nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2018‒01‒15
thirty papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The making of a national currency. Spatial transaction costs and money market integration in Spain (1825-1874) By Aslanidis, Nektarios; Herranz-Loncán, Alfonso; Nogues-Marco, Pilar
  2. Religious Tolerance as Engine of Innovation By Cinnirella, Francesco; Streb, Jochen
  3. Políticas para la atracción de inversión extranjera directa como impulsora de la creación de capacidades locales y del cambio estructural: el caso de México By De la Mora Sánchez, Luz María
  4. Italy and "its" Jews: mobilities, modernities, identities By Davide Mano
  5. Colonial coinage and financial development By Dombou T., Dany R.; Tanga T., Achille; Tchoffo, Rodrigue; Kouladoum, Jean-Claude; Tchakounté, Josephine; Djekonbe, Djimoudjiel; Vasegmi, Carole
  6. 60 ans de démocratisation de la vitesse : d'un changement d'époque à l'autre By Yves Crozet
  7. Friedman's Presidential Address in the Evolution of Macroeconomic Thought By Mankiw, N Gregory; Reis, Ricardo
  8. Oil Discoveries and Education Spending in the Postbellum South By Stephan E. Maurer
  9. Mars or Mercury? The Geopolitics of International Currency Choice By Barry Eichengreen; Arnaud J. Mehl; Livia Chitu
  10. The Rise of Economics in Competition Policy: : A Canadian Perspective By Boyer, Marcel; Ross, Thomas W.; Winter, Ralph
  11. L'Aventure industrielle de la Citroën 2 CV (1935-1990) By Dominique Lejeune
  12. Allan Meltzer: How He Underestimated His Own Contribution to the Modern Concept of a Central Bank By Hetzel, Robert L.
  13. The Evolution of U.S. Monetary Policy By Hetzel, Robert L.
  14. The Horns of a Dilemma in Colonial Policies:Rice, Rubber and Living Standards in the Malay Peninsula By Kostadis J. Papaioannou
  15. La réforme de la PAC (texte de mai 1992) évaluation à l'aide du modèle MISS By Hervé Guyomard; Louis Pascal Mahe
  16. Knowledge spillovers and patent citations: trends in geographic localization, 1976-2015 By Hyuk-Soo Kwon; Jihong Lee; Sokbae Lee; Ryungha Oh
  17. Quantile regression 40 years on By Roger Koenker
  18. European Pension System: Bismarck or Beveridge? By J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Clara I. González
  19. Economic Consequences of Political Persecution By Bohacek, Radim; Myck, Michal
  20. The Arsenal of Democracy: Production and Politics During WWII By Paul W. Rhode; James M. Snyder, Jr.; Koleman Strumpf
  21. A Review of Philippine Macroeconometric Models By Reyes, Celia M.; Abrigo, Michael Ralph M.; Quimba, Francis Mark A.; Baje, Lora Kryz C.; Dacuycuy, Connie B.; Calizo, Sylwyn Jr. C.; Tam, Zhandra C
  22. Repatriando capital sin plata. Redes de paisanaje, comercio de frutos y giro de letras entre Venezuela y España, 1785-1796 By José-Miguel Lana-Berasain
  23. Skilled Labor in the Classical tradition By Anwar Shaikh
  24. The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870-2015 By Jordá, Óscar; Knoll, Katharina; Kuvshinov, Dmitry; Schularick, Moritz; Taylor, Alan M.
