nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2018‒06‒11
thirty papers chosen by

  1. Well-being Inequality in the Long Run By Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
  2. Alexandre Lamfalussy and the monetary policy debates among central bankers during the Great Inflation By Ivo Maes; Piet Clement
  3. Drivers and constraints of state confiscation of elite property in the Ottoman Empire, 1750-1839 By Arslantas, Yasin
  4. Taxes and growth: new narrative evidence from interwar Britain By Cloyne, James; Dimsdale, Nicholas; Postel-Vinay, Natacha
  5. The Origins of Common Identity: Division, Homogenization Policies and Identity Formation in Alsace-Lorraine By Sirus Dehdari; Kai Gehring
  6. A Pull-Push Theory of Industrial Revolutions By Bernard Beaudreau
  7. The long-term consequences of the global 1918 influenza pandemic: A systematic analysis of 117 IPUMS international census data sets By Sebastian Vollmer; Juditha Wójcik
  8. Endogenous Growth and Entropy By Tiago Neves Sequeira; Pedro Mazeda Gil; Óscar Afonso
  9. Female Empowerment and Male Backlash By Eleonora Guarnieri; Helmut Rainer
  10. Energy in Economic Growth: Is Faster Growth Greener? By Gregor Semieniuk
  11. Lessons from historical monetary unions - is the European monetary union making the same mistakes? By Ryan, John; Loughlin, John
  12. Happily Ever After: Immigration, Natives' Marriage, and Fertility By Carlana, Michela; Tabellini, Marco
  13. La atención de la locura en la Beneficencia de Cundinamarca, durante el periodo 1950-1970. Una lectura desde las historias clínicas By Castrillon Valderruten Maria del Carmen
  14. Did the Black Death Cause Economic Development by "Inventing" Fertility Restriction? By Jeremy Edwards; Sheilagh Ogilvie
  15. Douglass C. North: Transaction Costs, Property Rights, and Economic Outcomes By Gary D. Libecap
  16. Global Debt Database: Methodology and Sources By Samba Mbaye; Marialuz Moreno Badia; Kyungla Chae
  17. Should We Fear the Robot Revolution? (The Correct Answer is Yes) By Andrew Berg; Edward F Buffie; Luis-Felipe Zanna
  18. Confederation debt management since 1970 By Basil Guggenheim; Mario Meichle; Thomas Nellen
  19. Lottery Loans in the Eighteenth Century By Velde, Francois R.
  20. Ancestral characteristics of modern populations By Giuliano, Paola; Nunn, Nathan
  21. Is the U.S. Public Corporation in Trouble? By Kahle, Kathleen M.; Stulz, Rene M.
  22. Theoretical and Methodological Context of (Post)-Modern Econometrics and Competing Philosophical Discourses for Policy Prescription By Jackson, Emerson Abraham
  23. Financial Stability and Central Bank Transparency : a speech at "350 years of Central Banking: The Past, the Present and the Future," A Sveriges Riksbank anniversary conference sponsored by the Riksbank and the Riksdag, Stockholm, Sweden, May 25, 2018. By Powell, Jerome H.
  24. Uma história de desigualdade: as maiores rendas no Brasil, 1926-2015 By Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza
  25. Women's Political Power and Environmental Outcomes By Georgios Voucharas; Dimitrios Xefteris
  26. The discrete role of Latin America in the globalization process By Olivié, Iliana; Gracia, Manuel
  27. Explaining inter-ethnic and inter-religious marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa By Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay; Elliott Green
  28. "Twenty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Rethinking the Role of Money and Markets in the Global Economy" By W. Lee Hoskins; Walker F. Todd
  29. This one is 400 Libyan dinars, this one is 500: Insights from Cognitive Human Capital and Slave Trade By Simplice Asongu; Oasis Kodila-Tedika
  30. Family formation, gender and labour during the First Globalization in Montevideo, Uruguay By María Camou

  1. By: Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
    Abstract: This paper provides a long-run view of well-being inequality at world scale based on a new historical dataset. Trends in social dimensions alter the view on inequality derived from per capita GDP. While in terms of income, inequality increased until the third quarter of the twentieth century; in terms of well-being, inequality fell steadily since World War I. The spread of mass primary education and the health transitions were its main drivers. The gap between the West and the Rest explains only partially the evolution of well-being inequality, as the dispersion within the developing regions has increasingly determined its evolution.
