nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2020‒01‒13
thirty-one papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Field experiments and the practice of economics By Banerjee, Abhijit
  2. The economic legacy of General Velasco: Long-term consequences of interventionism. By Martinelli, Cesar; Vega, Marco
  3. Pharaoh’s Cage: Environmental Circumscription and Appropriability in Early State Development By Laura Mayoral; Ola Olsson
  4. Puerto Rico, Colonialism, and Neocolonialism By Cruz-Martinez, Gibran
  5. Filantropia o controllo sociale? Le opere assistenziali di un feudatario del Settecento By Zanini, Andrea
  6. ‘If p? Then What?’ Thinking Within, With, and From Cases By Morgan, Mary S.
  7. Divergent: The Time Path of Legacy and Athlete Admissions at Harvard By Peter Arcidiacono; Josh Kinsler; Tyler Ransom
  8. A reconsideration of the doctrinal foundations of monetary-policy rules: Fisher versus Chicago By George S. Tavlas
  9. Journal of the History of Economic Thought Preprints -- Review of “Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution” by Rebecca L. Spang By Paganelli, Maria Pia
  10. Short Term versus Long Term Effects of the Louisville Enterprise Zone Incentives: A Response to Zhang By Lambert, Thomas
  11. Experimentation, Innovation, and Economics By Kremer, Michael
  12. India in the Rise of Britain and Europe: A Contribution to the Convergence and Great Divergence Debates By Bhattacharya, Prabir
  13. Delegation of Governmental Authority in Historical Perspective: Lordships, State Capacity and Development By Oto-Peralías, Daniel
  14. The London Stock Exchange, 1869-1929: new statistics for old? By Hannah, Leslie
  15. On the Evolution of Multiple Jobholding in Canada By Olena Kostyshyna; Etienne Lalé
  16. Exit, Voice and Political Change: Evidence from Swedish Mass Migration to the United States By Karadja, Mounir; Prawitz, Erik
  17. Journal of the History of Economic Thought Preprints – Book Review: Cameralism in Practice: State Administration and Economy in Early Modern Europe, by Marten Seppel and Keith Tribe By Suprinyak, Carlos Eduardo
  18. Bankers as Immoral? The Parallels between Aquinas’s Views on Usury and Marxian Views of Banking and Credit By Lambert, Thomas
  19. On the frontiers of development: illicit poppy and the transformation of the deserts of southwest Afghanistan By Mansfield, David
  20. Journal of the History of Economic Thought Preprints – Review of “Time, Space and Capital” by Åke E. Andersson and David Emanuel Andersson By Zelmanovitz, Leonidas
  21. The Value of Terroir. A historical analysis of the Bordeaux and Champagne geographical indications By Catherine Haeck; Giulia Meloni; Jo Swinnen
  22. Schumpeter vs. Minsky on the Evolution of Capitalism and Entrepreneurship By Sau, Lino
  23. European Economics and the Early Years of the “International Seminar on Macroeconomics†By Aurélien Goutsmedt; Matthieu Renault, Francesco Sergi
  24. Economic Consequences of the U.S. Convict Labor System By Michael Poyker
  25. Spouses' Income Association and Inequality: A Non-Linear Perspective By Shoshana Grossbard; Lucia Mangiavacchi; William Nilsson; Luca Piccoli
  26. Journal of the History of Economic Thought preprints - "The GT and Keynes for the 21st Century" (ed Dow, Jespersen and Tily) By Grieve, Roy H
  27. Water Purification Efforts and the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap, 1906-1938 By D. Mark Anderson; Kerwin Kofi Charles; Daniel I. Rees; Tianyi Wang
  29. Increasing and Decreasing Labor Shares: Cross-Country Differences in the XXI Century By Sangmin Aum; Dongya Koh; Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis
  30. The Long-Term Costs of Government Surveillance: Insights from Stasi Spying in East Germany By Andreas Lichter; Max Löffler; Sebastian Siegloch
  31. On how religions could accidentally incite lies and violence: Folktales as a cultural transmitter By Vuong, Quan-Hoang; Ho, Tung Manh; Nguyen, Hong-Kong T.; La, Viet-Phuong; Vuong, Thu-Trang; Hanh, Vu Thi; Hoàng, NGUYỄN Minh; Ho, Toan Manh

  1. By: Banerjee, Abhijit (MIT)
    Abstract: Abhijit Banerjee delivered his Prize Lecture on Sunday 8 December 2019, at the Aula Magna, Stockholm University.