  25. Managing the UK National Debt 1694-2017 By Ellison, Martin; Scott, Andrew
  26. Energy and the Military: Convergence of Security, Economic, and Environmental Decision-Making By Nuttall, W.; Samaras, C.; Bazilian, M.;
  27. Institutions historiques et développement économique en Afrique. Une revue sélective et critique de travaux récents By Denis Cogneau; Yannick Dupraz
  28. The Long-Run Effects of Agricultural Productivity on Conflict, 1400-1900 By Iyigun, Murat; Nunn, Nathan; Qian, Nancy
  29. Ivan Krylov as a Reader and Krylov’S Readers By Ekaterina Lyamina
  30. An Historical Perspective on the Quest for Financial Stability and the Monetary Policy Regime By Michael D. Bordo

  1. By: Aslanidis, Nektarios; Herranz-Loncán, Alfonso; Nogues-Marco, Pilar
    Abstract: This article analyses the integration of the Spanish money market in the 19th century. We use a Band-TAR model of prices in Madrid of bills of exchange on 9 Spanish cities to measure convergence and efficiency in the market between 1825 and 1875. While price gaps between cities were significantly reduced during the period, no progress took place in efficiency. We suggest that increasing convergence was associated to the reduction in transaction costs, which started before the railways through improvements in roads and postal services. By contrast, increases in efficiency were prevented by a very restrictive regulation of arbitrage.
    Keywords: Bills of Exchange; Financial Development; Legal Systems; Money Market Convergence; Money Market Efficiency; Money Market Integration; Real Bills Doctrine; Spanish National Currency; Specie-Point Mechanism; transaction costs
    JEL: E02 E42 F02 F15 F31 F36 K00 L10 N13 N73 R40
    Date: 2017–11
  2. By: Cinnirella, Francesco; Streb, Jochen
    Abstract: We argue that, for a given level of scientific knowledge, tolerance and diversity are conducive to technological creativity and innovation. In particular, we show that variations in innovation within Prussia during the second industrial revolution can be ascribed to differences in religious tolerance that developed in continental Europe from the Peace of Westphalia onwards. By matching a unique historical dataset about religious tolerance in 1,278 Prussian cities with valuable patents for the period 1877-1890, we show that higher levels of religious tolerance are strongly positively associated with innovation during the second industrial revolution. Religious tolerance is measured through population's religious diversity, diversity of churches, and diversity of preachers and religious teachers, respectively. Endogeneity issues are addressed using local variation across cities, within counties. Estimates using preindustrial levels of religious tolerance address issues of reverse causality. As for the channels of transmission, we find significant complementarity between religious tolerance and human capital. Furthermore, we find that cities with higher levels of religious tolerance attracted a larger share of migrants. Finally, higher levels of religious diversity in the population translated into higher levels of religious diversity in the workforce by industrial sector. This result suggests that religious diversity did not generate labor market segmentation by denomination but might have fostered interaction of different denominations.
    Keywords: diversity; Innovation; openness; Patenting Activity; Pluralism; Tolerance
    JEL: N13 N33 O14 O31 Z12
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: De la Mora Sánchez, Luz María
    Abstract: La inversión extranjera directa (IED) ha sido un factor clave en el desarrollo económico de México en los diferentes marcos de políticas implementados para su regulación desde inicios del Siglo XX. A partir de los años noventa, el país ha implementado políticas liberales orientadas a atraer inversión extranjera para complementar el capital requerido para el impulso del crecimiento económico y la creación de empleo en el sector industrial y en particular el de la manufactura. Actualmente las restricciones al capital extranjero se enfocan a áreas vinculadas a la seguridad nacional. Este documento analiza las políticas que México ha implementado desde los años setenta para promover la atracción de IED y examina la forma en la que esta ha impulsado la creación de capacidades locales, la transferencia de tecnologías, la creación de empleos y el comercio exterior de México.
    Date: 2017–12–28
  4. By: Davide Mano (CEJ-CRH - Centre d'Etudes Juives/Equipe CRH - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales, CRH - Centre de recherches historiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article investigates the making of Jewish identity in early-modern italy through a re ection on the historiographical approaches. the proposed analysis deals with three moments that have marked the history of italian Jews : the diffusion of the credit market in the 15th century, assessed through the study of Jewish mobility ; the establish- ment of the ghettos in the 16th century, considered within the tension between conversionist projects of the counter-reformist papacy and processes of Jewish acculturation to italian society ; and the path of Jewish emancipation, presented within the context of the political and cultural transition enacted during the 18th century.