    Keywords: education; Health Transition; inequality; Life Expectancy; per capita GDP; Well-being
    JEL: I00 N30 O15 O50
    Date: 2018–05
  2. By: Ivo Maes (National Bank of Belgium and Robert Triffin Chair, Université catholique de Louvain and ICHEC Brussels Management School, Boulevard de Berlaimont 14, 1000 Brussels, Belgium); Piet Clement (Bank for International Settlements.)
    Abstract: The 1970s were a turbulent period in postwar monetary history. This paper focuses on how central bankers at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), especially Alexandre Lamfalussy, the BIS’s Economic Adviser, responded to the Great Inflation. The breakdown of Bretton Woods forced central bankers to look for new monetary policy strategies as the exchange rate lost its central role. Lamfalussy, in his early years a Keynesian in favour of discretionary policies, moved to a "conservative Keynesian" position, acknowledging that a medium term orientation and the credibility of monetary policy were important to break inflationary expectations. However, Lamfalussy never moved to “monetarist” positions. Lamfalussy certainly acknowledged that monetary targets could reinforce the credibility and independence of monetary policy. However, he rejected mechanical rules. In essence he aimed for a middle position: rules applied with a pragmatic sense of discretion. In the early 1980s, with the rise of financial innovations, Lamfalussy would stress even more the limitations of monetary targeting. His focus turned increasingly to systemic financial stability risks, preparing the ground for the macroprudential approach of the BIS. In Lamfalussy's view, central banking remained an art, not a science.
    Keywords: Great Inflation, monetary policy, central banking, Alexandre Lamfalussy, BIS
    JEL: B22 E58 F44
    Date: 2018–04
  3. By: Arslantas, Yasin
    Abstract: This paper examines the motives, timing and informal constraints of state confiscation in the Ottoman Empire, focusing on one of its most turbulent and confiscatory periods, 1750-1839. Utilizing a new dataset uncovered from confiscation inventories, I first demonstrate that confiscations were practiced on a selective basis, targeting some office-holders and tax farmers. Second, employing a two-step econometric framework inspired by the gradual nature of Ottoman confiscations, I argue that the initial decision whether to send an agent to confiscate one’s wealth was driven mainly by severity of war and expected costs of confiscation, while attributes of wealth and bargaining power of families vis-à-vis the central administration shaped the outcome of the second step.
    Keywords: Ottoman Empire; Confiscation; State Predation; Institutions; State Capacity; Property Rights
    JEL: H1 N25 P48
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Cloyne, James; Dimsdale, Nicholas; Postel-Vinay, Natacha
    Abstract: The impact of fiscal policy on economic activity is still a matter of great debate. And, ever since Keynes first commented on it, interwar Britain, 1918-1939, has remained a particularly contentious case - not least because of its high debt environment and turbulent business cycle. This debate has often focused on the effects of government spending, but little is known about the effects of tax changes. In fact, a number of tax reforms in the period focused on long-term and social objectives, often reflecting the personality of British Chancellors. Based on extensive historiographical research, we apply a narrative approach to the interwar period in Britain and isolate a new series of exogenous tax changes. We find that tax changes have a sizable effect on GDP, with multipliers around 0.5 on impact and exceeding 2 within two years. Our estimates contribute to the historical debate about fiscal policy in the interwar period and are remarkably similar to the sizable tax multipliers found after WWII.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic Policy; Fiscal Policy; Taxation; Public Finance; Fiscal History; Multiplier; Narrative Approach
    JEL: E23 E32 E62 H2 H30 N1 N44
    Date: 2018–05
  5. By: Sirus Dehdari; Kai Gehring
    Abstract: We exploit the quasi-exogenous division of the French regions Alsace and Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 due to disagreements in the German leadership to provide evidence of group identity formation within historically homogeneous regions. People in the treated area, which was exposed to repressive homogenization policies aimed to suppress group identity, express a stronger regional identity and support more regional autonomy today. Using a regression discontinuity design at the municipal level, we find that support for two crucial referenda, which would have increased regional autonomy, subscription rates to regional newspapers, and regionalist party votes are significantly higher in the treated area. The results are robust across different specifications and bandwidths, and not driven by language differences, large agglomerations or distance to foreign countries. The differences in regional identity are strongest for the first two age cohorts after World War II and become weaker for later generations.
