nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2018‒03‒12
27 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. The Colonial American Economy By Rosenbloom, Joshua L.
  2. Religious Tolerance as Engine of Innovation By Francesco Cinnirella; Jochen Streb
  3. A war is forever: The long-run effects of early exposure to World War II on trust? By Conzo, Pierluigi; Salustri, Francesco
  4. "Who Grew Rich?: Determinants of Income Distribution and Intergenerational Mobility under Japan’s Industrialization" By Tomoko Matsumoto; Tetsuji Okazaki
  5. Marx Was Mistaken on Capitalism's Principal Institutions of Markets and Private Property By Jon D. Wisman
  6. Family Planning and Fertility Behavior: Evidence from Twentieth Century Malaysia By Kimberly Singer Babiarz; Jiwon Lee; Grant Miller; Tey Nai Peng; Christine Valente
  7. Physiological Constraints and Comparative Economic Development By Carl-Johan Dalgaard; Holger Strulik
  8. Assessing Cumulative Net Nutrition and the Transition from 19th Century Bound to Free-Labor by Ethnic Status By Scott A. Carson
  9. Why has the Great Recession Failed to Produce a New New Deal in the U.S.? By Jon D. Wisman
  10. Education and Societal Change in Germany, 1925–2008 By Rolf Becker; Karl Ulrich Mayer
  11. The Price of Gold: Dowry and Death in India By Bhalotra, Sonia; Chakravarty, Abhishek; Gulesci, Selim
  12. Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period By Frédéric Docquier; Riccardo Turati; Jérôme Valette; Chrysovalantis Vasilakis
  13. The ghost of institutions past: History as an obstacle to fighting tax evasion By Aaron Kamm; Christian Koch; Nikos Nikiforakis
  14. Economic Analysis of Natural Forest Disturbances: A Century of Research By Claire Montagné-Huck; Marielle Brunette
  15. La postura fiscal en Colombia a partir de los ajustes a las tarifas impositivas By Clark Granger; Yurany Hernández; Jorge Ramos; Jorge Toro; Héctor Zárate
  16. Hanging Down Under: Capital Punishment and Deterrence in Australia By Vincent Aidan O'Sullivan
  17. Distributional Consequences of Capital Accumulation, Globalisation and Financialisation in the US By Marika Karanassou; Hector Sala
  18. The Political Economy of Long-Term Revenue Decline in Sri Lanka By Moore, Mick
  19. Las barreras y las medidas no arancelarias en Colombia– Nota explicativa By Jorge García García; David Camilo López; Enrique Montes Uribe
  20. Financing Lumpy Adjustment By Christoph Görtz; Plutarchos Sakellaris; John D. Tsoukalas
  21. The logic of hereditary rule: theory and evidence By Besley, Timothy; Reynal-Querol, Marta
  22. Call the Midwife - Health Personnel and Mortality in Norway 1887-1921 By Andreas Kotsadam; Jo Thori Lind; Jørgen Modalsli
  23. Business cycle narratives By Vegard H. Larsen; Leif Anders Thorsrud
  24. Central Bank Independence Revisited By Peter Kriesler; G. C. Harcourt; Joseph Halevi
  25. The Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959-1961: County-Level Evidence By Hiroyuki Kasahara; Bingjing Li
  26. A Bibliometric Analysis of the Knowledge Exchange Patterns between Major Technology and Innovation Management Journals (1999-2013) By Shikhar Sarin; Christophe Haon; Mustapha Belkhouja
  27. Russian Real Wages Before and After 1917: in Global Perspective By Robert C. Allen; Ekaterina Khaustova

  1. By: Rosenbloom, Joshua L.
    Abstract: The first permanent British settlement in what became the United States was established in 1607, nearly 170 years prior to the American declaration of independence. This chapter examines the economic development of the British North American colonies that became the United States. As it describes, abundant natural resources and scarce labor and capital contributed to the remarkable growth in the size of the colonial economy, and allowed the free white colonial population to enjoy a relatively high standard of living. There was not, however, much improvement over time in living standards. Patterns of factor abundance also played an important role in shaping colonial institutions, encouraging reliance on indentured and enslaved labor as well as the development of representative government. For most of the colonial era, the colonists happily accepted their relationship to Britain. After 1763, however, changes in British policies following the end of the Seven Years War created growing tensions with the colonists and ultimately led to the colonies to declare their independence.