    Abstract: Cet article interroge le processus de construction de l’identité juive dans l’italie moderne à travers une ré exion sur les approches historiographiques. l’analyse proposée s’intéresse à trois moments qui ont marqué l’histoire des Juifs italiens : la diffusion du marché du crédit au Xve siècle, abordée à travers l’étude des mobilités juives ; la création des ghettos au Xvie siècle, considérée à l’intérieur de la tension entre projets conversion- nistes de la papauté contre-réformiste et processus d’acculturation des Juifs à la société italienne ; et le parcours d’émancipation juive, présenté dans le contexte de transition poli- tique et culturelle qui fut mis en œuvre pendant le Xviiie siècle.
    Keywords: identité,ghetto,anti- judaïsme,mobilité,âge moderne,modernité,italie,historiographie,Mots-clés : Juifs,chrétiens,acculturation,émancipation
    Date: 2017–09–04
  5. By: Dombou T., Dany R.; Tanga T., Achille; Tchoffo, Rodrigue; Kouladoum, Jean-Claude; Tchakounté, Josephine; Djekonbe, Djimoudjiel; Vasegmi, Carole
    Abstract: Until the 21st century, Africa remains the only region in the world where there are countries whose currency is derived from the colonial system. Very far from political and geostrategic considerations, the question has always been asked in order to know the effect of this lack of monetary sovereignty on the evolution of economic activity. Therefore, this study investigates the relationship between Colonial coinage and financial development by applying Generalised Method of Moments. The importance of this approach, is to correct heterogeneity and endogeneity problems. The sample consist of 48 African countries data over 10 years. This study findings are like-minded with those of economic literature around the law, finance and endowment theory. They suggest that in sub-Saharan Africa, the quality of institutions has a very large influence on access to domestic credit. Moreover, the main enclave for the development of the financial system due to colonial coinage is the sluggish stability of the latter colonial coinage in Africa.
    Keywords: Colonial coinage; Money; Financial development; Institutions.
    JEL: E5 G2 K4
    Date: 2017–12
  6. By: Yves Crozet (IEP Lyon - Sciences Po Lyon - Institut d'études politiques de Lyon, LAET - Laboratoire Aménagement Économie Transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Depuis la parution du premier numéro de la revue Transports, la mobilité des personnes et des marchandises a été complètement transformée. Alors que la population métropolitaine a augmenté de 40 % (de 46 à 64 millions d’habitants), les niveaux de trafic ont été presque multipliés par 5 en termes de passagers-km comme de tonnes-km. Ce qu’il faut bien qualifier d’hyper-mobilité a été rendu possible par la démocratisation de l’accès à l’automobile, conséquence d’une hausse sans précédent du niveau de vie. Ce couplage entre croissance économique et mobilité est, du point de vue technique, fondé sur la substitution des modes de transport rapides aux modes lents. La démocratisation de la vitesse s’est accompagnée d’une diversification et d’une intensification des programmes d’activités. C’est un changement d’époque majeur, accompagné par les politiques publiques. Mais que nous réservent les prochaines décennies ? Sommes-nous promis au toujours plus de mobilité ? Quels bouleversements recèle le slogan d’une mobilité à la fois plus durable et plus intelligente ?
    Keywords: Histoire des transports,Mobilité,Motilité,évolution des modes de déplacement,Budget temps,Mode de vie
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Mankiw, N Gregory; Reis, Ricardo
    Abstract: This essay discusses the role of Milton Friedman's presidential address to the American Economic Association, which was given a half century ago and helped set the stage for modern macroeconomics. We discuss where macroeconomics was before the address, what insights Friedman offered, where researchers and central bankers stand today on these issues, and (most speculatively) where we may be heading in the future.
