nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
twenty papers chosen by

  1. Mining taxation in Africa: The gold mining industry in 14 countries from 1980 to 2015 By Bertrand Laporte; Céline De Quatrebarbes; Yannick Bouterige
  2. The Rise and Fall of Pellagra in the American South By Karen Clay; Ethan Schmick; Werner Troesken
  3. Institutions historiques et développement économique en Afrique. Une revue sélective et critique de travaux récents By Denis Cogneau; Yannick Dupraz
  4. Industrial espionage and productivity By Albrecht Glitz; Eric Meyersson
  5. Das House-Kapital: A Long Term Housing & Macro Model By Thomas Steger; Volker Grossmann
  6. The evolution of Ottoman-European market linkages, 1469-1914: evidence from dynamic factor models By Li, Zhuo; Panza, Laura; Song, Yong
  7. Invention Machines: How Control Instruments and Information Technologies Drove Global Technologigal Progress over a Century of Invention By Koutroumpis, Pantelis; Leiponen, Aija; Thomas, Llewellyn D W
  8. Marriage Strategy Among European Nobility By Stefania Marcassa; Jérôme Pouyet; Thomas Trégouët
  9. Economic Origins of Cultural Norms: The Case of Animal Husbandry and Bastardy By Eder, Christoph; Halla, Martin
  10. Computerization, Composition of Employment, and Structure of Wages By Robert Plant; Manuel S. Santos; Tarek Sayed
  11. "Development State Evolving: Japan’s Graduation from a Middle Income Country" By Tetsuji Okazaki
  12. Russia’s Informal Economic Growth: 1960–1990 By Shida, Yoshisada
  13. Equitable rent division By Rodrigo A. Velez
  14. First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War By Akresh, Richard; Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Leone, Marinella; Osili, Una O.
  15. The Keynesian Model in the General Theory: A Tutorial By Raul Rojas
  16. National borders matter...where one draws the lines too By Vincent Vicard; Emmanuelle Lavallée
  17. Antidepressants for Economists and Business-School Researchers: An Introduction and Review By Katolik, Aleksandra; Oswald, Andrew J.
  18. Engines of Leisure By Benjamin Bridgman
  19. Corruption in the Bidding, Construction, and Organization of Mega-Events: An Analysis of the Olympics and World Cup By Victor Matheson; Daniel Schwab; Patrick Koval
  20. The postwar growth slowdown and the path of economic development By Huang, Kaixing

  1. By: Bertrand Laporte (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Céline De Quatrebarbes (FERDI - Fondation pour les études et recherches sur le développement international - FERDI [FERDI]); Yannick Bouterige (FERDI - Fondation pour les études et recherches sur le développement international - FERDI [FERDI])
    Abstract: The lack of information about the sharing of mining resource rent between governments and investors is an easy statement to make for Africa. The existing datasets are often insufficient for a deep analysis of African tax law as applied to the natural resource sectors, which has limited the academic and operational approaches. This paper describes the first legal and tax database which specifies the tax regime applied to industrial gold mining companies in 14 African gold-producing countries from 1980 to 2015. The database has three major innovations: (i) an inventory of taxes and duties (rate, base and exemptions) payable during the prospecting phase and mining phase of a gold project; (ii) a new detailed historical record covering 1980 to 2015; (iii) the link between each piece of tax information and its legal source. This database is used to make a first analysis of mining tax regimes and rent sharing in the main gold-producing countries. The first results highlight the heterogeneity of tax regimes between English-speaking and French-speaking countries. There has been a convergence of the average effective tax rates across most of the countries, the effective tax rate has increased in most countries following the tax reforms undertaken since 2010.The database is downloadable following the link :
    Keywords: Mining sector,Gold,Taxation of natural resources,Database.
