nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2017‒04‒30
39 papers chosen by

  1. Looking Back On the Age of Checking in America, 1800-1960 By Jaremski, Matthew; Mathy, Gabrial
  2. The Reconstruction of Brazil's Foreign Trade Series, 1821-1913 By Tena Junguito, Antonio; Absell, Christopher David
  3. Trends in Mediterranean Inequalities 1950-2015 By Daniele, Vittorio; Malanima, Paolo
  4. The Rise and Fall of Castrati By Victor Ginsburgh; Luc Leruth
  5. Water Improvement and Health: Historical Evidence on the Effect of Filtering Water on Urban Mortality By Knutsson, Daniel
  6. Resource endowments and agricultural commercialization in colonial Africa: Did labour seasonality and food security drive Uganda’s cotton revolution? By Michiel de Haas; Kostadis J. Papaioannou
  7. Politics, Not Economics, Ultimately Drives Inequality By Jon D. Wisman
  8. Roots of Autocracy By Oded Galor; Marc Klemp
  9. El microcrédito antes de las cooperativas. Pósitos y crédito público agrario en España en vísperas de la Gran Guerra By Simpson, James; Carmona, Juan
  10. The 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Contract Theory By Schmidt, Klaus
  11. Is Western Democracy Backsliding? Diagnosing the Risks By Norris, Pippa
  12. The European Investment Bank: a new database (1958-2012) By Clifton, Judith; Díaz Fuentes, Daniel; Gómez, Ana Lara
  13. The Implicit Value of Arts Experts: the Case of Klaus Ertz and Pieter Brueghel the Younger By Anne-Sophie Radermecker; Victor Ginsburgh; Denni Tommasi
  14. Historical Prevalence of Infectious Diseases, Cultural Values, and the Origins of Economic Institutions By Nikolaev, Boris; Salahodjaev, Raufhon
  15. Structural Change and the Fertility Transition in the American South By Ager, Philipp; Brueckner, Markus; Herz, Benedikt
  16. China: la reconstrucción de una potencia By Alcides Gómes Jiménez
  17. Henry Kissinger: Negotiating Black Majority Rule of Southern Africa By Sebenius, James K.; Burns, R. Nicholas; Mnookin, Robert H.; Green, L. Alexander
  18. The Present Value Relation Over Six Centuries: The Case of the Bazacle Company By Goetzmann, Will; Le Bris, David; Pouget, Sébastien
  19. Ochenta Años de la Teoría General 1936-2016 By Guillermo Maya Muñoz
  20. The First Great Liberalization : Competition, Quality and Productivity By bertrand blancheton; becuwe stephane; meissner chrispother
  21. How the Growing Gap in Life Expectancy May Affect Retirement Benefits and Reforms By Alan J. Auerbach; Kerwin K. Charles; Courtney C. Coile; William Gale; Dana Goldman; Ronald Lee; Charles M. Lucas; Peter R. Orszag; Louise M. Sheiner; Bryan Tysinger; David N. Weil; Justin Wolfers; Rebeca Wong
  22. Crecimiento económico colombiano y quiebres estructurales endógenos By Andrés David Pinchao Rosero; Jorge Mario Uribe Gil
  23. Bicentenario de los Principios de David Ricardo By Juan Carlos de Pablo
  24. The evolution of the Maltese economy since independence By Aaron G Grech
  25. Democracy Versus Dictatorship? The Political Determinants of Growth Episodes By Sen, Kunal; Pritchett, Lant; Kar, Sabyasachi; Raihan, Selim
  26. La demanda de educación superior: breve revisión de la literatura By Cecilia Albert Verdú; Carlos Giovanni González Espitia; Jhon James Mora Rodríguez
  27. Effects of reforms and supervisory organizations: Evidence from the Ottoman Empire and the Istanbul bourse By Elmas Yaldiz Hanedar; Avni Önder Hanedar; Ferdi Çelikay
  28. Stabilité financière : définitions, fondements théoriques et politique macroprudentielle By ROUIESSI, Imane
  29. Constitución Política e independencia monetaria: 25 Aniversario By Guillermo Maya Muñoz
  30. Top Income Inequality in the 21st Century: Some Cautionary Notes By Fatih Guvenen; Greg Kaplan
  31. Latinos in the Northeastern United States: Trends and Patterns By Massey, Douglas S.; Constant, Amelie
  32. ''A Narrative Account of Income and Consumption Tax Changes in the United Kingdom 1973-2009' By Anh D.M.Nguyen; Luisanna Onnis; Raffaele Rossi
  33. The Political Economy of Real Exchange Rate Behavior: Theory and Empirical Evidence for Developed and Developing Countries, 1960-2010 By Francisco A. Martínez-Hernández
  34. A l'origine de la financiarisation de la dette publique française : l'édit de Paulette de 1604 et ses conséquences économiques et politiques By Nicolas Pinsard; Yamina Tadjeddine
  35. Trendvariation oder säkulare Stagnation? Wachstum und Wirtschaftspolitik in historischer Perspektive By Uebele, Martin
  36. Primera globalización económica y las raíces de la inequidad social en México By Mauricio Lascurain Fernández; Luis Fernando Villafuerte Valdés
  37. Down in the slumps: the role of credit in five decades of recessions By Bridges, Jonathan; Jackson, Christopher; McGregor, Daisy
  38. Comportamiento oligopólico en el Mercado Mundial de Aceite de Palma 1961-2004 By Carmen E. Ocampo López; Luz A. Saumeth De Las Salas; Jorge L. Navarro España
  39. Poverty, changing political regimes, and social cash transfers in Zimbabwe, 1980–2016 By Isaac Chinyoka

  1. By: Jaremski, Matthew; Mathy, Gabrial
    Abstract: The United States not only used bank checks the most but also clung to their use far longer than other developed nations. However, now in the twilight of the check, we trace the evolution of the checking system in the United States through its major phases from the founding of the nation through the modern period, including the rise of clearinghouses, the growth of the interbank clearing network, the Federal Reserve’s establishment of nation-wide central clearing, and the adoption of standardized magnetic imaging for easy processing of checks. Our empirical analysis examines the determinants of check clearing both at the aggregate and state-level in order to shed light on the nation’s dominant use of checks.