    Date: 2017–11
  8. By: Stephan E. Maurer
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of oil wealth on the provision of education in the early 20th century United States. Using information on the location and discovery of major oil fields, I find that oil wealth increased local revenue and education spending. The quality of white teachers increased, and oil-rich counties were more likely to participate in the Rosenwald school building program for blacks. In addition, student-teacher ratios for black school children declined substantially. However, I do not find increased school enrolment rates for either race.
    Keywords: oil, education, race, rosenwald, local public finances, resource booms, teachers
    JEL: I2 N3 Q3
    Date: 2018–01
  9. By: Barry Eichengreen; Arnaud J. Mehl; Livia Chitu
    Abstract: We assess the role of economic and security considerations in the currency composition of international reserves. We contrast the “Mercury hypothesis” that currency choice is governed by pecuniary factors familiar to the literature, such as economic size and credibility of major reserve currency issuers, against the “Mars hypothesis” that this depends on geopolitical factors. Using data on foreign reserves of 19 countries before World War I, for which the currency composition of reserves is known and security alliances proliferated, our results lend support to both hypotheses. We find that military alliances boost the share of a currency in the partner’s foreign reserve holdings by 30 percentage points. These findings speak to current discussions about the implications of possible U.S. disengagement from global geopolitical affairs. In a hypothetical scenario where the U.S. withdraws from the world, our estimates suggest that long-term U.S. interest rates could rise by as much as 80 basis points, assuming that the composition of global reserves changes but their level does not.
    JEL: F0 F33 F51 N0 N1
    Date: 2017–12
  10. By: Boyer, Marcel; Ross, Thomas W.; Winter, Ralph
    Abstract: Competition policy in Canada and elsewhere has changed remarkably over the last fifty years – in large measure due to advances in economics. In this article we trace the impact of developments in industrial organization on the three central areas of competition policy: cartels, single firm conduct and mergers. We focus on Canadian competition policy, but draw comparisons with developments in the United States and Europe.
    JEL: K21 L40 L41
    Date: 2017–12
  11. By: Dominique Lejeune (CPGE, Louis le Grand)
    Abstract: Qui n’a jamais lu ou entendu que la 2 CV, la Deux Chevaux, était un modèle « mode de vie », un « style de vie », un « phénomène de société », une « philosophie », etc. ? Qui n’a jamais souri en entendant un de ces surnoms affectueux, en français la « deuche », la « deux pattes », la « trépigneuse », dans plusieurs pays, le « canard » ? Des historiens et des sociologues ayant souvent et bien étudié ces phénomènes de mentalité, il ne sera traité ici que de l’aspect industriel, qui est, lui aussi, une « aventure », je le démontrerai, une aventure de belle longueur, à cause de la longévité de la production du modèle.
    Keywords: Automobile France,Automobile Monde,Histoire industrielle France
    Date: 2017–12
  12. By: Hetzel, Robert L. (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)
    Abstract: In his great work A History of the Federal Reserve System, vol. 1, Allan Meltzer contended that monetary policymakers in the Depression simply ignored the quantity theoretic prescriptions that would have prevented contractionary monetary policy. Practically, he was arguing that the Fed should have accepted the responsibilities for economic stabilization now taken for granted with the modern concept of a central bank. In reality, decades of monetarist criticism had to pass before the Fed accepted both responsibility for the behavior of the price level and economic stabilization. In effect, Meltzer’s contention about the self-evident truth of quantity theory ideas ignored the monumental task that lay ahead for the monetarists.
    Keywords: federal reserve system; central bank; monetary policy
    JEL: E5 N2
    Date: 2018–01–09
  13. By: Hetzel, Robert L. (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)
    Abstract: Since the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, policymakers have always pursued the goal of economic stability. At the same time, their understanding of the world and of the role of monetary policy has changed dramatically. This evolution of views provides a laboratory for understanding what kinds of monetary policy stabilize the economy and what kinds destabilize it.
