nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2020‒04‒20
thirty papers chosen by

  1. Social Insurance and Public Assistance in the Twentieth-Century United States: 2019 Presidential Address for the Economic History Association By Price V. Fishback
  2. Contagion of Fear By Kris James Mitchener; Gary Richardson
  3. Inequality, Low-Intensity Immigration and Human Capital Formation in the Regions of Chile, 1820-1939 By Jörg Baten; Manuel Llorca-Jaña
  4. The Brazilian Bombshell? The Long-Term Impact of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic the South American Way By Amanda Guimbeau; Nidhiya Menon; Aldo Musacchio
  5. Discrimination, Migration, and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from World War I By Andreas Ferrara; Price V. Fishback
  6. The Rise of American Minimum Wages, 1912-1968 By Price V. Fishback; Andrew Seltzer
  7. Off to a Good Start: The NBER and the Measurement of National Income By Hugh Rockoff
  8. Copyright and Creativity. Evidence from Italian Opera During the Napoleonic Age By Michela Giorcelli; Petra Moser
  9. Is Bitcoin Money? An Economic-Historical Analysis of Money, Its Functions and Its Prerequisites By Umlauft, Thomas
  10. History of Utility Theory By Ivan Moscati
  11. The deep imprint of Roman sandals: Evidence of long-lasting effects of Roman rule on personality, economic performance, and well-being in Germany By Fritsch, Michael; Obschonka, Martin; Wahl, Fabian; Wyrwich, Michael
  12. Sovereign Ratings, Foreign Direct Investment and Contagion in Emerging Markets: Does Being a BRICS Country Matter? By Emara, Noha; El Said, Ayah
  13. The Great Depression and the rise of female employment: A new hypothesis By Bellou, Andriana; Cardia, Emanuela
  14. A propos des fondements éthiques de la critique du capitalisme par Marx By Fabien Tarrit
  15. Longer-run Economic Consequences of Pandemics By Òscar Jordà; Sanjay R. Singh; Alan M. Taylor
  16. A Comprehensive History of Regression Discontinuity Designs: An Empirical Survey of the last 60 Years By Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas; Freddy A. Pinzón-Puerto; María Alejandra Ruiz-Sánchez
  17. Hinterlands, City Formation and Growth: Evidence from the U.S. Westward Expansion By Dávid Krisztián Nagy
  18. Reconstructing The Past: The New Production-Side Estimates For Italy, 1861–1913 By Fenoaltea, Stefano
  19. What Do 50 Years of Census Records and Household Survey Data Tell Us about Human Opportunities and Welfare in Latin America ? By Calvo-Gonzalez,Oscar; Caruso,German Daniel; Castaneda Aguilar,Raul Andres; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso
  20. The Economics of Tobacco Regulation: A Comprehensive Review By Philip DeCicca; Donald S. Kenkel; Michael F. Lovenheim
  21. The Economic Impact of a High National Minimum Wage: Evidence from the 1966 Fair Labor Standards Act By Martha J. Bailey; John DiNardo; Bryan A. Stuart
  22. Banking Crises without Panics By Matthew Baron; Emil Verner; Wei Xiong
  23. The Incubator of Human Capital: The NBER and the Rise of the Human Capital Paradigm By Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
  24. Reconstructing the Past: The New Expenditure-Side and Composition-Of-Investment Estimates for Italy, 1861–1913 By Fenoaltea, Stefano
  25. Protection or Taxation? The Custom Policy of the Iberian Dictatorships on the Cork sector, 1930-1975 By Francisco Manuel Parejo Moruno; AmŽlia Branco; JosŽ Francisco Rangel Preciado; Esteban Cruz Hidalgo
  26. The Saving Glut of the Rich and the Rise in Household Debt By Atif R. Mian; Ludwig Straub; Amir Sufi
  27. Les inégalités de revenu entre les départements français depuis cent ans By Florian Bonnet; Hippolyte d'Albis; Aurélie Sotura
  28. Continuing Global Fertility Convergence By Yoko Nakagaki
  29. Total factor productivity and the measurement of neutral technology By Moura, Alban
  30. First in, First out: Econometric Modelling of UK Annual CO_2 Emissions, 1860–2017 By David F. Hendry

  1. By: Price V. Fishback
    Abstract: The growth of American governments in the twentieth century included large increases in funds for social insurance and public assistance. Social insurance has increased far more than public assistance, so “rise in the social insurance state” is a far better description of the century than “rise in the welfare state.” The United States has increased total spending in these areas as much or more as have European countries, but the U.S. spending has relied less heavily on government programs. The U.S. really has 51 different social welfare systems, and I develop estimates of these benefits across time and place and compare them to the poverty line, manufacturing earnings and benefits, state per capita incomes in the US, as well as GDP per capita in countries throughout the world.