    Keywords: payment system, personal checks, banks, United States
    JEL: E42 G2 N14
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Tena Junguito, Antonio; Absell, Christopher David
    Abstract: To date, research on the economic history of Brazil during the nineteenth century has relied on official foreign trade statistics, the accuracy of which has repeatedly been put into question. This paper provides insights into the accuracy of the official series by examining the accuracy of the export and import series for Brazil during the nineteenth century. We re-estimate the official import series using trading partner sources, and find that the official series was marginally under-valued during certain periods of the nineteenth century. Furthermore, we provide new upper- and lower-bound estimates of the export series by testing different assumptions regarding the size of the cif-fob factor adjustments. Finally, we introduce a new import price index for the period 1827-1913.
    Keywords: Price Indices; Foreign trade reconstruction; Brazil; Nineteenth Century globalization
    JEL: N76 F14
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Daniele, Vittorio; Malanima, Paolo
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the trends of economic, social and political inequality among the Mediterranean countries in the period 1950-2015. After the examination of the inequalities in GDP per capita among and within nations, we present a human development index (HDI) that includes a measure of democratic achievements. The main result is that inequalities in income, after the rise from the 1950s onwards, declined from the start of the twenty-first century. Inequa¬lities in HDI, instead, constantly diminished in the period under examination, while a process of democratization occurred. On the whole, despite the conver-gence among Mediter¬ranean countries, economic inequalities are much deeper than those in social and political indicators.
    Keywords: inequalities, HDI, convergence, Mediterranean economies
    JEL: I31 O1 O11 O4 O47 O5
    Date: 2016–04–01
  4. By: Victor Ginsburgh; Luc Leruth
    Abstract: Castrato singers appeared in the Western World during the 16th century. They were needed by the Church for reasons that we shall discuss, and their skills were such that opera composers also decided to use them. This created a major demand for their services. Castrati reigned supreme at the Opera until the mid-19th century and continued to sing in Italian churches until 1913. The last one died in Rome in 1922. The paper shows that economic incentives played a key role in explaining the rise and fall of this remarkable group of singers.
    Keywords: castrated singers; singing in the Church; Opera
    JEL: D10 J20 N83 Z11 Z12
    Date: 2017–04
  5. By: Knutsson, Daniel (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: In this paper, I analyse how technologies for cleaning and distributing water can affect health using new historical data from Sweden. The city of Stockholm introduced a slow filter water cleaning system and piped distribu- tion network in 1861 enabling parts of the population in-house access. The historical context allows me to analyse these technologies without sewerage access as no major sewerage system was constructed at the same time. By using detailed information on water access through contemporary contract lists I can measure access to clean water with great precision. My findings suggest large beneficial effects of having access to clean in-house water. This effect is apparent for the general population but not as precise for infants and in line or even larger than previous estimates. I document heterogeneity in infant mortality with respect to gender where girls seem to have benefited more.
    Keywords: Water; Piped water; Filtered water; Infant Mortality; Mortality; Public Health
    JEL: I15 I18 J11 N33 Q53
    Date: 2017–04–21
  6. By: Michiel de Haas (Wageningen University, University of Michigan); Kostadis J. Papaioannou (London School of Economics & Political Science)
    Abstract: Why did some African smallholders adopt cash crops on a considerable scale, while most others were hesitant to do so? This study sets out to explore the importance of factor endowments in shaping the degrees to which cash crops were adopted in colonial tropical Africa. We conduct an in-depth case study of the ‘cotton revolution’ in colonial Uganda to put the factor endowments perspective to the test. Our empirical findings, based on an annual panel data analysis at the district-level from 1925 till 1960, underscore the importance of Uganda’s equatorial bimodal rainfall distribution as an enabling factor for Uganda’s ‘cotton revolution’. We also provide evidence at a unique spatial micro-level, by capitalizing on detailed household surveys from the same period. We demonstrate that previous explanations associating variegated responses of African farmers to cash crops either to the role of colonial coercion, or to a distinction between ‘forest/banana’ and ‘savannah/grain’ zones cannot explain the widespread adoption of cotton in Uganda. We argue, instead, that the key to the cotton revolution were Uganda’s two rainy seasons, which enabled farmers to grow cotton while simultaneously pursuing food security. Our study highlights the importance of food security and labour seasonality as important determinants of agricultural commercialization in colonial tropical Africa.
