nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2018‒03‒26
28 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015 By Thomas Piketty; Li Yang; Gabriel Zucman
  2. Regional Economic Development in Europe, 1900-2010: a description of the Patterns By Rosés, Joan R.; Wolf, Nikolaus
  3. War of the Waves: Radio and Resistance During World War II By Gagliarducci, Stefano; Onorato, Massimiliano; Sobbrio, Francesco; Tabellini, Guido
  4. "Organizational Design and Growth of Trading Company: Comparing Mitsui and Mitsubishi in Prewar Japan" (in Japanese) By Tetsuji Okazaki
  5. Roman Roads to Prosperity: Persistence and Non-Persistence of Public Goods Provision By Dalgaard, Carl-Johan; Kaarsen, Nicolai; Olsson, Ola; Selaya, Pablo
  6. Globalization and Income Inequality Revisited By Florian Dorn; Clemens Fuest; Niklas Potrafke
  7. The long-term impact of Italian colonial roads in the Horn of Africa, 1935-2000 By Bertazzini, Mattia C.
  8. Sample selection biases and the historical growth pattern of children By Schneider, Eric B.
  9. Distribution, wealth and demand regimes in historical perspective By Engelbert Stockhammer; Joel Rabinovich; Niall Reddy
  10. Demand-Led Growth Theory in a Classical Framework: Its Superiority, Its Limitations, and Its Explanatory Power By Smith, Matthew
  11. Essays in Applied Labor Economics By Curtis Jr, James
  12. On the evolution of the Castel Goffredo hosiery cluster: A life cycle perspective By Giulio Carli; Andrea Morrison
  13. Role of Foreign Exchange Reserve in Exchange Rate Behaviour The Persisting Asymmetry: A Historical Account By Atulan Guha
  14. Antebellum Labor Markets By Rosenbloom, Joshua L.
  15. Childless Aristocrats. Inheritance and the extensive margin of fertility By Gobbi, Paula; Goñi, Marc
  16. Why do industries coagglomerate? How Marshallian externalities differ by industry and have evolved over time By Dario Diodato; Frank Neffke; Neave O?Clery
  17. Long-term effects of extended unemployment benefits for older workers By Kyyrä, Tomi; Pesola, Hanna
  18. Origins and implications of family structure across Italian provinces in historical perspective By Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
  19. Options: From Conventional and Islamic perspectives Analyses on the Islamic solutions By Bengana, Mohamed; Khouildi, Mohamed Yassine
  20. Learning outside the factory: the impact of technological change on the rise of adult education in nineteenth-century France. By Claude Diebolt; Charlotte Le Chapelain; Audrey Rose Menard
  21. The commodification of knowledge and information By Rotta, Tomás N.; Teixeira, Rodrigo A.
  22. Re-theorizing the welfare state and the political economy of neoliberalism's war against it By Thomas I. Palley
  23. International Commodity Prices and Civil War Outbreak: New Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa and Beyond By Antonio Ciccone
  24. The Average and Heterogeneous Effects of Transportation Investments: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa 1960-2010 By Remi Jedwab; Adam Storeygard
  25. A biography of Paul Krugman: contributions to Geography and Trade By José M. Gaspar
  26. Conquering the market: The expansion strategies of Santander and BBVA in Latin America By López-Morell, Miguel Angel; Bernabé Pérez, María Mercedes
  27. The Colonial American Economy By Rosenbloom, Joshua L.
  28. Probabilizing the consumer: Georgescu-Roegen, Marschak and Quandt on the Modeling of the Consumer in the 1950s By Jean-Sébastien Lenfant

  1. By: Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics, 48 Boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France); Li Yang (World Bank and Paris School of Economics, 48 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France); Gabriel Zucman (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 530 Evans Hall, #3880, Berkeley, CA 94720, and NBER)
    Abstract: This paper combines national accounts, survey, wealth and fiscal data (including recently released tax data on high-income taxpayers) in order to provide consistent series on the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in China over the 1978-2015 period. We find that the aggregate national wealth-income ratio has increased from 350% in 1978 to 700% in 2015. This can be accounted for by a combination of high saving and investment rates and a gradual rise in relative asset prices, reflecting changes in the legal system of property. The share of public property in national wealth has declined from about 70% in 1978 to 30% in 2015, which is still a lot higher than in rich countries (close to 0% or negative). Next, we provide sharp upward revision of official inequality estimates. The top 10% income share rose from 27% to 41% of national income between 1978 and 2015, while the bottom 50% share dropped from 27% to 15%. China’s inequality levels used to be close to Nordic countries and are now approaching U.S. levels.
