nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2019‒09‒30
24 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Trade and terroir. The political economy of the world's first geographical indications By Giulia Meloni; Jo Swinnen
  2. U.S. Trade Policy in Historical Perspective By Douglas A. Irwin
  3. Education and economic development. The influence of primary schooling on municipalities in nineteenth-century France By Adrien Montalbo
  4. The Primary Cause of European Inflation in 1500-1700: Precious Metals or Population? The English Evidence By Anthony Edo; Jacques Melitz
  5. Confronting the Japanese Challenge: The Revival of Manufacturing at Intel By Christophe Lécuyer
  6. Overcoming History through International Organizations - Historical Roots of EU Support and Euroscepticism By Kai Gehring
  7. A Review of Rent-seekers, Profits, Wages and Inequality, The Top 20%, 2019 by Peter Mihalyi and Ivan Szelenyi By Mehrdad Vahabi
  8. Measuring Success: Women Leaders in Industry in Nineteenth Century France: The Case of Amélie de Dietrich By Herrade Igersheim; Charlotte Le Chapelain
  9. Transition to a Modern Regime and Change in Plant Lifecycles: A Natural Experiment from Meiji Japan By Tomohiro Machikita; Tetsuji Okazaki
  10. Reconstruction of regional and national population using intermittent census-type data: the case of Portugal, 1527-1864 By Nuno Palma; Cristina Jaime Reis; Mengtian Zhang
  11. Creativity over Time and Space By Michel Serafinelli; Guido Tabellini
  12. Collusive Investments in Technological Compatibility: Lessons from U.S. Railroads in the Late 19th Century By Daniel P. Gross
  13. World Innovation:Evidence from 100 years of Patent Data By Enrico Berkes; Kristina Manysheva; Marti Mestieri
  14. The dynamics of conventions: the case of the French Social Security System By Philippe Batifoulier; Nicolas da Silva; Victor Duchesne
  15. A Guide to Sovereign Debt Data By S. M. Ali Abbas; Kenneth Rogoff
  16. Gorbachev versus Deng: A Review of Chris Miller's 'The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy' By Sergei Guriev
  17. A Review of Rent-seekers, Profits, Wages and Inequality, The Top 20%, 2019 by Péter Mihályi and Iván Szelényi By Mehrdad Vahabi
  18. Intelligence and Slave Exports from Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Oasis Kodila-Tedika
  19. Employment of People Ages 55 to 79 By Congressional Budget Office
  20. “Who pays the piper calls the tune” – Networks and transaction costs in commodity markets By Alexander Pütz; Pierre L. Siklos; Christoph Sulewski
  21. Lost in Transition? The Persistence of Dictatorship Mayors By González, F; Muñoz, P; Prem, M
  22. Industry Fluctuations and College Major Choices: Evidence from an Energy Boom and Bust By Han, Luyi; Winters, John V.
  23. Demand-Driven Labor-Market Polarization By Diego Comin; Ana Danieli; Marti Mestieri
  24. How Large is the Demand for Money at the ZLB? Evidence from Japan By Tsutomu Watanabe; Tomoyoshi Yabu

  1. By: Giulia Meloni; Jo Swinnen
    Abstract: The world’s first geographical indications (GIs) were in the wine sector and focused on the delineation of the location of production, the ‘terroir’: the Burgundy wines in the fifteenth century, the Port wines and Chianti wines in the eighteenth century, and the Champagne wines in the early twentieth century. We analyze the causes for the introduction of these GIs (‘terroirs’) and for changes in their delineation (expansion) later on. Our analysis shows that trade played a very important role in the creation of the ‘terroirs’ but not always through the same mechanisms. For the Port and Chianti GIs it was exports to Britain that were crucial; for Burgundy it was domestic trade to Paris; and for the Champagne GI it was not exports but pressure from wine imports and new wine regions that played a crucial role. For the expansions of the GIs later in history, other factors seem to have been equally important. Expansions of the GIs in the years and centuries after their introduction followed major changes in political power; the spread of a new philosophy in liberal and free markets across Europe; and infrastructure investments which opened up markets and made exports cheaper from “new” producers.