    Keywords: federal reserve; monetary policy
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2018–01–03
  14. By: Kostadis J. Papaioannou (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: The effects of colonial policies on the living standards of smallholder farmers have been widely debated. The ‘dependency’ view of local farmers becoming increasingly vulnerable due to exposure to international market volatility has been contrasted with the neo-classical view that suggests that this exposure was counteracted by an increase in surplus revenues generated by export crop specialization. The controversy becomes even fiercer when the debate is centred around the impact of the Great Depression on the material conditions of rural households. This article addresses this controversy by studying the most important agricultural policy in the British Malay Peninsula around the years of the Great Depression (1924-1937), using new fine-grained data on harvest yields, mortality and hospitalization rates at the district level. On March 1, 1931, the colonial government enacted the New Rice Policy, encouraging local farmers to substitute rubber cultivation with rice fields. This new policy was not implemented at the same time throughout the Malay Peninsula, nor was it enacted in all districts. We build our empirical approach around this temporal and spatial variation of the new law, and compare the mortality and morbidity responses to harvest failures before and after the New Rice Policy was in effect. The adverse effects of harvest failures were reduced in districts where the new rice policy was enforced, and remained largely unaffected in districts where the new rice policy was never implemented. Our findings underscore the decisive impact of the New Rice Policy in achieving widespread food security for local farmers while securing the general health of the population. To address potential endogeneity concerns, we also use rainfall variability as an instrumental variable to proxy for harvest fluctuations and harvest failures.
    Keywords: Agricultural History; Living Standards; Health Outcomes; Rice; Commodity Trade; Colonial History; Southeast Asia; Colonial policies; Food Security.
    JEL: N55 Q17 F18 N35 Q18 N15
    Date: 2018–01
  15. By: Hervé Guyomard (Unité d'économie et sociologie rurales de rennes - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Louis Pascal Mahe (Unité d'Économie et sociologie rurales de Rennes - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)
    Abstract: Cette étude analyse les conséquences pour la Communauté européenne de différents scénarios d'évolution de la politique agricole commune, et plus particulièrement les effets de deux scénarios de réforme de la PAC, le premier selon les lignes du projet de la Commission de juillet 1991 et le second selon les lignes du texte adopté par le Conseil des Ministres en Mai 1992. l'exercice est mené à l'aide du modèle MISS (Modèle International Simplifié de Simulation) utilisé en projection comparative, c'est-à-dire en prenant en compte les effets liés au progrès technique. Dans les résultats, sont plus particulièrement analysés les grandes cultures (céréales et oléoprotéagineux), l'offre de productions animales (viande bovine, porcs, volailles et oeufs, lait), le secteur de l'alimentation animale et les indicateurs macro-économiques communautaires (revenu agricole, coût budgétaire, surplus du consommateur et balance commerciale). Le fonctionnement de l'OCM céréales dans la PAC réformée, en centrant l'attention sur les facteurs de variation de l'équilibre offre-demande des céréales dans la Communauté est analysé en détail.
    Keywords: POLITIQUE AGRICOLE COMMUNE,équilibres de marché,progrès technique,industrie céréalière,marchés agricoles,numerical models,cereal,general agreement on tariffs and trade,simulation,offre,modèle,céréale,gatt
    Date: 2017–09–26
  16. By: Hyuk-Soo Kwon (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Jihong Lee (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Sokbae Lee (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Columbia University and IFS); Ryungha Oh (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: This paper examines the trends in geographic localization of knowledge spillovers via patent citations, considering US patents from the period of 1976-2015. Despite accelerating globalization and widespread perception of the "death of distance," our multi-cohort "matched-sample" study reveals signi cant and growing localization effects of knowledge spillovers at both intra- and international levels after the 1980s. We also develop a novel network index based on the notion of "farness," which an instrumental variable estimation shows to be a signifi cant and sizable determinant of the observed trends at the state-sector level.