    Keywords: poverty; field experiments;
    JEL: C90 I30
    Date: 2019–12–08
  2. By: Martinelli, Cesar; Vega, Marco (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú)
    Abstract: We apply synthetic control methods to study the long-term consequences of the interventionist and collectivist reforms implemented by the Peruvian military junta of 1968-1975. We compare long-term outcomes for the Peruvian economy following the radical reforms of the early 1970s with those of two controls made of similar countries, one chosen in the Latin American region and another one chosen from the world at large. We find that the economic legacy of the junta includes sizable loses in GDP along two decades, beyond those that can be attributed to adverse international circumstances. The evidence suggests that those loses can be attributed both to a decline in capital accumulation and to a fall in productivity.
    Keywords: Output loss, synthetic controls, military nationalism, populism, collectivism, Peruvian Revolution
    JEL: E52 E58 E62
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Laura Mayoral; Ola Olsson
    Abstract: What explains the origins and survival of the first states around five thousand years ago? In this research, we focus on the role of productivity shocks for early state development in a single region: ancient Egypt. We introduce a model of extractive state consolidation that predicts that political instability should be low whenever environmental circumscription is high, i.e., whenever there is a large gap between the productivity of the area under state control (core) and that of the surrounding areas (hinterland). In these periods the elite can impose high levels of taxation that the population will be forced to accept as exit is not an attractive option. In order to test this hypothesis, we develop novel proxies for historical productivities on the basis of high-resolution paleoclimate archives. Our empirical analysis then investigates the relationship between proxies of the productivity of the Nile banks and of the Egyptian hinterland on the one hand, and political outcomes such as ruler and dynastic tenure durations and the intensity of pyramid construction on the other, during 2685 - 750 BCE. Our results show that while both too high or too low Nile floods are associated with a greater degree of political instability, periods with a greater rainfall in the hinterland (and hence a lower degree of environmental circumscription) are associated with an immediate rise in military and pyramid construction activity but also with a delayed increase in political instability, since the decline in effective circumscription provides the farming population with an outside option in the hinterland.
    Keywords: state formation, appropriability, environmental circumscription
    JEL: N4 H7 Q56
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Cruz-Martinez, Gibran (CSIC)
    Abstract: This essay aims to briefly collect the historical context of colonialism in Puerto Rico since the Spanish era but primarily focuses on revealing the reasons to consider Puerto Rico as a colony and non-self-governing territory of the US – rather than a neocolony of the US. Later, the article addresses the three non-colonial options recognized by the 1514 United Nations (UN) Resolution and the results of the five referendums on the political status of the Caribbean archipelago held over the last five decades. The essay concludes that Puerto Rico is undoubtedly a colony and asks for the United Nations and the sovereign countries of the world to denounce this illegal colonial relationship that subordinates residents of Puerto Rico to the will of the US Congress where they have no voting representatives.
    Date: 2019–06–01
  5. By: Zanini, Andrea
    Abstract: This article examines the reasons which moved local landlords to provide charity to their subjects, and focuses on the case of Borgo Fornari, an imperial fief in the Scrivia Valley, not far from Genoa, where in 1736 the marquis Carlo Spinola decided to build a hospital for the sick. Thanks to several unpublished sources preserved in the Spinola’s family archive, it has been possible to examine the most important aspects concerning organisation and functioning of the hospital and to demonstrate that it was managed paying attention to combine the efficacy of treatments with cost-effectiveness criteria.
    Keywords: poor relief systems; rural hospitals; Spinola family; Borgo Fornari
    JEL: N3 N33
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Morgan, Mary S.
