical countries rather than between Latin America and North America.
    Keywords: Independence and Emancipation; Early Nineteenth century; Latin America and the Caribbean; International Trade
    JEL: N10 F14
    Date: 2017–02
  10. By: Coles, Anne-Marie
    Abstract: The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was established in 1841 to represent the interests of its members, many of whom were small chemist and druggist retailers. Throughout the century this institution attempted to influence new policies designed to control the sale of poisonous substances routinely held by these shopkeepers. Using its in-house publication, the Pharmaceutical Journal, the Society argued for recognition of chemists and druggists as experts in the storage and distribution of poisons. This article examines the discursive strategy adopted by the Pharmaceutical Society in its attempts retain control over sale of chemicals. Its activities are analysed both in respect to the complex and socially embedded nature of chemical products, and to the technocratic nature of its claims.
    Keywords: Socio-technical complexity; Poisons legislation; Pharmaceutical Society; Discursive strategy
    Date: 2015–06–29
  11. By: Duca, John V. (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas); Hendershott, Patric H. (University of Aberdeen); Ling, David C. (University of Florida)
    Abstract: We document the evolution of U.S. tax law regarding commercial real estate (CRE) since 1975, noting changes in income and capital gains tax rates and tax depreciation methods. The most prominent changes were the 1981 and 1986 Tax Acts, but numerous significant changes occurred in the last dozen years. We then compute the present value of tax depreciation per dollar of acquisition price and an effective tax rate for CRE. We explain the quarterly variation in CRE capitalization rates using an error correction framework and find that the long run estimates are statistically significant in the way theory would suggest. Moreover, the required financial asset return and the tax depreciation variable temporally predict (“cause”) capitalization rates in the long run, but not vice versa.
    JEL: G12 H20 H30 R30
    Date: 2017–01–27
  12. By: Carlo Ciccarelli (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Department of Economics and Finance); Alessandro Nuvolari (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Economics)
    Abstract: The locomotive industry was one of the relatively sophisticated “high-tech” sectors in which Italy, a latecomer country, was successful before 1913. Using technical data on the performance of different vintages of locomotives, we construct a new industry-level index of technical change. We also study the impact of different policy instruments (import duties, non-tariff trade barriers and other discretionary interventions) in shaping the development of the industry. Our reassessment reveals the sound technological performance of Italian locomotives; the successful growth of this industry; and the critical role played by non-tariff barriers in its development.
    Keywords: technical progress, locomotive industry, non-tariff barriers, Italy, 19th century
    JEL: N73 O25
    Date: 2016–12
  13. By: Alan de Bromhead; Alan Fernihough; Markus Lampe; Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
    Abstract: International trade became much less multilateral during the 1930s. Previous studies, looking at aggregate trade flows, have argued that discriminatory trade policies had comparatively little to do with this. Using highly disaggregated information on the UK’s imports and trade policies, we find that policy can explain the majority of Britain’s shift towards Imperial imports in the 1930s. Trade policy mattered, a lot.
    JEL: F13 F14 N74
    Date: 2017–02
  14. By: Claire Giordano (Bank of Italy, Economic Outlook Division, Directorate General for Economics, Statistics and Research); Francesco Zollino (Bank of Italy, Economic Outlook Division, Directorate General for Economics, Statistics and Research)
    Abstract: We explore three alternative methodologies drawn from economic history literature to compute macroeconomic total-economy estimates of Italy’s mark-ups since 1861, based on the new historical national accounts presented in Baffigi (2013) and Giordano and Zollino (2015). Two key features of Italy’s history stand out: a) the increase in market power under the Fascist regime and b) the strengthening of competition since 1993. We then focus on a more limited time span (1970-2012) in order to estimate sectorial mark-ups using the model developed in Bassanetti, Torrini and Zollino (2010). Employing Istat and EU-KLEMs data, we find evidence of a reduction in mark-ups after the completion of the Single Market, with an acceleration after the inception of the European Monetary Union, owing mostly to the decrease in workers’ bargaining power rather than in firms’ margins. Moreover, we find large heterogeneity in mark-ups across sectors, with regulated services displaying weaker competition than manufacturing and market services.
    Keywords: mark-ups, completion policy, wage bargaining, growth accounting
    JEL: E01 J50 L50
    Date: 2017–01
  15. By: Siegloch, Sebastian; Lichter, Andreas; Löffler, Max
    Abstract: Based on official records from the former East German Ministry for State Security, we quantify the long-term costs of state surveillance on social capital and economic performance. Using county-level variation in the number of spies in the 1980s, we exploit discontinuities at state borders to show that higher levels of government surveillance led to lower levels of interpersonal and institutional trust in post-reunification Germany. Based on a second identification strategy that accounts for county fixed effects we further estimate the economic costs of spying. We find that a more intense surveillance caused lower self-employment rates, fewer patents per capita, higher unemployment rates and larger population losses throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Overall, our results suggest that the social and economic costs of East German state surveillance are large and persistent.