    Keywords: Innovation, knowledge spillovers, patent citation, agglomeration, network index, farness
    JEL: C36 C81 O33 O34 O51
    Date: 2017–12–06
  17. By: Roger Koenker (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Illinois)
    Abstract: Since Quetelet's work in the 19th century social science has iconi fied "the average man", that hypothetical man without qualities who is comfortable with his head in the oven, and his feet in a bucket of ice. Conventional statistical methods, since Quetelet, have sought to estimate the effects of policy treatments for this average man. But such effects are often quite heterogenous: medical treatments may improve life expectancy, but also impose serious short term risks; reducing class sizes may improve performance of good students, but not help weaker ones or vice versa. Quantile regression methods can help to explore these heterogeneous effects. Some recent developments in quantile regression methods are surveyed below.
    Keywords: quantile regression, treatment effects, heterogeneity, causal inference
    Date: 2017–08–10
  18. By: J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Clara I. González
    Abstract: The aging process faced by the countries of the European Union is leading them to introduce reforms in their public pension systems. One way to interpret these reforms is to think about them as changes in the intergenerational pact to make the system sustainable over time. In addition to intergenerational redistribution, pay-as-you-go pension systems allow intragenerational redistribution. Taking into account this dimension, we can distinguish between contributory (or Bismarckian) pay-as-you-go systems and pure redistributive pension systems (or Beveridge). This article analyzes the origin of these systems and the differences between European pension systems according to this characteristic. In the final part, we reflect on the future model of pensions in the European Union.
    Date: 2018–01
  19. By: Bohacek, Radim (CERGE-EI); Myck, Michal (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA)
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of persecution and labor market discrimination during the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia using a representative life history sample from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. We find strong effects of persecution and dispossession on subsequent earnings, with most severe implications of job loss due to persecution on earnings in subsequent jobs and on career degradation. Accumulated long-term effects in the form of initial retirement pensions paid during the communist regime are even greater. These pension penalties disappear by 2006 largely as a result of compensation schemes implemented by democratic governments after 1989. We use unique administrative data on political rehabilitation and prosecution to instrument for the endogenous variables. Finally, we survey transitional justice theory and document reparations programs in other countries.
    Keywords: life histories, wage differentials, persecution, labor discrimination, economic history, treatment effect models
    JEL: N34 J70 J31 C21
    Date: 2017–11
  20. By: Paul W. Rhode; James M. Snyder, Jr.; Koleman Strumpf
    Abstract: We study the geographic distribution of military supply contracts during World War II. This is a unique case, since over $3 trillion current day dollars was spent, and there were concerns that the country's future hinged on the war outcome. We find robust evidence consistent with the hypothesis that economic factors dominated the allocation of supply contracts, and that political factors---or at least winning the 1944 presidential election---were at best of secondary importance. General industrial capacity in 1939, as well as specialized industrial capacity for aircraft production, are strong predictors of contract spending across states. On the other hand, electoral college pivot probabilities are at best weak predictors of contract spending, and under the most plausible assumptions they are essentially unrelated to spending. This is true not only for total contract spending over the entire period 1940-1944, but also for shorter periods leading up to the election in November 1944, as well as for new facilities spending. That is, we find no evidence of an electoral cycle in the distribution of funds.
    JEL: D72 H41 H56 N42
    Date: 2017–12
  21. By: Reyes, Celia M.; Abrigo, Michael Ralph M.; Quimba, Francis Mark A.; Baje, Lora Kryz C.; Dacuycuy, Connie B.; Calizo, Sylwyn Jr. C.; Tam, Zhandra C
    Abstract: This scoping paper presents the current landscape of the Philippine macroeconometric models by reviewing the inventory of earlier studies. It finds that a there is a need to devise a new model for the Philippines considering that only two models are actively being used in policy simulations.
