nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2017‒11‒12
23 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. For Patriotism and Profit: Advertising in Service of the Swedish Government 1935-1985 By Lakomaa, Erik
  2. What Really Happened to British Inequality in the Early 20th Century? Evidence from National Household Expenditure Surveys 1890–1961 By Gazeley, Ian; Newell, Andrew T.; Reynolds, Kevin; Rufrancos, Hector Gutierrez
  3. The Shadow of Cities: Size, Location and the Spatial Distribution of Population in Spain By Beltràn Tapia, F.; Díez-Minguela, A.; Martinez-Galarraga, J.
  4. Local labor markets and the persistence of population shocks By Braun, Sebastian; Kramer, Anica; Kvasnicka, Michael
  5. Income Concentration in British India, 1885-1946 By Facundo Alvaredo; Augustin Bergeron; Guilhem Cassan
  6. Local Labor Markets and the Persistence of Population Shocks By Braun, Sebastian Till; Kramer, Anica; Kvasnicka, Michael
  7. European Trade, Colonialism and Human Capital Accumulation in Senegal, Gambia and Western Mali, 1770 - 1900 By Gabriele Cappelli; Jörg Baten
  8. Measuring political and economic institutions in Ethiopia: c.1888 –2016 By Biniam E. Bedasso
  9. A Long-Run Perspective on the Spatial Concentration of Manufacturing Industries in the United States By Nicholas Crafts; Alexander Klein
  10. The Macrogenoeconomics of Comparative Development By Quamrul H. Ashraf; Oded Galor
  11. The macroeconomic effects of banking crises: Evidence from the United Kingdom, 1750-1938 By Kenny, Seán; Lennard, Jason; Turner, John D.
  12. Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural By José Miguel Martínez Carrión; Vicente Pinilla
  13. Roots of Autocracy By Oded Galor; Marc P. B. Klemp
  14. Staff Working Paper No. 686: Eight centuries of the risk-free rate: bond market reversals from the Venetians to the ‘VaR shock’ By Schmelzing, Paul
  15. The Impact of Immigration on Wage Dynamics: Evidence from the Algerian Independence War By Anthony Edo
  16. Colonial Legacies: Shaping African Cities By Neeraj Baruah; J. Vernon Henderson; Cong Peng
  17. In brief ... How the rise of the service economy narrowed the gender gap By L. Rachel Ngai; Barbara Petrongolo
  18. Role of the US Reclamation Service and Bureau of Reclamation in the early 20th century \the crop revenue of the first five projects \ By Takuro Hidaka
  19. Voluntary Employer-Provided Severance Pay By Parsons, Donald O.
  20. Employer-Provided Severance Pay: The Emergence of Job Displacement Insurance, 1930–1954 By Parsons, Donald O.
  21. Components of the Japanese Third Sector and its Transformation: Focusing on the period of association founding (Japanese) By YAMAMOTO Hidehiro
  22. Rethinking Franco-German relations: a historical perspective By Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol
  23. Social dialogue and economic performance what matters for business, a review By Grimshaw, Damian.; Koukiadaki, Aristea.; Tavora, Isabel.

  1. By: Lakomaa, Erik (Institute for Economic and Business History Resarch)
    Abstract: Beginning just before the outbreak of World War II, the advertising industry in (neutral) Sweden began cooperating with the government. This cooperation was highly beneficial for the industry during the war as blockades and rationing caused the civilian advertising market to almost disappear. After the war, the cooperation continued, albeit in relation to primarily military matters. Later, however, the government began procuring advertising and media services on largely commercial grounds. Using documents (including previously classified records) from government agencies, trade organizations and individual advertising companies, this study presents the history of the special relationship between private advertising companies and the Swedish government. In the half century after the first examples of government advertising during World War II, distinct phases can be identified. The first phase began with the end of World War II, when government advertising was considered inappropriate during peacetime and cooperation occurred almost exclusively within the National Information Service (an organization similar to the US War Advertising Council), which prepared wartime advertising for World War III. The second phase began in the late 1960s, when the Swedish government began running large public advertising campaigns. The first campaign was connected with the introduction of right-hand traffic in 1967, and later campaigns were aimed at, for example, energy savings and public health. Finally, the third phase began in the late 1970s, when advertising developed into an integral part of public sector activities and government agencies and municipalities became major buyers of media and advertising services. In addition to the history of the relationship between the industry and the government, this paper provides an analysis of the incentives for cooperation and the influence of the public advertising market on the industry structure.
