nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2020‒02‒03
28 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. NIKOLAI PETROVICH LIKHACHEV, HIS COLLECTION, AND ITS FORMATION By Evgeny A. Khvalkov; Aleksandra D. Shisterova; Alena D. Kuznetsova
  2. Eight centuries of global real interest rates, R-G, and the ‘suprasecular’ decline, 1311–2018 By Schmelzing, Paul
  3. Cooperative Agricultural Farms in Bulgaria (1890 -1989) By Marinova, Tsvetelina; Nenovsky, Nikolay
  4. Industry Structure, Segmentation, and Competition in the U.S. Hotel Industry By R. Andrew Butters; Thomas N. Hubbard
  5. The Effects of Rent Control in Latin America: A Century of Regulations in Argentina By Alejandro D. Jacobo; Konstantin A. Kholodilin
  6. 'Money markets and trade’ defining provincial financial agents in England and Japan By Ishizu, Mina
  7. Reassessing FERA: examining British firms’ strategic responses to ‘Indianisation’ By Aldous, Michael; Roy, Tirthankar
  8. “A new type of revolution”: socialist thought in India, 1940s-1960s By Sherman, Taylor C.
  9. Urbanization and mortality decline By Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra; Green, Elliott D.
  10. THE OLDEST NOTARIAL DOCUMENTS OF VICENZA DISTRICT, 1380–1465, WITH THE REGESTAE OF THE DOCUMENTS, FROM THE COLLECTION OF NIKOLAI LIKHACHEV By Aleksandra V. Chirkova; Evgeny A. Khvalkov; Daria A. Ageeva; Maksim D. Shkil; Viktoria V. Shaparenko
  11. The True History of the Depopulation of Rural Spain and How It Can Help Us Improve Our Policies By Fernando Collantes; Vicente Pinilla
  12. Deindustrialization in 18th and 19th Century India: Mughal Decline, Climate Shocks and British Industrial Ascent By Clingingsmith, David; Williamson, Jeffrey G.
  13. Establishment History Panel 1975-2018 By Ganzer, Andreas; Schmidtlein, Lisa; Stegmaier, Jens; Wolter, Stefanie
  14. Railroads, Reallocation, and the Rise of American Manufacturing By Richard Hornbeck; Martin Rotemberg
  15. An Econometric Model of International Long-run Growth Dynamics By Ulrich K. Müller; James H. Stock; Mark W. Watson
  16. Votes at work in Britain: shareholder monopolisation and the ‘single channel’ By McGaughey, Ewan
  17. The Challenge of Legitimacy in Sovereign Debt Restructuring By Lienau, Odette; Library, Cornell
  18. Artworks without names: an insight into the market for anonymous paintings By Anne-Sophie Radermecker
  19. Industrialization and Bilingualism in India By Clingingsmith, David
  20. The Economic Consequences of Political Hierarchy: Evidence from Regime Changes in China, AD1000-2000 By Ying Bai; Ruixue Jia
  21. What is Socialism Today? Conceptions of a Cooperative Economy By John E. Roemer
  22. The Somatic Idiomatic “Fear†Concept in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah By Mirela Beatris Munteanu
  23. "Complementarity between Mechanization and Human Capital: How Did Machines and Educated White-Collar Workers Enhance Labor Productivity in Prewar Japanese Coal Mines?" By Tetsuji Okazaki
  24. Japanese Foreign Exchange Interventions, 1971-2018: Estimating a Reaction Function Using the Best Proxy By Takatoshi Ito; Tomoyoshi Yabu
  25. Identifying the Causal Role of CO2 during the Ice Ages By Jennifer Castle; David Hendry
  26. The Decline of Secured Debt By Efraim Benmelech; Nitish Kumar; Raghuram Rajan
  27. Product Innovation, Product Diversification, and Firm Growth: Evidence from Japan's Early Industrialization By Serguey Braguinsky; Atsushi Ohyama; Tetsuji Okazaki; Chad Syverson
  28. Reforms and Employment in The Egyptian Labor Market: Evolution by Age From 1988 to 2006 By Selwaness, Irene

  1. By: Evgeny A. Khvalkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksandra D. Shisterova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Alena D. Kuznetsova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study presents a survey of the formation of the collection of Nikolai Petrovich Likhachev (1862-1936), a great collector and Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, through his life and research interests. This collection was unique for Russia at that time. As a researcher and a collector, Likhachev laid the foundations for the professional study of watermarks and paper studies, medieval diplomatics and sigillography, scholarly art history (in the sphere of icons) in Russia. The Museum of Palaeography created by Likhachev included rich material on the history of writing in Europe, Asia, North America and the European colonies of the New World, encompassing a wide chronological period - from the turn of the 4-3 millennia BC to the beginning of the 20th century. His collection shaped the schools of the Russian and Soviet Egyptology, Assyriology, Hellenic and Medieval studies, Arabic studies, Byzantine studies, and Slavic studies. The present paper is a contribution to the studies of both his activity as a scholar and an antiquarian, and the shaping of his collection.