    JEL: H11 N34 P26
    Date: 2016
  16. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Zhao, Guochang (Southwest University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu)
    Abstract: Between 1966 and 1976, China experienced a Cultural Revolution (CR). During this period, the education of around 17 birth cohorts was interrupted by between 1 and 8 years. In this paper we examine whether, and by how much, this large-scale schooling interruption affected their children's education. We find a strong effect: more interrupted education for parents, less completed education for their children. On average the CR cohort had 2.9 years interrupted education. If they failed to catch up after the CR, this translates to a reduction of 0.87 years of schooling and a 9 percentage points (or 50%) reduction in the probability of completing a university degree for their children relative to the children whose parents did not have interrupted schooling. Our results have strong implications for developing countries prone to long-term conflicts which often adversely affect children's education. As human capital accumulation is one of the main drivers of economic development, these negative schooling shocks affecting current generation education levels will have an impact far beyond the immediate economic development of these war-torn economies and extend to the next generation.
    Keywords: Chinese Cultural Revolution, human capital, intergenerational education transmission
    JEL: I24 I25 N3
    Date: 2016–12
  17. By: Smolny, Werner; Rieber, Alexander
    Abstract: During the 1960s and 1970s a large number of immigrants came to Germany as temporary labour migrants. Many of them remained, captured their family and their children entered the labour market since the eighties. Our paper analyses their labour market experience in terms of employment, unemployment and earnings. The recruitment stop induced by the first oil crisis in 1973 allows us to distinguish guest workers, on the one hand, and family members, on the other hand, in a natural experiment setting. The results reveal enormous differences between the groups. Guest workers who came until 1973 differ markedly from those migrants who came later as family members, especially in terms of unemployment. These differences are more pronounced for women than for men. The descendants of the European guest workers are very well integrated into the German labour market which points towards positive long-run effects of the guest worker policy measure. However, the migrants stemming from a different ethnic background face much more difficulties in terms of labour market integration.
    JEL: J15 J21 J61
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Steger, Thomas Michael; Grossmann, Volker
    Abstract: This paper presents a novel dynamic general equilibrium model to examine the evolution of two major wealth-to-income ratios - housing wealth and non-residential wealth - in advanced countries since WWII. Our theory rests on three premises: (1) the overall land endowment is fixed; (2) the production of new houses requires land as an essential input; (3) land employed for real estate development must be permanently withdrawn from alternative uses. The model distinguishes, for the first time, between the extensive and the intensive margin of housing production. The calibrated model replicates the post WWII increase in the two major wealth-to-income ratios. It also suggests a moderate further increase in wealth-to-income ratios that is associated with a considerable future surge in land prices and house prices. Higher population density and technological progress do, however, not affect long run wealth-to-income ratios. The model also accounts for the close connection of house prices to land prices in the data.
    JEL: E10 E20 O40
    Date: 2016
  19. By: Simpson, James; Carmona, Juan
    Abstract: El fracaso de los gobiernos republicanos para llevar a cabo una amplia reforma agraria redistributiva ha recibido diferentes explicaciones tales como la sistemática oposición de los terratenientes, la escasa voluntad política del gobierno de Azaña de 1931-33, o las restricciones presupuestarias. Sin embargo, la reforma agraria republicana se enfrentó a otros problemas de muy distinta naturaleza. Por una parte, el hecho de no haber participado en la Primera Guerra Mundial explica que, ni el estado se viera obligado a incrementar su capacidad de intervención en la economía, ni las élites terratenientes experimentaran una disminución de su poder económico como en el resto de los países participantes. Por otro, es el enorme desafío que supone para un estado modificar completamente la organización agrícola de una parte considerable del país, y la falta de tierras suficientes para redistribuir sin debilitar los derechos previos de otros cultivadores. Finalmente, el caso español pone de relieve la dificultad de acometer una reforma agraria en un sistema democrático.