    JEL: H53 H75 N32
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Kris James Mitchener; Gary Richardson
    Abstract: The Great Depression is infamous for banking panics, which were a symptomatic of a phenomenon that scholars have labeled a contagion of fear. Using geocoded, microdata on bank distress, we develop metrics that illuminate the incidence of these events and how banks that remained in operation after panics responded. We show that between 1929-32 banking panics reduced lending by 13%, relative to its 1929 value, and the money multiplier and money supply by 36%. The banking panics, in other words, caused about 41% of the decline in bank lending and about nine-tenths of the decline in the money multiplier during the Great Depression.
    Keywords: banking panics, Great Depression, contagion, monetary deflation
    JEL: E44 G01 G21 L14 N22
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Jörg Baten; Manuel Llorca-Jaña
    Abstract: This article traces inequality and numeracy development in the regions of Chile during the 19th and early 20th century. Inequality, measured with anthropometric methods, was associated with a lower speed of human capital formation. Not all talents received the necessary education to make full use of their talent for the regional economy, especially in the south. However, in its northern regions we find that Chile was relatively equal and numerate during the 19th century, and the south converged somewhat during this period. In addition, we study the correlates of low-intensity immigration in Chile. Regions with a relatively high share of North European migrants developed faster in terms of numeracy.
    Keywords: inequality, immigration, human capital, numeracy, regions, Chile
    JEL: N36 N96 O15
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Amanda Guimbeau; Nidhiya Menon; Aldo Musacchio
    Abstract: We analyze the repercussions of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on demographic measures, human capital formation, and productivity markers in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil's financial center and the most populous city in South America today. Leveraging temporal and spatial variation in district-level estimates of influenza-related deaths for the period 1917-1920 combined with a unique database on socio-economic, health and productivity outcomes constructed from historical and contemporary documents for all districts in Sao Paulo, we find that the 1918 Influenza pandemic had significant negative impacts on infant mortality and sex ratios at birth in 1920 (the short-run). We find robust evidence of persistent effects on health, educational attainment and productivity more than twenty years later. Our study highlights the importance of documenting the legacy of historical shocks in understanding the development trajectories of countries over time.
    JEL: I15 J10 N36 O12
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: Andreas Ferrara; Price V. Fishback
    Abstract: Are the costs of discrimination mainly borne by the targeted group or by society? This paper examines both individual and aggregate costs of ethnic discrimination. Studying Germans living in the U.S. during World War I, an event that abruptly downgraded their previously high social standing, we propose a novel measure of local anti-German sentiment based on war casualties. We show that Germans disproportionally fled counties with high casualty rates and that those counties saw more anti-German slurs reported in newspapers. German movers had worse occupational outcomes after the war but also the discriminating communities paid a substantial cost. Counties with larger outflows of Germans, who pre-war tended to be well-trained manufacturing workers, saw a drop in average annual manufacturing wages of 1-7% which persisted until 1940. Thus, for discriminating communities, a few years of intense anti-German sentiment were reflected in worse economic outcomes that lasted for more than a decade.