    Keywords: group identity, regional identity, identity formation, persistence of preferences, homogenization policies, assimilation, Alsace-Lorraine
    JEL: D91 H70 H80 N40 Z19
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Bernard Beaudreau (Université Laval)
    Abstract: Drawing from the only two known industrial revolutions, this paper present a theory of technological/structural/industrial revolutions based on pull and push factors. Specifically, generalizing from the first industrial revolution (FIR) in Great Britain and the U.S. post-bellum economic growth (1880-1900) and second industrial revolution (SIR), we show that two fundamental conditions appear to be necessary, namely the existence of a set of new market opportunities (pull) as well as the existence of a new set of process innovations/new technologies (push). In other words, the overriding, underlying shock (i.e. the ultimate cause) must induce push and pull factors, without which the revolution in question will not occur. In the case of the first industrial revolution, we argue that the migration of 100,000-140,000 French Huguenot refugees to the shores of England, Ireland and Scotland was among the causes, while in the case of the second industrial revolution, it was the steam engine which ultimately contributed to the opening up of the West, the creation of a national market and the resulting mass production.
    Keywords: Industrial Revolution, Networks, Innovation
    JEL: O12 B52 N14
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Sebastian Vollmer (Goerg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany); Juditha Wójcik (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: Several country-level studies, including a prominent one for the United States, have identified long-term effects of in-utero exposure to the 1918 influenza pandemic (also known as the Spanish Flu) on economic outcomes in adulthood. In-utero conditions are theoretically linked to adult health and socioeconomic status through the fetal origins or Barker hypothesis. Historical exposure to the Spanish Flu provides a natural experiment to test this hypothesis. Although the Spanish Flu was a global phenomenon, with around 500 million people infected worldwide, there exists no comprehensive global study on its long-term economic effects. We attempt to close this gap by systematically analyzing 117 Census data sets provided by IPUMS International. We do not find consistent global long-term effects of influenza exposure on education, employment and disability outcomes. A series of robustness checks does not alter this conclusion. Our findings indicate that the existing evidence on long-term economic effects of the Spanish Flu is likely a consequence of publication bias.
    Keywords: Spanish Flu; 1918 Influenza Pandemic; Fetal Origins Hypothesis
    JEL: I15 N30 O57
    Date: 2017–12–06
  8. By: Tiago Neves Sequeira (Universidade da Beira Interior and CEFAGE-UBI); Pedro Mazeda Gil (cef.up, FEP, Universidade do Porto); Óscar Afonso (cef.up and FEP, Universidade do Porto, and CEFAGE-UBI)
    Abstract: This paper offers novel insights regarding the role of complexity in both the transitional and the long-run dynamics of the economy. We devise an endogenous growth model using the concept of entropy as a state-dependent complexity effect. This allows us to gradually diminish scale effects as the economy develops along the transitional dynamics, which conciliates evidence on the existence of scale effects in history with evidence of no or reduced scale effects in today’s economies. We show that empirical evidence supports entropy as a “first principle” operator of the complexity effect. The model features endogenous growth, with null or small (positive or negative) scale effects, or stagnation, in the long run. These different long-run possibilities have also policy implications. Then, we show that the model can replicate well the take-off after the industrial revolution and the productivity slowdown in the second half of the XXth century. Future scenarios based on in-sample calibration are discussed, and may help to explain (part of) the growth crises affecting the current generation.
    Keywords: endogenous economic growth; complexity effects; entropy.