    Keywords: Agricultural Commercialization, Resource Endowments, African Economic History, Rainfall distribution, Cotton
    JEL: N17 N57 Q17 C23 N97
    Date: 2017–04
  7. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: Over the past 40 years, inequality has exploded in the U.S. and significantly increased in virtually all nations. Why? The current debate typically identifies the causes as economic, due to some combination of technological change, globalization, inadequate education, demographics, and most recently, Piketty’s claim that it is the rate of return on capital exceeding the growth rate. But to the extent true, these are proximate causes. They all take place within a political framework in which they could in principle be neutralized or reversed. Indeed, this mistake is itself political. It masks the true cause of inequality and presents it as if natural, due to the forces of progress, just as in pre-modern times it was the will of gods. By examining three broad distributional changes in modern times, this article demonstrates the dynamics by which inequality is a political phenomenon through and through. It places special emphasis on the role played by ideology -- politics’ most powerful instrument -- in making inequality appear as necessary.
    Keywords: Political power; Distribution; Legitimation; Ideology
    JEL: D63 B00 Z18 N3
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Oded Galor; Marc Klemp
    Abstract: Exploiting a novel geo-referenced data set of population diversity across ethnic groups, this research advances the hypothesis and empirically establishes that variation in population diversity across human societies, as determined in the course of the exodus of human from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, contributed to the differential formation of pre-colonial autocratic institutions within ethnic groups and the emergence of autocratic institutions across countries. Diversity has amplified the importance of institutions in mitigating the adverse effects of non-cohesiveness on productivity, while contributing to the scope for domination, leading to the formation of institutions of the autocratic type.
    JEL: O10 O43 Z1
    Date: 2017–03
  9. By: Simpson, James; Carmona, Juan
    Abstract: Los pósitos rurales eran instituciones de crédito gestionadas por los propios municipios que ofrecían préstamos a corto plazo (la duración de una cosecha) a sus miembros a un interés inferior al que ofrecían los prestamistas privados. Como en el caso de otros bienes públicos su éxito dependía crucialmente de la gestión realizada, dado que el volumen de capital prestable dependía esencialmente de la capacidad para recuperar los granos o el dinero distribuidos el año anterior. Aunque gestionados por la autoridad municipal, los 3.500 pósitos (en 1900) estaban regulados por una agencia gubernamental que no tuvo éxito en convertirlos en una red pública de crédito agrario. Cuatro son los objetivos de este trabajo: primero, destacar la insólita pervivencia y buen funcionamiento de miles de pósitos antes de la Gran Guerra en contraste con el diagnóstico pesimista del gobierno; segundo, mostrar que los pósitos eran instituciones de acción colectiva no muy diferentes a otros bienes comunales; tercero, que el diseño de los pósitos no era muy diferente al de otras instituciones de microcrédito como las cooperativas existentes en este momento; por último, si bien los factores locales desempeñaron un papel importante en su supervivencia a largo plazo, la agricultura moderna exigió ya en el siglo XX instituciones de crédito que permitieran obtener fondos procedentes de áreas geográficas más amplias que la aldea. Con el fin de estudiar las diferencias municipales usamos las memorias de la Delegación Regia de Pósitos entre 1911 y 1913.
    Keywords: siglo XX; España; crédito agrario; pósitos
    JEL: N54 N24 N23 H41
    Date: 2017–04
  10. By: Schmidt, Klaus (University of Munich)
    Abstract: Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström were awarded the 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for their fundamental contributions to contract theory. This article offers a short summary and discussion of their path breaking work.
    Keywords: contract theory; nobel prize; optimal incentive schemes; incomplete contracts;
    JEL: B21 D23 D82 L20
    Date: 2017–03–25
  11. By: Norris, Pippa (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The predominantly sunny end-of-history optimism about democratic progress, evident in the late-1980s and early-1990s following the fall of the Berlin Wall, has turned rapidly into a more pessimistic zeitgeist. What helps us to understand whether we have reached an inflection point--and whether even long-established European and American democracies are in danger of backsliding? This essay draws on Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan's Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation which theorizes that consolidation occurs when three conditions are met: Culturally, the overwhelming majority of people believe that democracy is the best form of government, so that any further reforms reflect these values and principles. Constitutionally, all the major actors and organs of the state reflect democratic norms and practices. Behaviorally, no significant groups actively seek to overthrow the regime or secede from the state. Evidence throws new light on the contemporary state of each of Linz and Stepan's conditions in Western democracies. Culturally the data suggests that, when compared with their parents and grandparents, Millennials in Anglo-American democracies express weaker support for democratic values, but this is not a consistent pattern across Western democracies and post-industrial societies. It is also a life-cycle rather than a generational effect. Constitutionally, trends from estimates by Freedom House and related indicators provide no evidence that the quality of institutions protecting political rights and civil liberties deteriorated across Western democracies from 1972 to end-2016. Most losses occurred under hybrid regimes. Behaviorally, the most serious contemporary threats to Western liberal democracies arise from twin forces that each, in different ways, seek to undermine the regime: sporadic and random terrorist attacks on domestic soil, which damage feelings of security, and the rise of populist-authoritarian forces, which feed parasitically upon these fears.