    JEL: J15 J61 J71 N32 N42
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Price V. Fishback; Andrew Seltzer
    Abstract: We describe the economic history of the rise of the American minimum wage between 1910 and 1968. Each new FLSA amendment led to a new peak in the real purchasing power of the national minimum. Exemptions to the FLSA were progressively closed and the share of workers covered finally increased from about 50 percent of the private sector workforce in 1937, to 77 percent of the private sector and 40 percent of the public sector workforce in 1966. By the late 1970s coverage was nearly complete, with only the smallest employers exempted. We describe the political economic history of the minimum wage laws, as well as the debates among economists. Another key feature is a renewed emphasis on the roles played by the states in passing the original minimum wage laws for women. The states filled some of the gaps in coverage left by the FLSA after 1938 and set higher minimum rates for women in some sectors in the 1940s and 1950s than the FLSA set for men and women in interstate commerce. Since 1981 a rising number of states have set general minimum wages that substantially exceed the national minimum.
    JEL: B21 J31 J38 N32
    Date: 2020–04
  7. By: Hugh Rockoff
    Abstract: The creation of the National Bureau of Economic Research was a response to the bitter controversies over the distribution of income that roiled the United States during the Progressive Era. Thanks to Malcolm Rorty, a business economist, and Nahum I. Stone, an independent socialist economist, a “Committee on the Distribution of Income” was created; what might be considered the first name of the Bureau. Funding was secured, the Bureau was chartered in 1920, and Wesley Mitchell was appointed the director of research. The Bureau’s first publication, Income in the United States, its Amount and Distribution was widely hailed as a major contribution. Further estimates of national income and its distribution for the 1920s were made by Willford King and Lillian Epstein. The Great Depression led to legislation requiring federal government estimates. Simon Kuznets was seconded from the Bureau to the Commerce Department where he led the team that produced the first federal estimates and established the unit for producing updates. The early investigators at the Bureau proved to be masters of combining sources of data to produce credible estimates. The result was estimates that still underlie our understanding of the growth and fluctuations of the American Economy.
    JEL: B0 N12
    Date: 2020–03
  8. By: Michela Giorcelli; Petra Moser
    Abstract: This paper exploits exogenous variation in the adoption of copyrights – as a result of the timing of Napoléon’s military victories in Italy – to examine the effects of copyrights on creativity. To measure changes in creative output we compare changes in the creation of new operas across states with and without copyrights. Difference-in-differences analyses show that basic copyrights increased both the number and the quality of operas, measured by their popularity and durability. Notably, there is no evidence of comparable benefits for extensions in copyright lengths. Complementary analyses for other types of musical compositions confirm the main results.
    JEL: K0 N23 O3 O34
    Date: 2020–03
  9. By: Umlauft, Thomas
    Abstract: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ spectacular rise over the past years has attracted considerable public and academic interest. The important question arising in this context is whether cryptocurrencies can legitimately be regarded as money. This paper contributes to the current discourse by evaluating cryptocurrencies’ monetary merits based on (1) the orthodox, or Metallist, school of money and (2) the heterodox, or Chartalist, approach. The theoretical as well as empirical findings advanced in this paper serve to illustrate that cryptocurrencies cannot legitimately be regarded as money owing to their lack of essential characteristics universally shared by other monetary systems. By cryptocurrencies’ lack of intrinsic value as well as government support, virtual currencies fail according to the orthodox as well as the heterodox school of money, respectively. In addition, the inelasticity of the bitcoin stock due to the fixed maximum amount of 21 million units stands in sharp contrast to that of other monetary systems – including gold and other depletable resources –, further reducing bitcoin’s suitability as a medium of exchange, and thus as money. In an attempt to explain the apparent discrepancy between the current value the market attaches to cryptocurrencies and their monetary deficiencies, we advance that market participants are misled by what we term the input fallacy of value (IFV). Similar to the labour theory of value, which posits that value is a function of the labour required to produce a good or service, market participants appear to be misled into believing that the value of cryptocurrencies is the product of the input costs required in the “mining” process. In this context, it is overlooked that value, far from merely being a function of labour and capital deployed, is solely determined by the resultant utility. Since, however – as detailed in this paper –, bitcoin lacks the essential characteristics associated with money, cryptocurrencies’ utility, and hence price, should tend towards zero over time.