    JEL: O10 O30 O40 E22
    Date: 2018–04
  9. By: Eleonora Guarnieri; Helmut Rainer
    Abstract: Do policies and institutions that promote women’s economic empowerment have a long-term impact on intimate partner violence? We address this question by exploiting a natural experiment of history in Cameroon. From the end of WWI until 1961, the western territories of today’s Cameroon were arbitrarily divided between France and the United Kingdom, whose colonial regimes opened up divergent economic opportunities for women in an otherwise cul- turally and geographically homogeneous setting. Women in British territories benefited from a universal education system and gained opportunities for paid employment. The French colonial practice in these domains centered around educating a small administrative elite and investing in the male employment-dominated infrastructure sector. Using a geographical regression discontinuity design, we show that women in former British territories are 30% more likely to be victims of domestic violence than those in former French territories. Among a broad set of possible channels of persistence, only one turns out statistically significant and quantitatively important: women in former British territories are 30% more likely to be in paid employment than their counterparts in former French areas. These results are incompatible with household bargaining models that incorporate domestic violence but they are accommodated by theories of male backlash.
    Keywords: colonization, female economic empowerment, intimate partner violence
    JEL: J12 J16 N37 Z13
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Gregor Semieniuk (Department of Economics, SOAS University of London, UK)
    Abstract: An influential theoretical hypothesis holds that if aggregate productivity growth accelerates, then so does the decline in energy intensity. Whether faster growth is greener in this sense is crucial for modeling future growth and climate change mitigation, but empirical evidence is lacking. This paper characterizes the global, long-run historical relationship between changes in energy intensity and labor productivity growth rates. Basing estimates on an unbalanced panel of 180 countries for the period 1950-2014 and the world as a whole, it captures a significantly larger historical window than previous studies. The paper finds a stylized fact whereby the rate at which energy intensity changes is constant or even increases as labor productivity accelerates. Faster growth is not greener. This provides important new information for calibrating integrated assessment models, many of which make a green growth assumption in near term projections.
    Keywords: energy intensity, labor productivity, decoupling, green growth, stylized fact
    JEL: O44 O47 Q43 E17
    Date: 2018–04
  11. By: Ryan, John; Loughlin, John
    Abstract: This article examines three historical monetary unions: the Latin Monetary Union (LMU), the Scandinavian Monetary Union (SMU), and the Austro-Hungarian Monetary Union (AHMU) in an attempt to derive possible lessons for the European Monetary Union (EMU). The term ‘monetary union’ can be defined either narrowly or broadly depending on how closely it conforms to Mundell’s notion of ‘Optimal Currency Area’. After examining each of the historical monetary unions from this perspective, the article concludes that none of them ever truly conformed to Mundell’s concept, nor does the EMU. Nevertheless, the article argues that some lessons may be learned from these historical experiences. First, it is necessary that there exist robust institutions such as a common central bank and a unified fiscal policy in order to withstand external shocks. The three early unions could not withstand the shock of WWI. Another important lesson is that continuing national rivalries can undermine any monetary union.
    Keywords: Latin monetary union; Scandinavian monetary union; Austro-Hungarian monetary union; European monetary union; Eurozone crisis; European Central Bank
    JEL: E42 E50 E52 F02 F50
    Date: 2018–04–04
  12. By: Carlana, Michela (Bocconi University); Tabellini, Marco (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effects of immigration on natives' marriage, fertility, and family formation across US cities between 1910 and 1930. Instrumenting immigrants' location decision by interacting pre-existing ethnic settlements with aggregate migration flows, we find that immigration raised marriage rates, the probability of having children, and the propensity to leave the parental house for young native men and women. We show that these effects were driven by the large and positive impact of immigration on native men's employment and occupational standing, which increased the supply of "marriageable men". We also explore alternative mechanisms − changes in sex ratios, natives' cultural responses, and displacement effects of immigrants on female employment − and provide evidence that none of them can account for a quantitatively relevant fraction of our results.