    Date: 2018–02–27
  2. By: Francesco Cinnirella; Jochen Streb
    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: tolerance, openness, pluralism, diversity, innovation, patenting activity
    JEL: N13 N33 O14 O31 Z12
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Conzo, Pierluigi; Salustri, Francesco (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper sheds lights on the historical roots of trust across European regions. We embrace a life-course perspective and estimate the effect of early exposure to World War II on present levels of trust among Europeans aged above 50. Our identification strategy combines the variation in place and time of conflict episodes with the variation in the respondents’ month-year of birth and region of residence during the war. We focus on the pre-school period, which is a crucial stage of life for the formation of persistent trust attitudes. Our evidence provides support to this hypothesis. Individuals exposed to war episodes in the first six years of life display lower levels of trust in the adulthood. The gap persists when controlling for region and date-of-birth fixed effects, current and past socio-economic status, parental investment in human capital and other socio-demographic and economic controls, including current mental and physical health. Placebo results corroborate the validity of our findings.
    Date: 2017–12
  4. By: Tomoko Matsumoto (Nagoya University and New York University); Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Industrialization is a key to economic development and overall income growth. Industrialization, however, does not increase all people’s income equally. Income inequality tends to expand in the early phase of economic development, as illustrated by the “Kuznets Curve.†Furthermore, growing literature on social mobility suggest social mobility may be lower in the period. We aim to contribute with the newly constructed individual-level intergenerational data from early twentieth century Japan under industrialization. Our data include not only income tax data but also detailed data on biographical background. Using the data, we investigate the mechanisms of income distribution and its intergenerational mobility under early stage of economic development. Our results show that the new opportunities of working on business under the industrialization provided people chances to grow rich, although the existing old social order remained.
  5. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: Ever since capitalism came to be recognized as a new economic system, its principal institutions of private property and markets have had vociferous critics, of whom none was more wide-ranging than Karl Marx. Marx claimed that not only were private property and markets critical to creating an ideological patina of freedom, behind which, as in slavery and feudalism, a small class extracted from the mass of producers practically all output above that necessary for bare subsistence, but they also served to enable this exploitation. Further, Marx and other critics faulted private property and markets for being corrupting. Yet Marx recognized that capitalism, unlike earlier exploitative systems, was radically dynamic, producing unprecedented wealth, while transforming not only all it inherited from the past, but also its own nature so as to eventually empower even the producers, who he believed would abandon these capitalist institutions. He did not imagine that the dynamism, wealth, and potential freedom that capitalism was delivering might have little chance of flourishing in the absence of its institutions of private property and markets. This article claims that Marx and other critics were wrong to blame capitalism's principal institutions of private property and markets for the injustices that accompanied them. Instead it is the specific form of inequality that co-evolved with them that enables an elite to extract surplus from the producers. It is the inequality that must be targeted. A dynamic and just social order needs private property and markets.
    Keywords: Exploitation, Markets, private property, Marx
    JEL: B51 P11 P16
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Kimberly Singer Babiarz (Stanford University); Jiwon Lee (Pomona College); Grant Miller (Stanford University; NBER); Tey Nai Peng (University of Malaysia); Christine Valente (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: There is longstanding debate about the contribution of family planning programs to fertility decline. Studying the staggered introduction of family planning across Malaysia during the 1960s and 1970s, we find modest responses in fertility behavior. Higher (but not lower) parity birth hazards declined by one-quarter—but imply only a 5 percent decline in the overall annual probability of birth. Age at marriage rose by 0.48 years, but birth spacing conditional on this did not otherwise change. Overall, Malaysia’s total fertility rate declined by about one quarter birth under family planning, explaining only about 10 percent of the national fertility decline between 1960 and 1988. Our findings are consistent with growing evidence that global fertility decline is predominantly due to underlying changes in the demand for children.
    JEL: J12 J13
    Date: 2017–12–07
  7. By: Carl-Johan Dalgaard; Holger Strulik
    Abstract: It is a well known fact that economic development and distance to the equator are positively correlated variables in the world today. It is perhaps less well known that as recently as 1500 C.E. it was the other way around. The present paper provides a theory of why the “latitude gradient” seemingly changed sign in the course of the last half millennium. In particular, we develop a dynamic model of economic and physiological development in which households decide upon the number and nutrition of their offspring. In this setting we demonstrate that relatively high metabolic costs of fertility, which may have emerged due to positive selection towards greater cold tolerance in locations away from the equator, would work to stifle economic development during pre-industrial times, yet allow for an early onset of sustained growth. As a result, the theory suggests a reversal of fortune whereby economic activity gradually shifts away from the equator in the process of long-term economic development.