    Keywords: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Economic Bubbles, Nature of Money, Origin of Money, Theories of Money, Money, Medium of Exchange, Orthodox School of Money, Heterodox School of Money, Chartalist School, Metallist School, Labour Theory of Value, Input Fallacy of Value, Stone Currency of Yap
    JEL: B12 B13 B15 B25 B59 E31 E41 E42 E51 E58 N10 N20
    Date: 2018–06
  10. By: Ivan Moscati
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Fritsch, Michael; Obschonka, Martin; Wahl, Fabian; Wyrwich, Michael
    Abstract: We investigate whether the Roman presence in the southern part of Germany nearly 2,000 years ago had a deep imprinting effect with long run consequences on a broad spectrum of measures ranging from present-day personality profiles to a number of socioeconomic outcomes and why. Today's populations living in the former Roman part of Germany score indeed higher on certain personality traits, have higher life and health satisfaction, longer life expectancy, generate more inventions and behave in a more entrepreneurial way. These findings help explain that regions under Roman rule have higher present-day levels of economic development in terms of GDP per capita. The effects hold when controlling for other potential historical influences. When addressing potential channels of a long term effect of Roman rule the data indicates that the Roman road network plays an important role as a mechanism in the imprinting that is still perceptible today.
    Keywords: Romans,personality traits,culture,well-being,regional performance,Limes
    JEL: N9 O1 I31
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Emara, Noha; El Said, Ayah
    Abstract: Using dynamic panel System GMM for 24 EMs over the period 1990-2018, we analyze how changes in sovereign ratings affect FDI inflows to EMs. The study also estimates the contagion effect of a ratings change among any of the BRICS countries on three regions, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Latin America and Asia. Third, we estimate the impact of a ratings change on FDI inflows in the presence of two types of crises, the 2007-2009 global financial crisis as well as country-specific crises. The results suggest that sovereign ratings have a statistically significant impact on the flow of FDI to EMs and that the BRICS countries as a bloc exert a statistically significant contagion impact on the FDI inflows into the three regions examined. We also find that the impact of sovereign ratings change on FDI inflows increases in crisis times, both country-specific, as well as the global financial crisis.
    Keywords: Sovereign Rating; Capital Flows; System GMM; Foreign Direct Investment; Emerging Markets
    JEL: N2 O16 O43
    Date: 2019–10–17
  13. By: Bellou, Andriana; Cardia, Emanuela
    Abstract: The life-cycle labor supply of women born at the turn of the 20th century diverged sharply from previous cohorts. Although they had similar participation rates in early adulthood, younger cohorts were significantly more likely to work at middle age. This paper documents a link between these changing patterns of female labor supply and the Great Depression. We find that the onset of the Great Depression led to a large increase in young women's labor force participation in 1930 via an added-worker effect. Cohorts induced into the workforce in the early 1930s had significantly higher employment rates through the 1940s and 1950s, suggesting a permanent impact of the Great Depression on women's lifecycle labor supply.
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Fabien Tarrit (REGARDS - Recherches en Économie Gestion AgroRessources Durabilité Santé- EA 6292 - URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne)
    Abstract: The present paper questions the relation between Marx's theory and the issues of social justice. We first introduce an interpretation claiming that a theory of justice in itself is useless because idealist. We compare it with an interpretation for which founding a critique of capitalism on standards of justice allows to avoid an economist failure which denies individuality.
    Abstract: La présente contribution interroge le rapport de la théorie de Marx aux problématiques en termes de justice sociale. Nous proposons une interprétation selon laquelle une théorie de la justice en soi est inutile car idéaliste. Nous la confrontons à une lecture qui implique qu'une critique du capitalisme fondée sur des critères de justice est nécessaire afin d'éviter l'écueil économiste niant l'individualité. Abstract This paper questions the relation between Marx's theory and the issues of social justice. We first introduce an interpretation claiming that a theory of justice in itself is useless because it is idealist. We compare it with an interpretation that implies that a critique of capitalism based on standards of justice allows to avoid the economic pitfall which denies individuality.
