nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2018‒05‒21
25 papers chosen by

  1. Macgowan and Innovation in Stage Design By Daniel Kurz; Hyunjin Kang
  2. “L'État c'est moi”....ou quoi? On the interrelations of accounting, managing and governing in the French ‘administrative monarchy’: revisiting the Colbert (1661-1683) and Paris brothers (1712-1726) episodes By Hoskin, Keith; Macve, Richard
  3. Income Inequality in France, 1900-2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (DINA) By Bertrand Garbinti, Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty
  4. Soviet School in 1937 The Communities of Teachers and Students in the Face of Coming War By Irina V. Volkova
  5. Dynamisation de la malédiction des ressources naturelles en Afrique sur les performances économiques : institution et guerre froide By Tcheta-Bampa, Tcheta-Bampa; Kodila-Tedika, Oasis
  6. Chain effects of clean water: The Mills-Reincke phenomenon in early twentieth-century Japan By Tatsuki Inoue; Kota Ogasawara
  7. Women Leaving the Playpen: The Emancipating Role of Female Suffrage By Michaela Slotwinski; Alois Stutzer
  8. Central Banks Going Long By Ricardo Reis
  9. Inequality: A Piketty et al. Moment in the Social Sciences By Olivier Godechot
  10. Still More on Mariel: The Role of Race By Borjas, George J.
  11. A history of inequality: top incomes in Brazil, 1926?2015 By Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza
  12. Conditions institutionnelles de la malédiction des ressources naturelles en Afrique sur les performances économiques By Tcheta-Bampa, Albert; Kodila-Tedika, Oasis
  13. Technological changes and population growth: the role of land in England By Claire Loupias; Bertrand Wigniolle
  14. Longer, More Optimistic, Lives: Historic Optimism and Life Expectancy in the United States By Kelsey J. O'Connor; Carol Graham
  15. Ingemar Ståhl. Bibliografi 1967-2011 By Jonung, Christina; Jonung, Lars
  16. A Game of the Throne of Saint Peter By Mackenzie, Andrew
  17. African Regional Economic Integration: The Emergence, Evolution, and Impact of Institutional Innovation By Juma, Calestous; Mangeni, Francis
  18. Job Vacancies and Immigration: Evidence from Pre- and Post-Mariel Miami By Jason Anastasopoulos; George J. Borjas; Gavin G. Cook; Michael Lachanski
  19. Matematikk og statistikk som metodefag ved NHH: De første femti år By Lillestøl, Jostein
  20. Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham’s Happiness for All? By Blanchflower, David G.; Oswald, Andrew J.
  21. Lorenzo Tonti, inventeur de la tontine By Georges GALLAIS-HAMONNO; Christian RIETSCH
  22. Following the donor-designed path to Mozambique’s US$2.2 billion secret debt deal By Hanlon, Joseph
  23. Tracking the slowdown in long-run GDP growth By Antolin-Diaz, Juan; Drechsel, Thomas; Petrella, Ivan
  24. Record linkage in the Cape of Good Hope Panel By Auke Rijpma; Jeanne Cilliers; Johan Fourie
  25. Nothing is in the air By Fitjar, Rune Dahl; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

  1. By: Daniel Kurz (Prime Education Consulting); Hyunjin Kang (Branksome Hall Asia International School)
    Abstract: In April of 1919, the roar of the guns of the Great War had only been silent for a few months. Between that fateful November of 1918 and April of the next year, the world of international politics, economics, and medicine would be challenged by several factors. The collapse of Germany, the establishment of the Soviet Union, the wrath of the Great Influenza, and the return of millions of men from the front would transform society in new ways. It was in this historical moment that modernism began to flourish, and it would continue to do so well into the 1920’s. The Imperial age of neoclassicism, romanticism and opera was fading while a new approach to art emerged (Cozzolino 2016, 13-15). In the immediate post-war era, each art form had its own innovator or innovators. There had been innovators before, but never in history had the ideas and institutions of the “Old World†been so thoroughly discredited as they were in the Aftermath of World War I. In architecture it was The Bauhaus and Art Deco; in literature cynical greats like Hemingway and Fitzgerald would reign supreme. Dali and Picasso’s lusty abstractions dominated painting. All were bridges between what was and what is. In stage design, the same process was occurring, though the names have been forgotten except by experts. Few remember these men and women, but their influence would inspire many luminaries in contemporary entertainment that Americans would instantly recognize: Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, George Lucas and both Coppolas, Frances Ford and Sofia (Fitch 1983, 42- 45). One of these forgotten names is Kenneth Macgowan.