    Keywords: immigration, marriage, fertility, employment
    JEL: J12 J13 J61 N32
    Date: 2018–04
  13. By: Castrillon Valderruten Maria del Carmen
    Abstract: Este documento busca aproximarse a las dinámicas institucionales que caracterizaron la atención de los enfermos mentales, en los establecimientos de la Beneficencia de Cundinamarca, en un periodo de transformaciones institucionales en la atención de la locura en el país, en el cual que confluyeron nuevas maneras de concebir y diagnosticar la “locura”, por la vía de la psiquiatría, principalmente. Se trató de un periodo que visibilizó la fuerza del discurso médico frente a otros, asociados a la religión y a lo sobrenatural, siendo parte de un largo proceso de “secularización” de la locura en Occidente. Desde la exploración de las historias clínicas, surge el interés por focalizar las prácticas psiquiátricas predominantes, teniendo en cuenta que este tipo de documento puede ser revelador de continuidades y cambios de las instituciones de asistencia social para registrar, clasificar y contener a los “otros”, en este caso, los llamados locos y locas. Se asume entonces un enfoque historiográfico para leer las historias clínicas, tal como lo propone Huertas (2012: 151), quien afirma que documentos como estos, no sólo evidencian una “praxis clínica” y unos paradigmas médico-psiquiátricos predominantes (aunque no siempre coincidentes con dichas praxis), sino que también permiten otro tipo de análisis de historia social, al facilitar información demográfica, epidemiológica y del funcionamiento institucional de los establecimientos destinados a esta población. En este sentido, es posible conocer diagnósticos, tratamientos, perfiles sociales de la población atendida, fechas de ingreso y reingresos, permitiendo construir datos sobre “cronificación y custodialismo”. Estos últimos datos puestos en perspectiva, constituirían un contrasentido, justamente cuando el periodo que aquí se abarca, estuvo atravesado por los lineamientos de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), que dio lineamientos para reconceptualizar la enfermedad mental y con ello, introducir una fuerte línea preventiva de la atención psiquiátrica que redujera las prácticas manicomiales y fortaleciera otros mecanismos terapéuticos ambulatorios, de la mano de otros saberes interdisciplinarios (como la psicología y el trabajo social, por ejemplo).
    Keywords: Beneficencia, historias clínicas, locura, Cundinamarca
    Date: 2018–04–30
  14. By: Jeremy Edwards; Sheilagh Ogilvie
    Abstract: Voigtländer and Voth argue that the Black Death shifted England towards pastoral agriculture, increasing wages for unmarried women, thereby delaying female marriage, lowering fertility, and unleashing economic growth. We show that this argument does not hold. Its crucial assumption is inconsistent with the evidence: women wanting to do pastoral work after the Black Death did not have to remain unmarried, so improved pastoral opportunities did not necessitate later marriage. There is no consensus that late female marriage emerged after the Black Death. Furthermore, the relationship between pastoralism and female marriage age in England provides no support for this argument.
    Keywords: European marriage pattern, black death, land-labour ratio, arable and pastoral agriculture
    JEL: E02 J12 J13 N13 N33
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Gary D. Libecap
    Abstract: Douglass North asked why some societies historically and contemporarily have rising per-capita incomes and individual welfare, whereas others do not? He argued that successful economies had property rights that encouraged markets, trade, and investment in new production and organizational methods. In other economies, transaction costs, especially those due to the political process, blocked more efficient property rights. Property rights grant decision making over valuable resources and are the basis for investment, and market exchange. They mold the economy and the distribution of wealth and political power. Politicians and coalitions of privileged elites with stakes in the status quo join to preserve it. Inefficiencies create their own constituencies. There is no clear remedy for general citizens in North’s cases. Despite the power of North’s argument, transaction costs are not clear in aggregate studies of economies. They are more apparent in US common-pool resource problems with large, continuing losses in resource rents. This evidence runs counter to the facile arguments in the welfare and environmental economics literatures for addressing externalities that are reminiscent of the simplistic recommendations in the growth and economic history literatures that North challenged. If the observed costly political response to open access losses is characteristic of regulation in general, then welfare losses permeate developed economies as well and are more pervasive than the dramatic examples of development failure examined by North and others. Mitigation requires competitive interest groups that benefit from more secure property rights and greater resource rents to offset powerful elites that align with politicians and capture bureaucratic agencies to achieve particularistic benefits that undermine general welfare.