    Date: 2017–03
  12. By: Clifton, Judith; Díaz Fuentes, Daniel; Gómez, Ana Lara
    Abstract: This working paper presents an originally compiled database of European Investment Bank (EIB) lending based on the EIB Annual Reports and documents available at the Historical Archives of the European Union, covering all loans over the period 1958 – 2012. It describes the content of the database, which compiles more than 13,000 loans to 180 countries in a detailed project-by-project basis, the information sources utilized and the coding rules used to create an index of categories. It also includes the borrowings made by the EIB on the financial markets from 1961 to 2012 (with their respective term and nominal rate), exchange rates and subscribed capital. The paper compares the database with the information provided by the EIB webpage, provides descriptive statistics and discusses some possible applications. This database improves transparency and the understanding of the largest worldwide lender, contributing to close the existent gap within the literature concerning this public institution.
    Keywords: European Investment Bank; Investment
    JEL: F33 O19
    Date: 2017–04–11
  13. By: Anne-Sophie Radermecker; Victor Ginsburgh; Denni Tommasi
    Abstract: Pieter Brueghel the Younger (c. 1564/65 – 1637/38) is a well-known painter who reproduced the works of his celebrated father Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525/30-1569). We collected the sales of his original works as well as those from his atelier and followers over the period 1972-2015 and compare the prices of two categories of works: his autograph works, and all others, whether partly autograph or untouched by him. Confusion among the types was floating around, since the same compositions exist in many versions and dimensions, and were probably even executed by different painters. In 1997-1998, the German independent art historian Klaus Ertz curated a large itinerant exhibition in four European countries dedicated to Pieter the Younger. At the time, it was known that he was working on a catalogue raisonné (CR) of the painter to which he referred substantially, though it came out in 2000 only. We use difference-in-differences estimation to establish that the exhibitions and the information concerning the catalogue had a significant effect on the prices of autograph works. Though we cannot judge whether Ertz’s attributions are right or not, it seems that buyers started feeling more confident, since they were ready to pay roughly 60 percent more for works considered autograph after the late 1990s.
    Keywords: diff-in-diffs identification; prices; Brueghel family; exhibitions; catalohue raisonné
    JEL: C59 Z11
    Date: 2017–04
  14. By: Nikolaev, Boris; Salahodjaev, Raufhon
    Abstract: It is widely believed that economic institutions such as competitive markets, the banking system, and the structure of property rights are essential for economic development. But why economic institutions vary across countries and what are their deep origins is still a question that is widely debated in the developmental economics literature. In this study, we provide an empirical test for the provocative hypothesis that the prevalence of infectious diseases influenced the formation of personality traits, cultural values, and even morality at the regional level (the so called Parasite- Stress Theory of Values and Sociality), which then shaped economic institutions across countries. Using the prevalence of pathogens as an instrument for cultural traits such as individualism, we show in a two-stage least squares analysis that various economic institutions, measured by different areas of the index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation, have their deep origins in the historical prevalence of infectious diseases across countries. Our causal identification strategy suggests that cultural values affect economic institutions even after controlling for a number of confounding variables, geographic controls, and for different sub-samples of countries. We further show that the results are robust to four alternative measures of economic and political institutions.
    Keywords: economic institutions, cultural values, pathogens
    JEL: B00 O1 O17
    Date: 2017–02
  15. By: Ager, Philipp (Department of Business and Economics); Brueckner, Markus (Australian National University); Herz, Benedikt (European Commission)
    Abstract: This paper provides new insights on the link between structural change and the fertility transition. In the early 1890s agricultural production in the American South was severely impaired by the spread of an agricultural pest, the boll weevil. We use this plausibly exogenous variation in agricultural production to establish a causal link between changes in earnings opportunities in agriculture and fertility. Our estimates show that lower earnings opportunities in agriculture lead to fewer children. We identify two channels: households staying in agriculture reduced fertility because children are a normal good, and households switching to manufacturing faced higher opportunity costs of raising children. The rather bleak outlook for unskilled agricultural workers also increased the demand for human capital, which reinforced the fertility decline that occurred in the American South during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    Keywords: Fertility transition; structural change; industrialization; agricultural income
    JEL: J13 N31 O15
    Date: 2017–04–24
  16. By: Alcides Gómes Jiménez
    Abstract: Se indaga por las razones culturales del pasado que han facilitado el ascenso pacífico de China al rango de una potencia de primer nivel en los planos económico, político y militar en los comienzos del siglo XXI. Se destaca tanto la velocidad como la originalidad de su proceso económico y se advierten por su estilo de desarrollo, desbalances críticos en la brecha de ingresos, con aumentos en su endeudamiento y en las desigualdades económicas y sociales con severa afectación del medio ambiente por contaminación (del aire, del agua y del suelo) de un remanente de plantas de producción tecnológicamente obsoletas. En China coexisten y se potencian tecnologías de la primera y segunda revolución industrial (siglos XVIII y XIX) con las de la tercera revolución tecnológica (finales del siglo XX y comienzos del XXI).