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Douglas A. Irwin
    Abstract: This survey reviews the broad changes in U.S. trade policy over the course of the nation’s history. Import tariffs have been the main instrument of trade policy and have had three main purposes: to raise revenue for the government, to restrict imports and protect domestic producers from foreign competition, and to reach reciprocity agreements that reduce trade barriers. These three objectives – revenue, restriction, and reciprocity – accord with three consecutive periods in history when one of them was predominant. The political economy of these tariffs has been driven by the interaction between political and economic geography, namely, the location of trade-related economic interests in different regions and the political power of those regions in Congress. The paper also addresses the impact of trade policies on the U.S. economy, such as the welfare costs of tariffs, the role of protectionism in fostering American industrialization, and the relationship between the Smoot-Hawley tariff and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
    JEL: F13 N71 N72
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: Adrien Montalbo (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: The impact of education on growth or individual earnings has been vastly studied in economics. However, much remains to know about this association before the mid-20th century. In this article, I investigate the effect of primary schooling on the economic devel- opment of French municipalities during the 19th century and up to World War I. Before the Guizot Law of 1833, no national legislation on primary schooling existed in France. Therefore, I evaluate if the municipalities with higher educational achievements before this law grew more than their counterparts during the following years. To do so, I exploit first the fact that the Guizot Law forced municipalities over 500 inhabitants to open and fund a primary school for boys. I implement a regression discontinuity around this cut-off on municipalities with no primary school in 1833. Second, I instrument educational achieve- ment, namely enrolment rates and schooling years, by the proximity of municipalities to printing presses established before 1500. Each method returns a positive impact of edu- cation on development. Education quality also mattered in this perspective. A matching estimation on municipalities with a school in 1833 indicates a positive impact of better teaching conditions provided by public grants on the subsequent growth of municipalities. Primary schooling is therefore an important factor which favoured the development of French municipalities during the century of industrialisation and modernisation.
    Keywords: Primary instruction,Economic development,Nineteenth-century France
    Date: 2019–09
  4. By: Anthony Edo (CEPII.); Jacques Melitz (CREST; CEPII.)
    Abstract: We perform the first econometric test to date of the influences of inflows of precious metals and population growth on the “Great Inflation” in Europe following the discovery of the New World. The English evidence strongly supports the near-equivalent importance of both influences. For 1500-1700, silver is the only relevant precious metal in the estimates. The study controls for urbanization, government spending, mortality crises and climatic changes. The series for inflows of the precious metals into Europe from America and European mining are newly constructed based on the secondary sources.
    Keywords: The Great Inflation, Demography, Precious metals, European economic history 1500-1700
    JEL: E31 F00 J10 N13 N33
    Date: 2019–09–01
  5. By: Christophe Lécuyer (CIAN - Circuits Intégrés Numériques et Analogiques - LIP6 - SU - Sorbonne Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Like many other American corporations, Intel was outcompeted in manufacturing by Japanese firms in the late 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. By 1985, it became clear that the corporation's weakness in production endangered its long-term survival. Responding to the Japanese challenge, Intel's upper management instigated a fundamental reform of manufacturing. At their behest, production engineers and managers adopted Japanese manufacturing technologies and operating procedures. They put microchip fabrication on a scientific footing. They developed new ways of transferring processes from development to production and standardized the firm's factories. This major transformation enabled Intel to reach manufacturing parity with Japanese chipmakers by the early 1990s.
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Kai Gehring
    Abstract: There is little causal evidence about deep-rooted sources of support for shifting power from nation-states to international organizations. Focusing on the European Union, this paper develops the hypothesis that citizens appreciate the role of international organizations in constraining member state’s the more, the more negatively their region was historically affected by the actions of nation-states. For identification, I use the historically homogeneous regions of Alsace and Lorraine in France as a natural experiment. A municipal level geographical regression discontinuity design documents that more negative exposure led to persistently higher EU support in three important referenda and less success of Eurosceptic parties in parliamentary elections. This effect is not driven by linguistic differences, migration, socioeconomic factors or public good provision, but linked to a stronger European identity. This stronger identity is neither explained by perceived economic benefits, nor comes at the expense of a weaker national or regional identity.