    Keywords: Advertising; cold war; Sweden; war information services
    JEL: M37 M38 N44 N84
    Date: 2017–10–29
  2. By: Gazeley, Ian (University of Sussex); Newell, Andrew T. (University of Sussex); Reynolds, Kevin (University of Sussex); Rufrancos, Hector Gutierrez (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: We estimate income/expenditure inequality in Britain, exploiting five household surveys, spanning the years 1890 to 1961, some of which we recovered and digitised. After adjusting for differences in scope and sampling, we find little change in inequality among worker households over the period and that the three decades after World War 2 were probably the low point of survey-based inequality measures in the eight decades since the late 1930s. Our findings are consistent with the evidence from wage censuses on the overall variance of earnings, which only falls marginally over the period. We argue this relative steadiness was the result of opposing proximate forces, one being the decline in manual skill differentials due largely to changing wage-setting institutions. On the other side was growth in the employment share of non-manuals, with their higher skill and wage variance. We also argue that two demographic factors also played their parts. The sharp decline in fertility in the early part of the century reduced inequality, while the emergence of pensioner households in the 1950s tended to increase inequality in the lower end of the distribution. Lastly, our work suggests a substantial downward revision in the estimated size of the fall in inequality through World War Two. We find a fall of between one and two Gini percentage points between 1937/8 and 1953/4, compared with the often-quoted Blue Book estimate of almost seven Gini percentage points.
    Keywords: United Kingdom, inequality, wage differentials
    JEL: D31 J31 N14
    Date: 2017–10
  3. By: Beltràn Tapia, F.; Díez-Minguela, A.; Martinez-Galarraga, J.
    Abstract: Using a large data set on the population of Spanish municipalities between 1877 and 2001, this paper analyses how their initial size and the presence of neighbouring urban locations influence subsequent population growth and how these links have evolved over time. Our results show that initial size is negatively related to population growth, except in the 1960s and 1970s when this relationship becomes positive. Likewise, the presence of neighbouring urban locations limited local population growth in the late 19th century, a negative effect that persisted, but at a diminishing rate, until the second half of the 20th century. The influence of nearby cities became increasingly positive from then onwards, and especially so during the 1970s.
    Keywords: Agglomeration economies; spatial interactions, regional growth, Spain
    JEL: N93 N94 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2017–11–01
  4. By: Braun, Sebastian; Kramer, Anica; Kvasnicka, Michael
    Abstract: This paper studies the persistence of a large, unexpected, and regionally very unevenly distributed population shock, the inflow of eight million ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe to West Germany after World War II. Using detailed census data from 1939 to 1970, we show that the shock had a persistent effect on the distribution of population within local labor markets, but only a temporary effect on the distribution between labor markets. These results suggest that locational fundamentals determine population patterns across but not within local labor markets, and they can help to explain why previous studies on the persistence of population shocks reached such different conclusions.
    Keywords: population shock,locational fundamentals,agglomeration economies,regional migration,postwar Germany
    JEL: J61 R12 R23 N34
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Facundo Alvaredo; Augustin Bergeron; Guilhem Cassan
    Abstract: We use a novel income tax data set to present evidence on the evolution of income concentration in the last 60 years of colonial rule in India. These data allow us to study the evolution of income concentration at the country level as well as the location of top income earners across provinces. We identify three key facts: (1) the evolution of income concentration in British India was non linear, following a U-shape, (2) the majority of top income earners were non-Europeans, and (3) the geographical location of top income earners changed over time with the province of Bombay gaining in importance in the early XXth century. We provide an interpretation of these results in the light of the economic and political changes in British India over the period.
    Keywords: Inequality, India; Colonization, Top Incomes
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Braun, Sebastian Till (University of St. Andrews); Kramer, Anica (RWI); Kvasnicka, Michael (Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)
    Abstract: This paper studies the persistence of a large, unexpected, and regionally very unevenly distributed population shock, the inflow of eight million ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe to West Germany after World War II. Using detailed census data from 1939 to 1970, we show that the shock had a persistent effect on the distribution of population within local labor markets, but only a temporary effect on the distribution between labor markets. These results suggest that locational fundamentals determine population patterns across but not within local labor markets, and they can help to explain why previous studies on the persistence of population shocks reached such different conclusions.
    Keywords: population shock, locational fundamentals, agglomeration economies, regional migration, postwar Germany
    JEL: J61 R12 R23 N34
    Date: 2017–10
  7. By: Gabriele Cappelli; Jörg Baten
    Abstract: We trace the development of human capital in today’s Senegal, Gambia, and Western Mali between 1770 and 1900. European trade, slavery and early colonialism were linked to human capital formation, but this connection appears to have been heterogeneous. The contact with the Atlantic slave trade increased regional divergence, as the coast of Senegambia developed more quickly than inner areas. This pattern was affected by French early colonialism and by the reaction of different West African populations to the economic incentives provided by foreign demand for agricultural products. The peanut trade since the mid-19th century further amplified regional economic inequalities.