    Keywords: long-run growth, evolution, nutrition, fertility, education, comparative development
    JEL: O11 I12 J13
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Scott A. Carson
    Abstract: Average stature reflects cumulative net nutrition and health during economic development. This study introduces a difference-in-decompositions approach to show that although 19th century African-American cumulative net nutrition was comparable to working class whites, it was made worse-off with the transition to free-labor. Average stature reflects net nutrition over the life-course, and slave children’s BMIs increased more with age than whites as they approached entry into the adult slave labor force. Agricultural worker’s net nutrition was better than workers in other occupations but was worse-off under free-labor and industrialization. Within-group stature variation was greater than across-group variation, and white within-group stature variation associated with socioeconomic status was greater than African-Americans.
    Keywords: stature variation, cumulative net nutrition, Oaxaca decomposition
    JEL: C10 C40 D10 I10 N30
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: In a manner remarkably similar to the decade of the 1920s, inequality soared for over three decades prior to the crisis of 2008, provoking in both instances financial crises and severe macroeconomic dysfunction. The 1930s depression witnessed a strong egalitarian political reaction to the laissez-faire ideology that had justified the inequality-generating institutional changes of the 1920s, resulting in a New Deal that launched four decades of institutional change that considerably improved general welfare and lessened inequality. The Grand Recession and its wake, by contrast, has not put that same ideology seriously into question, malaise becoming expressed predominantly in a form of rightwing populism, behind which inequality continues to explode. Why such radically divergent reactions to severe hardship? This article explores three foremost reasons for why ideology legitimating inequality survived practically unscathed during the later crisis: First, the crisis beginning in 2008 proved to be less severe, in part due to wiser public policy responses. Second, the welfare net that developed in the wake of the earlier crisis softened the degree of hardship accompanying the later crisis. And third, the elite's command over ideology had become more sophisticated and thus capable of surviving the later crisis essentially intact.
    Keywords: Inequality, ideology, Great Depression, Laissez-faire, Barack Obama
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Rolf Becker; Karl Ulrich Mayer (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to unravel the impact of societal change in terms of modernization, labor market fluctuation and historical conditions in Germany on educational trajectories and attainment as well as the on the degree of inequality of educational opportunity for cohorts born between 1919 and 1986. We want to analyze whether and how long term societal trends have modified educational trajectories of consecutive birth cohorts. This perspective provides an understanding of historical variations in educational attainment associated with societal processes such as modernization in social, political, economic, and cultural spheres on the one hand and by macroeconomic cycles on the other hand. The empirical basis of our investigation are clusters of time series for macro changes and retrospective data from 11 birth cohort studies from the German Life History Study and the National Educational Panel Study for educational outcomes. We apply piecewise exponential event history models to analyze the impact of societal change on educational trajectories.
    Date: 2017–10
  11. By: Bhalotra, Sonia; Chakravarty, Abhishek; Gulesci, Selim
    Abstract: We provide evidence that dowry costs motivate son-preferring behaviors in India. Since gold is an integral part of dowry, we study parental responses to shocks in the world gold price. Exploiting monthly variation in gold prices across 35 years, as well as an event study around a massive gold price hike in December 1979, we find that monthly changes in gold prices lead to an increase in girl relative to boy neonatal mortality and that the surviving girls are shorter. After the introduction of prenatal sex determination technology, we find that gold price shocks increase female foeticide.
    Keywords: commodity price shocks; dowry; gold price; missing girls; neonatal mortality; son preference
    JEL: I14 J16 O12
    Date: 2018–02
  12. By: Frédéric Docquier (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), FNRS, National Fund for Scientific Research and FERDI, Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Developpement International, France); Riccardo Turati (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Jérôme Valette (CERDI, University Clermont Auvergne, CNRS (France)); Chrysovalantis Vasilakis (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Bangor Business School (United Kingdom))
    Abstract: This paper empirically revisits the impact of birthplace diversity on economic growth. We use panel data on US states over the 1960-2010 period. This rich data set allows us to better deal with endogeneity issues and to conduct a large set of robustness checks. Our results suggest that diversity among college-educated immigrants positively affects economic growth. We provide converging evidence pointing at the existence of skill complementarities between workers trained in different countries. These synergies result in better labor market outcomes for native workers and in higher productivity in the R&D sector. The gains from diversity are maximized when immigrants originate from economically or culturally distant countries (but not both), and when they acquired part of their secondary education abroad and their college education in the US. Overall, a 10% increase in high-skilled diversity raises GDP per capita by about 6%. On the contrary, low-skilled diversity has insignificant effects.