    Keywords: Mots-clefs : Justice,matérialisme historique,liberté réelle,exploitation Keywords : Justice,Superstructure,Historical Materialism,Real Freedom,Exploitation Classification JEL : A13
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Òscar Jordà; Sanjay R. Singh; Alan M. Taylor
    Abstract: How do major pandemics affect economic activity in the medium to longer term? Is it consistent with what economic theory prescribes? Since these are rare events, historical evidence over many centuries is required. We study rates of return on assets using a dataset stretching back to the 14th century, focusing on 15 major pandemics where more than 100,000 people died. In addition, we include major armed conflicts resulting in a similarly large death toll. Significant macroeconomic after-effects of the pandemics persist for about 40 years, with real rates of return substantially depressed. In contrast, we find that wars have no such effect, indeed the opposite. This is consistent with the destruction of capital that happens in wars, but not in pandemics. Using more sparse data, we find real wages somewhat elevated following pandemics. The findings are consistent with pandemics inducing labor scarcity and/or a shift to greater precautionary savings.
    JEL: E43 F41 N10 N30 N40
    Date: 2020–04
  16. By: Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas (Banco de la República de Colombia); Freddy A. Pinzón-Puerto; María Alejandra Ruiz-Sánchez
    Abstract: In this paper we detail the entire Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) history, including its origins in the 1960’s, and its two main waves of formalization in the 1970’s and 2000’s, both of which are rarely acknowledged in the literature. Also, we dissect the empirical work into fuzzy and sharp designs and provide some intuition as to why some rule-based criteria produce imperfect compliance. Finally, we break the literature down by economic field, highlighting the main outcomes, treatments, and running variables employed. Overall, we see some topics in economics gaining importance through time, like the cases of: health, finance, crime, environment, and political economy. In particular, we highlight applications in finance as the most novel. Nonetheless, we recognize that the field of education stands out as the uncontested RDD champion through time, with the greatest number of empirical applications. **** RESUMEN: En este artículo detallamos toda la historia sobre el Diseño de Regresiones Discontinuas (RDD), incluyendo sus orígenes en los 60s, y sus dos olas principales de formalización en los años 70s y 00s, las cuales rara vez son reconocidas en la literatura. Además, diferenciamos el trabajo empírico en diseños difusos y nítidos, y proporcionamos cierta intuición de por qué algunos criterios basados en reglas producen asignación imperfecta. Finalmente, desglosamos la literatura por campo económico, destacando los principales resultados, tratamientos y variables de asignación empleadas. En general, vemos algunos temas en economía que cobran importancia a través del tiempo, como los casos de: salud, finanzas, crimen, medio ambiente y política económica. En particular, destacamos las aplicaciones en finanzas como las más novedosas. No obstante, reconocemos que el campo de la educación se destaca como el campeón indiscutible de RDD a través del tiempo, con el mayor número de aplicaciones empíricas.
    Keywords: Regression Discontinuity Design, Fuzzy and Sharp Designs, Empirical Survey, RDD Formalization, Regresión Discontinua, Diseño Nítido y Borroso, Formalización de RDD
    JEL: B23 C14 C21 C31 C52
    Date: 2020–04
  17. By: Dávid Krisztián Nagy
    Abstract: I study how geography shaped city formation and aggregate development in the United States prior to the Civil War. To guide my analysis, I first present a conjecture that cities' farm hinterlands fostered both city development and aggregate growth: the hinterland hypothesis. The hinterland hypothesis has rich implications on how various elements of U.S. geography -railroads, changes in U.S. political borders, increasing U.S. population, and international trade - affected city formation and U.S. growth. To quantitatively evaluate the hinterland hypothesis and its implications, I assemble a novel historical dataset on population, trading routes and agricultural productivity at a high spatial resolution, and combine it with a dynamic quantitative model of economic geography. I find evidence for the hinterland hypothesis by showing that the model can quantitatively replicate the key patterns of U.S. urbanization and city formation. Finally, I conduct a series of counterfactuals in the model to quantify the effect of geography on cities and growth, guided by the implications of the hinterland hypothesis. Results indicate that railroads were responsible for 8.2% of urban population in 1860 and for 27% of real GDP growth between 1830 and 1860. The effect of international trade was similar in magnitude, while population growth slowed down urbanization and GDP growth. The effect of political border changes was small during the period.