    Date: 2017–06–22
  2. By: Karen Clay; Ethan Schmick; Werner Troesken
    Abstract: The result of insufficient niacin consumption, pellagra caused more deaths than any other nutrition-related disease in American history, and it reached epidemic proportions in the South during the early 1900s. In this paper, we explore the forces that drove the rise and fall of pellagra. Historical observers have long-believed that pellagra stemmed from the South’s monoculture in cotton, which displaced the local production of nutritionally-rich foods. To test this hypothesis, we begin by showing that, at the county level, pellagra rates are positively correlated with cotton production. We then exploit the arrival of the boll weevil—which prompted Southern farmers to begin planting food instead of cotton—to show that this correlation is likely causal. We close by studying how fortification laws passed during the 1940s helped to eliminate pellagra.
    JEL: I18 N32 N52 Q12
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Denis Cogneau (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)); Yannick Dupraz (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper makes a selective review of the recent economic literature studying the effect of historical institutions on economic development in Africa. We first discuss a few conceptual issues implied by the measurement of institutions, then present the data gathered by anthropologist G. P. Murdock and their main critiques. A growing number of works make a new use of these data while trying to show that some "ethnic" precolonial institutions are fundamental determinants of present-day differences in development. We comment upon these works and contrast them with others which rather relativize the institutional differences inherited from the colonial period. We finally argue that comparisons of case studies are more promising than cross-sectional studies based on ill-controlled variations
    Abstract: Cet article effectue une revue sélective de travaux récents d’économistes étudiant l’impact des institutions historiques sur le développement économique en Afrique. Nous discutons d'abord quelques questions conceptuelles impliquées par la mesure des institutions, puis présentons les données rassemblées par l’anthropologue G. P. Murdock et leurs principales critiques. Plusieurs travaux mobilisent à nouveau ces données pour montrer que certaines institutions "ethniques" précoloniales constituent des déterminants fondamentaux des différences de développement contemporaines. Nous commentons ces travaux puis les comparons avec d'autres qui relativisent plutôt les différences institutionnelles héritées de la période coloniale. Nous défendons en conclusion que des comparaisons d'études de cas sont plus fructueuses que des études transversales reposant sur des variations mal contrôlées.
    Keywords: Colonization,Development,Africa,Ethnicity,Colonisation,Afrique,Institutions,Développement,Ethnicité
    Date: 2017–05–10
  4. By: Albrecht Glitz; Eric Meyersson
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the economic returns to industrial espionage by linking information from East Germany’s foreign intelligence service to sector-specific gaps in total factor productivity (TFP) between West and East Germany. Based on a dataset that comprises the entire flow of information provided by East German informants over the period 1970-1989, we document a significant narrowing of sectoral West-to-East TFP gaps as a result of East Germany’s industrial espionage. This central finding holds across a wide range of specifications and is robust to the inclusion of several alternative proxies for technology transfer. We further demonstrate that the economic returns to industrial espionage are primarily driven by relatively few high quality pieces of information and particularly strong in sectors that were closer to the West German technological frontier. Based on our findings, we estimate that the average TFP gap between West and East Germany at the end of the Cold War would have been 9.5% larger had the East not engaged in industrial espionage.
    Keywords: Espionage, productivity, R&D, technology diffusion
    JEL: D24 F52 N34 N44 O30 O47 P26
    Date: 2017–08
  5. By: Thomas Steger (University of Leipzig); Volker Grossmann (University of Fribourg)
    Abstract: There are, by now, several long term, time series data sets on important housing & macro variables, such as land prices, house prices, and the housing wealth-to-income ratio. However, an appropriate theory that can be employed to think about such data and associated research questions has been lacking. We present a new housing & macro model that is designed specifically to analyze the long term. As an illustrative application, we demonstrate that the calibrated model replicates, with remarkable accuracy, the historical evolution of housing wealth (relative to income) after World War II and suggests a further considerable increase in the future. The model also accounts for the close connection of house prices to land prices in the data. We also compare our framework to the canonical housing & macro model, typically employed to analyze business cycles, and highlight the main differences.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Li, Zhuo; Panza, Laura; Song, Yong
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between commodity markets in two key regions of the international economy during the 1469-1914 period: the Ottoman Empire and Europe. By providing evidence on what thus far has been largely a qualitative discussion, we propose the first comprehensive empirical analysis of the process of market integration between Istanbul and 19 European cities, using data on commodity baskets and a set of traded goods. By computing dynamic factor models using Bayesian inference we are able to overcome a series of data constraints, such as missing observations and small sample size. The results point to the existence of broad and persistent market linkages between the two regions throughout four and half centuries. We also find that market integration was negatively impacted by the intensity of Ottoman-European conflicts.