    Keywords: European Union, European Union support, Euroscepticism, international organizations, nation-states, repression, conflict, persistence, European identity, group identity
    JEL: D70 F50 H70 N24
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Mehrdad Vahabi (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))
    Abstract: The authors, Péter Mihályi and Iván Szelényi, set themselves the ambitious task of formulating an alternative discourse about inequality in which the extent of inequality per se is not the problem but rather where inequalities stem from? Herein lies their fundamental divergence with Piketty (2014) for whom the excessive growth of “profits” is assumed to be the source of inequalities. The problem with mainstream economics and Piketty is that “profit” and “rent” are lumped together. A critical distinction between the two is warranted to grasp the relationship between inequalities, innovation and economic growth. In line with Kornai’s criticism of Piketty (2016), the authors insist on the source of inequality. Are they engendered by wages and profits earned on competitive markets or are they originated from rents due to imposed restrictions on market competition? In contrast with Piketty, the general assumption of the authors is that higher profits and wages often add to the annual growth or national income. Rents on the other hand lower annual growth. Although some forms of rent may even be useful, excessive rents breeds economic stagnation.
    Keywords: Inequalities, rents, profits, wages, patrimonial capitalism, political capitalism
    JEL: E02 E25 H27 P10 P16 P29 Z13
    Date: 2019–08
  8. By: Herrade Igersheim (CNRS, BETA, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France); Charlotte Le Chapelain (University of Lyon, Lyon, France)
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Tomohiro Machikita; Tetsuji Okazaki
    Abstract: This paper examines how political, social, and economic regime changes affect the lifecycles of manufacturing plants exploiting Japans transition from a feudal regime to a modern regime in the late nineteenthcenturyasanaturalexperiment. Usingplant-leveldatafor1902, includingthefoundation year of each plant, we explored how the experience-size profiles of plants differ before and after the regime change. Plants were found to grow much faster after the regime change and the acceleration of growth after the regime change was much greater for the plants in exporting industries, industries intensively using steam power, and plants adopting a corporate form. These findings suggest that access to export markets, access to modern technologies, and availability of the modern corporate form were the channels through which the regime change affected the experience-size profile of plants. The findings on the acceleration of plant growth after the regime change are supported by the analyses of more detailed data from the silk-reeling industry.
    Date: 2019–08
  10. By: Nuno Palma (University of Manchester; Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa; CEPR); Cristina Jaime Reis (Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa); Mengtian Zhang (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We offer a new methodology for the construction of annual population stocks over the very long run. Our method does not require the assumption of a closed economy, and can be used in situations in which local annual gross flows are obtainable. Combining gross flows with intermittent census-type data, it is possible to arrive at local, regional and national population stock estimates at annual frequencies. We provide an application to early modern and nineteenth century Portugal, using a large sample of parish-level statistics up to the first modern census of 1864. All six major regions of the country are considered. ghlight the effect of the second nature geography changes as well as protectionism on well-being. We use a novel database of Danish and Swedish real wages to investigate the impact of these changes on Scanian living standards by employing a difference in difference approach to show that wages fell more in Scania than those in surrounding regions in relation to the border change and associated protectionism.
    Keywords: Border Demographic Reconstructions, Early Modern Portugal, Nineteenth Century Portugal
    JEL: C65 J11 N33
    Date: 2019–09
  11. By: Michel Serafinelli (University of Essex); Guido Tabellini (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Creativity is often highly concentrated in time and space, and across different domains. What explains the formation and decay of clusters of creativity? In this paper we match data on thousands of notable individuals born in Europe between the XIth and the XIXth century with historical data on city institutions and population. Our main variable of interest is the number of famous creatives (scaled to local population) born in a city during a century, but we also look at famous immigrants (based on location of death). We first document several stylized facts: famous births and immigrants are spatially concentrated and clustered across disciplines, creative clusters are persistent but less than population, and spatial mobility has remained stable over the centuries. Next, we show that the emergence of city institutions protecting economic and political freedoms and promoting local autonomy facilitates the attraction and production of creative talent.
    Keywords: innovation, agglomeration, political institutions, immigration, gravity
    JEL: R10 O10 J61 J24
    Date: 2019–09
  12. By: Daniel P. Gross
    Abstract: Collusion is widely condemned for its negative effects on consumer welfare and market efficiency. In this paper, I show that collusion may also in some cases facilitate the creation of unexpected new sources of value. I bring this possibility into focus through the lens of a historical episode from the 19th century, when colluding railroads in the U.S. South converted 13,000 miles of railroad track to standard gauge over the course of two days in 1886, integrating the South into the national transportation network. Route-level freight traffic data reveal that the gauge change caused a large shift in market share from steamships to railroads, but did not affect total shipments or prices on these routes. Guided by these results, I develop a model of compatibility choice in a collusive market and argue that collusion may have enabled the gauge change to take place as it did, while also tempering the effects on prices and total shipments.