    Keywords: N.P. Likhachev, collection, antiquarian, institutions, Latin palaeography, Italy, medieval, diplomatic, coins, deeds, documents, seals.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Schmelzing, Paul (Harvard University, Yale School of Management, Bank of England)
    Abstract: With recourse to archival, printed primary, and secondary sources, this paper reconstructs global real interest rates on an annual basis going back to the 14th century, covering 78% of advanced economy GDP over time. I show that across successive monetary and fiscal regimes, and a variety of asset classes, real interest rates have not been ‘stable’, and that since the major monetary upheavals of the late middle ages, a trend decline between 0.6–1.6 basis points per annum has prevailed. A gradual increase in real negative-yielding rates in advanced economies over the same horizon is identified, despite important temporary reversals such as the 17th Century Crisis. Against their long-term context, currently depressedbsovereign real rates are in fact converging ‘back to historical trend’ — a trend that makes narratives about a ‘secular stagnation’ environment entirely misleading, and suggests that — irrespective of particular monetary and fiscal responses — real rates could soon enter permanently negative territory. I also posit that the return data here reflects a substantial share of ‘non-human wealth’ over time: the resulting R-G series derived from this data show a downward trend over the same timeframe: suggestions about the ‘virtual stability’ of capital returns, and the policy implications advanced by Piketty (2014) are in consequence equally unsubstantiated by the historical record.
    Keywords: Real rate history; financial history; historical R-G; 13th–21st centuries
    JEL: E40 G12 N10 N20
    Date: 2020–01–03
  3. By: Marinova, Tsvetelina; Nenovsky, Nikolay
    Abstract: In this paper we have proposed an institutional reconstruction of the Bulgarian agricultural cooperatives’ history. The aim was to find the theoretical explanation of the complete deprivation of individuality of the agricultural cooperatives in the years of communism and their rejection respectively during the post-communist period. We consider that a relevant explanation was the accumulation of two institutional processes which were related to the nationalization of the cooperative sector and the cooperative idea. The first one may be referred to as being inertial and related to the specificities of the Bulgarian lagging behind and peripheral capitalism from the beginning of 20th century. That capitalism had a state character. The second institutional process occurred mainly in the wake of WWII. It was related to the large scale and actually mechanical application (despite some nominal specificities) of the Soviet model of agriculture and of the communist ideas of the place of that sector in the planned and all people’s economy. It must be underscored that the ideas of the agricultural cooperatives and the organization of agriculture coming from Russia and later from the USSR also played a definite role for shaping up the general understanding of cooperatives in Bulgaria.