    Keywords: set designer, theatrical arts, Macgowan, innovator
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Hoskin, Keith; Macve, Richard
    Abstract: We explore the genesis of the modern power of management and accounting, reviewing two historical episodes that have been claimed to embody aspects of this modernity. For our analysis we distinguish two aspects of double-entry bookkeeping (DEB): first, the basic bookkeeping technique of cross-referencing and analysing doubled entries (Sangster, 2016), and second ‘the full logic’ of a closed system tracking an entity’s income and expense, assets and liabilities and ‘capital’ (Mattessich, 2000). Our first episode is Colbert’s ‘governing by inquiry’ (1661-1683), understood as a ‘managing’ of the French ‘administrative state’ under Louis XIV, where we see DEB’s use as limited to the first technique, undertaken for a forensic auditing of tax revenues to control and amend bad conduct. Second is the episode (1712-1726) of a banking family, the Paris brothers, where DEB is again first deployed similarly, for auditing and control of tax farmer practice, but then proposed as more general means of managing/governing the state. We review the interpretations of the first of these episodes made by Miller (1990) and Soll (2009; 2014), and that of Lemarchand (1999) concerning the second. We draw on Foucault’s analysis of today’s forms of governing as a ‘governmental management’ (2007: 107-8), which was blocked in the era of the administrative state, and explain this blockage as a result of principal-agent structures being used to govern the state. In this light, we see Miller as overinterpreting the closeness of Colbert’s ‘governing by inquiry’ to modern ‘governmentality’, and Soll as overinterpreting modern forms of management and accounting as operative in the governing approach of Colbert as ‘Information Master’. We also re-analyze the effective reach of the ambitions of the Paris brothers, as set out by Lemarchand, for the deployment of DEB. We then draw on Foucault’s (2001) and Panofsky ‘s (1957) analyses of ‘inquiry’ as a ‘form of truth’ which began as a new twelfth-century way of thinking, and trace this to Abelard’s development of ‘inquisitio’ as a new ‘critical reading’ (cf. Hoskin & Macve, 1986). We characterise its modus operandi as a ‘graphocentric synopticism’, graphocentric since all ‘data’ are translated into a gridded, cross-referenced über-text, which is then readable synoptically, all-in-one, from an immobile synthesising position. Foucault (2001) suggests that ‘inquiry’ gives way as mode of truth to ‘examination’ around 1800, and we link the genesis of governmental management to this shift and to the consequent articulation of a ‘panopticism’ which is multiply semiotic and so ‘grammatocentric’.
    Keywords: Colbert; Paris brothers; double-entry bookkeeping; administrative monarchy; graphocentric panopticism; modern management; governmentality
    JEL: N0 M40
    Date: 2016–10–31
  3. By: Bertrand Garbinti, Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty
    Abstract: We combine national accounts, tax and survey data in a comprehensive and consistent manner for France, to build homogenous annual series on the distribution of national income by percentiles, from 1900 to 2014, with detailed breakdown by age, gender and income categories over the 1970-2014 period. Our new series deliver higher inequality levels for the recent decades, because the usual tax-based series miss a rising part of capital income. Growth incidence curves look dramatically different for the 1950-1983 and 1983-2014 periods. We also show that it has become increasingly difficult to access top wealth groups with labor income only. Next, gender inequality in labor income declined in recent decades, albeit fairly slowly among top labor incomes. Finally, we compare the evolution of income inequality between France and the U.S.
    Keywords: income distribution, income inequality, national accounts
    JEL: D31 E01 H2 N34
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Irina V. Volkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper is dedicated to the education system in the Soviet Union and school-related issues in the context of the “Great Purge of 1937” - a very symbolic time in the Soviet history that became the climax of the Soviet political repressions but also - a time of the successful completion of the second five-year plan of economic development and other great soviet achievements. The intended research is aimed to clarify how all these events were reflected within the school communities, in what way they influenced the belief system, civil position and general trends in behavior of the senior students, who in the coming years would be bound to become the backbone of a war generation. At the same time, it was the period of the most important decisions within the country’s education system aimed at its participation in society consolidation and thorough preparations of the young generation to clash against some very strong foes. This work reveals the practical consequences of the campaign against a “pedological perversion” within Soviet education system and the process of the teacher selection which stimulated school’s development to be in line with the given ideological directions.
