nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2020‒05‒11
twenty-six papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Did Speculation in Land Pay Off for British Investors? Buying and Selecting Land in South Australia, 1835-1850 By Edwyna Harris; Sumner La Croix
  2. Original Sin and the Great Depression By Michael D. Bordo; Christopher M. Meissner
  3. The surplus approach, Polanyi and institutions in economic anthropology and archaeology By Sergio Cesaratto; Stefano Di Bucchianico
  4. The Advent of a New Banking System in the U.S. - Financial Deregulation in the 1980s By Joao Rafael Cunha
  5. East Prussia 2.0: Persistent regions, rising nations By Polugodina, Maria; Grigoriadis, Theocharis
  6. Persistence through Revolutions By Alberto F. Alesina; Marlon Seror; David Y. Yang; Yang You; Weihong Zeng
  7. The separation and reunification of Germany: Rethinking a natural experiment interpretation of the enduring effects of communism By Becker, Sascha O.; Mergele, Lukas; Woessmann, Ludger
  8. Long-term effects of the Paraguayan War (1864-1870): from male scarcity to intimate partner violence By Boggiano, Barbara
  9. Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and Mortality in U.S. Cities during the Great Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 By Robert J. Barro
  10. Hinterlands, city formation and growth: evidence from the U.S. westward expansion By David Krisztián Nagy
  11. The Kuznets curve of the Rich By Marwil J. Dávila-Fernández; Lionello F. Punzo
  12. Migrant self-selection in the presence of random shocks. Evidence from the Panic of 1907 By David Escamilla-Guerrero; Moramay Lopez-Alonso
  13. Sowing the Seeds of Financial Imbalances: The Role of Macroeconomic Performance By Elena Afanasyeva; Sam Jerow; Seung Jung Lee; Michele Modugno
  14. European community bonds since the oil crisis: Lessons for today? By Horn, Sebastian; Meyer, Josefin; Trebesch, Christoph
  15. Trends in occupational segregation by gender in a post-communist country By Jan Gromadzki
  16. Demographic Perspectives on Mortality of Covid-19 and Other Epidemics By Joshua R. Goldstein; Ronald D. Lee
  17. Financialised Welfare and Its Vulnerabilities: Advice, Consumer Credit, and Church-Based Charity in the UK: advice, consumer credit, and church-based charity By Davey, Ryan
  18. Matter and regulation: socio-metabolic and accumulation regimes of French capitalism since 1948 By Louison Cahen-Fourot; Nelo Magalhães
  19. Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S. By Olivier Coibion; Yuriy Gorodnichenko; Lorenz Kueng; John Silvia
  20. Health Insurance and Hospital Supply: Evidence from 1950s Coal Country By Theodore F. Figinski; Erin Troland
  21. South Australia’s Employment Relief Program for Assisted Immigrants: Promises and Reality, 1838-1843 By Edwyna Harris; Sumner La Croix
  22. Wealth Concentration Levels and Growth: 1989-2016 By Jesse Bricker; Alice M. Henriques
  23. The development of trade policies in the Asia and Pacific region over the past 30 years since 1989 By Hayafuji, Masahiro
  24. The evolution of EU antitrust policy: 1966-2017 By Ibáñez Colomo, Pablo; Kalintiri, Andriani
  25. Institutions and the fortunes of territories By Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  26. Testing unified growth theory: Technological progress and the child quantity-quality tradeoff By Madsen, Jakob Brøchner; Strulik, Holger

  1. By: Edwyna Harris (Monash University); Sumner La Croix (University of Hawaii)
    Abstract: In 1834, Britain’s Parliament passed the South Australia Act establishing South Australia as a colony. By December 1835, 130 British investors purchased 437 priority land orders (PLO) at £81 per order; each PLO holder could select a one-acre surveyed lot in the capital city of Adelaide and a block of 80 acres of surveyed country land. In the morning of March 23, 1837, PLO investors participated in a lottery that randomized the order of selection of city lots; in the afternoon they selected 437 lots from 1,000 available lots. One week later, all remaining lots were sold sequentially by lot number at auction. We investigate whether initial PLO selectors choose the most valuable lots and whether investors who paid the highest prices at auction choose the most valuable of the remaining lots. We find that those who selected early and those who paid the highest prices at auction tended to choose lots that yielded higher market prices in 1838, 1839, 1849 and 1850 and higher assessed values in 1849. We also find that the annual rate of return on city lots sold in 1849/1850 averaged 17.37 percent, much higher than the average rate of return to British empire investment later in the nineteenth century.
    Keywords: Adelaide; colonization; priority land order; South Australia; auction; Wakefield; foreign investment; randomization
    JEL: N47 N57 N97 R30 D44
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Michael D. Bordo; Christopher M. Meissner
    Abstract: Was foreign currency denominated debt a determinant of exchange rate and monetary policy during the Great Depression? Policy makers of the day thought so. High-frequency bond price data show depreciation was associated with elevated risk premia on public debt. We also show that foreign currency debt was a determinant of exchange rate policy during the Great Depression. The gold standard heightened exposure to global shocks and prolonged the Great Depression. Why then did countries hesitate to jettison the monetary technology? Multiple factors have been identified in the literature ranging from economic and political considerations to social preferences for monetary stability. We find that foreign currency debt and trade patterns, both shaped by history and geography, had a significant impact on these choices and hence on economic stability. The effect is likely to be about half as large as the output gap in determining exchange rate policy.