    Keywords: macroeconomics, Philippines, macroeconometric model, error-correction model
    Date: 2017
  22. By: José-Miguel Lana-Berasain
    Abstract: This paper offers some evidences about the circulation of capital between Venezuela and Spain at the end of the eighteenth century through the case study of the Spanish merchant Esteban González de Linares (1751-1802). Our sources are private nature: an accounting book and some letters of Esteban González de Linares with Francisco de Gibaja, shipowner and merchant in Santander, and other people (335 letters). These documents show a wide variety of channels to the transfer of capitals from the colony to the metropolis, both at large operations and small deliveries. González de Linares became, during his stay in Caracas (1785-1791), an important agent in the transfer of savings from the colony. The scarcity of silver and gold in Venezuela during this period justifies that the transfer of capital did promote the export of groceries (cocoa, indigo) and the development of financial markets (orders and bills of exchange).
    Keywords: commercial business, bill of exchange, cocoa, indigo, capital transfer
    JEL: N26 N36 N56 N86
    Date: 2018–01
  23. By: Anwar Shaikh (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: The treatment of skills has always been a problem within the classical tradition. Smith, Ricardo and Marx explicitly note that labor of different qualities must be reduced to a common standard. On the argument that relative wages largely reflect the qualitative differences among types of labor, they all propose to use relative wages as proxies for qualities. Smith identifies two sets of factors underlying relative wages: those specific to the type of employment itself, and those arising from political interventions. The former case in turn contains compensation for the pleasantness or unpleasantness of the type of work, its risk and volatility, its required degree of trust, and the difficulty and cost of acquiring the necessary skills. This paper focuses on the skill issue alone in order to compare it to the orthodox notion of human capital as a principal factor in the determination of relative wages.
    Keywords: Skilled labor, Classical economics
    Date: 2018–01
  24. By: Jordá, Óscar; Knoll, Katharina; Kuvshinov, Dmitry; Schularick, Moritz; Taylor, Alan M.
    Abstract: This paper answers fundamental questions that have preoccupied modern economic thought since the 18th century. What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy? Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much? Is there a tendency for returns to fall in the long-run? Which particular assets have the highest long-run returns? We answer these questions on the basis of a new and comprehensive dataset for all major asset classes, including-for the first time-total returns to the largest, but oft ignored, component of household wealth, housing. The annual data on total returns for equity, housing, bonds, and bills cover 16 advanced economies from 1870 to 2015, and our new evidence reveals many new insights and puzzles.
    Keywords: capital gains; dividends; household wealth; housing markets; interest rates; rents; return on capital; risk premiums; yields
    JEL: D31 E10 E44 G10 G12 N10
    Date: 2017–12
  25. By: Ellison, Martin; Scott, Andrew
    Abstract: We construct a new monthly dataset for UK government debt over the period 1694 to 2017 based on price and quantity data for each individual bond issued. This enables us to examine long run Öscal sustainability using the theoretically relevant variable of the market value of debt, and investigate the historical importance of debt management. We Önd the general implications of the tax smoothing literature are replicated in our data, especially around Önancing wars, although we Önd major shifts over time in how Öscal sustainability is achieved. Before the 20th century, governments continued to pay bond holders a high rate of return and achieved sustainability through running Öscal surpluses but since then governments have relied on low growth adjusted real interest rates. The optimal debt management literature tends to favour the use of long bonds but we Önd the government would have been better o§ over the 20th century issuing short bonds. The contrast with the literature occurs because of an upward sloping yield curve and long bonds rarely providing Öscal insurance. This is particularly true during periods of Önancial crises when falling interest rates lead to sharp rises in the price of long bonds, making them an expensive form of Önance. We examine the robustness of our conclusions to liquidity e§ects, rollover risks, buyback operations and leverage. In general, these do suggest a greater role for long bonds but do not overturn an issuance strategy based mainly on short term bonds.