    Keywords: Great Purge of 1937, school communities, Soviet education system, educational institutions, pedological perversion, teachers
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Tcheta-Bampa, Tcheta-Bampa; Kodila-Tedika, Oasis
    Abstract: This article articulates Acemoglu-Robinson's theory of inclusive and exclusive institutions to the theory of the effects of natural resources on the incentives of political elites to implement good institutions for development. If Africa is subject to the curse of natural resources it means that this continent has generally been organized on the basis of extractive institutions that have determined the conflicts between political elites, between border countries and between the great world powers. On this basis, this article proposes an original test over the period 1985-2010 for 30 African countries linking institutional quality to an indicator of dependence on natural resources and different control variables. The phenomenon of the curse is decreasing in Africa as we move away from the end of the Cold War.
    Keywords: institutions, ressources naturelles, malédiction des ressources, droits de propriété, croissance économique, Guerre froide
    JEL: B22 C12 O17 O55 P14
    Date: 2018–05–04
  6. By: Tatsuki Inoue; Kota Ogasawara
    Abstract: This study explores the validity of chain effects of clean water, which are known as the "Mills-Reincke phenomenon," in early twentieth-century Japan. Recent studies have reported that water purifications systems are responsible for huge contributions to human capital. Although a few studies have investigated the short-term effects of water-supply systems in pre-war Japan, little is known about the benefits associated with these systems. By analyzing city-level cause-specific mortality data from the years 1922-1940, we found that eliminating typhoid fever infections decreased the risk of deaths due to non-waterborne diseases. Our estimates show that for one additional typhoid death, there were approximately one to three deaths due to other causes, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. This suggests that the observed Mills-Reincke phenomenon could have resulted from the prevention typhoid fever in a previously-developing Asian country.
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Michaela Slotwinski; Alois Stutzer
    Abstract: The role of women in Western societies changed dramatically in the 20th century. We study how political empowerment affected women’s emancipation as reflected in their life choices like marital decisions and labor market participation. The staggered introduction of female suffrage in Swiss states allows us to exploit the variation in the age women experienced enfranchisement to estimate the differences in life choices between women who were socialized in a world where women had a formal say in politics and those who were mainly socialized before. Our empirical findings document that political empowerment strongly increased female labor force participation, weakened marital bonds and motivated human capital investment. Moreover, being socialized with female suffrage increased long-term voting participation and perceptions of control. Our evidence suggests that changes in formal political institutions hold the power to change norms.
    Keywords: female suffrage, voting rights, institutions, norms, female labor force participation, marital choices, voting participation, efficacy
    JEL: D02 D72 J12 J16 J22 J24 Z13
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Ricardo Reis
    Abstract: Central banks have sometimes turned their attention to long-term interest rates as a target or as a diagnosis of policy. This paper describes two historical episodes when this happened - the US in 1942-51 and the UK in the 1960s - and uses a model of inflation dynamics to evaluate monetary policies that rely on going long. It concludes that these policies for the most part fail to keep inflation under control. A complementary methodological contribution is to re-state the classic problem of monetary policy through interest-rate rules in a continuous-time setting where shocks follow diffusions in order to integrate the endogenous determination of inflation and the term structure of interest rates.