    Keywords: crecimiento; estilo de desarrollo; PIB por habitante; desigualdad; hegemonía.
    JEL: O11 O21 N15
    Date: 2016–12–28
  17. By: Sebenius, James K. (Harvard University); Burns, R. Nicholas (Harvard University); Mnookin, Robert H. (Harvard University); Green, L. Alexander (Harvard University)
    Abstract: In 1976, United States Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger conducted a series of intricate, multiparty negotiations in Southern Africa to persuade white Rhodesian leader Ian Smith to accede to black majority rule. Conducted near the end of President Gerald Ford's term in office, against substantial U.S. domestic opposition, Kissinger's efforts culminated in Smith's public announcement that he would accept majority rule within two years. This set the stage for the later Lancaster House negotiations which resulted in the actual transition to black majority rule. The account in this working paper carefully describes--but does not analyze nor draw lessons from--these challenging negotiations. Forthcoming papers will provide analysis and derive general insights from Kissinger's negotiations to end white minority rule in Rhodesia.
    Date: 2016–12
  18. By: Goetzmann, Will; Le Bris, David; Pouget, Sébastien
    Abstract: We study asset pricing over the longue durée using share prices and net dividends from the Bazacle company of Toulouse, the earliest documented shareholding corpo- ration. The data extend from the firm's foundation in 1372 to its nationalization in 1946. We find an average dividend yield of 5% per annum and near-zero long-term, real capital appreciation. Stationary dividends and stock prices enable us to directly study how prices relate to expected cash flows, without relying on a rate of return transformation. A reduced-form asset pricing model with persistent dividends and a time-varying risk correction is not rejected by the data.
    Keywords: asset pricing, history of finance, present-value tests.
    Date: 2017–04
  19. By: Guillermo Maya Muñoz
    Abstract: Este ensayo celebra los ochenta años de la Teoría General (1936-2016). El objetivo principal es resaltar el principio de la demanda efectiva como la más grande contribución teórica de JM Keynes a la economía para explicar el nivel del PIB y el empleo, en la economía capitalista, y sus fluctuaciones. Además, se hace hincapié en el capítulo 24, donde se analizan los problemas de la distribución del ingreso y la riqueza, en relación con el nivel de la demanda efectiva. Los altos niveles de desempleo y los bajos niveles de PIB que sufre la economía mundial, desde la crisis de 2008 hasta hoy, se han enfrentado con la eliminación o reducción del gasto gubernamental. Esta situación significa una gran inseguridad económica para millones de personas que no solo tienen que enfrentar el desempleo cíclico, sino también el desempleo tecnológico, con una mayor desigualdad del ingreso. Este no es un mundo keynesiano; éste es un mundo infeliz.
    Keywords: Keynes; Demanda efectiva; desempleo involuntario; desempleo tecnológico; austeridad fiscal.
    JEL: B22 B31 E12 E24 E61
    Date: 2016–06–30
  20. By: bertrand blancheton; becuwe stephane; meissner chrispother
    Abstract: How did an advanced industrial country react face a great liberalization? How did this country adapt itself to global markets in the face of rapidly rising foreign productivity and falling trade costs. How an early starter adapt it insertion strategy in international trade in long run perspective? By using a new database on French International Trade we analyse exports concentration, specialization and quality. Face trade liberalization an old country, early starter reacts by increasing product quality
    Keywords: France, Trade issues, Trade issues
    Date: 2016–07–04
  21. By: Alan J. Auerbach; Kerwin K. Charles; Courtney C. Coile; William Gale; Dana Goldman; Ronald Lee; Charles M. Lucas; Peter R. Orszag; Louise M. Sheiner; Bryan Tysinger; David N. Weil; Justin Wolfers; Rebeca Wong
    Abstract: Older Americans have experienced dramatic gains in life expectancy in recent decades, but an emerging literature reveals that these gains are accumulating mostly to those at the top of the income distribution. We explore how growing inequality in life expectancy affects lifetime benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and other programs and how this phenomenon interacts with possible program reforms. We first project that life expectancy at age 50 for males in the two highest income quintiles will rise by 7 to 8 years between the 1930 and 1960 birth cohorts, but that the two lowest income quintiles will experience little to no increase over that time period. This divergence in life expectancy will cause the gap between average lifetime program benefits received by men in the highest and lowest quintiles to widen by $130,000 (in $2009) over this period. Finally we simulate the effect of Social Security reforms such as raising the normal retirement age and changing the benefit formula to see whether they mitigate or enhance the reduced progressivity resulting from the widening gap in life expectancy.
    JEL: H50 J10
    Date: 2017–04
  22. By: Andrés David Pinchao Rosero; Jorge Mario Uribe Gil
    Abstract: Este documento explora mediante pruebas de cambio estructural endógeno, posibles quiebres en la distribución no condicional del crecimiento del PIB real colombiano entre 1924 y 2013. No se encuentra evidencia de algún quiebre estructural en la tasa de crecimiento económico durante el periodo analizado, contradiciendo previos hallazgos de la literatura académica colombiana. Para la serie en niveles del logaritmo del PIB real se obtiene evidencia de tres cambios estructurales en la tendencia, en los años 1942, 1972 y 1999. El último podría asociarse con reformas económicas, en términos de apertura de las cuentas real y financiera de la economía colombiana. Se comparan las estimaciones con la situación para otros 16 países de la región. En este caso, a diferencia del colombiano, los resultados apuntan a la presencia de quiebres a finales de la década de los 70, durante la década de los 80, y a principios de los 90 para algunos países de la región.