    Keywords: Immigration, Culture, Birthplace Diversity, Growth
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2018–02–20
  13. By: Aaron Kamm; Christian Koch; Nikos Nikiforakis (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: If taxpayers believe past rates of compliance are indicative of the future, traditional measures for combating tax evasion can be compromised. We present evidence from a novel laboratory experiment with strategic complementarities showing that a history of low compliance can render a major institutional reform ineffective at reducing tax evasion. The experimental treatments manipulate the history of tax compliance by varying the percentage of tax revenue embezzled by a ‘politician’ – our measure of ‘institutional quality’. We show that tax compliance is substantially higher in good-quality than bad-quality institutions when there is no history of tax evasion. When a bad-quality institution is replaced with a good-quality one, however, tax compliance remains low, as if the institutional change had not occurred. The reason is that the institutional change leaves expectations about future compliance largely unaffected. A history of high-quality institutions, on the other hand, shields tax compliance only partly from institutional deterioration. We discuss reasons for this, policy implications of our findings and evidence that a society-wide poll can assist in overcoming the ‘ghost of institutions past’.
    Date: 2017–10
  14. By: Claire Montagné-Huck (UMR INRA – AgroParisTech, Laboratoire d’Economie Forestière, 54042 Nancy Cedex, France); Marielle Brunette (UMR INRA – AgroParisTech, Laboratoire d’Economie Forestière, 54042 Nancy Cedex, France)
    Abstract: Natural disturbances have always affected forest ecosystems, altering or disrupting the flows of goods and services provided by forests. In response, people have had to adapt their economic activities and decisions to take such hazards into account and to limit their consequences. In this paper, we conduct a survey on how economic analysis deals with such an issue, considering the different natural hazards affecting forests. Our database includes 340 papers collected from 1916 to 2014. We use an original Driver-Pressure-State-Impact- Response model to present our analysis of the literature.
    Keywords: forest, economics, risk, natural disturbance, hazard
    JEL: Q23 Q54
    Date: 2017–08
  15. By: Clark Granger (Banco de la República de Colombia); Yurany Hernández (Banco de la República de Colombia); Jorge Ramos (Banco de la República de Colombia); Jorge Toro (Banco de la República de Colombia); Héctor Zárate (Banco de la República de Colombia)
    Abstract: En este trabajo se identifica la postura fiscal del gobierno nacional en Colombia durante el periodo 1970-2017, a partir de los ajustes de las tarifas impositivas de los principales impuestos, los cuales recogen de manera directa las decisiones de la autoridad fiscal, como lo sugieren Vegh y Vuletin (2015). Para el desarrollo de la investigación se toma como referencia la metodología de Strawczynski (2014), quién evalúa empíricamente el caso de Israel mediante técnicas de cointegración, para determinar la relación entre los ciclos de la actividad económica y las variaciones de las tarifas impositivas. Los resultados del ejercicio para Colombia indican que el manejo fiscal ha sido procíclico. La revisión histórica de las reformas tributarias muestra que la mayoría de ellas se aprobaron en fases de desaceleración y solo algunas en ciclos de expansión económica. Sin embargo, la política tributaria no ha respondido únicamente a los ciclos del producto sino a otro tipo de factores como el tamaño del déficit fiscal o las necesidades de financiamiento del gasto. Classification JEL: C32, E32, E62, H20
    Keywords: Postura fiscal, ciclo económico, tarifas impositivas, cointegración.
    Date: 2018–02
  16. By: Vincent Aidan O'Sullivan
    Abstract: Variation in executions and abolition of the death penalty by year and state in Australia was used to examine the deterrent effect of the death penalty on homicides. A dataset covering 1910-2010 was collected comprising homicide rates and controls for demographic and criminal justice features. Using OLS, there was no evidence that executions have a deterrent effect. There is some evidence of a deterrent effect of capital punishment laws, but the effect is no longer significant once demographic and criminal justice variables were added to the model. However, when using exogenous variation in party-political representation to address endogeneity issues, no evidence of a deterrent effect of capital punishment was found.