    Date: 2018–03
  2. By: Rosés, Joan R.; Wolf, Nikolaus
    Abstract: We provide the first long-run dataset of regional employment structures and regional GDP and GDP per capita in 1990 international dollars, stretching over more than 100 years. These data allow us to compare regions over time, among each other, and to other parts of the world. After some brief notes on methodology we describe the basic patterns in the data in terms of some key dimensions: variation in the density of population and economic activity, the spread of industry and services and the declining role of agriculture, and changes in the levels of GDP and GDP per capita. We next discuss patterns of convergence and divergence over time and their explanations in terms of short-run adjustment and long-run fundamentals. Also, we document for the first time a secular decrease in spatial coherence from 1900 to 2010. We find a U-shaped development in geographic concentration and regional income inequality, similar to the finding of a U-shaped pattern of personal income inequality.
    Keywords: Europe; Long-Run; Regional Inequality
    JEL: D31 N1 N9 R1
    Date: 2018–02
  3. By: Gagliarducci, Stefano; Onorato, Massimiliano; Sobbrio, Francesco; Tabellini, Guido
    Abstract: What is the role of the media in coordinating and mobilizing insurgency against a foreign military occupation? We analyze this question in the context of the Nazi-fascist occupation of Italy during WWII. We study the effect of BBC radio counter-propaganda (Radio Londra) on the intensity of internal resistance to the Nazi-fascist regime. Using variation in monthly sunspot activities affecting the sky-wave propagation of BBC broadcasting towards Italy, we show that BBC radio had a strong impact on political violence. We provide further evidence to prove that BBC radio played an important role in coordinating resistance activities, but had no lasting role in motivating the population against the fascist regime.
    Keywords: BBC; Counter-propaganda; Insurgency; media; Sunspots; Violence; WWII
    JEL: D74 L82 N44
    Date: 2018–02
  4. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper compares the organizational designs of two major trading companies in prewar Japan, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi & Co., and investigates their implications on firm growth. These two companies adopted different organizational designs. While Mitsui’s organization was divided by region and decision making was decentralized, Mitsubishi’s organization was divided by commodity and decision making was centralized. As an implication of these different organizational designs, it is expected that Mitsui had advantage in those markets that were exposed to frequent local shocks, while Mitsubishi had advantage in those commodities that were exposed to global shocks across regions. We collected the data on the characteristics of export markets and export commodities, as well as export performance of Mitsui and Mitsubishi for those markets and commodities. The results of regression analyses are consistent with our expectation.
    Date: 2018–03
  5. By: Dalgaard, Carl-Johan; Kaarsen, Nicolai; Olsson, Ola; Selaya, Pablo
    Abstract: How persistent is public goods provision in a comparative perspective? We explore the link between infrastructure investments made during antiquity and the presence of infrastructure today, as well as the link between early infrastructure and economic activity both in the past and in the present, across the entire area under dominion of the Roman Empire at the zenith of its geographical extension. We find a remarkable pattern of persistence showing that greater Roman road density goes along with (a) greater modern road density, (b) greater settlement formation in 500 CE, and (c) greater economic activity in 2010. Interestingly, however, the degree of persistence in road density and the link between early road density and contemporary economic development is weakened to the point of insignificance in areas where the use of wheeled vehicles was abandoned from the first millennium CE until the late modern period. Taken at face value, our results suggest that infrastructure may be one important channel through which persistence in comparative development comes about.