    Keywords: Debt management; fiscal deficits; fiscal policy; government debt; inflation;maturity; yield curve
    JEL: E43 E62 H63
    Date: 2017–06–01
  26. By: Nuttall, W.; Samaras, C.; Bazilian, M.;
    Abstract: Energy considerations are core to mission delivery of armed forces worldwide. The interaction between military energy issues and non-military energy issues is not often explicitly treated in the literature or media, although in the last decade there has been some increase driven especially by the issues of clean energy. It is recognized that the military has for more than a hundred years taken a leadership role in terms on research and development (R&D) of specific energy technologies - most commonly where they are applicable in theater. More recently that R&D leadership has moved to the energy efficiency of home-country bases, and the development of renewable energy projects for areas as diverse as mini-grids for in-country installations, to alternative fuels for submarines and jets. Nevertheless, the military in most major countries tends to see energy issues as a matter of mission delivery or conversely the denial of enemy energy supply chains as a source of advantage. In this paper we explore the evolving relationship between energy issues and defense planning, and show how these developments have implications for military tactics and strategy and for civil energy policy.
    Keywords: Energy Technology; Defense Policy; Innovation
    JEL: F50 H56 Q20 N42 N44 Q40
    Date: 2017–11–20
  27. By: Denis Cogneau (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Yannick Dupraz (PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    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: Development,Colonization,Ethnicity,Africa,Institutions,Afrique,Colonisation,Développement,Ethnicité
    Date: 2017
  28. By: Iyigun, Murat (University of Colorado, Boulder); Nunn, Nathan (Harvard University); Qian, Nancy (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence of the long-run effects of a permanent increase in agricultural productivity on conflict. We construct a newly digitized and geo-referenced dataset of battles in Europe, the Near East and North Africa covering the period between 1400 and 1900 CE. For variation in permanent improvements in agricultural productivity, we exploit the introduction of potatoes from the Americas to the Old World after the Columbian Exchange. We find that the introduction of potatoes permanently reduced conflict for roughly two centuries. The results are driven by a reduction in civil conflicts.
    Keywords: conflict, natural resources, long-run development
    JEL: D74 O13 Q34
    Date: 2017–11
  29. By: Ekaterina Lyamina (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The topics explored in this essay include Ivan Andreevich Krylov’s reading practices in his young and mature years, reconstructed on the basis of various sources. The paper recontextualizes Krylov’s unique reading trajectory not always comprehensible for his contemporaries. It also highlights numerous links, not accentuated earlier, between Krylov’s strategies — in life, writing and publishing — and his service as a librarian in the Imperial Public Library of St. Petersburg. The analysis of several situations showing Krylov as a brilliant reciter of his own texts who smartly deals with expectations and obsessions of his audience allows to affirms the existence a special connection, of his personality, considerably mythologized due to his own efforts, the literary genre of fable and the status of classical writer obtained by Krylov by 1830. Sub specie of this connection the transformations of the circle of Krylov’s readers are represented, as well as different ways of perception of his fables by children
    Keywords: Ivan Krylov; reading in Russia, 1780—1840s; national canon
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2017
  30. By: Michael D. Bordo
    Abstract: This paper surveys the co-evolution of monetary policy and financial stability for a number of countries across four exchange rate regimes from 1880 to the present. I present historical evidence on the incidence, costs and determinants of financial crises, combined with narratives on some famous financial crises. I then focus on some empirical historical evidence on the relationship between credit booms, asset price booms and serious financial crises. My exploration suggests that financial crises have many causes, including credit driven asset price booms, which have become more prevalent in recent decades, but that in general financial crises are very heterogeneous and hard to categorize. Two key historical examples stand out in the record of serious financial crises which were linked to credit driven asset price booms and busts: the 1920s and 30s and the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. The question that arises is whether these two ‘perfect storms’ should be grounds for permanent changes in the monetary and financial environment.
    JEL: E3 E42 G01 N1 N2
    Date: 2017–12

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