    Keywords: agricultural cooperatives, communism, Soviet agrarian model, Bulgaria, institutional reconstruction
    JEL: N53 P13
    Date: 2020–01–15
  4. By: R. Andrew Butters; Thomas N. Hubbard
    Abstract: This paper investigates how increases in concentration can be interrupted or reversed by changes in how firms compete on quality. We examine the U.S. hotel industry during the past half century. We document that starting in the early 1980s, quality competition came more in the form of costs that vary with hotel size, and less in the form of costs that are fixed with hotel size, particularly for business travelers. We then show that, consistent with Sutton (1991), industry structure has evolved differently since then in areas that are business travel versus personal travel destinations. Demand increases have been associated with more, but smaller, hotels in business travel destinations. In contrast, the growth in the number of hotels is much smaller, and the growth in average hotel size is much greater, in personal travel destinations. We provide evidence that this change reflects the emergence of two new classes of hotels – limited service and all-suites hotels – that did not exist before the early 1980s. These entrants – many of which had high quality rooms but which had limited out-of-room amenities – had a narrower competitive impact on other hotels than did the entrants of the 1960s and 1970s, which competed more on out-of-the-room amenities, and this led the industry structure to evolve differently.
    JEL: L1 L22
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: Alejandro D. Jacobo; Konstantin A. Kholodilin
    Abstract: Following World War I, rent control became a standard policy response to the housing shortage and the resulting rent increases. Typically, economists blame it for creating inefficiencies in the housing market and beyond. We investigate whether rental market regulations (including rent control, protection of tenants from eviction, and housing rationing) had any effects in a middle-income Latin American economy, such as Argentina. To answer this question, we take advantage of a wide range of housing market indicators and restrictive rental regulation indices covering almost one century. Using a standard OLS model and MARS, a non-linear estimation technique, we find that rental market regulations have exerted a statistically significant negative impact on the growth rates of the real housing rents. However, they were only effective for short periods following both World Wars, when regulations were novel and particularly strong.
    Keywords: Argentina, housing rents, rent control, rental market regulations
    JEL: C21 E31 R38
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Ishizu, Mina
    Abstract: The paper aims to offer an introduction to provincial financial agents as the key components in provincial-metropolitan integration of money markets. It establishes that PFAs engaged in de facto banking and played an important role in local money markets. Both in England and in Tokugawa Japan, they were responsible for making decisions whether or not to establish a connection with financial agents in the commercial centres. The paper also considers some of the financial services facilitated by the existence of financial connections between metropolitan and provincial financial agents. In both countries, remittances and (particularly in England) investment were important financial activities facilitated by such connections, while bill-rediscounting appears to have been relevant only in the English case. On the other hand, in Japan domain-related business activity forged financial links with the commercial centres, links in which provincial financial agents played a major role. Also the expansion of inter-domainal private trade may have further stimulated the inter-regional financial linkages in the late Tokugawa period.
    Keywords: financial agents; provincial towns; inter-regional financial linkages;; early industrialisation
    JEL: N20 N23 N25
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Aldous, Michael; Roy, Tirthankar
    Abstract: The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, introduced in India in 1973, was the culmination of efforts to ‘Socialise’ economic policies and ‘Indianise’ corporate ownership. It resulted in a flight of foreign capital as Multinational Enterprises exited India to avoid these risks, finally driving out long-established British commercial interests. This article uses new sources to reassess how British businesses perceived the threats of Indianisation and analyses how they strategically responded to them. It shows that British-owned firms used a diverse range of strategies, some drawing on their extensive experience, knowledge and networks, built through long tenures in India, to adapt successfully.
    Keywords: British multinationals; foreign direct investment; strategy; India; post-colonial
    JEL: N0 J50
    Date: 2018–07–12
  8. By: Sherman, Taylor C.
    Abstract: Although it is often said that early postcolonial India was socialist, scholars have tended to take this term for granted. This article investigates how Indians defined socialism in the two decades after independence. It finds that there were six areas of agreement among Indian socialists: the centrality of the individual, the indispensability of work, the continued importance of private property, that the final goal was a more equal – but not flat – society, that this change had to be brought about without violence, and that the final goal of Indian socialism ought to be spiritual fulfilment. Understanding how Indians defined their version of socialism, it is argued, will help scholars re-evaluate the role of the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in defining the goals India pursued after independence. It will also re-orient our understanding of the expectations and limitations of the Indian state in this crucial period in Indian history.