    Keywords: infrastructure; Persistence; Public Goods; Roman Empire; Roman roads
    JEL: H41 O40
    Date: 2018–02
  6. By: Florian Dorn; Clemens Fuest; Niklas Potrafke
    Abstract: This paper re-examines the link between globalization and income inequality. We use data for 140 countries over the period 1970-2014 and employ an IV approach to deal with the endogeneity of globalization measures. We find that the link between globalization and income inequality differs across different groups of countries. There is a robust positive relationship between globalization and inequality in the transition countries including China and most countries of Middle and Eastern Europe. In the sample of the most advanced economies, neither OLS nor 2SLS results show any significant positive relationship between globalization and inequality. We conclude that institutions providing income insurance and education, which characterize most advanced economies but are less developed in transition economies, may have moderated effects of globalization on income inequality.
    Keywords: globalization, income inequality, redistribution, instrumental variable estimation, panel econometrics, development levels, transition economies, China
    JEL: D31 D63 F02 C26 H11 H20
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Bertazzini, Mattia C.
    Abstract: Between 1935 and 1940 the Italians built an extensive road network to facilitate the occupation of Ethiopia and secure control over the Horn of Africa, but were expelled in 1941. This provides a unique case study to examine the long-run effect of cheap transport networks on the concentration of economic activity in developing countries. The results show that cells located next to Italian paved roads are significantly richer today and that the relationship is causal. Persistence is explained by a combination of direct and indirect mechanisms: colonial roads attracted economic activity through lower transport costs until 1960. After that date, the advantage of treated locations persisted only indirectly through increasing returns to scale.
    Keywords: colonial transport infrastructure; roads; increasing returns to scale
    JEL: N70 N77 O18 R12
    Date: 2018–01
  8. By: Schneider, Eric B.
    Abstract: Bodenhorn et al. (2017) have recently sparked considerable controversy by arguing that the fall in adult stature observed in military samples in the United States and Britain during industrialisation was a figment of sample selection bias. While subsequent papers have questioned the extent of the bias (Komlos and A’Hearn 2016; Zimran 2017), there is renewed concern about selection bias in historical anthropometric datasets. This paper extends Bodenhorn et al.’s discussion of selection bias on unobservables to sources of children’s growth, specifically focussing on biases that could distort the age pattern of growth. Understanding how the growth pattern of children has changed is important since these changes underpinned the secular increase in adult stature and are related to child stunting observed in developing countries today. However, there is potential for selection on unobservables in historical datasets containing children’s and adolescents’ height, so scholars must be aware of these biases before analysing these sources. This paper highlights, among others, three common sources of bias: 1) positive selection of children into secondary school in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; 2) distorted height by age profiles created by age thresholds for enlistment in the military; and 3) changing institutional ecology which determines to which institutions children are sent. Accounting for these biases weakens the evidence of a strong pubertal growth spurt in the nineteenth century and raises doubts on some long run analyses of changes in children’s growth, especially for Japan.
    Keywords: selection bias; child growth; anthropometrics; health history
    JEL: C52 C81 I00 J13 N3 O15
    Date: 2018–01
  9. By: Engelbert Stockhammer; Joel Rabinovich; Niall Reddy
    Abstract: Most empirical macroeconomic research limited to the period since World War II. This paper analyses the effects of changes in income distribution and in private wealth on consumption and investment covering a period from as early as 1855 until 2010 for the UK, France, Germany and USA, based on the dataset of Piketty and Zucman (2014). We contribute to the post-Keynesian debate on the nature of demand regimes, mainstream analyses of wealth effects and the financialisation debate. We find that overall domestic demand has been wage-led in the USA, UK and Germany. Total investment responds positively to higher wage shares, which is driven by residential investment. For corporate investment alone, we find a negative relation. Wealth effects are found to be positive and significant for consumption in the USA and UK, but weaker in France and Germany. Investment is negatively affected by private wealth in the USA and the UK, but positively in France and Germany.
