nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
29 papers chosen by

  1. How Well Did Facts Travel to Support Protracted Debate on the History of the Great Divergence between Western Europe and Imperial China? By Deng, Kent; O'Brien, Patrick
  2. On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies: Evidence from the Heterogeneous Impact of Railroads in Nigeria By Okoye, Dozie; Pongou, Roland; Yokossi, Tite
  3. When Britain turned inward: Protection and the shift towards Empire in interwar Britain By De Bromhead, Alan; Fernihough, Alan; Lampe, Markus; O'Rourke, Kevin H.
  4. Looking at Piketty from the Periphery By Luis Bértola
  5. Common Factors, spatial dependence, and regional growth in the Italian manufacturing industry By Carlo Ciccarelli; Stefano Fachin
  6. Fiscal Policy Shocks and Stock Prices in the United States By Haroon Mumtaz; Konstantinos Theodoridis
  7. What is the Contribution of Intra-household Inequality to Overall Income Inequality? Evidence From Global Data, 1973-­?2013 By Deepak Malghan; Hema Swaminathan
  8. The political economy of peripheral tax reform : the Spanish fiscal transition By Torregrosa Hetland, Sara
  9. El PIB per cápita de Uruguay 1870-2015: una reconstrucción By Luis Bértola
  10. Economic and Political Factors in Infrastructure Investment: Evidence from Railroads and Roads in Africa 1960–2015 By Remi Jedwab; Adam Storeygard
  11. Has cultural heritage monetary value an impact on visits? An assessment using Italian official data By Calogero Guccio; Domenico Lisi; Anna Mignosa; Ilde Rizzo
  12. Market regulation and economic interdependence: Capital supply and aggregate demand in the twentieth century By Selva, Simone
  13. Dissecting US recoveries By María Dolores Gadea; Ana Gómez-Loscos; Gabriel Pérez-Quirós
  14. Educational Initiatives and Mobilization for Primary Schools in São Paulo, 1830-1889 By Renato P. Colistete
  15. Immigration and Income inequality in Sweden By Ronja Grundsten
  17. The Persistency of Public Debt By Rösel, Felix
  18. El origen del mercado laboral colombiano By Leonardo Rojas Rodríguez
  19. Una base datos sobre la generación de capacidades humanas para la transformación industrial en Uruguay entre 1920 y 1970 By Melissa Hernández
  20. On wartime money finance in the Japanese occupied territories during the Pacific War: The case of instant reserve banks as bad central banks By SAITO, Makoto
  21. The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries By Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  22. Travel Time Use Over Five Decades By Chong Song; Chao Wei
  23. Crony Interlockers and The Centrality of Banks: The Network of Moroccan Listed Companies By Mohamed Oubenal
  24. Collective Learning in China's Regional Economic Development By Jian Gao; Bogang Jun; Alex "Sandy" Pentland; Tao Zhou; Cesar A. Hidalgo
  25. Was The First Public Health Campaign Successful? The Tuberculosis Movement and Its Effect on Mortality By D. Mark Anderson; Kerwin Kofi Charles; Claudio Las Heras Olivares; Daniel I. Rees
  26. Economic systems and risk preferences: evidence from East and West Germany By Neugart, Michael
  27. The Historical State, Local Collective Action, and Economic Development in Vietnam By Melissa Dell; Nathaniel Lane; Pablo Querubin
  28. Education's Contribution to Economic Growth By Conrad, Daren
  29. Are Religions for Sale? Evidence from the Swedish Church Revolt over Same-Sex Marriage By Bengtsson, Niklas

  1. By: Deng, Kent; O'Brien, Patrick
    Abstract: This paper tackles the issue of how reliable the currently circulated 'facts' really are regarding the 'Great Divergence' debate. Our findings indicate strongly that 'facts' of premodern China are often of low quality and fragmented. Consequently, the application of these 'facts' can be misleading and harmful.
    Keywords: Great Divergence, evidence, GDP estimates
    JEL: N01 P5
    Date: 2017–02–01
  2. By: Okoye, Dozie; Pongou, Roland; Yokossi, Tite
    Abstract: Exploring heterogeneity in the impact of a technology is a first step towards understanding conditions under which this technology is conducive to economic development. This article shows that colonial railroads in Nigeria have large long-lasting impacts on individual and local development in the North, but virtually no impact in the South neither in the short run nor in the long run. This heterogeneous impact of the railway can be accounted for by the distance to ports of export. We highlight the fact that the railway had no impact in areas that had access to ports of export, thanks to their proximity to the coast and to their use of waterways, and that those areas barely adopted the railway as it did not reduce their shipping costs. Our analyses rule out the possibility that the heterogeneous impacts are driven by cohort effects, presence of major roads, early cities, or missionary activity, or by crude oil production.