    Keywords: socialism; postcolonial political thought; Gandhian political thought; Nehruvian consensus; state; cooperatives
    JEL: B14 B24 P2 P3
    Date: 2018–07–22
  9. By: Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra; Green, Elliott D.
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between mortality decline and urbanization, which has hitherto been proposed by demographers but has yet to be tested rigorously in a global context. Using cross-national panel data we find evidence of a robust negative correlation between crude death rates and urbanization. The use of instrumental variables suggest that this relationship is causal, while historical data from the early 20th century suggests that this relationship holds in earlier periods as well. Finally, we find robust evidence that mortality decline is correlated with urbanization through the creation of new cities rather than promoting urban growth in already-extant cities.
    Keywords: Urbanization; Mortality Decline; Economic Development; Structural Change; Demographic Transition
    JEL: Q15
    Date: 2018–03–01
  10. By: Aleksandra V. Chirkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Evgeny A. Khvalkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Daria A. Ageeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maksim D. Shkil (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Viktoria V. Shaparenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The collection of Western European manuscripts gathered by Nikolai Petrovich Likhachev (1862–1936) and currently stored in the Scientific and Historical archive of the St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences (the Archive) contains, among other documents, a number of those coming from the Latin West. The vast majority of this array comes from Italy (about 5,000 documents), of which about a third are original notarial deeds. There are over 10,000 storage units related to the history of Italy in the collection of the Western European section of the Archive. The collection is divided into fonds, and the focus of this research is on the 6th collection, “Venice and its possessions”, containing notarial deeds analysed by a team of scholars. These manuscripts provide information about economic and social aspects of life in the rural communes of Val d’Astico, located in Northern Vicentino. Here we describe the geographical and historical peculiarities of the region in order to place the documents in their particular context and to better understand it. All of these documents are instrumenta rather than imbreviaturae, and, at least when it comes to the deeds drawn up by Pietro di Zennaro, we can treat this set as having a certain unity. Within this study, one of our main objectives was preparation of these documents for critical publication. The source material studied here still has to be contextualized and researched in a more profound manner; however, we can clearly see now that the investigation of the deeds stored here are more than promising.
    Keywords: History of Italy, 14–16th centuries, Venetian Republic, Vicenza, notaries, notarial deeds, diplomatic, Latin palaeography.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Fernando Collantes (Universidad de Zaragoza e Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón, Spain); Vicente Pinilla (Universidad de Zaragoza e Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón, Spain)
    Abstract: In explaining the causes of depopulation, we seek in this study, to shift the emphasis from public policies towards a wider combination of technological, business, territorial and social factors. More often than not, our public policies have done little to curb depopulation, particularly during the ranco period and the early years of the democracy. However, the key factor of depopulation is the gap between rural and urban living conditions upon which it is not easy to act. Mass migrations in the decades after the 1950s were a consequence of the limitations of the rural economic change, the rural penalty in terms of access to infrastructures and services and the persistent gender gap in rural societies. The characteristics of agricultural and industrial technology, the economic geography of business activity and the highly disperse nature of rural settlement, among other factors, made it very difficult for the rural populations to aspire to seeing these problems corrected. Given that depopulation is the result of a complex combination of factors, many of which, in the best of cases, can only be partially or indirectly influenced by public policies, we need to focus the debate on how to design better policies.
    Keywords: Depopulation, rural exodus, population policies, rural development, economic history of Spain
    JEL: J11 J18 N94 R58
    Date: 2020–01
  12. By: Clingingsmith, David (Case Western Reserve University); Williamson, Jeffrey G.
    Abstract: India was a major player in the world export market for textiles in the early 18th century, but by the middle of the 19th century it had lost all of its export market and much of its domestic market, primarily to Britain. The ensuing deindustrialization was greatest c1750-c1860. We ask how much of India’s deindustrialization was due to local supply-side forces -- such as political fragmentation and a rising incidence of drought, and how much to world price shocks. An open, three-sector neo-Ricardian model organizes our thinking and new relative price database implements the empirical analysis. We find local supply side forces were important from as early as 1700. The size of Indian deindustrialization is then assessed by comparison with other parts of the periphery.