    Keywords: Market Integration, Ottoman Empire, Europe, Factor Model
    JEL: C11 N73
    Date: 2017–01–06
  7. By: Koutroumpis, Pantelis; Leiponen, Aija; Thomas, Llewellyn D W
    Abstract: Abstract Inventions depend on skills, experience, and information exchange. Information is shared among individuals and organizations both intentionally and unintentionally. Unintentional flows of knowledge, or knowledge spillovers, are viewed as an integral element of technological progress. However, little is known about the overall patterns of knowledge flows across technology sectors or over long periods of time. This paper explores whether it is possible to identify “invention machines” – technologies that help create new inventions in a wide range of other sectors – and whether shifts in the patterns of knowledge flows can predict future technological change. In the spirit of big data we analyze the entire PatStat database of 90 million published patents from 160 patent offices over a century of invention and exploit variation within and across countries and technology fields over time. The direction and intensity of knowledge spillovers measured from prior-art citations highlight the transition from mechanical to electrical instruments, especially industrial control systems, and the rise of information and communication technologies as “invention machines” after 1970. Most recently, the rapidly increasing impact of digital communications on other fields may herald the emergence of cloud computing and the industrial internet as the new dominant industrial paradigm.
    Keywords: Innovation, patents, electrical instruments, instruments, information technology
    JEL: O32 O31 O12
    Date: 2017–08–23
  8. By: Stefania Marcassa; Jérôme Pouyet; Thomas Trégouët (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: We use a unique dataset to analyze marriage and union patterns of European nobility from the 1500s to the 1800s. Our matching model predicts homophily in title, and that more stringent constraints on the dowries lead to a higher degree of homophily. Historical evidence supports both predictions: nobles tended to marry nobles with identical title; and, German marriages, whose dowry rules were more rigid, were characterized by a higher degree of homophiliy in titles than English marriages. Moreover, homophily in titles decreased over time for Germans, and remained constant for English nobles.
    Keywords: marriage, nobility, class, elite, history, assortative matching.
    JEL: C78 J12 J16 N34 Z1
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Eder, Christoph (University of Innsbruck); Halla, Martin (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: This paper explores the historical origins of the cultural norm regarding illegitimacy (formerly known as bastardy). We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural production structures influenced the historical illegitimacy ratio, and have had a lasting effect until today. Based on data from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and modern Austria, we show that regions that focused on animal husbandry (as compared to crop farming) had significantly higher illegitimacy ratios in the past, and female descendants of these societies are still more likely to approve illegitimacy and give birth outside of marriage today. To establish causality, we exploit, within an IV approach, variation in the local agricultural suitability, which determined the historical dominance of animal husbandry. Since differences in the agricultural production structure are completely obsolete in today's economy, we suggest interpreting the persistence in revealed and stated preferences as a cultural norm. Complementary evidence from an 'epidemiological approach' suggests that this norm is passed down through generations, and the family is the most important transmission channel. Our findings point to a more general phenomenon that cultural norms can be shaped by economic conditions, and may persist, even if economic conditions become irrelevant.
    Keywords: cultural norms, persistence, animal husbandry, illegitimacy
    JEL: Z1 A13 J12 J13 J43 N33
    Date: 2017–08
  10. By: Robert Plant (University of Miami); Manuel S. Santos (University of Miami); Tarek Sayed (University of Miami)
    Abstract: Technology investment has been consistently growing since the 1950s when the mainframe started to impact the organization followed by the introduction of the PC in the early 1980s. Mainframes and minicomputers evolved into a distributed environment, which later gave way to the mobile platform, and to the machine to machine interactions. We study the impact of these technology episodes on US labor market trends. We focus on the composition of employment, varying compensation premiums across occupations, as well as a declining labor income share. We isolate some job attributes which have resisted computerization.