    Keywords: quantitative economic geography, economic growth and development, city formation, transport infrastructure
    JEL: O14 O18 O51 R12 R13
    Date: 2020–02
  18. By: Fenoaltea, Stefano
    Abstract: This paper documents the derivation of the revised production-side estimates presented in the author’s “Reconstructing the past: Italy’s historical national accounts, 1861–1913,” M.P.R.A. n. 98350, January 2020.
    Keywords: Italy, production, measurement, historical national accounts
    JEL: C13 E01 N01
    Date: 2020–03
  19. By: Calvo-Gonzalez,Oscar; Caruso,German Daniel; Castaneda Aguilar,Raul Andres; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso
    Abstract: To comprehend how development really happens, it is necessary to understand the evolution of its drivers and their relationship with individuals'income. This paper analyzes the expansion of access to education and basic services in Latin America and its association with the evolution of incomes in the region. The paper focuses on the importance of access to opportunities as one of the drivers of development and highlights the role of policy making. The findings suggest that access to education and basic public services early in life are positively correlated with incomes in adulthood. The analysis also suggests that countries follow a dissimilar path to increase access to education and basic services. The paper undertakes a comprehensive analysis of historic census records to add granularity to the assessment of the development of countries, matched with detailed individual-level information from household surveys of several countries in the region. The paper widens an ongoing area of research on the long-run relationship between access to opportunities during childhood and incomes in adulthood.
    Date: 2020–04–07
  20. By: Philip DeCicca; Donald S. Kenkel; Michael F. Lovenheim
    Abstract: Tobacco regulation has been a major component of health policy in the developed world since the UK’s Royal College of Physicians’ and the U.S. Surgeon General’s reports in the 1960s. Such regulation, which has intensified in the past two decades, includes cigarette taxation, place-based smoking bans in areas ranging from bars and restaurants to workplaces, and regulations designed to make tobacco products less desirable. More recently, the availability of alternative products, most notably e-cigarettes, has increased dramatically, and these products are just starting to be regulated. Despite an extensive body of research on tobacco regulations, there remains substantial debate regarding their effectiveness, and ultimately, their impact on economic welfare. We provide the first comprehensive review of the state of research in the economics of tobacco regulation in two decades.
    JEL: I12 I18 K32
    Date: 2020–04
  21. By: Martha J. Bailey; John DiNardo; Bryan A. Stuart
    Abstract: This paper examines the short and longer-term economic effects of the 1966 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which increased the national minimum wage to its highest level of the 20th Century and extended coverage to an additional 9.1 million workers. Exploiting differences in the “bite” of the minimum wage due to regional variation in the standard of living and industry composition, this paper finds that the 1966 FLSA increased wages dramatically but reduced aggregate employment only modestly. However, the disemployment effects were significantly larger among African-American men, forty percent of whom earned below the new minimum wage in 1966.
    JEL: J23 J38 J88
    Date: 2020–04
  22. By: Matthew Baron; Emil Verner; Wei Xiong
    Abstract: We examine historical banking crises through the lens of bank equity declines, which cover a broad sample of episodes of banking distress both with and without banking panics. To do this, we construct a new dataset on bank equity returns and narrative information on banking panics for 46 countries over the period 1870-2016. We find that even in the absence of panics, large bank equity declines are associated with substantial credit contractions and output gaps. While panics can be an important amplification mechanism, our results indicate that panics are not necessary for banking crises to have severe economic consequences. Furthermore, panics tend to be preceded by large bank equity declines, suggesting that panics are the result, rather than the cause, of earlier bank losses. We also use bank equity returns to uncover a number of forgotten historical banking crises and to create a banking crisis chronology that distinguishes between bank equity losses and panics.