    Keywords: Segunda República española; reforma agraria; conflictos rurales
    JEL: R52 Q15 O13 N54
    Date: 2017–02
  20. By: Andrei Markevich (New Economic School); Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (Paris School of Economics (EHESS))
    Abstract: We document very large increases in agricultural productivity, peasants’ living standards, and industrial development in Imperial Russia as a result of the abolition of serfdom in 1861. A counterfactual exercise suggests that if serfs were freed in 1820, by 1913 Russia would have been about 50% richer compared to what it actually was. We construct a novel province-level panel dataset of development outcomes and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis of the effects of the abolition of serfdom, relying on cross-sectional variation in the shares of serfs and the timing of the different stages of reform, controlling for unobserved variation across provinces and over time and province-specific trends. We disentangle the two stages of the abolition of serfdom: the emancipation of serfs and land reform, and find that, in contrast to a large positive effect of emancipation, land reform negatively affected agricultural productivity. We provide evidence that better incentives resulting from the cessation of the ratchet effect in the landlordpeasant relationship is a likely mechanism behind the positive effect of emancipation, and the increase in the power of the re-partition peasant commune is a mechanism behind the negative effect of the land reform.
    Date: 2017–01
  21. By: Jean Lacroix; Pierre-Guillaume Méon; Khalid Sekkat
    Abstract: This paper investigates the evolution of foreign direct investment net inflows (FDI) around democratic transitions, in a panel of 115 developing countries from 1970 to 2014, using an event-study method. We find no effect of democratic transitions on FDI net inflows on average. We then distinguish the effect of democratic transitions per se and the effect of its consolidation. To do so, we specifically focus on consolidated democratic transitions, defined as transitions that did not reverse during five years at least. We find that consolidated democratic transitions do increase FDI net inflows. The bulk of the improvement appears ten years after the transition. Furthermore, the effect of consolidated democratic transitions on FDI is not limited to their impact on political risk. When controlling for the political risk index of the International Country Risk Guide, the intrinsic effect of consolidated democratic transitions appears immediately after the transition, suggesting that higher political risk accompanying the early years of democratic transitions offsets the positive intrinsic effect of democratictransition on FDI. The results are robust to controlling for GDP per capita and schooling, to alternative codings of the variables capturing the transition, disaggregating the political risk measure into several sub-components and the exclusion of outliers. Moreover local projections, propensity score matching, and IV estimates lend credence to a causal interpretation of our results. Furthermore the longer the democratic history of a country is, the fewer FDI this country may expect to attract thanks to a new democratic transition.
    Keywords: FDI; Democratic transitions; Institutions; Development
    JEL: E20 F21 O11
    Date: 2017–02–20
  22. By: Paolo di Martino; Barbara Pistoresi; Alberto Rinaldi
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of different sources of financing (foreign capital, migrants’ remittances, and domestic banks intermediation) on economic development in Italy between 1861 and WWI. Existing literature has analysed the role of these channels of financial intermediation separately, while this paper for the first time considers them in conjunction. Using IRF from a Cholesky identification structure of a VAR model and relying on an original dataset that combines the most recent series of several financial and economic aggregates, this paper shows that both international capital and domestic saving had a significant impact on investment, while remittances did not. Foreign capital was invested directly, but also via domestic banks, in particular the “German-style” universal banks. Finally, foreign and domestic capital had different attitudes towards the types of investment (construction vs. plant, machinery and transport equipment) and industries they financed. Combined together, these results shed a new light on the process of economic development of Italy and, more generally, of peripheral economies in the age of the international gold standard.
    Keywords: prisoner dilemma, assortativity, cultural aversion, cooperation, type-monomorphic.
    Date: 2016–12
  23. By: Joshua K. Hausman; Paul W. Rhode; Johannes F. Wieland
    Abstract: In the four months following the trough of the Great Depression in March 1933, industrial production rose 57 percent. We argue that an important source of recovery was the direct effect of dollar devaluation on farm prices, incomes, and consumption. We call this the farm channel. Using daily spot and futures crop price data, we document that devaluation raised prices of traded crops and their close substitutes (other grains). And using novel state and county auto sales data, we document that recovery proceeded much more rapidly in farm areas. These cross-sectional effects are large, explain a substantial fraction of cross-state variation in auto sales growth, and are concentrated in areas growing traded crops or close substitutes. We also find that given the same exposure to farm price changes, spending rose more in counties with more farm debt. We aggregate our cross-sectional results using a simple incomplete markets model in which indebted farmers have high MPCs. It implies that the farm channel accounts for 30% or more of the spring recovery.
    JEL: E32 E65 N12 N52
    Date: 2017–02
  24. By: Paul Castaneda Dower (Florida International University); Andrei Markevich (New Economic School)
    Abstract: We exploit a quasi-natural experiment of military draftees in Russia during World War I to examine the effects of a massive, negative labor shock on agricultural production. Employing a novel district-level panel dataset, we find that mass mobilization produces a dramatic decrease in cultivated area. Surprisingly, farms with communal land tenure exhibit greater resilience to the labor shock than private farms. The resilience stems from peasants reallocating labor in favor of the commune because of the increased attractiveness of its nonmarket access to land and social insurance. Our results support an institutional explanation of factor misallocation in agriculture.