    Keywords: Illegal Behavior, Enforcement of Law
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2018
  17. By: Marika Karanassou (Queen Mary University of London); Hector Sala (Departament d'Economia Aplicada (UAB), IZA Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn))
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the dynamic contributions of capital accumulation, globalisation, and financialisation to the functional-personal income distribution in the US over the 1968-2014 period. We show that the labour share is affected negatively by personal inequality, capital intensity and trade, while the Gini statistic is fueled by the falling labour share and increasing financial assets and financial payments. Using counterfactual simulations, we show that trade is the most stable and unidirectional factor driving the labour share down since the eighties, and financialisation equally relevant in the eighties, but innocuous in the 1990s. We also document the growing relevance of capital accumulation and globalisation in driving personal inequality, although financialisation is the most important factor in absolute terms. In the post-Great Recession years of tense socioeconomic conditions, looking at income distribution through the lens of the wage-productivity gap could enlighten economic policy.
    Keywords: Income distribution, labour share, wage gap, inequality, capital intensity, globalisation, financialisation
    JEL: D33 E25
    Date: 2017–09–15
  18. By: Moore, Mick
    Abstract: taxation; Sri Lanka; history; Customs Department; Inland Revenue Department; inequality.
    Keywords: Governance,
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Jorge García García; David Camilo López (Banco de la República de Colombia); Enrique Montes Uribe (Banco de la República de Colombia)
    Abstract: Esta nota explica en detalle la forma como calculamos la magnitud de las medidas no arancelarias que se aplicaron al comercio exterior colombiano en el periodo 1991-2014 y cuyos resultados fueron publicados en el Borrador de Economía Número 817 de 2014: “Una visión general de la política comercial colombiana entre 1950 y 2012”. La información original que usamos para este trabajo se anexa a esta nota en un archivo electrónico a disposición del público, pues parte de esta información ya no se encuentra disponible en el sitio donde originalmente se publicó. Como complemento de lo anterior, se describe la política de restricciones cuantitativas antes de 1991. Classification JEL: F13, F14.
    Keywords: Barreras no tarifarias, proteccionismo, política comercial, protección, liberalización.
    Date: 2018–02
  20. By: Christoph Görtz; Plutarchos Sakellaris; John D. Tsoukalas
    Abstract: We Study how firms finance Lumpy adjustment in capital, employment and inventories. We analyse U.S. firm data from Compustat covering 1971-2013. Lumpy expansion and contraction episodes in firms' productive assets are important in accounting for movements in macroecnomic and financial aggregate variables. Firms use primarily cash balances and debt in order to expand or contract capacity, but these margins are not perfect substitutes. Cash balances play a preparatory role rising (falling) temporarily prior to lumpy positive (negative) adjustment. Debt is also important as firms de-leverage (increase leverage) prior to lumpy positive (negative) adjustment and then slowly increase leverage (deleverage) often several years after the event. Small and large firms differ in their use of external equity to finance Lumpy events. During Lumpy adjustment profitability and leverage are positively correlated.
    Keywords: Lumpy firm adjustment, Event study, Leverage, Debt, Cash, Financing.
    JEL: G30 G32 E32
    Date: 2017–04
  21. By: Besley, Timothy; Reynal-Querol, Marta
    Abstract: Hereditary leadership has been an important feature of the political landscape throughout history. This paper argues that hereditary leadership is like a relational contract which improves policy incentives. We assemble a unique dataset on leaders between 1874 and 2004 in which we classify them as hereditary leaders based on their family history. The core empirical finding is that economic growth is higher in polities with hereditary leaders but only if executive constraints are weak. Moreover, this holds across of a range of specifications. The finding is also mirrored in policy outcomes which affect growth. In addition, we find that hereditary leadership is more likely to come to an end when the growth performance under the incumbent leader is poor.
    Keywords: growth; hereditary institutions; political agency
    JEL: H11 N40 O11
    Date: 2017–02–15
  22. By: Andreas Kotsadam; Jo Thori Lind; Jørgen Modalsli
    Abstract: The Nordic countries have the lowest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. This has not always been the case. In 1887 the mortality rates in Norway were similar to those of developing countries today. During the next 34 years, Norwegian maternal mortality was halved and infant mortality fell by 40 percent. Investigating the relationship between health personnel and mortality at the local level during this period, we find a large and robust effect of midwives on reduced maternal mortality. No clear effect is found for other types of health personnel or on infant mortality.