    Keywords: historical macroeconomics, demand regimes, Bhaduri-Marglin model, wealth effects, financialisation
    JEL: B50 E11 E12 E20 E21 N10
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Smith, Matthew (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to show that the Keynesian-Kaleckian demand-led theory of growth proposed within the classical framework of prices and distribution as articulated by Sraffa (1960), is superior to the neoclassical supply-driven theory in explaining economic growth. After showing the fundamental theoretical problem with the neoclassical supply-driven approach to growth, we expound a demand-led model of growth that abandons ‘steady-state’ and, instead, adopts an ‘historical approach’ in which the data is specified for historical periods of time. The model incorporates the contribution of technical progress to demand-led growth and, thereby, provides the basis to identify the most important political, social, and institutional developments that historically explain growth and economic development since the advent of capitalism. Our historical analysis shows how demand-led growth theory can provide the foundation for a new and more coherent interpretation of the history of economic development.
    Keywords: Growth; J.M. Keynes; Classical Economics; Economic History; Development
    JEL: B51 N00 O40
    Date: 2018–03
  11. By: Curtis Jr, James
    Abstract: In this paper, James Edward Curtis, Jr. (2017) compiles essays on economic history, labor economics and laws & economics to address economic issues. James Edward Curtis, Jr. (2017) considers economic theory, summary empirical analyses, and government & social construct to challenge our comfort levels with the current status of unequal economic indicators and public policy.
    Keywords: economic history, labor economics, laws & economics
    JEL: J3 K11 N30
    Date: 2017–12–16
  12. By: Giulio Carli; Andrea Morrison
    Abstract: The life cycle approach has become popular in studies on industrial clusters. However, some concerns have been raised over the inherent determinism of this approach and its tendencies to focus exclusively on cluster internal dynamics while neglecting the role of external factors and socio-economic contingencies. This paper addresses these criticisms by investigating the long term development of Castel Goffredo, a traditional textile cluster in Italy. In our analysis we identify and characterise the main stages of the life cycle and its antecedents. We singled out the main triggering factors behind each of these stages and show that a variety of factors, both external and internal to the cluster, contributed to its development. Our findings confirm that an adaptive cycle approach, which focuses also on contingencies and external factors, appear to be appropriate for investigating the long term evolution of clusters.
    Keywords: cluster life cycle, industrial cluster, hosiery industry, evolutionary economic geography, complexity, industrial districts
    JEL: R1 R12 O1
    Date: 2018–03
  13. By: Atulan Guha (Indian Institute of Management Kashipur)
    Abstract: Foreign exchange and monetary gold reserve is a very important factor to determine nominal exchange rate for the countries whose currency has very little use as reserve currency. Whereas, for the reserve currency countries it is not so important ?it is primarily because of their greater money pulling power internationally through rate of interest change. They have this power because their currencies are having greater use as international money. Though the international monetary systems have changed from fixed exchange rate of Gold Standard period to independent float or managed float exchange rate systems of today?s world, this asymmetry between the reserve currency countries and the other countries has not change. Though, ideally under flexible exchange rate system, the importance of foreign exchange reserve in determining nominal exchange rate should be very little. This paper takes an historical review of all the International Monetary System to establish the importance of foreign exchange reserve in determining exchange rate for developing countries; but it is not be the case with the reserve currency countries.
    Keywords: Exchange Rate, Foreign Exchange Reserve, fixed exchange rate, flexible exchange rate
    JEL: F31 F33 F41
    Date: 2017–10
  14. By: Rosenbloom, Joshua L.
    Abstract: The United States economy was transformed in the period between American independence and the beginning of the Civil War by rapid population growth, the development of manufacturing, the onset of modern economic growth, increasing urbanization, the rapid spread of settlement into the trans-Appalachian west, and the rise of European immigration. These years were also characterized by an increasing sectional conflict between free and slave states that culminated in 1861 in Southern secession from the Union and a bloody and destructive Civil War. Labor markets were central to each of these developments, directing the reallocation of labor between sectors and regions, channeling a growing population into productive employment and shaping in important ways the growing North-South division within the country. Put differently, labor markets influenced the pace and character of economic development in the antebellum United States. On the one hand, the responsiveness of labor markets to economic shocks was an important factor in promoting economic growth; on the other, imperfections in labor market response to these shocks had significant effects on the character and development of the national economy.