    Keywords: Taylor rule, yield curve, pegs, ceilings, affine models
    JEL: E31 E52 E58
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Olivier Godechot (Observatoire sociologique du changement)
    Abstract: What does the world success of Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (2014) reveal? This book is not just one of the most astonishing bestsellers in the social sciences in recent years, but it may also signal an important shift in the way we consider inequality in economics and sociology, in the social sciences and the public arena, in political debate and day-to-day conversations. [First paragraph]
    Keywords: Inequality; Capitalism; Upper classes; Measurement of inequality
    Date: 2017–11
  10. By: Borjas, George J. (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Card’s (1990) study of the Mariel supply shock remains an important cornerstone of both the literature that measures the labor market impact of immigration, and of the “stylized fact†that immigration might not have much impact on the wage of workers in a receiving country. My recent reappraisal of the Mariel evidence (Borjas, 2017) revealed that the wage of low-skill workers in Miami declined substantially in the years after Mariel, and has already encouraged a number of re-reexaminations. Most recently, Clemens and Hunt (2017) argue that a data quirk in the CPS implies that wage trends in the sample of non-Hispanic prime-age men examined in my paper does not correctly represent what happened to wages in post-Mariel Miami. Specifically, there was a substantial increase in the black share of Miami’s low-skill workforce in the relevant period (particularly between the 1979 and 1980 survey years of the March CPS). Because African-American men earn less than white men, this increase in the black share would spuriously produce a drop in the average low-skill wage in Miami. This paper examines the robustness of the evidence presented in my original paper to statistical adjustments that control for the increasing number of black men in Miami’s low-skill workforce. The evidence consistently indicates that the race-adjusted low-skill wage in Miami fell significantly relative to the wage in other labor markets shortly after 1980 before fully recovering by 1990.
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2017–06
  11. By: Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "This paper uses income tax tabulations to estimate top income shares in Brazil over the long term. Between 1926 and 2015, the concentration of income at the top remained very high, following a sine wave trend: top shares ebbed and flowed over time, frequently in tandem with political and institutional disruptions. There is some evidence in favour of Williamson's 'missed levelling' hypothesis regarding the origins of Latin America's exceptionally high levels of inequality, but the recent decline in inequality is cast in a more dubious light, since top income shares have remained quite stable since 2000 and the 'tax-adjusted' Gini coefficients show a smaller and shorter, though still sizeable, decrease. The nature of the political regime matters, but democracy is not a sufficient condition for redistribution. Brazil's tumultuous political history suggests top income shares change substantially mostly during political-institutional crises, when the typical quid pro quo of more liberal regimes in normal times collapses. The analysis is complemented by international comparisons and a discussion of the role of institutions in shaping inequality". (...)
    Keywords: history, inequality, top, incomes, Brazil, 1926, 2015
    Date: 2018–04
  12. By: Tcheta-Bampa, Albert; Kodila-Tedika, Oasis
    Abstract: We show that if Africa is subject to the curse of natural resources it is because this continent has generally been organized since the European colonization on the basis of extractive institutions that determines the strong conflicts between the economic preferences of the political decision-makers and those of the rest of society. In particular, we show that the quality of institutions in African countries is fundamentally determined by historical factors. The main originality is that it uses as an instrumental variable, the institutional path dependence that ensures that there is a curse of natural resources only in countries where the extractive institutions of colonialism have been reproduced. We provide evidence that the overall impact of institutions and natural resource dependence on economic performance is critically dependent on past events as these determine the incentive structure and future institutional choices. The phenomenon of the curse is decreasing in Africa as we move away from the end of the Cold War.
    Keywords: Colonialisme européen, institutions, ressources naturelles, malédiction des ressources, droits de propriété, Indépendance, croissance économique.
    JEL: B2 B22 C12 O1 O17 O55 P14
    Date: 2018–05–04
  13. By: Claire Loupias (EPEE - Centre d'Etudes des Politiques Economiques - UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne); Bertrand Wigniolle (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper emphasizes the role of land and technological progress in economic and population growth. The model is calibrated using historical data on England concerning both economic growth rate and the factor shares (land, capital, and labor) in total income, as well as mortality tables. It is able to reproduce the dynamics of population since 1760. Moreover, it is possible to disentangle the relative effect of technical changes and mortality fall on the evolution of population. We conduct a counterfactual analysis eliminating successively the increase in life expectancy and the technological bias. With no increase in life expectancy, population would have been respectively 10% and 30% lower in 1910 and in the long run. The figures would have been respectively 40% and 60% lower, with no bias in the technical progress. Finally, population would have been 45% smaller in 1910 and 70% smaller in the long run, neutralizing both the effect of life expectancy and technological bias. So the major part of population increase is due to the technological bias evolution between land and capital.