    JEL: F14 F15 L15 L41 L92 N71
    Date: 2019–09
  13. By: Enrico Berkes (The Ohio State University); Kristina Manysheva (Northwestern University); Marti Mestieri (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: We document the evolution of innovation patterns over the last 100 years for over 75 countries as measured by patent filings in these countries. We document how innova- tion has shifted across fields, from mechanical engineering in the beginning of the XXth century, to chemistry and physics in the mid-century, medicine and the digital economy. We also document how different countries have contributed to these shifts at different points in time and how innovation correlates across countries and across fields. Finally, we use the cross-country, cross-sectoral citation patterns to document knowledge link- ages in the innovation process. We leverage on these country-sector linkages to construct an instrument for innovation and assess the impact of innovation on sectoral productiv- ity, absolute and comparative advantage.
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Philippe Batifoulier (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nicolas da Silva (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Victor Duchesne (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: (Open access full text) - The aim of this article is to analyze the French Social Security System (SSS) within the framework of the Economics of Convention (EC). From this perspective, we consider that the SSS is permeated by three competing con-ventions: an anticapitalist convention, a solidaristic convention, and a liberal convention. We use conventions as ideologies in order to address conflict and power in the context of EC. The French SSS is not the outcome of a consensus but of conflicts. An empirical analysis of historical documents and political de-bates during the sessions of the French National Assembly is mobilized in order to examine two key moments of controversy in 1949 and 1967
    Keywords: justification,Economics of Convention,ideology,social policy,French social security system
    Date: 2019
  15. By: S. M. Ali Abbas; Kenneth Rogoff
    Abstract: The last decade or so has seen a mushrooming of new sovereign debt databases covering long time spans for several countries. This represents an important breakthrough for economists who have long sought to, but been unable to tackle, first-order questions such as why countries have differential debt tolerance, and how debt levels affect the scope for countercyclical policy in recessions and financial crises. This paper backdrops these recent data efforts, identifying both the key innovations, as well as caveats that users should be aware of. A Directory of existing publicly-available sovereign debt databases, featuring compilations by institutions and individual researchers, is also included.
    Date: 2019–09–13
  16. By: Sergei Guriev (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Chris Miller’s book is a historian’s account of Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to save the Soviet economy. Miller focuses on the question of why Gorbachev did not follow Deng Xiaoping and did not manage to reform the economy. Miller argues that it was not for the lack of understanding (Gorbachev did invest in learning China’s approach to reform and did understand it well), nor for the lack of trying. In fact, Gorbachev did try to implement Deng’s agricultural and industrial enterprise reforms. However, Gorbachev’s reforms were blocked by powerful vested interests. An inability to tackle the agricultural and industrial lobbies eventually resulted in the bankruptcy and collapse of the Soviet Union. While I generally agree with the political economy argument, I discuss a number of alternative explanations. I also discuss sources of Gorbachev’s weak state capacity and offer an evaluation of Gorbachev’s and post-Gorbachev reform efforts and mistakes based on the political economy research carried out in the last twenty-five years.
    JEL: D72 O57 P21 P23 P24 P26
    Date: 2019–03
  17. By: Mehrdad Vahabi (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Date: 2019–09–17
  18. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon); Oasis Kodila-Tedika (University of Kinshasa, The DRC)
    Abstract: This article examines the role of cognitive ability or intelligence on slave exports from Africa. We test a hypothesis that countries which were endowed with higher levels of cognitive ability were more likely to experience lower levels of slave exports from Africa probably due to comparatively better capacities to organise, corporate, oversee and confront slave traders. The investigated hypothesis is valid from alternative specifications involving varying conditioning information sets. The findings are also robust to the control of outliers.
    Keywords: Intelligence; Human Capital; Slavery
    JEL: I20 I29 N30
    Date: 2019–01
  19. By: Congressional Budget Office
    Abstract: In 1995, 33 percent of people ages 55 to 79 worked. By 2018, that share rose to 44 percent. That growth was the result of continued increases in employment for women and a reversal of previously declining employment for men. The changes in employment of people ages 55 to 79—the period during which many people stop working—were related to changes in their demographic characteristics and the jobs they held, as well as to changes in Social Security.