    Date: 2017–12–13
  13. By: Ganzer, Andreas (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Schmidtlein, Lisa (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Stegmaier, Jens (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Wolter, Stefanie (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "The Establishment History Panel (BHP) is composed of cross sectional datasets since 1975 for West Germany and 1992 for East Germany. Every cross section contains all the establishments in Germany which are covered by the IAB Employment History (BeH) on June 30th. These are all establishments with at least one employee liable to social security on the reference date. Establishments with no employee liable to social security but with at least one marginal part-time employee are included since 1999. The cross sections can be combined to form a panel. This data report describes the Establishment-History-Panel (BHP) 1975-2018." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en)) Additional Information deutschsprachige Version Frequencies and labels
    Keywords: IAB-Betriebs-Historik-Panel, Datenzugang, Datengewinnung, IAB-Beschäftigtenhistorik, Datenaufbereitung, Datenqualität, Unternehmensgründung, Unternehmensentwicklung, Betriebsstilllegung, Datensatzbeschreibung
  14. By: Richard Hornbeck; Martin Rotemberg
    Abstract: We examine impacts of market integration on the development of American manufacturing, as railroads expanded through the latter half of the 19th century. Using new county-by-industry data from the Census of Manufactures, we estimate substantial impacts on manufacturing productivity from relative increases in county market access as railroads expanded. In particular, the railroads increased economic activity in marginally productive counties. Allowing for the presence of factor misallocation generates much larger aggregate economic gains from the railroads than previous estimates. Our estimates highlight how broadly-used infrastructure or technologies can have much larger economic impacts when there are inefficiencies in the economy.
    JEL: D24 N61 N71 R1
    Date: 2019–12
  15. By: Ulrich K. Müller; James H. Stock; Mark W. Watson
    Abstract: We develop a Bayesian latent factor model of the joint evolution of GDP per capita for 113 countries over the 118 years from 1900 to 2017. We find considerable heterogeneity in rates of convergence, including rates for some countries that are so slow that they might not converge (or diverge) in century-long samples, and evidence of “convergence clubs” of countries. The joint Bayesian structure allows us to compute a joint predictive distribution for the output paths of these countries over the next 100 years. This predictive distribution can be used for simulations requiring projections into the deep future, such as estimating the costs of climate change. The model’s pooling of information across countries results in tighter prediction intervals than are achieved using univariate information sets. Still, even using more than a century of data on many countries, the 100-year growth paths exhibit very wide uncertainty.
    JEL: C32 C55 O47
    Date: 2019–12
  16. By: McGaughey, Ewan (King's College, London)
    Abstract: Why do shareholders monopolise voting rights in UK companies, and are trade unions the only way to get meaningful workplace representation? In 1967 a Labour Party policy document first coined the phrase that a ‘single channel’ for representation should ‘in the normal’ case mean trade unions. Since then, it has been said the labour movement embraced an ‘adversarial’ rather than a ‘constitutional’ conception of corporations, neglecting legal rights to worker voice in enterprise governance. This article shows that matters were not so simple. It explains the substantial history of legal rights to vote in British workplaces, and competition from the rival constitutional conception: employee share schemes. The UK has the oldest corporations – namely universities – which have consistently embedded worker participation rights in law. Britain has among the world’s most sophisticated ‘second channel’ participation rights in pension board governance. Developing with collective bargaining, it had the world’s first private corporations with legal participation rights. Although major plans in the 1920s for codetermination in rail and coal fell through, it maintained a ‘third channel’ of worker representatives on boards during the 20th century in numerous sectors, including ports, gas, post, steel, and buses. At different points every major political party had general proposals for votes at work. The narrative of the ‘single channel’ of workplace representation, and an ‘adversarial’ conception of the company contains some truth, but there has never been one size of regulation for all forms of enterprise. (2018) 47(1) Industrial Law Journal 76.