    Keywords: Technology eras, computerization, job attributes, education attainment, structured vs. unstructured work, social perceptiveness. Publication Status: Submitted
    JEL: I20 I24 J01 J24 J31
    Date: 2017–08–28
  11. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper reexamines the industrial policy in postwar Japan from perspectives of the literature on a "development state" and a "middle income trap". Japan transited from a middle income country to a high income country in the period from the 1950s to the 1970s. This process was characterized by a large structural change, such as resource reallocation from the primary industry to the secondary and the tertiary industries as well as resource reallocation within the secondary industry. Transition to a high income country is a challenging task for a middle income country. With respect to Japan, the industrial policy played a positive role in the transition. This was achieved by interactions between MITI and other related actors, who constrained and corrected MITI’s attempts of excess intervention.
    Date: 2017–08
  12. By: Shida, Yoshisada
    Abstract: This paper studies the historical GDP of Russia from perspective informal economy. We re-estimate nominal and real informal GDP in the period 1960–1990, using the expenditure approach and declassified archival materials of household budget surveys. The main findings are as follows. First, previously estimated values of Russia’s nominal GDP were underestimated, on average, by about 12.6% for 1960–1990, due to ignoring informal GDP. Second, after including informal GDP, we find that economic growth is 15–39 percentage points lower during this period, which corresponds to differences in the annual growth rate in the range of 0.24–0.38 percentage points.
    Keywords: informal economy, historical statistics, Russia, USSR
    JEL: N14 O17 N24 N27
    Date: 2017–03
  13. By: Rodrigo A. Velez (Texas A&M University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: How should a group of roommates allocate the rooms and contributions to rent in the house they lease? Economists have provided partial answers to this question in a literature that spans the least forty years. Unfortunately, these results were developed in a non-linear fashion, which obscures them to the non-specialist. Recently, computer scientists have developed an interest in this particular problem and have advanced from an algorithmic complexity perspective. Remarkably, an online application, (Goldman and Procaccia, 2014), has been deployed, gathering thousands of users around the world and sparking new questions about the optimal way to provide recommendations. With this new interest gaining traction in computer science, there is an evident need for a coherent development of the results in economics literature. This paper does so. In particular, we build connections among results that were seemingly unrelated and considerably simplify their development, fill in non-trivial gaps, and identify open questions. Our focus is on incentives issues, the area in which we believe economists have more to contribute in this discussion.
    Keywords: inequity aversion, general equilibrium
    JEL: C91 D63 C72
    Date: 2017–08–18
  14. By: Akresh, Richard (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Leone, Marinella (University of Sussex); Osili, Una O. (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)
    Abstract: We analyze long-term impacts of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, providing the first evidence of intergenerational impacts. Women exposed to the war in their growing years exhibit reduced adult stature, increased likelihood of being overweight, earlier age at first birth, and lower educational attainment. Exposure to a primary education program mitigates impacts of war exposure on education. War exposed men marry later and have fewer children. War exposure of mothers (but not fathers) has adverse impacts on child growth, survival, and education. Impacts vary with age of exposure. For mother and child health, the largest impacts stem from adolescent exposure.
    Keywords: intergenerational, conflict, human capital, fetal origins, Africa
    JEL: I12 I25 J13 O12
    Date: 2017–08
  15. By: Raul Rojas
    Abstract: This small overview of the General Theory is the kind of summary I would have liked to have read, before embarking in a comprehensive study of the General Theory at the time I was a student. As shown here, the main ideas are quite simple and easy to visualize. Unfortunately, numerous introductions to Keynesian theory are not actually based on Keynes opus magnum, but in obscure neoclassical reinterpretations. This is completely pointless since Keynes' book is so readable.
    Date: 2017–08
  16. By: Vincent Vicard (Banque de France - Banque de France); Emmanuelle Lavallée (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: The fact that crossing a political border dramatically reduces trade flows has been widely documented in the literature. The increasing number of borders has surprisingly attracted much less attention. The number of independent countries has indeed risen from 72 in 1948 to 192 today. This paper estimates the effect of political disintegration since World War II on the measured growth in world trade. We first show that trade statistics should be considered carefully when assessing globalization over time, since the definition of trade partners varies over time. We document a sizeable resulting accounting artefact, which accounts for 17% of the growth in world trade since 1948. Second, we estimate that political disintegration alone since World War II has raised measured international trade flows by 9% but decreased actual trade flows (including inter-regional trade) by 4%.