    Abstract: The provocative paper by John Forrester: ‘If p, Then What? Thinking in Cases’ (1996) opened up the question of case thinking as a separate mode of reasoning in the sciences. Case-based reasoning is certainly endemic across a number of sciences, but it has looked different according to where it has been found. This paper investigates this mode of science - namely thinking in cases - by questioning the different interpretations of ‘If p?’ and exploring the different interpretative responses of what follows in ‘Then What?’. The aim is to characterise how ‘reasoning in, within, with, and from cases’ forms a mode of scientific investigation for single cases, for runs of cases, and for comparative cases, drawing on materials from a range of different fields in which case-based reasoning appears.
    Keywords: single cases; runs of cases; comparative cases; case-based reasoning
    JEL: N0 J1
    Date: 2019–12
  7. By: Peter Arcidiacono; Josh Kinsler; Tyler Ransom
    Abstract: Applications to elite US colleges have more than doubled over the past 20 years, with little change in the number of available seats. We examine how this increased competition has affected the admissions advantage that legacies and athletes (LA) receive. Using data on Harvard applications over 18 years, we show that non-legacy, non-athlete (NLNA) applications grew considerably and that LA applications remained flat. Yet, the share of LA admits remained stable, implying substantial increases in admissions advantages for legacies and athletes. We develop a simple theoretical model of university admissions to frame our empirical analysis. Viewed through the lens of the model, stability in the share of LA admits implies that elite colleges treat the number of LA admits and overall admit quality as complements. Our empirical analysis reveals that, if the admissions advantages for LA applicants had been constant throughout this period, there would have been a large increase in the number of minority admits.
    Keywords: college admissions, legacy admissions, racial bias
    JEL: I10 I23 J15
    Date: 2019–12
  8. By: George S. Tavlas (Bank of Greece)
    Abstract: There has long been a presumption that the price-level-stabilization frameworks of Irving Fisher and Chicagoans Henry Simons and Lloyd Mints were essentially equivalent. I show that there were subtle, but important, differences in the rationales underlying the policies of Fisher and the Chicagoans. Fisher’s framework involved substantial discretion in the setting of the policy instruments; for the Chicagoans the objective of a policy rule was to tie the hands of the authorities in order to reduce discretion and, thus, monetary-policy uncertainty. In contrast to Fisher, the Chicagoans provided assessments of the workings of alternative rules, assessed various criteria -- including simplicity and reduction of political pressures -- in the specification of rules, and concluded that rules would provide superior performance compared with discretion. Each of these characteristics provided a direct link to the rules-based framework of Milton Friedman. Like Friedman’s framework, Simons’s preferred rule targeted a policy instrument.
    Keywords: monetary policy rules; Chicago monetary tradition; Irving Fisher; Henry Simons;Lloyd Mints; Milton Friedman
    JEL: B22 E52
    Date: 2019–11
  9. By: Paganelli, Maria Pia
    Abstract: Book Review of “Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution” by Rebecca L. Spang
    Date: 2019–01–30
  10. By: Lambert, Thomas
    Abstract: Zhang (2019) has written that variations in research design have led to conflicting or mixed reviews of many local economic development policies that are based on the enterprise zone concept. She mentions a study and an article (Lambert 1997, Lambert and Coomes 2001) on the Louisville, Kentucky enterprise zone (EZ) and implies the time horizon used to evaluate it was too short. This research note points out that the Louisville EZ went through multiple transformations and expansions over its history from 1983 to 2003, and as noted in the first of two studies, the original zone showed virtually no progress from 1983 to 1990. Several other unpublished papers pointed out the same results when the original EZ and other parts of the expanded EZ were analyzed up to the last years of the 20th Century. Finally, this paper argues that and provides reasons for the methodology employed by Lambert and Coomes (2001) is a superior way of analyzing the Louisville EZ when compared to the methods employed by Zhang (2015). The main reason why Zhang (2015) shows success in the EZ is because she evaluates it in its final form in the late 1990s after it had annexed many sections of Jefferson County which were not as nearly economically disadvantaged as the original Louisville EZ established in 1983.
    Keywords: economic development, enterprise zones, industrial incentives, research design
    JEL: R11 R38 R52 R53 R58
    Date: 2019–12–17
  11. By: Kremer, Michael (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Michael Kremer delivered his Prize Lecture on Sunday 8 December 2019, at the Aula Magna, Stockholm University.