    Date: 2018–01–08
  17. By: Lienau, Odette; Library, Cornell
    Abstract: 57 Harvard International Law Journal 151-214 (2016) Since the emergence of the post-World War II international economic system, policymakers have lamented the absence of a global sovereign debt restructuring mechanism. This disappointment has only intensified in recent years, as the failure to provide prompt, comprehensive, and lasting debt relief becomes even more apparent. As a result, scholars and key international actors have argued for the development of a more coherent global approach to debt workouts. But to date this discussion lacks a sustained focus on questions of legitimacy — a fact that is exceptionally puzzling in light of the voluminous scholarship on the legitimacy deficits of international economic institutions once they have been established. This Article bridges that gap, arguing that serious attention should be paid to these questions in advance of negotiating a possible debt workout mechanism, and considering what such attentiveness might mean in practice. It highlights the political complexity and distributional ramifications of legitimacy arguments, and develops an analytical framework for understanding the concept along with a preliminary application to the debt restructuring context. It then analyzes the institutional and historical background of debt restructuring in light of this typology, and assesses how domestic insolvency regimes and investment treaty arbitrations incorporate features purported to advance legitimacy. Finally, the Article considers how a future debt workout institution might respond to calls for legitimacy — based on its initial establishment, ongoing processes, and final outcomes — and briefly discusses existing proposals and likely political obstacles in light of these themes. In foregrounding these concerns, this Article draws attention to issues and controversies that will likely be relevant for some time, and contends that the tensions, distributional issues, and power dynamics implicated in questions of legitimacy should inform negotiations on any sovereign debt workout mechanism going forward.
    Date: 2018–01–08
  18. By: Anne-Sophie Radermecker
    Abstract: This paper explores the market for indeterminate works of art. Our data set includes 1578 sales of fifteenth and sixteenth-century anonymous Flemish paintings, mainly collected from the Blouin Art Sales Index over the period 1955–2015. After a brief introductory section to the issue of anonymity in early modern art, and the different situations of information failure generated by anonymous paintings, the empirical part examines the supply and demand for paintings by unrecorded artists, using a hedonic pricing model. We find evidence that the degree of specification of the spatio-temporal designations given to the paintings (e.g. Flemish school, sixteenth century) affect prices differently (H1). The more specific the designation is in time and space, the more it tends to make up for the lack of information, and to positively affect the market value of anonymous paintings. When the artist name is missing, we also argue that purchasers pay greater attention to other quality signals. Four other hypotheses, which are expected to influence the buyer’s willingness to pay, are successively tested: H2) the physical condition of the painting; H3) oral or written interventions by an expert; H4) the length of the lot essay; and H5) previous attributions to named artists. The results suggest that most of these variables operate as significant pricing characteristics. We finally compare price indices of named artists, indirect names and spatio-temporal designations.
    Keywords: Anonymous art; Art market; Branding strategy; Hedonic regression; Indeterminate goods; Information failure; Old masters
    Date: 2019–09–01
  19. By: Clingingsmith, David (Case Western Reserve University)
    Abstract: Many of the world’s poorest people live in linguistically diverse countries where bilingualism is a distinct and important form of human capital. When communication among workers increases productivity, there are economic incentives to learn a second language. I study how the growth of industrial employment increased bilingualism in India between 1931 and 1961. Indian factories were linguistically mixed. I exploit industrial clustering and sectoral demand growth for identification. The effect on bilingualism was strongest in import-competing districts and among local linguistic minorities. Industrialization also increased literacy. Bilingualism was mainly the result of learning, rather than than migration or assimilation. It was not a byproduct of becoming literate. My results shed new light on human capital investment in developing economies and on the long-run evolution of languages and cultures.
    Date: 2017–12–13
  20. By: Ying Bai; Ruixue Jia
    Abstract: We argue that China, with its long history, a relatively stable political system, and multiple regime changes, provides us an opportunity to investigate the political economy of administrative hierarchy. Using prefecture-level panel data and exploiting regime changes during AD1000-2000, we find that gaining and losing importance in the political hierarchy led to the rise and decline of different prefectures (measured by population density and urbanization). Moreover, political hierarchy shapes regional development via both political and market channels (reflected by public employment and transportation networks). More broadly, our study serves as new evidence on how politics shapes economic geography and offers a context to understand changes in economic activity location in the long run.