    Keywords: Impact Heterogeneity, Colonial Investments, Railway, Africa, Long-run Effects, Development, Nigeria
    JEL: N3 N30 N37 N7 O1 O15 O18 R0
    Date: 2017–02–24
  3. By: De Bromhead, Alan; Fernihough, Alan; Lampe, Markus; O'Rourke, Kevin H.
    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.
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Luis Bértola (Programa de Historia Económica y Social, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: This working paper discusses Piketty´s already famous book. It remarks some of the strong sides of the book, before critically discussing some aspects. It is argued that Piketty could have benefitted by using other theories of capital, different than the neoclassical one adopted. The note also places Piketty´s limited contribution, as seen in a more comprehensive context, in which international relations and reversal causality between growth and distribution are considered. The notes ends by pointing to the fact that Piketty presents modern development´s main stylized fact in a wrong way, because he is too narrowly focused on the developed regions
    Keywords: Desigualdad, periferia, capital
    JEL: N01 N36 B25 F63 O54
    Date: 2016–09
  5. By: Carlo Ciccarelli (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Stefano Fachin ("Sapienza" University of Rome)
    Abstract: We review the methods currently available for the analysis of regional datasets characterised by possible non-stationarity over time and both strong and weak spatial dependence and present, as a representative ase study, a comparative analysis of the regional development of the Italian manufacturing industries in the second halves of the 19th and 20th centuries. For highly heterogenous datasets we suggest a two-stages approach: (1) fit a dynam factor model with endogenous determination of the number of factors; (2) estimate a spatial model for the de-factored data. Applying this strategy we find two similar non-stationary afctors sufficient to explain long-run growth of the whole set of series examined in both centuries. Further, the results suggest that some conditional spatial error correction mechanisms seem to have been in action in both centuries.
    Keywords: Cross-sectional dependence, approximate factor models, dynamic spatial panel models, Italy, manufacturing industries.
    JEL: C38 C31 N13 N63 N93
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: Haroon Mumtaz (Queen Mary University of London); Konstantinos Theodoridis (Bank of England and Lancaster University)
    Abstract: This paper uses a range of structural VARs to show that the response of US stock prices to fiscal shocks changed in 1980. Over the period 1955-1980 an expansionary spending or revenue shock was associated with modestly higher stock prices. After 1980, along with a decline in the fiscal multiplier, the response of stock prices to the same shock became negative and larger in magnitude. We use an estimated DSGE model to show that this change is consistent with a switch from an economy characterised by active fiscal policy and passive monetary policy to one where fiscal policy was passive and the central bank acted aggressively in response to inflationary shocks.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy shocks, Stock prices, VAR, DSGE
    JEL: C5 E1 E5 E6
    Date: 2017–02
  7. By: Deepak Malghan; Hema Swaminathan
    Abstract: Intra-household inequality continues to remain a neglected corner despite renewed focus on income and wealth inequality. Using the LIS micro data, we present evidence that this neglect is Equivalent to ignoring up to a third of total inequality. For a wide range of countries and over four decades, we show that at least 30 per cent of total inequality is attributable to inequality within the household. Using a simple normative measure of inequality, we comment on the welfare implications of these trends.
    Keywords: earnings, inequality, intra household, Theil decomposition
    Date: 2016–09
  8. By: Torregrosa Hetland, Sara (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: The Spanish fiscal system underwent profound reforms between 1977 and 1986, in close connection to the transition from dictatorship to democracy. These were meant to bring the country towards the welfare state model of its European neighbours. Some practical results in terms of progressivity and redistribution, however, were not outstanding, and inequality did not significantly decrease after democratization. In recent times, the system has shown its incapacity to sustain European-level welfare services. Can a historical analysis help us understand the constraints faced by this young welfare state in the periphery? This paper looks at two factors in the political economy of tax reform: social preferences and the decision-making institutions. Perhaps the general citizen – or the decisive voter – was not very keen on redistribution. Alternatively, the new political system might not have translated effectively the public stances onto policies. Furthermore, at this time of the transition, international developments were changing the emphasis from equity to efficiency in tax system design, and increasing capital mobility provided an enhanced capacity to escape from taxation.