    Keywords: factor misallocation; agricultural production; mass mobilization; World War I; Russia
    JEL: D24 N44 N54 O12 O17 O20
    Date: 2017–02
  25. By: Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
    Abstract: In the present essay we argue that the Athenians were well aware that for a smooth functioning of democracy the citizens, who voted in the Assembly under direct democracy procedures, had to be educated. We argue that they had to find good solutions in the decision process of the Assembly. We analyse a public choice issue: the case of shipbuilding of the Athenian fleet that played a crucial defeat of the Persians in 480 BCE. The Athenians actually had to decide on a public choice set issue: sacrifice personal consumption in favour of the public good defence. We argue that the Athenians finally reached to the optimal choice, after having received at first undergone a process of democratic education.
    Keywords: Democracy, education, Classical Athens, policy measures
    JEL: N00 Z1 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2017–02–11
  26. By: Aaronson, Daniel; Dehejia, Rajeev; Jordon, Andrew; Pop-Eleches, Cristian; Samii, Cyrus; Schultze, Karl
    Abstract: This paper documents the evolving impact of childbearing on the work activity of mothers between 1787 and 2014. It is based on a compiled data set of 429 censuses and surveys, representing 101 countries and 46.9 million mothers, using the International and U.S. IPUMS, the North Atlantic Population Project, and the Demographic and Health Surveys. Using twin births (Rosenzweig and Wolpin 1980) and same gendered children (Angrist and Evans 1998) as instrumental variables, we show three main findings: (1) the effect of fertility on labor supply is small and often indistinguishable from zero at low levels of income and large and negative at higher levels of income; (2) these effects are remarkably consistent both across time looking at the historical time series of currently developed countries and at a contemporary cross section of developing countries; and (3) the results are robust to other instrument variation, different demographic and educational groups, rescaling to account for changes in the base level of labor force participation, and a variety of specification and data decisions. We show that the negative gradient in female labor supply is consistent with a standard labor-leisure model augmented to include a taste for children. In particular, our results appear to be driven by a declining substitution effect to increasing wages that arises from changes in the sectoral and occupational structure of female jobs into formal nonagricultural wage employment as countries develop.
    Keywords: Labor Supply, Fertility, Mothers, Development, History
    JEL: F63 F66 J0 J01 J13 N0 N30
    Date: 2017–02–10
  27. By: Stewen, Iryna
    Abstract: This paper builds on a large literature that has exploited the experiment of US bank branching and inter-state banking deregulation since the 1970s as a natural laboratory that allows to study the real effects of liberalization and financial integration. Whereas most of the literature presented sizable effects of intra-state deregulation on a wide range of economic outcomes, interstate deregulation has generally been found to be much less important. Exploring the interaction between financial development, financial integration and long-term growth we suggest that it is the state-specific chronological order between inter-state banking and intra-state branching deregulations that has interesting implications for the patterns of growth and industrial structure. On the one hand, intra-state branching deregulation was especially important in states that had not yet deregulated their interstate banking regime and for the manufacturing sector. On the other hand, abolishing inter-state banking restrictions had a pronounced effect in states that integrated prior to intrastate branching deregulation and for the financial sector.
    JEL: G21 F36 O47
    Date: 2016
  28. By: Elena Kochetkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); David Damtar (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Lilia Boliachevets (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Polina Slyusarchuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Julia Lajus (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines Soviet development projects in African countries and Cuba during the Cold War. We analyze types of projects led by Soviet specialists and engage into the question of how Soviets, both leadership and engineers, viewed their roles and impacts as well as challenges on African territory and Cuba. In so doing, this paper analyzes differences and similarities in Soviet penetration to lands with newly established governments in Africa and Cuba
    Keywords: technology, technological aid, Soviet Union, Africa, Cuba, decolonization.
    JEL: N60 N67 N97
    Date: 2017
  29. By: Paul Castaneda Dower (Florida International University); Andrei Markevich (New Economic School)
    Abstract: We study the effect of improvements in peasants’ land tenure, launched by the 1906 Stolypin reform, on agricultural productivity in late Imperial Russia. The reform allowed peasants to obtain land titles and consolidate separated land strips into single allotments. We find that consolidations increased land productivity. If the reform had been fully implemented, it would have doubled grain production in the empire. We argue that an important factor determining the positive impact on productivity is a decrease in coordination costs, enabling peasants to make independent production decisions from the village commune. In contrast, the titling component of the reform decreased land productivity and we present evidence that transaction costs explain this short-run decline.
    Keywords: land tenure, peasant commune, Stolypin reform, Russia
    JEL: N43 N53 O43 Q15
    Date: 2017–02

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