    Keywords: Crecimiento económico; PIB; quiebre estructural; apertura económica.
    JEL: O40 O49 C22
    Date: 2016–12–28
  23. By: Juan Carlos de Pablo
    Abstract: Hace exactamente 200 años David Ricardo publicó la primera edición de sus Principios de economía política y tributación. La ocasión es un buen pretexto para aprender y reflexionar sobre la persona del autor, las circunstancias en las cuales escribió la citada obra, sus ideas principales y la polvareda que generó. El paso del tiempo es inexorable. ¿De cuántos de los libros de economía publicados en 1817 nos acordamos un par de siglos después? El paso del tiempo también corrige la influencia de “detalles” que no fueron tales en su época. Antonio Salieri –un buen músico- consiguió trabajo estable, no su contemporáneo Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, pero en la actualidad, ¿cuánta música escuchamos, escrita por uno y otro?
    Date: 2017–04
  24. By: Aaron G Grech (Central Bank of Malta)
    Abstract: This paper surveys the performance of the Maltese economy in the first half century since independence. The picture that emerges is of a nation that has benefitted from an extraordinary rate of economic growth and a significant reduction in volatility. The Maltese economy has matured exceedingly rapidly, with cycles of inflation and unemployment becoming much less pronounced and with a consistent underlying downward trend. The economic structure has shifted strongly towards services, which has led to an increased demand for labour that has accommodated the secular rise in female participation.
    JEL: N13 E24 E3 H6
  25. By: Sen, Kunal (University of Manchester); Pritchett, Lant (Harvard University and Center for Global Development, Washington, DC); Kar, Sabyasachi (Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi); Raihan, Selim (University of Dhaka)
    Abstract: In contrast to previous literature, which looks at the effect of democracy on long-run growth or short-run volatility of growth, we examine the effect of political institutions on medium-term growth episodes. These are episodes of accelerations and decelerations that characterise the growth experience of most developing countries. We find that the effect of political institutions on growth is asymmetric across accelerations and decelerations, and that democracies do not necessarily outperform autocracies in a growth acceleration episode, though they are likely to prevent large growth collapses. When we disaggregate the type of autocracy, we find that party-based autocracies outperform democracies in growth acceleration episodes, though they do not limit the fall in the magnitude in growth deceleration episodes in comparison to democracies.
    Date: 2016–12
  26. By: Cecilia Albert Verdú; Carlos Giovanni González Espitia; Jhon James Mora Rodríguez
    Abstract: El objetivo de este artículo es ofrecer una revisión de la literatura económica sobre el análisis de la demanda de educación superior desde una perspectiva microeconómica, en la que los individuos toman la decisión racional y previsora sobre los recursos que dedicaran a su educación. Entre las teorías fundamentales de esta revisión se puede resaltar la teoría del capital humano y sus críticas como el modelo de consumo, la señalización y el enfoque social. Es importante anotar que la literatura económica sobre la demanda de educación es mucho más numerosa en países desarrollados que en países en vía de desarrollo, principalmente por que los desarrollos teóricos y empíricos se han generado en Estados Unidos y en Europa. Sin embargo, la literatura en los países en vía de desarrollo es creciente.
    Keywords: educación; demanda de educación; educación superior.
    JEL: I21 I23 I24
    Date: 2016–06–30
  27. By: Elmas Yaldiz Hanedar (Yeditepe University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey); Avni Önder Hanedar (Sakarya University, Faculty of Political Sciences, Sakarya, Turkey and Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Business, Izmir, Turkey); Ferdi Çelikay (Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Eskisehir, Turkey)
    Abstract: Inefficiencies in fiscal and monetary systems of the Ottoman Empire led to higher debt burden over time and the bankruptcy for the Ottoman state in 1875. To deal with these inefficiencies, reforms were implemented, as supervisory organizations were established during the default period. We ask how investors traded at the Istanbul bourse evaluated the outcomes of these reforms and organizations. We manually collect data on price of the General Debt bond from 1873 to 1883. Using the GARCH methodology, we examine the volatility jumps in return of the bond due to the reforms and supervisory organization in the Ottoman Empire. The volatility changes are indicators for risk perceptions of the investors. Our empirical results support that investors positively responded to foundation of the Ottoman Public Debt Administration and the acceptance of gold standard, heralding the persistent decrease in the risk premia over time. The Ottoman case is instructive for the understanding of today’s economic situation in emerging markets such as Greece, while we could argue that long-lived and comprehensive measures with foreign creditors’ supervision on fiscal and monetary systems matter more for investors’ perceptions. No empirical research studies the impacts of the reforms and supervisory organizations on the Istanbul bourse, as this large dataset has never been used before.
    Keywords: Reforms, Financial control organizations, Moratorium, the Istanbul bourse, Crises, GARCH.