    Keywords: endogenous fertility,land
    Date: 2018–05
  14. By: Kelsey J. O'Connor (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies); Carol Graham (The Brookings Institution)
    Abstract: How was optimism related to mortality before the rise in “deaths of despair” that began in the late 1990s? We show that as early as 1968 more optimistic people lived longer (using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics). The relationship depends on many factors including gender, race, health, and education. We then evaluate these and other variables as determinants of individual optimism over the period 1968-1975. We find women and African Americans were less optimistic at the time than men and whites (although this has changed in recent years). Greater education is associated with greater optimism and so is having wealthy parents. We then predict optimism for the same individuals in subsequent years, thus generating our best guess as to how optimism changed for various demographic groups from 1976-1995. We find people with less than a high school degree show the greatest declines in optimism, which along with their long-run links to premature mortality and deaths of despair, highlights the importance of better understanding optimism’s causes and consequences.
    Keywords: PSID, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, optimism, despair, premature mortality
    JEL: I14 I00 J15 J24
    Date: 2018–05
  15. By: Jonung, Christina; Jonung, Lars
    Abstract: Ingemar Ståhl was a productive and imaginative economist who was professor of economics at Lund University 1971–2005. His intellectual curiosity gave him a wealth of ideas that he applied to a wide range of issues, for example defense, social insurance, education, housing, labor markets, health, taxation, environment, finance, industrial policies and the political economy of the Swedish model. He became an academic pioneer who imported new theoretical developments, such as public choice and property rights, from abroad and applied them to Sweden. In addition to being a researcher he was also a keen participant in public debate and, at various times, a member of governmental and private policy commissions and a reformer of undergraduate teaching in economics in Lund. He exerted a profound influence on Swedish economic debate, arguing for market-oriented reforms and for more competition and freedom of choice in the public sector. His many contributions – published as well as unpublished – are listed in this bibliography.
    Keywords: Ingemar Ståhl, Sweden, political economy, the Swedish model, deregulation, public choice.
    JEL: B3 B31
    Date: 2018–04
  16. By: Mackenzie, Andrew (General Economics 1 (Micro))
    Abstract: In the Roman Catholic Church, the pope is elected by the (cardinal) electors through “scrutiny,” where each elector casts an anonymous nomination. Using historical documents, we argue that a guiding principle for the church has been the protection of electors from the temptation to defy God through dishonest nomination. Based on axiomatic analysis involving this principle, we recommend that the church overturn the changes of Pope Pius XII (1945) to reinstate the scrutiny of Pope Gregory XV (1621), and argue that randomization in the case of deadlock merits consideration.
    Keywords: economics, mathematical economics, Microeconomics
    JEL: D82 D71 D72 Z12
    Date: 2018–05–08
  17. By: Juma, Calestous (Harvard University); Mangeni, Francis (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The power of Pan-Africanism as a guiding vision for the continent’s development is widely studied, mostly as an aspirational phenomenon. At worst, Pan-Africanism has often been seen as a poor imitation of American federalism or European integration. Both of these perceptions do not reflect the profound nature of the role that the ideology of Pan-Africanism played in shaping the continent’s economic transformation.
    Date: 2018–01
  18. By: Jason Anastasopoulos; George J. Borjas; Gavin G. Cook; Michael Lachanski
    Abstract: How does immigration affect labor market opportunities in a receiving country? This paper contributes to the voluminous literature by reporting findings from a new (but very old) data set. Beginning in 1951, the Conference Board constructed a monthly job vacancy index by counting the number of help-wanted ads published in local newspapers in 51 metropolitan areas. We use the Help-Wanted Index (HWI) to document how immigration changes the number of job vacancies in the affected labor markets. Our analysis begins by revisiting the Mariel episode. The data reveal a marked decrease in Miami’s HWI relative to many alternative control groups in the first 4 or 5 years after Mariel, followed by recovery afterwards. We find a similar initial decline in the number of job vacancies after two other supply shocks that hit Miami over the past few decades: the initial wave of Cuban refugees in the early 1960s, as well as the 1995 refugees who were initially detoured to Guantanamo Bay. We also look beyond Miami and estimate the generic spatial correlations that dominate the literature, correlating changes in the HWI with immigration across metropolitan areas. These correlations consistently indicate that more immigration is associated with fewer job vacancies. The trends in the HWI seem to most strongly reflect changing labor market conditions for low-skill workers (in terms of both wages and employment), and a companion textual analysis of help-wanted ads in Miami before and after the Mariel supply shock suggests a slight decline in the relative number of low-skill job vacancies.