    Keywords: poverty; field experiments;
    JEL: C90 I30
    Date: 2019–12–08
  12. By: Bhattacharya, Prabir
    Abstract: This paper discusses the role of the British control of India in the rise of Britain and Europe as well as in the convergence in incomes within the Atlantic economy in the late nineteenth century. Britain was at the apex of the world economy throughout most of the nineteenth century. The paper argues that the emergence of Britain as the apex economic and political power depended on her control over India.This control of India then enabled Britain to pursue a set of policies that were of critical importance both for the convergence in incomes within the Atlantic economy and the rise of Europe. The thesis advanced here can be viewed, depending on one's prior position, as being either complementary to or alternative to the views of many of the protagonists of the divergence debate in the literature.
    Keywords: India, Britain, rise of Europe, incomes, convergence, divergence
    JEL: N10 N13 N15 N30 N70 O4
    Date: 2019–05–08
  13. By: Oto-Peralías, Daniel (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the long-term consequences of delegation of governmental authority through the study of a pivotal local political institution in historical Europe: the lordship. I collect data on seigneurial jurisdictions for ancien-regime Spain and document a negative relationship between having been a seigneurial town in the 18th century and current economic development. To shed light on the causal effect, I focus on the distribution of lordships in the former Kingdom of Granada after its conquest by the Catholic Monarchs, which can be considered as conditionally random. The results confirm the negative effect of lordship found for the whole country: towns that shortly after the conquest were granted to nobles are relatively poorer today. In addition, I explore the mechanisms of persistence, with the results pointing to lower state capacity as a main explanatory factor. This finding is consistent with an interpretation of seigneurial jurisdictions as a privatization of the local government, which has historically hindered the application of central government policies and lowered the state’s infrastructural capacity in former manorial towns.
    Date: 2019–08–09
  14. By: Hannah, Leslie
    Abstract: Newly assembled datasets on the size and composition of the London Stock Exchange present some results contradicting conventional wisdom. A forensic examination of one study of corporate equities in the Investor's Monthly Manual between 1869 and 1929 suggests both idiosyncratic mistakes and generic biases that limit the usefulness of this source.
    Keywords: London Stock Exchange; aggregations; data
    JEL: F3 G3
    Date: 2018–11–01
  15. By: Olena Kostyshyna; Etienne Lalé
    Abstract: The number of workers who hold more than one job (a.k.a. multiple jobholders) has increased recently in Canada. While this seems to echo the view that non-standard work arrangements are becoming pervasive, the increase has in fact been trivial compared with the long-run rise of multiple jobholding that has occurred since the mid-1970s. In this paper, we document this historical evolution and provide a comprehensive account of its underlying dynamics. To this end, we use restricted-access panel micro-data from the Canadian Labour Force Survey to construct transition probabilities into and out of multiple jobholding. We analyze these data through the lens of a trend decomposition that separates out the role of labor market inflows and outflows. The picture that emerges from our analysis is one of continued increases in the propensity of workers to take on second jobs. We argue that changes in technology and in preferences could both be responsible for this evolution.
    Keywords: Econometric and statistical methods; Labour markets
    JEL: E24 J21 J22 J60
    Date: 2019–12
  16. By: Karadja, Mounir; Prawitz, Erik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)
    Abstract: We study the political effects of mass emigration to the United States in the nineteenth century using data from Sweden. To instrument for total emigration over several decades, we exploit severe local frost shocks that sparked an initial wave of emigration, interacted with within-country travel costs. Our estimates show that emigration substantially increased the local demand for political change, as measured by labor movement membership, strike participation, and voting. Emigration also led to de facto political change, increasing welfare expenditures as well as the likelihood of adopting more inclusive political institutions.
    Date: 2019–09–05
  17. By: Suprinyak, Carlos Eduardo
    Abstract: This a review of the volume Cameralism in Practice: State Administration and Economy in Early Modern Europe, a collection of essay on cameralism edited by Marten Seppel and Keith Tribe.