    JEL: G01 G21
    Date: 2020–03
  23. By: Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
    Abstract: The human capital construct is deep in the bones of economics and finds reference by many classical economists, even if they did not use the phrase. The term “human capital,” seldom mentioned in economics before the 1950s, increased starting in the 1960s and blossomed in the 1990s. The upsurge in NBER publications was even greater. Using EconLit codes from 1990 to 2019, the use of human capital among NBER books increased from 5% to 25%, whereas all economics books changed from 3% to 6%. For NBER working papers, 3% referenced human capital around 1990, but 10% have more recently. The figures for all economics articles are 4% and 6%. The NBER played an outsized role in the rise of the concept of human capital mainly because of the emphasis on empiricism at the NBER. We explore how the NBER was an incubator of human capital research and the ways human capital theory brought the NBER into the modern era of economics.
    JEL: B0 J24
    Date: 2020–03
  24. By: Fenoaltea, Stefano
    Abstract: This paper documents the derivation of the new expenditure-side historical national accounts, and of the estimated composition of investment, presented in the author’s “Reconstructing the past: Italy’s historical national accounts, 1861–1913,” M.P.R.A. n. 98350, January 2020.
    Keywords: Italy, Production, Measurement, Historical National Accounts
    JEL: C13 E01 N01
    Date: 2020–04
  25. By: Francisco Manuel Parejo Moruno (Universidad de Extremadura, çrea de H» e Instituciones Econ—micas, Spain); AmŽlia Branco (GHES/ISEG-Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal); JosŽ Francisco Rangel Preciado (Universidad de Extremadura, çrea de H» e Instituciones Econ—micas, Spain); Esteban Cruz Hidalgo (Universidad de Extremadura, çrea de H» e Instituciones Econ—micas, Spain)
    Abstract: The central decades of the twentieth century constituted a radical change in the global hegemony of the cork business, ending the Spanish leadership and starting a period of Portuguese cork hegemony that continues today. In this article, customs policy measures followed by the Iberian dictatorships are analyzed and their effects are also assessed in terms of development of cork manufacturing and productive and commercial specialization of Spain and Portugal in the cork business. It is concluded that the differential nature of these measures in both countries, the greater relevance of the business in Portugal, and consequently the greater attention received by the Estado Novo, and also the greater Portuguese success in customs matters, contributed to the achievement of the Portuguese leadership in the cork manufacturing business.
    Keywords: Cork, Cork industry, New State, Francoism, Custom Policy
    JEL: N0 N4 N8
    Date: 2020–03
  26. By: Atif R. Mian; Ludwig Straub; Amir Sufi
    Abstract: Rising income inequality since the 1980s in the United States has generated a substantial increase in saving by the top of the income distribution, which we call the saving glut of the rich. The saving glut of the rich has been as large as the global saving glut, and it has not been associated with an increase in investment. Instead, the saving glut of the rich has been linked to the substantial dissaving and large accumulation of debt by the non-rich. Analysis using variation across states shows that the rise in top income shares can explain almost all of the accumulation of household debt held as a financial asset by the household sector. Since the Great Recession, the saving glut of the rich has been financing government deficits to a greater degree.