    Keywords: redistribution; tax reform; public policy; democratization; distributive preferences;
    JEL: D72 D78 H20 N44
    Date: 2017–03–13
  9. By: Luis Bértola (Programa de Historia Económica y Social, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: This working paper presents an updated GDP and per capita GDP series for Uruguay since 1870 and up to 2015, from the point of view of sectoral output. The new series are not mainly the result of new research, but the result of a reconstruction based on different previous research results. The aim of the current update was partly, to compare and choose among the different previous research that so long have not been confronted to each-other; partly, to extend the available series to the present, when a new economic cycle has been completed, with a climax around 2013-2015. The study of these cycles, however, will be a subject of other research. The working paper also presents comparisons between per capita GDP and per capita GDP per population in working age and economically active population, as well as international comparisons of per capita GDP.
    Keywords: cuentas nacionales, producto sectorial, PIB per cápita, PIB per PEA, Uruguay
    JEL: E01 E24 N16 O47
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Remi Jedwab (George Washington University); Adam Storeygard (Tufts University)
    Keywords: Transportation Infrastructure; Public Investment; Railroads; Roads; Paved Roads; Africa; Growth; Institutions; History; World Development Indicators
    JEL: O18 O11 O20 H54 R11 R12 R40 N77
  11. By: Calogero Guccio (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Domenico Lisi (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Anna Mignosa (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Ilde Rizzo (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania)
    Abstract: In this paper we try to investigate which factors affect the visits to Cultural Heritage (CH), using Italy as a case study. We adopt a broad definition of CH including archaeological and historical sites, historical buildings and, also, museums, focusing our attention on State CH. In our empirical analysis we use a rather innovative indicator of CH value, i.e. the monetary value of State CH, officially provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Using these data, this paper aims at evaluating if such monetary value has a significant role in stimulating visits to cultural sites for the years 1996-2010. We also control for other factors potentially affecting the number of visits to cultural sites, such as alternative tourist attractors and the regional performance in the tourism sector. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that attempts to investigate the effect of CH monetary value on cultural participation.
    Keywords: cultural heritage, monetary value, cultural visitors, tourist arrivals
    JEL: Z11 Z18 Z32
    Date: 2017–02
  12. By: Selva, Simone
    Abstract: This contribution offers a comparison between the economic crises of the late-1920s and the first energy crisis of the 1970s through an inquiry into the changing balance between the transnational supply of capital and domestic aggregate demand for fixed capital formation and consumer goods. Its aim is to offer a new interpretation of the concept of international economic interdependence. It starts by outlining the early definition of interdependence offered in the international political economy literature and within the American policymaking elites from World War II to the 1960s. Then, it provides a reappraisal of the New Economic History School's approach to the subject. Thereafter, it investigates the two historical watersheds to cast light both on the different role of Federal Reserve and the international economic institutions to manage the ratio of liquidity supply to aggregate demand, and on the importance of transnational capital flows and gold.
    Keywords: economic interdependence,financial crises,US foreign economic relations,supply side,aggregate demand,Federal Reserve,Great Slump,energy crises,Volcker revolution,cliometric revolution
    JEL: N22 N12
    Date: 2017
  13. By: María Dolores Gadea (University of Zaragoza); Ana Gómez-Loscos (Banco de España); Gabriel Pérez-Quirós (Banco de España and CEPR)
    Abstract: We propose a set of new quantitative measures to characterise more fully the features of economic recoveries. We apply these measures to post-war US expansions and use cluster analysis to determine that there are two different types of recoveries in recent US economic history, with most expansions before 1984 (Great Moderation) looking quite different from those after.
    Keywords: keyword, business cycles, recoveries
    JEL: C22 E32
    Date: 2017–03
  14. By: Renato P. Colistete
    Abstract: One of the most common explanations for the historical deficiencies of public primary education in Brazil has been the alleged indifference of families that lacked the resources to send their children to private schools. This article addresses this issue in a period, comprising most of the Empire, when the conditions for access to primary schools were especially unfavorable. Poverty, isolation, illiteracy, political centralization and bureaucracy inhibited local initiatives and created few incentives, if any, for families to get involved in primary schools. The article shows, however, that parents and residents organized themselves across the province of São Paulo and submitted petitions to their local representatives and the provincial assembly requiring the installation of schools, since the first decades of the Empire. Town councils and, in the 1880s, education councils strengthened local demand for primary education. Under particularly adverse conditions, the evidence of mobilization for public schools gains a special significance and raises doubts about the views that, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rejected the viability of local self-government due to the alleged inability of the “people” to intervene in the public sphere consistently.