    Date: 2019–03–10
  18. By: Lambert, Thomas
    Abstract: Throughout history, the performance, practices and ethics of bankers and banking in general have received mixed reviews in both popular and scholarly writings. Early writings by philosophers, clerics, and scribes played a crucial role in the perceptions of banking and banking occupations. Thomas Aquinas’s thoughts and writings were greatly influenced by the Romans’ and Aristotle’s opinions on usury and the charging of interest, and Aquinas was in a position to have his opinions implemented in policy and practice. Marx noted how banking and credit were used to expand the production and sales of a capitalistic economy beyond certain limits, although his focus was mostly on credit extended to businesses. At the same time, he wrote about how the credit system could lead to economic crises as well as to the concentration and centralization of capital. While lending is motivated by profit, and while households are not coerced into borrowing money, the justice of a system which exploits workers and at the same time encourages them to borrow money in order to maintain a certain standard of living can be viewed as unfair and immoral. The value of goods, according to Aquinas and Marx, should mostly reflect the value of labor embodied in them, and for that reason, labor should be compensated fully for its work. For these reasons, Aquinas and Marxian economists offer somewhat similar views on both the labor theory of value as well as on the morality of certain banking practices. If credit and the banking system also bring about crisis and the greater concentration and centralization of capital, then the morality of these outcomes also needs to be examined.
    Keywords: banking, exploitation, usury, Aquinas, Marx
    JEL: B11 B51 N20
    Date: 2019–12–20
  19. By: Mansfield, David
    Abstract: The physical and political geography of the deserts of southwest Afghanistan have gone through dramatic change over the last two decades. Located on the periphery of irrigated lands settled by the Afghan state in the 1950s and 1960s, this area has been at the forefront of technical change in Afghan agricultural production since 2003. Initially settled by small numbers of households escaping drought in the 1990s, tracts of these former desert lands were captured by local elites and communities from the adjacent irrigated lands. Access to improved technologies, including deep wells and diesel pumps, and a buoyant opium price, led to dry rocky soils being transformed into agricultural land. Further encroachment of these former desert lands came in 2008 with the drive to curb opium production in those accessible irrigated areas where the Afghan state, and foreign military forces, coerced the rural population to abandon opium. These counternarcotics efforts evicted the land-poor from the centrally irrigated valleys of the provinces of Helmand, Farah and Kandahar, leaving them few options but to seek new lives in the former desert areas. For those that owned land in the former desert areas, this supply of relatively cheap labour, skilled in opium production, encouraged a further expansion in opium poppy cultivation. Even in the wake of repeated low yields between 2010 and 2014, and fluctuating opium prices, farmers in these former desert areas adapted and innovated, exploiting herbicides and solar-powered technology to reduce the costs of opium production, and further increased the amount of land under agriculture. As this paper argues, these former desert areas should not be seen as marginal and remote, far from the reaches of the development programs of the Afghan state and its donors, but understood as engines of growth integrated into the global economic system; these are areas that have been transformed by improved access to modern technologies and an entrepreneurial local population that has fully exploited the opportunities illegal opium production offers.
    Keywords: opium poppy; transformations; Afghanistan; illicit economies; solar power
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–11–29
  20. By: Zelmanovitz, Leonidas
    Abstract: This “preprint” is the accepted typescript of a book review that is forthcoming in revised form, after minor editorial changes, in the Journal of the History of Economic Thought (ISSN: 1053-8372), volume 41 (2019), June issue.
    Date: 2019–01–29
  21. By: Catherine Haeck; Giulia Meloni; Jo Swinnen
    Abstract: Previous studies on the value of terroir, or more generally geographical indications (GI), used hedonic techniques. We use historical data and exploit temporal and geographical variations in the introduction of wine GIs in early twentieth century France to study the impact on the price of specific wines in the years and decades following their introduction. We find large effects of GIs on prices of some Champagne wines, but no significant impact on Bordeaux or other Champagne wines.