    Abstract: De nombreux articles récents montrent que le passage d’une frontière politique réduit fortement les échanges. L’augmentation du nombre de frontières et ses conséquences pour le commerce international n’ont pas fait l’objet de la même attention dans la littérature. Le nombre d' Etats souverains a pourtant augmenté de 72 en 1948 à 192 aujourd’hui. Cet article estime l’effet de la désintégration politique sur la mesure de la croissance du commerce mondial depuis la seconde guerre mondiale. Notre analyse souligne d’abord que les statistiques commerciales doivent être traitées avec prudence lorsque l’on mesure l’évolution du degré de mondialisation, car la définition des partenaires commerciaux varie dans le temps. Il en résulte un biais statistique important, qui explique 17% de la croissance du commerce international depuis 1948. Nous montrons ensuite que l’augmentation du nombre d’ Etats souverains seule a entrainé une augmentation du commerce international mesuré de 9%, mais a en réalité diminué les échanges (incluant le commerce interrégional) de 4%.
    Keywords: Trade,Commerce,Frontières,Trade Statistics,Political Disintegration,Borders
    Date: 2017–06–27
  17. By: Katolik, Aleksandra (University of Warwick); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: The antidepressant pill is an important modern commodity. Its growing role in the world has been largely ignored by researchers in economics departments and business schools. Scholars may be unaware how many citizens and employees now take these pills. Here we review some of the social-science literature on the topic. We discuss research on the impact of advertising upon antidepressant consumption, the link between antidepressants and the human 'midlife crisis', and evidence on how antidepressants are connected to crime, suicide, and financial hardship. We argue that antidepressants will eventually have to be modelled as a new form of consumption that lies in the currently grey area between medicines and consumer goods. This topic demands scholarly and societal attention.
    Keywords: medications, depression, well-being, happiness
    JEL: I1 I12 I3 I31
    Date: 2017–08
  18. By: Benjamin Bridgman (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
    Abstract: U.S. time use patterns have changed over the last century in ways that appear inconsistent. Leisure has increased with income but has increased most for the poorest. I develop a unified model that treats leisure as an economic activity. Leisure services are produced using capital, like televisions, and non-market time. Doing so improves the labor supply predictions of macro models. The model's U.S. labor wedge more closely matches observable labor market distortions. It is also is consistent with the observed reversal in 20th Century leisure inequality, where high income workers went from working less to more than low income workers. Leisure capital reinforces inequality; poorer households have more leisure hours but less capital.
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross); Daniel Schwab (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross); Patrick Koval (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: In the processes required to host a sports mega-event, corruption has been prevalent on numerous occasions, leading to unnecessary costs becoming the ultimate responsibility of a host government’s taxpayers. Little progress has been made in the prevention of such behavior. In this chapter, we examine the history of corruption in sports mega-events, namely the Olympics and World Cup, to identify parts of the bidding and preparation processes that are vulnerable to illicit behavior. We propose potential solutions to be implemented at various levels in order to prevent further corruption.
    Keywords: World Cup, Olynpics, sports, corruption, FIFA
    JEL: L83 F14
    Date: 2017–08
  20. By: Huang, Kaixing
    Abstract: Although the persistent slowdown in the growth of per capita output has been observed in virtually all industrialized countries since the early 1970s, no persuasive theoretical explanation for this phenomenon has been given. This paper constructs a modified endogenous growth model that indicates the slowdown is part of the natural process of economic development. Specifically, the model predicts that each economy develops along a path characterized by Malthusian stagnation, economic take-off, demographic transition, growth slowdown, and steady-state. The persistent slowdown in growth indicates that even the most developed countries are not in their steady-state yet, and their future growth could be slower.
    Keywords: Growth slowdown, ideas, human capital, population
    JEL: E27 O4
    Date: 2016–12–01

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