    Keywords: Primary education; municipalities; São Paulo
    JEL: N36 H75 I24
    Date: 2017–03–06
  15. By: Ronja Grundsten
    Abstract: Income inequality has been on the rise in many industrialised countries since around the 1980’s. In Sweden the increase of income inequality has been particularly large. This in spite of Sweden’s extensive redistribution system and public policy that prioritize equality among its population. This paper investigates a potential factor for the rise in inequality that is yet fairly unexplored, namely immigration. As inequality has increased in Sweden, so has also immigration. Sweden experienced large refugee inflows after the 1970’s, the largest flow consisting of circa 100 000 Yugoslavs during the Bosnian war. This study provides indications on what way immigration shapes the income distribution and lays the ground for prospective studies. Results show that the inflow of new migrants during the early 1990’s in Sweden raises income inequality and it is almost entirely due to increased dispersion in the lower tail of the income distribution.
    Keywords: income inequality, disposable income, immigration, political refugee, demographic shifts, Sweden
    Date: 2015–07
  16. By: Meloni, Giulia; Swinnen, Johan
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Political Economy,
    Date: 2017–01
  17. By: Rösel, Felix
    Abstract: This paper shows that geographic patterns in public debt can be highly persistent despite drastic external shocks. I compare pre-Nazi debt in 60 districts and 132 large cities of the German Reich with current local government debt. German local government debt completely defaulted after WWII. I find that 1932 and 2012 debt is highly correlated in cities which saw a re-installation of their pre-Nazi mayor by the Allies in 1945. Comparable cities without personnel continuity do not exhibit a robust correlation. Intertemporal personnel links thus constitute a main channel through which to explain long-term persistency in public finance.
    JEL: H63 H74 N94
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Leonardo Rojas Rodríguez
    Abstract: El presente documento aborda el proceso que dio origen al mercado laboral colombiano en la segunda mitad del siglo XIX. Bajo la hipotesis de una economía dependiente se explica como la producción de bienes vinculados al mercado internacional, en conjunto con las reformas liberales que afectaron, especialmente, las posibilidades de la empresa privada, gestaron las condiciones económicas, políticas y sociales, necesarias para que el surgimiento de la demanda por mano de obra libre se correspondiera con una creciente oferta de fuerza de trabajo. De igual manera se analiza el marco institucional, la estructura de producción y distribución de los productos del auge exportador, y las corrientes de migración interna que caracterizaron este hecho, entre 1850 y 1870.
    Keywords: mercado laboral, dependencia, tabaco, quina, mercado internacional
    JEL: N01 N26 N36 O11 P16
    Date: 2017–03–09
  19. By: Melissa Hernández (Programa de Historia Económica y Social, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: En este trabajo se presentan las bases de datos construidas para analizar el vínculo entre las demandas ocupacionales del sector manufacturero uruguayo y la formación de capacidades humanas desde el sistema educativo, entre 1920 y 1970. Igualmente, se puntualizan los procedimientos para su construcción y se presentan indicadores construidos en el marco del mencionado trabajo, incluido un detalle de las fuentes de información utilizadas y su crítica. Se incluyen las decisiones metodológicas adoptadas, relacionadas con la selección de los datos y la construcción de los indicadores. Para el análisis del sector manufacturero se identificó a las ramas más dinámicas, utilizando indicadores que dieran cuenta de ese dinamismo y basados en el Valor Agregado Bruto o empleo o establecimientos. Para el sistema educativo se construyeron series de tiempo sobre distintos tipos de gastos asignados, incluido el gasto por estudiante, los recursos presupuestales, la asignación por rubro (docencia, dirección e inspección, administrativos y servicios, gastos generales), la matrícula y Tasa Neta de Matriculación, para los sub-sistemas técnico y universitario. Finalmente, se presenta un esquema conteniendo las categorías ocupacionales identificadas como clave para construir la demanda ocupacional proveniente del sector manufacturero.