    JEL: H11 N95 O11
    Date: 2020–01
  21. By: John E. Roemer (Dept. of Political Science & Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Socialism is back on the political agenda in the United States. Politicians and some economists who identify as socialists, however, do not discuss property relations, a topic that was central in the intellectual history of socialism, but rather limit themselves to advocacy of economic reforms, funded through taxation, that would tilt the income distribution in favor of the disadvantaged in society. In the absence of a more precise discussion of property relations, the presumption must be that ownership of ï¬ rms would remain private or corporate with privately owned shares. This formula is identiï¬ ed with the Nordic and other western European social democracies. In this article, I propose several variants of socialism, which are characterized by different kinds of property relation in the ownership of society’s ï¬ rms. In addition to varying property relations, I include as part of socialism a conception of what it means for a socialist society to possess a cooperative ethos, in place of the individualistic ethos of capitalist society. Differences in ethea are modeled as differences in the manner in which economic agents optimize. With an individualistic ethos, economic agents optimize in the manner of John Nash, while under a cooperative ethos, many optimize in the manner of Immanuel Kant. It is shown that Kantian optimization can decentralize resource allocation in ways that neatly separate issues of income distribution from those of efficiency. In particular, remuneration of labor and capital contributions to production need no longer be linked to marginal-product pricing of these factors, as is the key to efficiency with capitalist property relations. I present simulations of socialist income distributions, and offer some tentative conclusions concerning how we should conceive of socialism today.
    Keywords: Market socialism, General equilibrium, Cooperation, Kantian optimization, First theorem of welfare economics
    JEL: D3 D6 P2 P5 H4
    Date: 2020–01
  22. By: Mirela Beatris Munteanu (Timotheus’ Brethren Theological Institute of Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: In this article we intend to study lexemes that express emotions produced by fear from the perspective of lexicography and prophetic semantics, the lexem generating, depending on the relationship between the linguistic sense and the literary image, different directions of meaning: direct through constitutive features of the semantics of ascending emotions or indirect, through the syntactic structures in which they integrate. From the perspective of conceptual analysis (studying the meaning of all the words and expressions that are associated with a certain concept and which includes their systematization) we defined the term as a cultural phenomenon accompanied by a specific historical development, corresponding to the keyword of the proposed topic, also having an important presence in the Biblical text.
    Keywords: affective terms, fear, fright, emotion
    Date: 2019–11
  23. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how mechanization, white-collar human capital, and the complementarity between them led to an improvement in the labor productivity of bluecollar workers. We estimated production functions that included interaction terms between variables representing the intensity of physical capital and white-collar human capital, using detailed mine-level panel data from the coal mining industry in prewar Japan. We found that mechanization and white-collar human capital were indeed complementary. That is, in the mines where mechanization proceeded, and only in those mines, the higher the education level of white-collar workers was, the larger was the impact on the labor productivity of blue-collar workers.
    Date: 2019–12
  24. By: Takatoshi Ito; Tomoyoshi Yabu
    Abstract: We analyze the history of Japanese foreign exchange interventions from 1971 to 2018. First, we provide the best proxy for monthly interventions for the period from 1971 to 1990, when the intervention timings and amounts were not officially disclosed. The accuracy of the proxy is tested for the period when the statistics were disclosed after 1991. The proxy explains 99.8% of actual settlement-based interventions. Second, we examine conditions under which the Japanese monetary authorities are likely to intervene by estimating a policy reaction function, using the long-term data, spanning the period when intervention data have been officially disclosed and the period where our proxy is available. Third, we analyze intervention timings and amounts for Japan, the US, and Germany. Fourth, we present the episode of international coordination represented by the Plaza and Louvre agreements as a case study of notable interventions during the period.