    Keywords: health policy, public service provision, history, mortality
    JEL: H41 I18 N33
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Vegard H. Larsen (BI Norwegian Business School and Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway)); Leif Anders Thorsrud (BI Norwegian Business School and Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))
    Abstract: This article quantifies the epidemiology of media narratives relevant to business cycles in the US, Japan, and Europe (euro area). We do so by first constructing daily business cycle indexes computed on the basis of the news topics the media writes about. At a broad level, the most in uential news narratives are shown to be associated with general macroeconomic developments, finance, and (geo-)politics. However, a large set of narratives contributes to our index estimates across time, especially in times of expansion. In times of trouble, narratives associated with economic uctuations become more sparse. Likewise, we show that narratives do go viral, but mostly so when growth is low. While narratives interact in complicated ways, we document that some are clearly associated with economic fundamentals. Other narratives, on the other hand, show no such relationship, and are likely better explained by classical work capturing the market's animal spirits.
    Keywords: Business cycles, Narratives, Dynamic Factor Model (DFM), Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA)
    JEL: E32 N10
    Date: 2018–02–23
  24. By: Peter Kriesler (School of Economics, UNSW Business School, UNSW); G. C. Harcourt (School of Economics, UNSW Business School, UNSW); Joseph Halevi (University of sydney)
    Abstract: In major advanced economies, including Australia, independent central banks have become established institutions. Yet there are reasons why the sustained presence of such an institution in a democratic society should be challenged. This paper considers the arguments usually advanced for central bank independence, and the underlying arguments for a failure of democracy including the standard argument based on the importance of central bank credibility. This argument depends crucially on the role of inflationary expectations on the actual inflation rate. We question whether the standard story is really relevant – and, if not, then independence depends on the argument that politicians may not always act in the best long-term interests of their constituencies but bankers are more likely to. We show that this is a questionable assumption. The post Wold War 2 development of Europe and the emergence of the European Central Bank is examined to illustrate our underlying proposition that Central bank independence is not the result of economic argument, but of political ones leading to suboptimal economic results.
    Keywords: Central bank independence, democracy, European Central Bank, inflation, inflationary expectations
    JEL: E58 E50 G20
    Date: 2018–01
  25. By: Hiroyuki Kasahara; Bingjing Li
    Abstract: This study provides evidence that the over-export of grains aggravated the severity of China’s Great Famine. We collect county-level data for the 1953-1965 period on death rates, birth rates, amounts of grain procured, output of different types of grain, crop productivity, weather conditions, distance to railways, and the number of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members. We exploit county-level variations in the types of crops each county specialized in to construct Bartik-style measures of export shocks. We regress the death rates on the Bartik export measures and use the weather shocks as instruments for measuring output and consumption. The regression results suggest that increases in grain exports substantially increase death rates, and the effect of grain exports on death rates is larger in counties with lower current output, higher two-period lagged output, larger distance to railways, and a smaller percentage of local CCP members. We also estimate the effects of the procurement policy, examine the relationship between the death rates and the average level of consumption at the county-level during the famine period, and conduct counterfactual experiments to quantify the relative importance of different causes of the Great Famine. The counterfactual experiments indicate that the effect of grain exports explains 12 percent of the excess deaths, which amounts to 1/5 of the effect of the increase in procurement rates between 1957 and 1959. By comparing the distribution of county-level counterfactual changes in death rates if the amount of grain exports in 1959 had been the same as that in 1957, we find that the distribution of the high-export-exposure counties first-order stochastically dominates that of the low-export-exposure counties.
    Keywords: famine, over-export of grains, inflexible procurement, Great Leap Forward
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2017
  26. By: Shikhar Sarin (Boise State University); Christophe Haon (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management - Grenoble École de Management (GEM), IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc); Mustapha Belkhouja (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM))
    Abstract: This essay takes a longitudinal look at the knowledge flow patterns between major technology and innovation man- agement (TIM) journals and the effect on their impact factors. We analyze the flow of 29,776 citations from 4171 articles published in the top six dedicated TIM journals between 1999 and 2013. Findings indicate one subset of journals becoming more firmly rooted in the TIM domain, while the others becoming increasingly insulated from it. JPIM displays peculiar knowledge flow patterns, suggesting a broadening of its knowledge base and impact. Our bibliometric analysis provides one of the most comprehensive and detailed year-by-year looks at the intradomain knowledge exchange patterns over a 15-year period.
    Date: 2018
  27. By: Robert C. Allen; Ekaterina Khaustova (Division of Social Science)
    Date: 2017–05

This nep-his issue is ©2018 by Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.