    Keywords: Desarrollo Económico, Educación, Capacidades Humanas, Cambio Tecnológico, Cambio Estructural
    JEL: I23 I25 J21 J24 N16 N36 O14 O15 O30
    Date: 2016–12
  20. By: SAITO, Makoto
    Abstract: This paper explores how the Japanese government financed war expenditures locally in the occupied territories during the Pacific War. First, the reserve banks, founded instantly by the government, funded the occupation forces by issuing their bank notes in North/Central China, and Southern Regions. Second, the Japanese government financed military expenses by requesting the existing central banks to issue their legal tenders in Manchuria, Indochina, and Thailand. In the years 1943-1945, the first method in the regions with sharp inflations yielded 559.7 billion yen at face value, but only 7.2 billion yen at purchasing power parity (PPP), while the second in the regions with relatively low inflations generated only 5.8 billion yen at face value, but still 3.6 billion yen at PPP. In the former regions, the occupation forces did not acquire that much purchasing power, while in the latter regions, non-negligible portions of the occupied countries' nominal GDP were transferred to the occupation forces.
    Keywords: money finance, wartime finance, occupation, central bank, reserve bank
    Date: 2017–02
  21. By: Claudia Olivetti (Boston College and NBER); Barbara Petrongolo (Queen Mary University of London, CEPR and CEP (LSE))
    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
  22. By: Chong Song (University of International Business and Economics); Chao Wei (George Washington University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we use ve decades of time-use surveys in the U.S. to document trends in travel time uses. We nd that total travel time features an inverted-U shape, registering a 20 percent increase from 1975 to 1993, but an 18 percent decline from 1993 to 2013. We nd that demographic shifts explain roughly 45 percent of the increase from 1975 to 1993, but play a much smaller role afterwards. From 2003 to 2013 the shift of time allocation from travel-intensive non-market work to travel-non-intensive leisure accounts for around 50 percent of the decline in total travel time.
    Keywords: Travel time use, Tume-use survey, Market work, Non-market work, Leisure
    JEL: J22 R41 D13
    Date: 2016
  23. By: Mohamed Oubenal (IRCAM)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study crony capitalism through the lens of Moroccan listed companies and the role of the financial sector. We first highlight the role of banks in the history of Moroccan capitalism from the setting up of French protectorate over Morocco to the dominance of some major family groups. We then describe the concentration and the high profitability of the banking sector among listed companies. Using a network analysis of board members of the Moroccan listed companies we confirm the centrality of Finance compared to other sectors. We also measure the relational proximity to demonstrate that each cluster of the four main holding families has at least one financial company. Finally, we argue that crony interlockers, who are members of royal foundations and represent an institutional investor or a holding family that owns a bank and/or an insurance company, are the most central actors in the network of listed companies. Our contribution to crony capitalism in MENA countries analyses the politics of finance in a neoliberal and peripheral country such as Morocco. Boone and Henry (2004) had described the banking sector in Morocco as a private oligopoly. Here we evidence that the monarchy and its entourage are capturing corporate governance instruments such as board membership to control economic activities.
    Date: 2016–01–12
  24. By: Jian Gao; Bogang Jun; Alex "Sandy" Pentland; Tao Zhou; Cesar A. Hidalgo
    Abstract: Industrial development is the process by which economies learn how to produce new products and services. But how do economies learn? And who do they learn from? The literature on economic geography and economic development has emphasized two learning channels: inter-industry learning, which involves learning from related industries; and inter-regional learning, which involves learning from neighboring regions. Here we use 25 years of data describing the evolution of China's economy between 1990 and 2015--a period when China multiplied its GDP per capita by a factor of ten--to explore how Chinese provinces diversified their economies. First, we show that the probability that a province will develop a new industry increases with the number of related industries that are already present in that province, a fact that is suggestive of inter-industry learning. Also, we show that the probability that a province will develop an industry increases with the number of neighboring provinces that are developed in that industry, a fact suggestive of inter-regional learning. Moreover, we find that the combination of these two channels exhibit diminishing returns, meaning that the contribution of either of these learning channels is redundant when the other one is present. Finally, we address endogeneity concerns by using the introduction of high-speed rail as an instrument to isolate the effects of inter-regional learning. Our differences-in-differences (DID) analysis reveals that the introduction of high speed-rail increased the industrial similarity of pairs of provinces connected by high-speed rail. Also, industries in provinces that were connected by rail increased their productivity when they were connected by rail to other provinces where that industry was already present. These findings suggest that inter-regional and inter-industry learning played a role in China's great economic expansion.