    JEL: G1 N25 N45
    Date: 2017–04
  28. By: ROUIESSI, Imane (Bank Al-Maghrib, Département de la Recherche)
    Abstract: Les coûts économiques et sociaux très élevés des crises financières ont amené les Banques centrales à inscrire la stabilité financière, en plus de la stabilité des prix, au cœur de leurs préoccupations. Néanmoins, la stabilité financière demeure une notion complexe dont la définition reste difficile à cerner et les objectifs des Banques centrales en la matière sont moins clairs et précis que dans le domaine monétaire. Ce papier a pour objectif de présenter une synthèse des réflexions sur cette nouvelle mission des Banques centrales. D’abord, il aborde les difficultés liées à la définition de ce concept. Ensuite, il examine les sources d’instabilité financière évoquées dans la littérature. Enfin, il met l’accent sur la politique macroprudentielle et son organisation institutionnelle.
    Keywords: stabilité financière; risque systémique; politique macroprudentielle
    JEL: E44 E58 G00
    Date: 2016–07–01
  29. By: Guillermo Maya Muñoz
    Abstract: Hace 25 años, la Constitución Política Colombiana (CPC) de 1991 y la ley reglamentaria 31 de 1992 establecieron la autonomía o independencia del Banco de la República (BR). ¿De quién es independiente el BR? Es independiente del Gobierno en materia de política monetaria, cambiaria y crediticia. Igualmente, la CPC le asignó como único objetivo la estabilidad de precios (art. 1º, ley 31 de 1992), el control de la inflación, con metas de inflación cada vez menores, con la primacía sobre otros objetivos, tales como el empleo, el crecimiento, la distribución del ingreso, etc.
    Keywords: Constitución política; Colombia; Banco de la Republica; Independencia monetaria
    Date: 2016–06–29
  30. By: Fatih Guvenen; Greg Kaplan
    Abstract: We revisit recent empirical evidence about the rise in top income inequality in the United States, drawing attention to four key issues that we believe are critical for an informed discussion about changing inequality since 1980. Our goal is to inform researchers, policy makers, and journalists who are interested in top income inequality.
    JEL: E0 J0
    Date: 2017–04
  31. By: Massey, Douglas S.; Constant, Amelie
    Date: 2017
  32. By: Anh D.M.Nguyen; Luisanna Onnis; Raffaele Rossi
    Abstract: This companion paper sets out the detailed narrative classification of the exogenous tax changes used in Nguyen, Onnis, and Rossi (2017) ‘The Macroeconomic Effects of Income and Consumption Tax Changes’.
    Date: 2016
  33. By: Francisco A. Martínez-Hernández (Department of Economics, State University of New York)
    Abstract: Empirical results of the PPP hypothesis have constantly shown that relative prices do not converge to the same level, neither in the short nor the long run. Therefore the PPP explanation of the determination of the real exchange rate is not operative to get a reasonable measure of competitiveness at the international level. In this paper, we put forth a different approach based on the works of Ricardo, Marx, Harrod, and Shaikh, which argues that the real relative unit labor cost is the main force that explains the long-run behavior of the real exchange rate. In the second section of the paper we explain the theoretical underpinnings of our proposed approach. In the third section we analyze the role of the real interest rate differential in explaining real exchange rate misalignments. In the fourth section, we present a graphical analysis of the interrelation among the real effective exchange rate, the real unit labor cost ratio, the short-run real interest rate differential, and the trade balance for sixteen OECD countries, Taiwan, and three developing countries for the period 1960-2010. In the fifth section we investigate the long-run relationship between the latter three indexes through cointegrating and error correction models using the ARDLECM framework. The last section provides our conclusions.
    Keywords: Real adjusted unit labor cost, real effective exchange rate, real interest rate differential, trade balance, ARDL-ECM models.
    JEL: B12 B51 F50 F31 F41 C32
    Date: 2017–04
  34. By: Nicolas Pinsard (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN)); Yamina Tadjeddine (BETA, Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: L'édit de Paulette de 1604 est un acte juridique important dont nous proposons ici d'analyser les conséquences institutionnelles. Cet édit ne crée pas les offices qui existaient depuis le XIIIe siècle, mais il modifie leur nature en conférant des droits de propriété et de transmission inaliénables à l'officier dès lors qu'un impôt (1/60ème de la valeur de l'office) est payé annuellement. À partir des archives du fonds de Sully complétées par des données publiées, notre article met en exergue les modifications économiques (en termes de finances publiques), les transformations socio-politiques (avec l'apparition d'une nouvelle classe sociale) induites par cette financiarisation des offices.