    Date: 2018–02–27
  15. By: Gobbi, Paula; Goñi, Marc
    Abstract: We provide new evidence on the two-way link between fertility decisions on the extensive margin and inheritance. We focus on settlements, a popular inheritance scheme among British aristocrats that combined primogeniture and a one-generation entail of the family estates. Using peerage records (1650-1882), we find that settlements affected the extensive margin of fertility: they reduced childlessness rates by 14.7 pp., ensuring the survival of aristocratic dynasties. Since settlements were signed only if the family head survived until his heir's wedding, we establish causality by exploiting variation in the heirs birth order. Next, we show that the extensive margin of fertility can shape inheritance rules. We build a model with inter-generational hyperbolic discounting where inheritance rules affect fertility and, in turn, schemes restricting successors (e.g., settlements or trusts) emerge endogenously in response to concerns over the dynasty's survival. These results highlight the importance of fertility decisions for the analysis of inheritance.
    Keywords: Childlessness; Elites; Fertility; Inheritance; Inter-generational discounting.; Settlement
    JEL: J13 K36 N33
    Date: 2018–02
  16. By: Dario Diodato; Frank Neffke; Neave O?Clery
    Abstract: The fact that firms benefit from close proximity to other firms with which they can exchange inputs, skilled labor or know-how helps explain why many industrial clusters are so successful. Studying the evolution of coagglomeration patterns, we show that which type of agglomeration benefits firms has drastically changed over the course of a century and differs markedly across industries. Whereas, at the beginning of the twentieth century, industries tended to colocate with their value chain partners, in more recent decades the importance of this channels has declined and colocation seems to be driven more by similarities industries? skill requirements. By calculating industry-specific Marshallian agglomeration forces, we are able to show that, nowadays, skill- sharing is the most salient motive in location choices of services, whereas value chain linkages still explain much of the colocation patterns in manufacturing. Moreover, the estimated degrees to which labor and input-output linkages are reflected in an industry?s coagglomeration patterns help improve predictions of city-industry employment growth.
    Keywords: Coagglomeration, Marshallian externalities, labor pooling, value chains, manufacturing, services, regional diversification
    JEL: J24 O14 R11
    Date: 2018–03
  17. By: Kyyrä, Tomi; Pesola, Hanna
    Abstract: This paper examines the long-term effects of extended unemployment benefits that older unemployed can collect until retirement in Finland. We consider a reform that increased the age threshold of this scheme from 55 to 57 for people born in 1950 or later. Our regression discontinuity estimates show that postponing eligibility by two years increased employment over the remaining working career by seven months. Despite the corresponding reduction in unemployment, we find no evidence of significant effects on mortality or receipt of disability and sickness benefits, nor on the spouse's labor supply. We also compute the fiscal impact of the reform taking into account income taxes and social security contributions paid and benefits received. The reform increased net income transfers by 15,000 Euros over the 10-year period for an average individual.
    Keywords: impact assessment of policy measures, unemployment, unemployment benefit, unemployment duration, Social security, taxation and inequality, Labour markets and education, J26, J63, J64, J65,
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
    Abstract: In this study we review the literature on the origins and implications of family structure in historical perspective with a focus on Italian provinces. Furthermore we present newlycollected data on three of the main features of family structure: female mean age at marriage, the female celibacy rate, and the fraction of illegitimate births. The data are collected at the provincial level for 1871, the year of Italy's political unification. The analysis of the data allows us to confirm and quantify the geographic differentiation in family patterns across the country. We also illustrate the links between family structure and a set of socio-economic outcomes, in the short, medium, and long run.
    Keywords: Family structure, Italian provinces, institutions, culture, development.
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Bengana, Mohamed; Khouildi, Mohamed Yassine
    Abstract: Purpose: As Islamic finance is growing there is a need for more innovative instruments to be used especially for risk management purposes. The main purpose of this paper is to analyze “option” as derivative instrument form conventional point of view, and to analyze it from Islamic perspective. Also the paper aims to replace the prohibited elements in option by alternative Islamic contracts. Design/Methodology: The methodology used in this paper is qualitative method in which it uses a combination of historical research and literature review based on some previously published articles and reports and library research. Findings: The study finds out the diverged shariah opinions about the impressibility of “option” as a derivative instrument, rather than this the paper found various permissible Islamic contracts that can be used as alternative. The first alternative is the usage of simple Waad (promise) with a fee, the second contract is a combination of Waad, Wakalah, and commodity Murabaha. The third alternative is the usage of Urbun (earnest money) as an Islamic alternative to call option as well as hamish al jediya. Furthermore the paper highlights the need of such instruments for hedging purposes rather than speculation. Originality/Value: The significance of this study is the way the topic was treated. A lot of previous research papers have identified the prohibited elements of options and the Islamic alternatives, but this paper tries to facilitate the understanding of options from Islamic perspective by using diagrams. Also this paper clarifies the main alternatives and compares the classical and the contemporary shariah scholars’ views.