    JEL: K11 K32 N4 N42 N5 N52 Q15 Q2 Q22 Q25 Q28 Q32 Q38
    Date: 2018–05
  16. By: Samba Mbaye; Marialuz Moreno Badia; Kyungla Chae
    Abstract: This paper describes the compilation of the Global Debt Database (GDD), a cutting-edge dataset covering private and public debt for virtually the entire world (190 countries) dating back to the 1950s. The GDD is the result of a multiyear investigative process that started with the October 2016 Fiscal Monitor, which pioneered the expansion of private debt series to a global sample. It differs from existing datasets in three major ways. First, it takes a fundamentally new approach to compiling historical data. Where most debt datasets either provide long series with a narrow and changing definition of debt or comprehensive debt concepts over a short period, the GDD adopts a multidimensional approach by offering multiple debt series with different coverages, thus ensuring consistency across time. Second, it more than triples the cross-sectional dimension of existing private debt datasets. Finally, the integrity of the data has been checked through bilateral consultations with officials and IMF country desks of all countries in the sample, setting a higher data quality standard.
    Date: 2018–05–14
  17. By: Andrew Berg; Edward F Buffie; Luis-Felipe Zanna
    Abstract: We may be on the cusp of a “second industrial revolution” based on advances in artificial intelligence and robotics. We analyze the implications for inequality and output, using a model with two assumptions: “robot” capital is distinct from traditional capital in its degree of substitutability with human labor; and only capitalists and skilled workers save. We analyze a range of variants that reflect widely different views of how automation may transform the labor market. Our main results are surprisingly robust: automation is good for growth and bad for equality; in the benchmark model real wages fall in the short run and eventually rise, but “eventually” can easily take generations.
    Date: 2018–05–21
  18. By: Basil Guggenheim; Mario Meichle; Thomas Nellen
    Abstract: This paper presents new data vintages on marketable debt emissions and total outstanding debt. The data are used to analyze the Swiss Confederation’s issuing behavior and debt management. Issuing behavior became more regular and demand-oriented during the early 1990s. The Treasury actively manages roll-over risk by increasing bond maturity with increasing marketable debt to GDP levels. Furthermore, the Treasury engages in active but asymmetric, one-sided interest rate positioning. In other words, the Treasury uses only bonds to affect debt maturity and does so only when the interest rate environment is favorable to lock-in interest rates by issuing longer-term bonds.
    Keywords: Government debt, government debt management, government debt maturity
    JEL: E63 H63
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Velde, Francois R. (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: In the 18th century Britain frequently issued lottery loans, selling bonds whose size was determined by a draw soon after the sale. The probability distribution was perfectly known ex-ante and highly skewed. After the draw the bonds were identical (except for size) and indistinguishable from regular bonds. I collect market prices for the lottery tickets and show that investors were paying a substantial premium to be exposed to this purely artificial risk. I show that investors were well-to-do and included many merchants and bankers. I turn to cumulative prospect theory to make sense of these observations and estimate the equilibrium model of Barberis and Huang (2008). The preference parameters can account for the level of the lottery premium but cannot always match the systematic rise of prices over the course of the draws.
    Keywords: Lotteries; behavioral finance; cumulative prospect theory; Great Britain; government debt
    JEL: D81 G12 N13
    Date: 2018–05–12
  20. By: Giuliano, Paola; Nunn, Nathan
    Abstract: We construct a database, with global coverage, that provides measures of the cultural and environmental characteristics of the pre-industrial ancestors of the world's current populations. In this paper, we describe the construction of the database, including the underlying data, the procedure to produce the estimates, and the structure of the final data. We then provide illustrations of some of the variation in the data and provide an illustration of how the data can be used.