    Keywords: Offices, Finances Publiques, Financiarisation, Histoire financière, France, Ancien Régime
    JEL: N23 N44 G28
    Date: 2017–04
  35. By: Uebele, Martin
    Abstract: Die internationale Wachstumsdebatte befindet sich immer noch unter dem Einfluss der Finanzkrise, weil sich in den Industriestaaten die Wachstumsraten nicht wie erwartet wieder erholt haben. Die verschiedenen Erklärungsansätze lassen sich in Angebots- und Nachfrageansätze unterscheiden. Die Vertreter der Nachfrageseite fordern ein radikales Umdenken makroökonomischer Politik, insbesondere eine Abkehr von dem Bestreben, die öffentlichen Haushalte mittelfristig tragfähig zu gestalten. Sie beziehen ihre Motivation vor allem aus dem extrapolierten Wachstumstrend vor dem Einsetzen der Finanzkrise. Dieser Text unterzieht diese Hauptmotivation der nachfrageseitigen Ansätze einer kritischen Würdigung, indem er die Extrapolation eines kurzfristigen Trends mit alternativen Trendkonzepten kontrastiert. Er relativiert deren theoretische und empirische Relevanz dahingehend, dass Forderungen nach radikalen Änderungen der vorherrschenden wirtschaftspolitischen Überzeugungen als nicht ausreichend begründet erscheinen. Stattdessen wird auf die Gefahren von langfristigen Verzerrungen hingewiesen, wenn Wirtschaftspolitik eingesetzt wird, um mit staatlicher Nachfrage, erhöhter expansiver Geldpolitik oder fehlerhafter Deregulierung das Wachstum zu erhöhen. Dabei werden auch historische Parallelen zu den Großen Depressionen nach 1873 und 1929 gezogen.
    JEL: E60 G01 N10
    Date: 2016
  36. By: Mauricio Lascurain Fernández; Luis Fernando Villafuerte Valdés
    Abstract: En este artículo se da a conocer la dinámica de la economía mexicana durante la segunda mitad del siglo XIX, periodo que se le conoce como la “primera globalización”. En este periodo, el país avanzó económicamente, lo que se refleja en el crecimiento de la población, de las ciudades y de la renta, al propio tiempo que aumentaría considerablemente la actividad del sector externo. Sin embargo, al mismo tiempo, se abre una clara brecha entre el crecimiento de la economía en términos macroeconómicos y la escasa repartición de la riqueza en amplios sectores de la sociedad, así que el hilo conductor de este artículo es el analizar cómo es que a pesar de este desarrollo económico, se creó un modelo económico basado en – y es una herencia aún vigente en el México contemporáneo- grandes desigualdades sociales que traen como consecuencia la ausencia de elementos que permiten cohesión social en el país.
    Keywords: Globalización económica; Siglo XIX; Desarrollo económico; Historia económica; cohesión social.
    JEL: F6 F60 F63 O10 N10
    Date: 2016–06–30
  37. By: Bridges, Jonathan (Bank of England); Jackson, Christopher (Bank of England); McGregor, Daisy (Bank of England)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of private sector credit in shaping the severity of recessions. Using a sample of 130 downturns in 26 advanced economies since the 1970s, we assess whether the growth or level of credit is the better predictor of the severity of a recession. In addition to GDP we examine other metrics of severity, including unemployment and labour productivity. We find that a period of rapid credit growth in the immediate run-up to a recession predicts a deeper and longer downturn than when credit growth has been subdued, whether associated with a systemic banking crisis or not and whether that credit growth reflects borrowing by households or businesses. Credit growth is a more statistically and economically significant predictor of a recession’s severity than the level of indebtedness, though there is some evidence that the effect of a credit boom is greater when leverage is high. A build-up in credit predicts worse recessions in terms of lower GDP per capita, higher unemployment and lost labour productivity.
    Keywords: Recessions; productivity; local projections
    JEL: E51 G01 N10
    Date: 2017–04–21
  38. By: Carmen E. Ocampo López; Luz A. Saumeth De Las Salas; Jorge L. Navarro España
    Abstract: El mercado de aceite de palma ha adquirido una dinámica alta en las décadas recientes. Ha sido tradicionalmente dominado por Malasia e Indonesia quienes producen más del 75% del total mundial. Por medio de una regresión de datos aparentemente no relacionados (seemingly unrelated regression, SUR) con estadísticas entre 1961 y 2004, se hallaron ecuaciones de demanda para analizar el comportamiento oligopólico de estos países en dicho mercado. Los resultados indican que en el período analizado, los dos países habrían estado siguiendo un comportamiento, líder (Malasia)- seguidor (Indonesia), con una tendencia a terminar asumiendo conductas tipo Cournot, repartiéndose al mercado por partes iguales.
    Keywords: Aceite de palma; Malasia; Indonesia; Oligopolio.
    JEL: D43 F14 L11 L13 Q11
    Date: 2016–06–30
  39. By: Isaac Chinyoka
    Abstract: Since 2000, Zimbabwe has been under some pressure to provide more fully for its children. It is not clear whether child poverty has worsened, although AIDS, drought, and economic mismanagement have all compromised poverty reduction. In any case, child poverty has come under increased scrutiny, in part because of the Millennium Development Goals and the growing interest in new kinds of intervention among international agencies and donors. Zimbabwe might have adopted the child-oriented cash transfer programmes or subsidies associated with one or other of the ‘models’ developed by its richer neighbours to the south (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia). It might also have adopted the models favoured, and promoted energetically, by the World Bank, UNICEF, and other external agencies. But ZANU-PF—which was in power until 2009 and after 2013, and shared power between those dates—resisted cash transfer programmes, favouring instead agricultural interventions (including land reform and farm input subsidy programmes). ZANU-PF’s ambivalence towards cash transfer programmes represents political choices informed by the nature of Zimbabwean society and politics.
    Date: 2017

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.