    Keywords: numeracy, West Africa, trade, colonialism
    JEL: N37 N57 I21
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Biniam E. Bedasso
    Abstract: This paper presents the first ever set of indices of political and civil rights and land rights in Ethiopia spanning more than a century. We have extracted information from legal texts and historical records. Then we quantified legislative developments in an attempt to objectively measure de jure political and economic institutions over the existence of the modern Ethiopian state. The results show that political institutions have improved gradually even though there is a tendency of retracting some rights recently. Land rights have never been more extensive than in the 1960s. The land reform of the late 1970s achieved a more equitable distribution of land at the expense of a shrinking set of rights.
    Date: 2017–10
  9. By: Nicholas Crafts; Alexander Klein
    Abstract: We construct spatially-weighted indices of the geographic concentration of U.S. manufacturing industries during the period 1880 to 1997 using data from the Census of Manufactures and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Several important new results emerge from this exercise. First, we find that average spatial concentration was much lower in the late 20th - than in the late 19th - century and that this was the outcome of a continuing reduction over time. Second, the persistent tendency to greater spatial dispersion was characteristic of most manufacturing industries. Third, even so, economically and statistically significant spatial concentration was pervasive throughout this period.
    Keywords: manufacturing belt; spatial concentration; transport costs
    JEL: N62 N92 R12
    Date: 2017–08
  10. By: Quamrul H. Ashraf; Oded Galor
    Abstract: The importance of evolutionary forces for comparative economic performance across societies has been the focus of a vibrant literature, highlighting the roles played by the Neolithic Revolution and the prehistoric “out of Africa†migration of anatomically modern humans in generating worldwide variations in the composition of human traits. This essay surveys this literature and examines the contribution of a recent hypothesis regarding the evolutionary origins of comparative economic development, set forth in Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, to this important line of research.
    Keywords: comparative development, human evolution, natural selection, genes, race, the “out of Africa†hypothesis, genetic diversity
    JEL: O11 N10 N30 Z10
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Kenny, Seán; Lennard, Jason; Turner, John D.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the macroeconomic effects of UK banking crises over the period 1750 to 1938. We construct a new annual banking crisis series using bank failure rate data, which suggests that the incidence of banking crises was every 32 years. Using our new series and a narrative approach to identify exogenous banking crises, we find that industrial production contracts by 8.2 per cent in the year following a crisis. This finding is robust to a battery of checks, including different VAR specifications, different thresholds for the crisis indicator, and the use of a capital-weighted bank failure rate.
    Keywords: banking crisis,bank failures,narrative approach,macroeconomy,United Kingdom
    JEL: E32 E44 G21 N13 N14 N23 N24
    Date: 2017
  12. By: José Miguel Martínez Carrión; Vicente Pinilla
    Abstract: This study analyses the trajectory of the journal Historia Agraria (HA) since it was established in 1991 until the present day. First, a detailed account will be made of the journal’s main landmarks throughout its history, with special emphasis on its internationalisation process. Second, a bibliometric analysis will be conducted using a varied series of indicators to attempt to determine the evolution of its quality and impact, comparing it with other Spanish or international academic publications. Third, the editorial process with respect to content management will be studied using a series of quantitative indicators. Finally, the study will briefly examine the principal challenges that the journal must overcome in the future.
    Keywords: Agricultural history, economic history, social sciences academic journals
    JEL: N01 N50
    Date: 2017–11
  13. By: Oded Galor; Marc P. B. 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 di↵erential 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 e↵ects of non-cohesiveness on productivity, while contributing to the scope for domination, leading to the formation of institutions of the autocratic type.
    Keywords: autocracy, economic growth, diversity, institutions, out-of-Africa hypothesis of comparative development
    JEL: O10 O43 Z10
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Schmelzing, Paul (Bank of England)
    Abstract: This paper presents a new dataset for the annual risk-free rate in both nominal and real terms going back to the 13th century. On this basis, we establish for the first time a long-term comparative investigation of ‘bond bull markets’. It is shown that the global risk-free rate in July 2016 reached its lowest nominal level ever recorded. The current bond bull market in US Treasuries which originated in 1981 is currently the third longest on record, and the second most intense. The second part of this paper presents three case studies for the 20th century, to typify modern forms of bond market reversals. It is found that fundamental, inflation-led bond market reversals have inflicted the longest and most intense losses upon investors, as exemplified by the 1960s market in US Treasuries. However, central bank (mis-) communication has played a key role in the 1994 ‘Bond massacre’. The 2003 Japanese ‘VaR shock’ demonstrates how curve steepening dynamics can create positive externalities for the banking system in periods of monetary policy and financial uncertainty. The paper finally argues that the inflation dynamics underlying the 1965–70 bond market sell-off in US Treasuries could hold particular relevance for the current market environment.