    JEL: J6 J61 J63
    Date: 2018–05
  19. By: Lillestøl, Jostein (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: Denne rapporten gir en oversikt over utviklingen av matematikk og statistikk som metodefag i studiene ved Norges Handelshøyskole, fra starten i 1936 og 50 år framover til omlag 1986. Spesiell vekt er lagt på perioder da viktige beslutninger ble fattet, og til de ulike synspunkter hos de interesserte parter om veien videre. English This report (in Norwegian) gives a survey of the development of mathematics and statistics as methodology topics in the study programs at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), from the beginning in 1936 and 50 years forward to about 1986. Emphasis is given to times when important decisions were taken, and to the different viewpoints among the interested parties about the path to follow.
    Keywords: Matematikk; statistikk; metodefagets historie
    JEL: A00 A20 B00
    Date: 2018–05–15
  20. By: Blanchflower, David G. (Dartmouth College, Stirling, NBER, Bloomberg and IZA); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick, CAGE, and IZA)
    Abstract: In Happiness for All?, Carol Graham raises disquieting ideas about today’s United States.The challenge she puts forward is an important one. Here we review the intellectual case and offer additional evidence. We conclude broadly on the author’s side. Strikingly, Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of other countries, and most subgroups of citizens have downwardly trended happiness levels. There is, however, one bright side to an otherwise dark story. The happiness of black Americans has risen strongly since the 1970s. It is now almost equal to that of white Americans.
    Keywords: Happiness; well-being; GHQ; mental-health; depression; life-course JEL Classification: I3, I31
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Georges GALLAIS-HAMONNO; Christian RIETSCH
    Date: 2018
  22. By: Hanlon, Joseph
    Abstract: Strenuous efforts by donors and lenders over four decades turned Mozambique from a socialist success story into a neoliberal capitalist one. The private sector dominates; a domestic elite dependent on foreign companies has been created. But a secret US$2.2 billion arms and fishing boat deal involving Swiss and Russian banks and Mozambican purchases from France, Germany, and Israel, with large profits on all sides, was a step too far down the donor’s capitalist road. The International Monetary Fund cut off its programme and western donors ended budget support.
    Keywords: Mozambique; Ematum; secret loan; donor; IMF; corruption; neoliberal; tuna
    JEL: N0 E6
    Date: 2017–03–04
  23. By: Antolin-Diaz, Juan; Drechsel, Thomas; Petrella, Ivan
    Abstract: Using a dynamic factor model that allows for changes in both the long-run growth rate of output and the volatility of business cycles, we document a significant decline in long-run output growth in the United States. Our evidence supports the view that most of this slowdown occurred prior to the Great Recession. We show how to use the model to decompose changes in long-run growth into its underlying drivers. At low frequencies, a decline in the growth rate of labor productivity appears to be behind the recent slowdown in GDP growth for both the United States and other advanced economies. When applied to real-time data, the proposed model is capable of detecting shifts in long-run growth in a timely and reliable manner.
    JEL: J1 N0
    Date: 2017–05
  24. By: Auke Rijpma (Department of History, Utrecht University); Jeanne Cilliers (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: In this paper we describe the record linkage procedure to create a panel from Cape Colony census returns, or opgaafrolle, for 1787--1828, a dataset of 42,354 household-level observations. Based on a subset of manually linked records, we first evaluate statistical models and deterministic algorithms to best identify and match households over time. By using household-level characteristics in the linking process and near-annual data, we are able to create high-quality links for 84 percent of the dataset. We compare basic analyses on the linked panel dataset to the original cross-sectional data, evaluate the feasibility of the strategy when linking to supplementary sources, and discuss the scalability of our approach to the full Cape panel.
    Keywords: census, machine learning, micro-data, record linkage, panel data, South Africa
    JEL: N01 C81
    Date: 2018
  25. By: Fitjar, Rune Dahl; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: It has often been argued that “there is something in the air” which makes firms in high-density environments—such as cities or clusters—more innovative. The co-location of firms facilitates the emergence of serendipity and casual encounters which promote innovation in firms. We assess this hypothesis using data from a survey of Norwegian firms engaged in innovation partnerships. The results indicate that there may be “much less in the air” than is generally assumed in the literature. The relationships conducive to innovation by Norwegian firms emerged as a consequence of purpose-built searches and had little to do with chance, serendipity, or “being there.”
    Keywords: innovation; tacit knowledge; agglomeration; externalities; spillovers; Norway
    JEL: N0 J50
    Date: 2017–03–02

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