    Date: 2017–03
  25. By: D. Mark Anderson; Kerwin Kofi Charles; Claudio Las Heras Olivares; Daniel I. Rees
    Abstract: The U.S. tuberculosis movement pioneered many of the strategies of modern public health campaigns. Dedicated to eradicating a specific disease, it was spearheaded by voluntary associations and supported by the sale of Christmas seals. Although remarkable in its scope and intensity, the effectiveness of the tuberculosis (TB) movement has not been studied in a systematic fashion. Using newly digitized mortality data at the municipal level for the period 1900-1917, we explore the effectiveness of the measures championed by the TB movement. Our results suggest that the adoption of a municipal reporting requirement was associated with a 6 percent decrease in pulmonary TB mortality, while the opening of a state-run sanatorium was associated with an almost 4 percent decrease in pulmonary TB mortality. However, these and other anti-TB measures can explain, at most, only a small portion of the overall decline in pulmonary TB mortality observed during the period under study.
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2017–03
  26. By: Neugart, Michael
    Abstract: For standard economic models it is typically assumed that preferences are given and stable. But do economic systems shape individuals' risk preferences? Using the reunification of East and West Germany as a natural experiment I evaluate differences in financial risk taking comparing Eastern and Western German households for almost two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Controlling for a large set of socio-economic variables East Germans having been ``treated'' by a command economy were more prone to taking financial risk than West German citizens. The differences were quantitatively relevant after the fall of the Iron Curtain and almost vanished by 2008.
    JEL: D14 G11 P50
    Date: 2016
  27. By: Melissa Dell; Nathaniel Lane; Pablo Querubin
    Abstract: This study examines how the historical state conditions long-run development, using Vietnam as a laboratory. Northern Vietnam (Dai Viet) was ruled by a strong centralized state in which the village was the fundamental administrative unit. Southern Vietnam was a peripheral tributary of the Khmer (Cambodian) Empire, which followed a patron-client model with weaker, more personalized power relations and no village intermediation. Using a regression discontinuity design across the Dai Viet-Khmer boundary, the study shows that areas historically under a strong state have higher living standards today and better economic outcomes over the past 150 years. Rich historical data document that in villages with a strong historical state, citizens have been better able to organize for public goods and redistribution through civil society and local government. This suggests that the strong historical state crowded in village-level collective action and that these norms persisted long after the original state disappeared.
    JEL: N15 O43
    Date: 2017–03
  28. By: Conrad, Daren
    Abstract: This paper attempts to reconcile the mismatch between theoretical models and empirical results in addressing the issue of education and economic growth. Development theorists have made numerous attempts to explain the contribution of education to economic growth. Over the years, numerous endogenous growth models have emerged to incorporate human capital and they have been subject to rigorous econometric techniques. However, these models have yielded inconclusive results. This paper begins by looking at the history of the development of endogenous growth theories and the various econometric specifications which were estimated. This paper also concludes by identifying the main themes that have emerged in the academic debate on education’s role in economic growth.
    Keywords: Education, Growth, Human Capital
    JEL: O12 O15
    Date: 2017–03–08
  29. By: Bengtsson, Niklas (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Religious leaders sometimes condemn progressive social norms. In this paper, I revisit David Hume’s hypothesis that secular states can “bribe” churches into adopting less strict religious doctrines. The hypothesis is difficult to test due to reverse causality: more liberal theologies may attract more political support in the first place. To circumvent this problem, I focus on a theological conflict over same-sex marriage within the Church of Sweden and take advantage of political regulations that effectively make some parishes shareholders of the church’s state-protected property. The shares used for statistical identification are tied to property rights assigned more than 300 years ago, and they cannot be sold, traded or amended by the individual parishes. I find that priests in shareholding parishes are less likely to publicly oppose same-sex marriage. The effect is stronger in parishes with more conservative members. The combined results are consistent with a model of clerical opportunism, in which access to political rents increases the clergy’s loyalty to the political sponsors relative to the local community.
    Keywords: religious orthodoxy; same-sex marriage; subsidies; rent-seeking; religious market hypothesis
    JEL: H20 H30 Z12
    Date: 2017–03–10

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