    Keywords: Bond markets; interest rate history; real rates; financial history
    JEL: G12 N10 N20
    Date: 2017–10–20
  15. By: Anthony Edo
    Abstract: This paper investigates the dynamics of wage adjustment to an exogenous increase in labor supply by exploiting the sudden and unexpected inflow of repatriates to France created by the independence of Algeria in 1962. I track the impact of this particular supply shift on the average wage of pre-existing native workers across French regions in 1962, 1968 and 1976. I find that regional wages decline between 1962 and 1968, before returning to their pre-shock level 15 years after. While regional wages recovered, this particular supply shock had persistent distributional effects. By increasing the relative supply of high educated workers, the inflow of repatriates contributed to the reduction of wage inequality between high and low educated native workers over the whole period considered (1962-1976).
    Keywords: labor supply shock, wages, immigration, natural experiment
    JEL: F22 J21 J61
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Neeraj Baruah; J. Vernon Henderson; Cong Peng
    Abstract: Differential institutions imposed during colonial rule continue to affect the spatial structure and urban interactions in African cities. Based on a sample of 318 cities across 28 countries using satellite data on built cover over time, Anglophone origin cities sprawl compared to Francophone ones. Anglophone cities have less intense land use and more irregular layout in the older colonial portions of cities, and more leapfrog development at the extensive margin. Results are impervious to a border experiment, many robustness tests, measures of sprawl, and sub-samples. Why would colonial origins matter? The British operated under indirect rule and a dual mandate within cities, allowing colonial and native sections to develop without an overall plan and coordination. In contrast, integrated city planning and land allocation mechanisms were a feature of French colonial rule, which was inclined to direct rule. The results also have public policy relevance. From the Demographic and Health Survey, similar households which are located in areas of the city with more leapfrog development have poorer connections to piped water, electricity, and landlines, presumably because of higher costs of providing infrastructure with urban sprawl.
    Keywords: colonialism, persistence, Africa, sprawl, urban form, urban planning, leapfrog
    JEL: H7 N97 O1 O43 P48 R5
    Date: 2017–11
  17. By: L. Rachel Ngai; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: The historical growth in the service sector since the Second World War has created jobs for which women have a comparative advantage, according to analysis by Rachel Ngai and Barbara Petrongolo. Their research shows how men's working hours have mostly borne the burden of deindustrialisation. In contrast, women's market hours have been boosted by structural transformation and marketisation
    Keywords: gender gaps, structural transformation, marketization
    Date: 2017–10
  18. By: Takuro Hidaka (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: The US Reclamation Service (1902-1923) and Bureau of Reclamation (1923 - ) of the Department of Interior conducted many reclamation projects in the west. This paper examines the first five of them, with special focuses on the role played by this federal agency for the agricultural revenue per acre in each project area. The profitability seems to have been affected by (1) the profit from industrial crops, such as sugar beets and cotton, (2) national trends of agricultural prices, (3) local, geographical factors of each area (precipitation excluded). It should be borne in mind that the two agencies were reluctant to be directly involved in improvement of the agricultural conditions in the region, though they showed some interests in agriculture itself. As a result, choices of crops, solution of inundation damage, improvement of agricultural knowledge, and other challenges in the local agriculture were left to the private sector and other authorities. We can find some of their contributions, but their role was confined to irrigation for agricultural water supply partly because the officials were ill-prepared at the initial stage and mainly because of the small budget. However, the irrigation had fundamental importance for the future development in each region. It was the foundation for the mixed agriculture of fodder crops and animal husbandry, and cultivation of industry crops which brought in much higher cash income. Based on this foundation, later development projects, conducted by other Federal and local offices, private companies as well as individual farmers, were made possible. While the contributions made by the reclamation agencies were limited, their construction of water infrastructure had considerable significance.