    Keywords: cultural traits; Historical development; Persistence; Political Institutions
    JEL: N00 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2018–05
  21. By: Kahle, Kathleen M. (University of Arizona); Stulz, Rene M. (Ohio State University)
    Abstract: We examine the current state of the U.S. public corporation and how it has evolved over the last 40 years. After falling by 50 percent since its peak in 1997, the number of public corporations is now smaller than 40 years ago. These corporations are now much larger and over the last twenty years have become much older; they invest differently, as the average firm invests more in R&D than it spends on capital expenditures; and compared to the 1990s, the ratio of investment to assets is lower, especially for large firms. Public firms have record high cash holdings and, in most recent years, the average firm has more cash than long-term debt. Measuring profitability by the ratio of earnings to assets, the average firm is less profitable, but that is driven by smaller firms. Earnings of public firms have become more concentrated--the top 200 firms in profits earn as much as all public firms combined. Firms' total payouts to shareholders as a percent of earnings are at record levels. Possible explanations for the current state of the public corporation include a decrease in the net benefits of being a public company, changes in financial intermediation, technological change, globalization, and consolidation through mergers.
    JEL: D22 G24 G30
    Date: 2017–05
  22. By: Jackson, Emerson Abraham
    Abstract: This research article was championed as a way of providing discourses pertaining to the concept of "Critical Realism (CR)" approach, which is amongst many othe forms of competing postmodern philosophical concepts for the engagement of dialogical discourses in the area of established econometric methodologies for effective policy prescription in the economic science discipline. On the the whole, there is no doubt surrounding the value of empirical endeavours in econometrics to address real world economic problems, but equally so, the heavy weighted use and reliance on mathematical contents as a way of justifying its scientific base seemed to be loosing traction of the intended focus of economics when it comes to confronting real world problems in the domain of social interaction. In this vein, the construction of mixed methods discourse(s), which favour that of CR philosophy is hereby suggested in this article as a way forward in confronting with issues raised by critics of mainstream economics and other professionals in the postmodern era.
    Keywords: Theoretical,Methodological Intervention,Critical Realism,Postmodern,Econometrics
    JEL: A12 B50 C18
    Date: 2018
  23. By: Powell, Jerome H. (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))
    Date: 2018–05–30
  24. By: Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "O Brasil passou por grandes mudanças estruturais desde a metade dos anos 1920. O país tornou-se predominantemente urbano, o produto interno bruto (PIB) per capita foi multiplicado por 12 e os níveis educacionais melhoraram significativamente. Entretanto, a concentração de renda no topo manteve-se extremamente alta durante todo o período. Contrariando as previsões idílicas dos teóricos da modernização, não houve tendência secular rumo a uma sociedade mais igualitária". (...)
    Keywords: história, desigualdade, maiores, rendas, Brasil, 1926, 2015
    Date: 2018–04
  25. By: Georgios Voucharas; Dimitrios Xefteris
    Abstract: Environmental deterioration is believed to affect women more than men. Thus, in the context of democratic decision-making, an increase in the political power of women should lead to better environmental outcomes. In this paper, we test this intuition by estimating how suffrage rights affected countries' emissions using data for the period 1850-2014. By employing a) a difference-in-difference empirical strategy a la Miller (2008) and b) a calibrated regression discontinuity design that focuses on the few years before and after the suffrage reform, we provide -for the first time- robust evidence suggesting that environmental outcomes strongly depend on the extent of women's political participation.
    Keywords: women's suffrage; emissions; voting rights; political economy; environmental outcomes.
    Date: 2018–05
  26. By: Olivié, Iliana; Gracia, Manuel
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2018
  27. By: Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay (Queen Mary, University of London); Elliott Green (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Inter-cultural marriages have long been of great interest to social scientists who wish to examine how ethnic, religious, racial and other identities form and change over time. However, the vast majority of this research has been concentrated in developed countries. As such we undertake the first major examination into the causes and correlates of inter-ethnic and inter-religious marriage in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa. We use Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) couples data in a series of multi-level logit models from up to 36 countries to document a number of findings. First, we show that inter-ethnic marriage rates are high, at 22.3% on average, and rising across Africa over the past 30 years, with rates approaching 50% for recent marriages in Gabon and Zambia and rising rates over time for all countries in our dataset. In contrast, however, we show that inter-religious marriage rates are much lower, at only 5%, and stagnant, with no country average higher than 15% and declining over time in a number of countries. Second, as expected from the literature on inter-cultural marriages in other contexts, we show that modernization variables such as urbanization, literacy/education, wealth and declines in polygamy and agricultural employment are significantly correlated with rising levels of inter-ethnic marriage; in contrast, the relationship between modernization and inter-religious marriage is much more ambiguous. Third, we show that inter-ethnic marriage is significantly correlated with higher age at marriage, being previously married and migration before marriage. Finally, we find no evidence that inter-married couples have fewer children, in contrast to findings elsewhere.