    JEL: E52 E58 F31 G15
    Date: 2020–01
  25. By: Jennifer Castle; David Hendry
    Abstract: We investigate past climate variability over the Ice Ages, where a simultaneous-equations system is developed to characterize land ice volume, temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels as non-linear functions of measures of the Earth’s orbital path round the Sun. Although the orbital variables were first theorised as the fundamental causes of glacial variation by Croll in 1875 following Agassiz’s conception of a ‘Great Ice Age’ in 1840, their minor variations were thought insufficient to drive such major changes, especially the relative rapidity of shifts between glacial and warmer periods. The changes over the ice ages in atmospheric CO2 closely matched changes in land ice volumes, and since temperature changes are in turn affected by CO2 and also closely tracked ice volumes, a key identification issue is the causal role of CO2 in the process. As any links between CO2 and temperature above the forces from the orbital drivers (which of course are still operating) must have been natural ones hundreds of thousands of years ago, understanding their interactions at that time is important now that additional CO2 emissions are anthropogenic. We develop a simultaneous equation system over the last 800,000 years that allows a test of the role of CO2 as endogenously driven by the orbital variations, or an ‘exogenous’ influence as it now is.
    Keywords: Climate Econometrics; Model Selection; Outliers; Identification; Saturation Estimation; Au- tometrics; Ice Ages
    JEL: C01 C51 C87 Q54
    Date: 2020–01–22
  26. By: Efraim Benmelech; Nitish Kumar; Raghuram Rajan
    Abstract: We document a steady decline in the share of secured debt issued (as a fraction of total debt) in the United States over the twentieth century, with some pickup in this century. Superimposed on this secular trend, the share of secured debt issued is countercyclical. The secular decline in secured debt issuance seems to result from creditors acquiring greater confidence over time that the priority of their debt claims will be respected even if they do not obtain security up front. Borrowers also do not seem to want to lose financial and operational flexibility by giving security up front. Instead, security is given on a contingent basis – when a firm approaches distress. Similar arguments explain why debt is more likely to be secured in the down phase of a cycle than in the up phase, thus accounting for the cyclicality of secured debt share.
    JEL: G32 K22 N12
    Date: 2020–01
  27. By: Serguey Braguinsky (University of Maryland - Department of Management & Organization; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research); Atsushi Ohyama (Hitotsubashi University); Tetsuji Okazaki (University of Tokyo); Chad Syverson (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER))
    Abstract: We explore how firms grow by adding products. In contrast to most earlier work on the topic, our conceptual and empirical framework allows for separate treatment of product innovation (vertical differentiation) and diversification (horizontal differentiation). The market context is Japan’s cotton spinning industry at the turn of the last century. We find that introducing innovative products outside of the previously feasible set involves removing the “supply-side constraint” by investing in new types of machines and technologies. This process involves a high degree of uncertainty, however, so firms that take steps in this direction tend to first introduce innovative products on experimental basis. We show that conducting such experiments is a key to firm growth. It not only provides opportunities to capture the market in high-end vertically differentiated products when successful, but also facilitates horizontal differentiation of the firm’s products within its previous technical capabilities. In long-term outcomes over 20 years, the right tail of the firm size distribution becomes dominated by firms that were able to expand in both directions: moving first into technologically challenging vertically differentiated products, and then later applying their newly acquired high-end technical competence to horizontal expansion of their product portfolios.
    Keywords: Innovation, Growth
    JEL: D2 L1 N6 N8 O3
    Date: 2020
  28. By: Selwaness, Irene
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the evolution in the age composition of males' employment in the aftermath of the public sector downsizing in the 1990s -during the Economic Reform and Structural Adjustment Policies - and the new labor law in 2003. This answers the question of whether young (15-29) and older (50-59) male workers were the most likely to bear the brunt of the 1990s reforms and the new labor law in 2003. Employment, formality and hours-of-work are simultaneously estimated by maximum likelihood to control for the self-selection, using three repeated cross sectional samples from Egyptian Datasets conducted in 1988, 1998 and 2006. Results show that men aged (15-29) and those aged (50-59) were less likely, as compared to their peers in middle age (30-49), to be employed in 1998 than in 1988 (before the first reform). While informality has affected all age groups, the 30 to 49 years old were the category that experienced the most rapid increase in informality as compared to the other two age groups. Findings also show evidence of negative correlation between the probability of employment and the probability of having a formal job, indicating that those who have more incidence to work in formal jobs are more likely to remain unemployed or inactive.
    Keywords: Structural Adjustment Programs,Labor Supply,Informality,Simultaneous Equations,Middle-East,Egypt
    JEL: J08 J21 N35 C3
    Date: 2020

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