    Keywords: Water resource development, Crops, Irrigation farming, Bureau of Reclamation, American history
    JEL: N41 N42 N51 N52
    Date: 2017–11
  19. By: Parsons, Donald O. (George Washington University)
    Abstract: Employer-provided severance pay in the U.S. emerged among salaried workers during the Great Depression as an alternative to modest advance notice and expanded in the late 1950s and 1960s, especially among union (hourly) workers. A variety of sources are employed to estimate variations in severance coverage and design over the remainder of the 20th Century. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided coverage estimates from 1980 to 2000, but these offered little information on severance plan structures, forcing reliance on surveys by private, for-profit management consulting firms. Although the studies differ in sample and survey instrument design, they broadly reveal a standard benefit form –essentially scheduled wage insurance, similar to severance plans mandated internationally. Coverage is another matter, with voluntary coverage narrowly focused on firms/workers vulnerable to large job displacement wage losses, while mandated coverage is quite broad. Labor market events of the new century highlight the limits of standard benefit schedules as wage insurance, whether voluntary or mandated.
    Keywords: severance pay, wage insurance, unemployment insurance, layoff, job displacement
    JEL: J65 J32 J33
    Date: 2017–10
  20. By: Parsons, Donald O. (George Washington University)
    Abstract: Employer-provided severance pay plans became common during the Great Depression, a reaction to (i) large-scale layoffs of long-service workers, and (ii) the growing formalism of the employment relationship. Reasonably consistent series are constructed for severance plan coverage and structure by broad occupational group (office or factory workers) over the next two decades based on an ambitious series of surveys conducted by the National Industrial Conference Board. By 1953/54, approximately one-third of surveyed companies reported having a formal severance plan for nonexempt salary workers and one-sixth for hourly workers. Over much of the period, modal long-service plans offered benefits of a week's pay for each year of service, although many firms, especially those outside the manufacturing sector, offered flat-rate "notice" payments of only a week or two. Surprisingly, coverage levels were only modest higher in 1954 than in the late 1930s. The stability of plan coverage and design in the face of large changes in economic conditions and labor relations remains a puzzle.
    Keywords: severance pay, wage insurance, unemployment insurance, job displacement insurance, advance notice, layoff, Great Depression
    JEL: J65 J32 J33
    Date: 2017–10
  21. By: YAMAMOTO Hidehiro
    Abstract: This paper, using nationwide survey data of Japanese third sector associations, examines the composition of the Japanese third sector and its transformation, focusing on the period of association founding and the distribution of resources. By doing so, we can grasp how the third sector has formed with the influence of various social and political changes. The main findings of this paper are as follows. First, third sector associations are classified into three groups depending on the period of founding. In the early post war period, many production sector associations or cooperative associations were founded. In the late 1960s-1970s, many associations were founded by governmental support. Since the late 1990s, incorporated non-profit organizations and incorporated associations founded by spontaneous citizens have increased with the influence of public interest system reforms. Second, we could see three groups in terms of resource distribution. Agricultural and fishery organization or cooperative associations that were founded earlier had few staff members and little income. The associations that had close relationships with governments had more resources. Furthermore, new spontaneous associations that were founded since 1990 have relatively fewer resources. It is worth noting how the Japanese third sector that has accumulated resources under governmental influence will be changing as new rising associations mature.
    Date: 2017–10
  22. By: Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol
    Abstract: Franco-German relations as the ‘engine’ of European integration are widely perceived to have stalled in recent years. German economic and political strength, coupled with relative French economic and political weakness, help to explain this situation. The re-election of Angela Merkel and the election of Emmanuel Macron in 2017 created a new potential basis for a strong, like-minded Franco-German alliance that would be able to agree on substantial policy issues. It is therefore a good time to assess what the Franco-German relationship can achieve, what its shortcomings are, and what it means for the wider governance of the euro area and the European Union. An examination of some of the past major Franco-German agreements reveals a more complex picture than is usually recorded. The Schuman Plan (1950), the European Monetary System (1979) and the Maastricht Treaty (1992) left their mark as European integration milestones, but were also one-sided or incomplete policy agreements. The future Franco-German relationship faces three issues that European policymakers should bear in mind 2017 - (a) notwithstanding the new dynamics of the twenty-first century, a Franco-German agreement remains a critical and symbolic step necessary for reaching an EU agreement; (b) past Franco-German bargains were often one-sided and incomplete, and could not provide a definitive response to European challenges; (c) most of these agreements also involved critical input from other EU members, and suggest that the Franco-German tandem alone cannot lead the EU27 in the twenty-first century.
    Date: 2017–11
  23. By: Grimshaw, Damian.; Koukiadaki, Aristea.; Tavora, Isabel.
    Keywords: social dialogue, economic development, business strategy, corporate social responsibility
    Date: 2017

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