    Keywords: Ethnicity, Religion, Marriage, Sub-Saharan Africa, DHS data, Modernization
    JEL: J12 N37 O10
    Date: 2018–05
  28. By: W. Lee Hoskins; Walker F. Todd
    Abstract: Many of the hopes arising from the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall were still unrealized in 2010 and remain so today, especially in monetary policy and financial supervision. The major players that helped bring on the 2008 financial crisis still exist, with rising levels of moral hazard, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the too-big-to-fail banks, and even AIG. In monetary policy, the Federal Reserve has only just begun to reduce its vastly increased balance sheet, while the European Central Bank has yet to begin. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 imposed new conditions on but did not contract the greatly expanded federal safety net and failed to reduce the substantial increase in moral hazard. The larger budget deficits since 2008 were simply decisions to spend at higher levels instead of rational responses to the crisis. Only an increased reliance on market discipline in financial services, avoidance of Federal Reserve market interventions to rescue financial players while doing little or nothing for households and firms, and elimination of the Treasury's backdoor borrowings that conceal the real costs of increasing budget deficits can enable the American public to achieve the meaningful improvements in living standards that were reasonably expected when the Berlin Wall fell.
    Keywords: Too Big To Fail; Moral Hazard; Section 13(3); Credit Allocation; Domestic Price Level Stability
    JEL: E42 E52 E58 E61 E63
    Date: 2018–06
  29. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Oasis Kodila-Tedika (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo)
    Abstract: One of the most disturbing contemporary episodes in human history that has been decried globally is the recent Libyan experience of slave trade, where migrants captured end-up being sold as slaves. We contribute to the understanding of this phenomenon by investigating the role of cognitive human capital on slave trade. To this end, we use the historic intelligence and slave trade variables respectively, as the independent and outcome variables of interest. Our findings show a negative relationship between slave trade and cognitive human capital. Hence, slave trade is more apparent when cognitive human capital is low. The Ordinary Least Squares findings are robust to the control for outliers, uncertainty about the model and Tobit regressions. We substantiate why from the perspective of massive sensitisation and education, the non-contemporary relationship between cognitive ability and slave trade established in this study has contemporary practical policy relevance in efforts to stem the tide of clandestine travel to Europe through countries in which clandestine migrants are captured and sold as slaves.
    Keywords: Intelligence; Human Capital; Slavery
    JEL: I20 I29 N30
    Date: 2018–01
  30. By: María Camou (Programa de Historia Económica y Social, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: The aim in this research is to analyse the impact of institutions such as the family for a better comprehension of the status of women in the formation of Uruguayan society. Uruguay was a country with a large contingent of European immigrants who came mainly from Spain, followed by Italy. Although these two countries are not representative of the Western European Marriage Pattern, it will be argued that the immigration process caused a disruption of the original family patterns and led to more unstructured family formation and to weaker family ties and greater predominance of the nuclear family. Weaker family ties characterized by more egalitarian gender and intergenerational relations are supposed to allow for women to take on a less traditional role and stimulate higher female labour force participation. Our results show that the effects of migration cannot only be derived from the specific demographic, cultural and human capital profile of the immigrants, but also indirectly from the consequences of their decision to immigrate in their life courses and labour options.
    Keywords: Uruguay, Family Structure, Labour, Gender, Immigration
    JEL: N36 B54 J21 J12 N96
    Date: 2018–03

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.