    Date: 2018–09
  22. By: Sau, Lino (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Joseph Schumpeter and Hyman Minsky have devoloped, during their lives, both a theory of the business cycles and a theory of capitalist development. Minsky was influenced by Schumpeter during the period he spent at Harvard University in 1942 and he thought that Schumpeter vision of the capitalist process required an integration of financial markets and investment behaviour: roughtly speaking, Minsky’s financial keynesianism was what Schumpeter needed to complete his own theory of the devoloping of a capitalist economy. Minsky explored an even broader historical framework during the last decade of his life: the theory of capitalist development along the idea that there are many types of capitalism. As pointed out by Whalen (2001) to analyse each stage of capitalist development following Minsky’s perspective, one should ask what is the distinctive activity being financed, what is the pivotal source of financing, and what is the balance of economic power between those in business and in banking/finance activity. Capitalist development is shaped by the institutional structure, but this structure is always evolving in response to profit-seeking activity. The financial system takes on special importance in this theory not only because finance exerts a strong influence on business activity but also because this system is particularly prone to innovation. In this paper, I shall focus particularly on this analysis trying to up-date his taxonomy, taking into account the process of global financialisation, and comparing it with Schumpeter’s previous scrutinity on the evolution of capitalism.
    Date: 2019–11
  23. By: Aurélien Goutsmedt; Matthieu Renault, Francesco Sergi
    Abstract: The International Seminar on Macroeconomics (ISoM) is an annual conference, which was co-sponsored, during 15 years (1978-1993) by the French EHESS and the NBER. This article uncovers the scientiï¬ c and institutional dynamics unrolling from this cooperation. The ISoM, we argue, constituted a decisive step towards the making of a European network of economists, sharing a distinctive style of economics, insofar that the Seminar gathered macroeconomists who were leading the development of this European network. We illustrate how the ISoM stands at the crossroad of two types of ‘internationalisation’ of economics: on the one hand, the integration of European national communities; on the other hand, the process of ‘Americanisation’ of economics. While existing literature on ‘internationalisation’ focuses on the national level, our contribution investigates its European level. Moreover, we unveil the key role played in this process by macroeconomics—and more speciï¬ cally, large-scale macroeconometric modelling on the one hand, and the disequilibrium theory on the other hand. These two approaches provided a common research agenda and shared scientiï¬ c standards for the emerging network.
    Keywords: History of macroeconomics; International Seminar on Macroeconomics; NBER; EHESS; Disequilibrium theory
    JEL: A11 A14 B22 B30
    Date: 2019–12–13
  24. By: Michael Poyker (Columbia University)
    Abstract: Prisoners employed in manufacturing constitute 4.2% of total U.S. manufacturing employment in 2005; they produce cheap goods, creating labor demand shock. I study the economic externalities of convict labor on local labor markets and firms. Using newly collected panel data on U.S. prisons and convict-labor camps from 1886 to 1940, I calculate each county`s exposure to prisons. I exploit quasi-random variation in county`s exposure to capacities of pre-convict-labor prisons as an instrument. I find that competition from cheap prison-made goods led to higher unemployment, lower labor-force participation, and reduced wages (particularly for women) in counties that housed competing manufacturing industries. The introduction of convict labor accounts for 0.5 percentage-point slower annual growth in manufacturing wages during 1880– 1900. At the same time, affected industries had to innovate away from the competition and thus had higher patenting rates. I also document that technological changes in affected industries were capital-biased.
    Keywords: Convict Labor, Labor Competition, Patenting, Technology Adoption
    JEL: J23 J31 J47 N31 N32 N71 N72 O33 R12
    Date: 2019–02
  25. By: Shoshana Grossbard; Lucia Mangiavacchi; William Nilsson; Luca Piccoli
    Abstract: We analyze the association between spouses' incomes using a rank-rank specification that takes non-linearities along both spouses’ income distribution into account. We also document that the relationships between income and labor force participation and income and couple formation are non-linear. Using simulations, we then analyze how changes in spouses’ rank-dependence structure, labor force participation and couple formation contribute to the upsurge of income inequality in the U.S between 1973 and 2013. We find that an increased tendency towards positive sorting contributed substantially to the rise in inequality among dual-earner couples, but contributed little to overall inequality across households. When considering all households, the factor accounting most for the increased inequality during this period is an increased tendency for individual men and women to remain single.