    JEL: D31 E21 E44
    Date: 2020–04
  27. By: Florian Bonnet (ENS Paris Saclay - Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay); Hippolyte d'Albis (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Aurélie Sotura (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Cet article utilise différentes sources et méthodologies pour analyser l'évolution des inégalités spatiales de revenu entre départements depuis 1922. La contribution la plus notable est la reconstruction du revenu moyen par département avant et après impôt sur le revenu grâce à la collecte et la numérisation inédite d'archives du ministère des Finances. Nous observons les faits stylisés suivants: (i) une très forte baisse des inégalités interdépartementales de revenu fiscal par adulte sur un siècle, avec deux périodes de baisse continue : entre 1922 et 1939 et depuis 1948 ; (ii) l'impôt sur le revenu réduit significativement les inégalités interdépartementales mais son effet a fortement varié au cours de la période considérée ; (iii) depuis 1948, tous les départements se trouvant sous une ligne allant du Calvados au Gard ont vu leur situation relative s'améliorer.
    Keywords: Inégalités de revenus,départements français,impôt sur le revenu
    Date: 2020–04
  28. By: Yoko Nakagaki
    Abstract: This study reexamines fertility convergence by extending Dorius (2008), who explored global fertility convergence with quinquennial data from 1955-2005. Using annual data for 187 countries in 1960-2017, this study examines global as well as regional fertility convergence from three angles: β-convergence, inequality indices, and standard deviation. β-convergence is defined as the greater rate of fertility decline in higher-fertility countries compared to lower-fertility countries. Inequality indices and standard deviation are used to examine fertility convergence in terms of the decline in inequality (σ-convergence). This study confirms the finding of Dorius (2008) that global fertility convergence starts in the second half of the 1990s. Moreover, this study finds that global fertility convergence continues after 2005 until 2017. It comprehensively examines fertility convergence by region for the first time and finds that fertility convergence/divergence is predicted by the level of total fertility rate (TFR) in 1960. In regions with a mean TFR of six or less in 1960 (Europe, East Asia and the Pacific, Central Asia, and the Americas), fertility has been converging in recent decades, while fertility convergence is not confirmed in regions with a mean TFR of over six in 1960 (the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia). The result is consistent with another finding of this study: that global fertility convergence is more clearly observed if conducting a β-convergence estimation with samples of TFR1960≦5.8.
    Keywords: population, total fertility rates, world, region, convergence
    Date: 2019–10
  29. By: Moura, Alban
    Abstract: TFP measures constructed from chain-aggregated output, such as those published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or Fernald (2014), confound contributions from neutral and sector-specific technology. Therefore, they should not be used to infer the path of neutral technology in presence of investment-specific technical change. Two theory-consistent, utilization-adjusted measures of neutral technology at the quarterly frequency are proposed for the US business sector. Both indicate that neutral technology progress declined dramatically after the mid-1970s. In particular, its contribution to US growth fell from more than 85% before 1973 to less than 25% afterward. The associated welfare loss is enormous: if neutral technology had continued on its pre-1970s trend, 2017 US output would have been 70% higher.
    Keywords: total factor productivity, neutral technology, investment-specific technology, sources of growth
    JEL: E22 E23 E32 O41 O47
    Date: 2020–03
  30. By: David F. Hendry (Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and Climate Econometrics, Nuffield College, University of Oxford)
    Abstract: The United Kingdom was the first country into the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th Century. 250 years later, real income levels in the UK are about 7-10 fold higher per capita, even greater elsewhere, many killer diseases have been tamed, and longevity has approximately doubled. However, such beneficial developments have led to a global explosion in anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Following the Climate Change Act of 2008, the UK is now one of the first countries out, with annual CO_2 emissions per capita below 1860’s levels. We develop an econometric model of its highly non-stationary emissions process over the last 150 years, confirming the key roles of reduced coal use and of the capital stock, which embodies the vintage of technology at its construction. Major shifts and outliers must be handled to develop a viable model, and the advantages of doing so are detecting the impacts of important policies and improved forecasts. Large reductions in all CO_2 sources will be required to meet the 2050 target of an 80% reduction from 1970 levels, and their near elimination for a net-zero level.
    Keywords: UK CO2 Emissions; Model Selection; Saturation Estimation; Autometrics; Climate Change Act; Climate Policy Implications.
    JEL: C51 Q54
    Date: 2020–02–07

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.