    Keywords: Keywords: Options, Waad, Urbun, derivatives, hedging
    JEL: G23
    Date: 2018–02–12
  20. By: Claude Diebolt; Charlotte Le Chapelain; Audrey Rose Menard
    Abstract: The paper provides an empirical examination of the effect of the use of steam engine technology on the development of adult education in nineteenth-century France. In particular, we exploit exogenous regional variations in the distribution of steam engines across France to evidence that technological change significantly contributed to the development of lifelong training during the 1850-1881 period. Our research shows that steam technology adoption in France was not deskilling. We argue that this process raised the demand for new skills adapted to the development of French industries.
    Keywords: Adult Education, Cliometrics, France, Human Capital, Industrialization, Steam Engines, Technological Change.
    JEL: A12 C18 C80 I21 N13 N33
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Rotta, Tomás N.; Teixeira, Rodrigo A.
    Abstract: In this paper we present an analysis of the commodification of knowledge and information in contemporary capitalism. We provide a consistent account of how information as a commodity effects the workings of both capitalism and of Marxist theory. The first part of the paper critically revisits Marx’s own writings on the commodification of knowledge and how the immaterial labor hypothesis initially interpreted these writings. Based on the new categories knowledge-commodity and knowledge-rent, we then present our own approach in response to the challenges raised by the immaterial labor hypothesis. Lastly, we analyze the more recent contributions on the commodification of knowledge and information within the Marxist literature and present some empirical estimates of the magnitudes of knowledge-rents.
    Keywords: Knowledge-commodities; knowledge-rents; value theory; Marx; immaterial labor;
    JEL: B51 L00 O30
    Date: 2018–03–13
  22. By: Thomas I. Palley
    Abstract: This paper argues neoliberalism is engaged in a war against the welfare state. At issue are competing views regarding the size of the welfare state and how it should be organized. In waging this war, neoliberalism seeks to politically discredit the traditional welfare state and change the economic structure so that the latter becomes unviable. The paper presents a new theoretical framework that distinguishes between modes of production and financing of the welfare estate. Neoliberalism's war rests on ideologically grounded criticisms drawn from mainstream economics; implementation of policies that undermine social solidarity toward the welfare state; exploiting pressures fostered by neoliberal globalization; and misrepresentations about affordability. The welfare state was critical in saving capitalism from itself after World War II. It is a way of embedding the market system so as to produce socially acceptable outcomes that are politically stable. Neoliberalism's war promises a body blow against shared prosperity. More ominously, it may so dis-embed the market system as to recreate conditions Polyani (1944) blamed for the rise of fascism in the 1930s.
    Keywords: Welfare state, neoliberalism, mode of production, mode of financing
    JEL: H1 H10 H50
    Date: 2018
  23. By: Antonio Ciccone
    Abstract: A new dataset by Bazzi and Blattman (2014) allows examining the effects of international commodity prices on the risk of civil war outbreak with more comprehensive data. I find that international commodity price downturns sparked civil wars in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another finding with the new dataset is that commodity price downturns also sparked civil wars beyond Sub-Saharan Africa since 1980. Effects are sizable relative to the baseline risk of civil war outbreak. My conclusions contrast with those of Bazzi and Blattman, who argue that the new dataset rejects that commodity price downturns cause civil wars. The reason is that I calculate commodity price shocks using time-invariant (fixed) export shares as commodity weights. Bazzi and Blattman also calculate commodity price shocks using export shares as commodity weights but the exports shares they use are time-varying. Using time-invariant export shares as commodity weights ensures that time variation in price shocks solely reflects changes in international commodity prices. Price shocks based on time-varying export shares partly reflect (possibly endogenous) changes in the quantity and variety of countries’ exports, which jeopardizes causal estimation. I also show that setting time-invariant export shares equal to average export shares over the sample period, can be a way of dealing with attenuation bias due to mismeasured export shares. When I differentiate between agricultural commodities on the one hand and minerals, oil, and gas on the other, I find stronger increases in the risk of civil war outbreak following downturns in agricultural commodity prices.