    Keywords: income inequality, assortative mating, female labor supply, Marriage, fertility, rank dependence
    JEL: J12 J22 D31
    Date: 2019–12
  26. By: Grieve, Roy H
    Abstract: Book review (title and editors as above)
    Date: 2019–02–15
  27. By: D. Mark Anderson; Kerwin Kofi Charles; Daniel I. Rees; Tianyi Wang
    Abstract: According to Troesken (2004), efforts to purify municipal water supplies at the turn of the 20th century dramatically improved the relative health of blacks. There is, however, little empirical evidence to support the Troesken hypothesis. Using city-level data published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for the period 1906-1938, we explore the relationship between water purification efforts and the black-white infant mortality gap. Our results suggest that, while water filtration was effective across the board, adding chlorine to the water supply reduced mortality only among black infants. Specifically, chlorination is associated with an 11 percent reduction in black infant mortality and a 13 percent reduction in the black-white infant mortality gap. We also find that chlorination led to a substantial reduction in the black-white diarrhea mortality gap among children under the age of 2, although this estimate is measured with less precision.
    Keywords: municipal water supply, Health, water filtration
    JEL: I18 J11 J15 N30
    Date: 2019–12
  28. By: Pack, Spencer
    Abstract: Favourable Book Review
    Date: 2019–01–30
  29. By: Sangmin Aum; Dongya Koh; Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis
    Abstract: We describe the behavior of the labor share in the corporate sector for twenty OECD countries over the first 15 years of the XXI century. Our first finding is that the OECD labor share -a cross-country average- is trendless over this medium-run horizon after adjusting for the labor income generated from IPP rents as in Koh et al. (2017). Second, we find that the behavior of the labor share is largely heterogeneous across countries over this period. Indeed, the corporate labor share significantly increases for equally as many countries (e.g., France, Italy and the United Kingdom) as it decreases (e.g., Germany, Israel and the United States) over this period. Third, a decomposition of the corporate labor share behavior into that of its components shows that the cross-country differences in labor share trends are mainly driven by the differences in labor productivity growth and not wages.
    Keywords: labor share, intellectual property products, SNA revisions, cross-country, wages, Labor Productivity
    JEL: E01 E22 E25
    Date: 2019–12
  30. By: Andreas Lichter; Max Löffler; Sebastian Siegloch
    Abstract: We investigate the long-run effects of government surveillance on civic capital and economic performance, studying the case of the Stasi in East Germany. Exploiting regional variation in the number of spies and administrative features of the system, we combine a border discontinuity design with an instrumental variables strategy to estimate the long-term, post-reunification effect of government surveillance. We find that a higher spying density led to persistently lower levels of interpersonal and institutional trust in post-reunification Germany. We also find substantial and long-lasting economic effects of Stasi surveillance, resulting in lower income, higher exposure to unemployment, and lower self-employment.
    Keywords: Civic capital, government surveillance, trust, economic performance, East Germany
    JEL: H11 N34 N44 P20
    Date: 2019
  31. By: Vuong, Quan-Hoang; Ho, Tung Manh; Nguyen, Hong-Kong T.; La, Viet-Phuong; Vuong, Thu-Trang; Hanh, Vu Thi; Hoàng, NGUYỄN Minh; Ho, Toan Manh (Thanh Tay University Hanoi)
    Abstract: This research employs the Bayesian network modeling approach, and the Markov chain Monte Carlo technique, to learn about the role of lies and violence in teachings of major religions, using a unique dataset extracted from long-standing Vietnamese folktales. The results indicate that, although lying and violent acts augur negative consequences for those who commit them, their associations with core religious values diverge in the final outcome for the folktale characters. Lying that serves a religious mission of either Confucianism or Taoism (but not Buddhism) brings a positive outcome to a character (βT_and_Lie_O= 2.23; βC_and_Lie_O= 1.47; βT_and_Lie_O= 2.23). A violent act committed to serving Buddhist missions results in a happy ending for the committer (βB_and_Viol_O= 2.55). What is highlighted here is a glaring double standard in the interpretation and practice of the three teachings: the very virtuous outcomes being preached, whether that be compassion and meditation in Buddhism, societal order in Confucianism, or natural harmony in Taoism, appear to accommodate two universal vices—violence in Buddhism and lying in the latter two. These findings contribute to a host of studies aimed at making sense of contradictory human behaviors, adding the role of religious teachings in addition to cognition in belief maintenance and motivated reasoning in discounting counterargument.
    Date: 2019–09–25

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