    JEL: E24 J00 J10 J11 J26
    Date: 2019–09–26
  20. By: Alexander Pütz; Pierre L. Siklos; Christoph Sulewski
    Abstract: A new dataset of weekly wheat prices during the 1898 - 1914 is generated. Using variance decompositions from vector autoregressive (VAR) models, a network of 9 wheat markets during the sample period is constructed and information spillovers between these markets are analyzed. Our results indicate that transaction costs are a significant determinant of the relative importance of market places in the continental European wheat trade.
    Keywords: Early commodity futures markets, Information transmission, Connectedness, Network analysis
    Date: 2019–08
  21. By: González, F; Muñoz, P; Prem, M
    Abstract: Dictatorships can affect the functioning of new democracies but the mechanisms are poorly understood. We study the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile using new data and provide two findings. First, mayors appointed by Pinochet obtained a nine percentage point vote premium in the first local election in democracy. This premium is explained by an incumbency advantage and by an increase in local spending during the transition. Second, dictatorship mayors increased the vote share of right-wing political parties in democracy. We conclude that the dictatorship won “hearts and minds” before the transition and successfully maintained part of their political power.
    Keywords: politicians, dictatorship, democracy
    JEL: D2 G2 G3 M2
    Date: 2019–09–19
  22. By: Han, Luyi (Oklahoma State University); Winters, John V. (Iowa State University)
    Abstract: This paper examines how college students in the United States altered their college major decisions during the energy boom and bust of the 1970s and 1980s. We focus on petroleum engineering and geology, two majors closely related to the energy industry. We find strong evidence that the energy boom increased the prevalence of these two energy-related majors and the energy bust lowered the prevalence of these majors. Effects are particularly strong for young people born in energy intensive states. Thus, college major decisions responded to industry fluctuations with important location-specific effects consistent with frictions to migration and information flows.
    Keywords: college major, human capital, higher education, energy boom, energy bust
    JEL: I20 J20 J60 R10
    Date: 2019–09
  23. By: Diego Comin (Dartmouth College); Ana Danieli (Northwestern University); Marti Mestieri (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: We document that income elastic sectors are more intensive in high- and low-skill oc-cupations than income inelastic sectors, which are relatively more middle-skill intensive.As a result, increases in aggregate expenditure have an asymmetric effect on labor demandacross occupations and cause labor-market polarization. We quantify the importance of thisdemand-driven labor market polarization for the US using a general equilibrium modelwith endogenous job assignment and nonhomothetic demand. Our model is calibrated toaggregate variables from 1980 and household-level estimates of sectoral income elasticity.We find that the increase in aggregate expenditure from 1980 to 2016 accounts for 50% of theincrease in the wage bill share of high-skill occupations, 60% of the decline for medium-skilloccupations and virtually all of the increase in the wage bill share of low-skill occupations.This mechanism is also quantiatively important to understand the evolution of labor marketoutcomes across occupations in the period 1950-1980 and in other developed economies.
    Date: 2019
  24. By: Tsutomu Watanabe (Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo); Tomoyoshi Yabu (Faculty of Business and Commerce, Keio University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates a money demand function using Japanese data from 1985 to 2017, which includes the period of near-zero interest rates over the last two decades. We compare a log-log specification and a semi-log specification by employing the methodology proposed by Kejriwal and Perron (2010) on cointegrating relationships with structural breaks. Our main finding is that there exists a cointegrating relationship with a single break between the money-income ratio and the interest rate in the case of the log-log form but not in the case of the semi-log form. More specifically, we show that the substantial increase in the money-income ratio during the period of near-zero interest rates is well captured by the log-log form but not by the semi-log form. We also show that the demand for money did not decline in 2006 when the Bank of Japan terminated quantitative easing and started to raise the policy rate, suggesting that there was an upward shift in the money demand schedule. Finally, we find that the welfare gain from moving from 2 percent inflation to price stability is 0.10 percent of nominal GDP, which is more than six times as large as the corresponding estimate for the United States.
    Keywords: money demand function; cointegration; structural breaks; zero lower bound; welfare cost of inflation; log-log form; semi-log form; interest elasticity of money demand
    JEL: C22 C52 E31 E41 E43 E52
    Date: 2019–09

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