    Keywords: civil wars, commodity price downturn
    JEL: E30
    Date: 2018
  24. By: Remi Jedwab; Adam Storeygard
    Abstract: Previous work on transportation investments has focused on average impacts in high- and middle-income countries. We estimate average and heterogeneous effects in a poor continent, Africa, using roads and cities data spanning 50 years in 39 countries. Using changes in market access due to distant road construction as a source of exogenous variation, we estimate an 30-year elasticity of city population with respect to market access of 0.05-0.20. Our results suggest that this elasticity is stronger for small and remote cities, and weaker in politically favored and agriculturally suitable areas. Access to foreign cities matters little.
    Keywords: Transportation Infrastructure; Paved Roads; Urbanization; Cities; Africa;Market Access; Trade Costs; Highways; InternalMigration; Heterogeneity
    Date: 2017
  25. By: José M. Gaspar (Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa and CEF.UP)
    Abstract: This work consists of a short biographical survey on the academic life and work of the American economist Paul Robin Krugman. It seeks to shed light on his mains contributions to economic theory, mainly those due to which he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008. His legacy in academia can be assessed through the recognition of his work in the identification of international trade patterns and the explanation on why spatial imbalances in the distribution of economic activities arise in an increasingly globalized economy. Through these contributions to trade theory and economic geography, Krugman is often credited as being one of the pioneering researchers in the New Trade Theory and the founding father of the New Economic Geography.
    Keywords: paul krugman; new trade theory; new economic geography
    JEL: R10 R12 R23
    Date: 2018–01
  26. By: López-Morell, Miguel Angel; Bernabé Pérez, María Mercedes
    Abstract: Three decades ago, and with very few precedents, Spain's two principal banking corporations began an intense process of expansion throughout Latin America. Not only did they compete with one other in this new market, but they also faced competition from domestic Latin American banks and other foreign banks. This paper analyses the key elements that encouraged these two banks to enter the Latin American market. It assesses their success or failure in each country they entered, and in the subcontinent as a whole. Finally, it examines the different strategies they used to achieve their aims.
    Keywords: Retailing Banks,Latin America,FDI,Global Banks,Bank Profitability
    JEL: F3 F21 G21 N2 N26
    Date: 2018
  27. 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
  28. By: Jean-Sébastien Lenfant (CLERSE - Centre Lillois d’Études et de Recherches Sociologiques et Économiques - UMR 8019 - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies - ULCO - Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Probabilistic models of choice (between sure prospects) have become a standard modeling practice since the 1980s, notably through the widespread use of the Logit Multinomial Model pioneered by McFadden (1974). However, the idea to model consumer’s behavior as a probabilistic behavior, hence accounting for some kind of behavioral instability in the pure theory of rational choice, dates back to the 1930s and led to significant investigations in the 1950s. It is the purpose of this article to confront three attempts by economists at developing models of individual choice that go beyond standard ordinalist utility theory through introducing principles of probabilistic behavior. We discuss first Georgescu-Roegen’s neglected contributions to this subject, though he pioneered the definition of probabilistic preference in 1936 and came back on the subject intensively in the 1950s. We then present Marschak’s (and his co-authors) attempts at axiomatizing a probabilistic model of choice in the same period. The third contribution studied is that of Quandt, who provides a more operational style of modeling. This set of contributions is discussed against a general background of transformations of the theory of rational behavior and of the methods proper to it.
    Keywords: consumer theory, indifference. , threshold in choice, intransitivity,probabilistic choice theory, Georgescu-Roegen, Marschak, Quandt, measurement of utility, experimental psychology
    Date: 2018

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