    JEL: F31 F34 N10 N2
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Sergio Cesaratto; Stefano Di Bucchianico
    Abstract: This paper was inspired long ago by Jared Diamond (1997), and in particular by his extensive use of the concept of economic surplus as the key to the development of civilization. Unfortunately, Diamond does not mention the origin of the concept in classical and pre-classical economics, nor does he pay much attention to debates in economic anthropology about the role of economic analysis in studying primitive and ancient economic formations. These debates were the subject of a recent book by Cedrini & Marchionatti (2017), who dispute the neoclassical “imperialist” attempt to occupy the territory of economic anthropology. The authors rely on the institutionalist background provided by Karl Polanyi and his school and by other anthropologists of similar inspiration. Polanyians, however, fail to complete their institutional analysis by anchoring it to the changing modes of generation and distribution of the economic surplus. Yet their emphasis on the need to introduce institutions from the beginning, when speaking of economic surplus, should be taken into consideration by the classical surplus approach
    Keywords: surplus approach, economic anthropology, economic archaeology, Marx, Polanyi, Sraffa
    JEL: A12 B51 B52 Z13
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Joao Rafael Cunha (University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: In this chapter, I argue that the deregulatory process that started in the 1980s in the banking industry in the United States has changed the profile of this sector. Between the Great Depression and the 1980s, the banking sector in the United States was a stable, yet not competitive sector. The financial deregulation of the 1980s changed this sector to a competitive, yet unstable one. This deregulatory process occurred mostly as a response to the economic conditions of the 1970s.
    Keywords: Financial Regulation, Deregulation, United States Banks
    JEL: G21 G28 G38 K20 N22 N42
    Date: 2020–04–29
  5. By: Polugodina, Maria; Grigoriadis, Theocharis
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the economic and political effects of the breakup of East Prussia into what is today Poland, Russia and Lithuania. We explore the dissolution of imperial regions into the boundaries of modern states, adding new insights to the research on the imperial legacies. We expect that German imperial legacies in the form of advanced economic institutions, and specifically East Prussian legacies of nationalistic and conservative political preferences, persist in the territories of former East Prussia in Poland, Russia and Lithuania compared to neighboring regions in their respective countries. We find no pattern of persistence in former East Prussian territories of contemporary Poland, whereas East Prussian persistence appears to be robust in Lithuania. We find strong evidence for the comparative persistence of political preferences in the Kaliningrad region, whereas we observe no economic spillovers. Drawing evidence from West German electoral data in the aftermath of World War II, we find that the presence of East Prussian refugees is conducive to conservative and nationalist support in the FRG. Hence, the East Prussian legacy relates primarily to the persistence of political preferences and migrating agents.
    Keywords: institutions,political economy,political preferences,migration,East Prussia,West Germany
    JEL: F14 N74 O52 P51
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Alberto F. Alesina; Marlon Seror; David Y. Yang; Yang You; Weihong Zeng
    Abstract: The Chinese Communist Revolution in the 1950s and Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 aimed to eradicate inequality in wealth and education, to shut off intergenerational transmission, and to eliminate cultural differences in the population. Using newly digitized archival data and linked contemporary household surveys and census, we show that the revolutions were effective in homogenizing the population economically and culturally in the short run. However, the pattern of inequality that characterized the pre-revolution generation re-emerges today. Grandchildren of the pre-revolution elites earn 17 percent more than those from non-elite households. In addition, the grandchildren of pre-revolution elites differ in their cultural values: they are less averse to inequality, more individualistic, more pro-market, more pro-education, and more likely to see hard work as critical to success. Through intergenerational transmission, socioeconomic conditions and cultural traits thus survived one of the most aggressive attempts to eliminate differences in the population and to foster mobility.
    JEL: N15 Z1
    Date: 2020–04
  7. By: Becker, Sascha O.; Mergele, Lukas; Woessmann, Ludger
    Abstract: German separation in 1949 into a communist East and a capitalist West and their reunification in 1990 are commonly described as a natural experiment to study the enduring effects of communism. We show in three steps that the populations in East and West Germany were far from being randomly selected treatment and control groups. First, the later border is already visible in many socio-economic characteristics in pre-World War II data. Second, World War II and the subsequent occupying forces affected East and West differently. Third, a selective fifth of the population fled from East to West Germany before the building of the Wall in 1961. In light of our findings, we propose a more cautious interpretation of the extensive literature on the enduring effects of communist systems on economic outcomes, political preferences, cultural traits, and gender roles.
    JEL: D72 H11 P26 P36 N44
    Date: 2020–03–16
  8. By: Boggiano, Barbara
    Abstract: This paper investigates the long-term effects of the Paraguayan War (1864-1870) on intimate partner violence. The identification of these causal effects relies on a novel historical dataset from which I exploit the distance from municipalities to military camps during the war. Over 130 years later, the likelihood of intimate partner violence is still 5.54 percent higher than average in municipalities that were more heavily affected by the war. The loss of life among men led to female-biased sex ratios and defined Paraguay as the 'country of women'. However, I show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, female-biased sex ratios are not the only driver of the long-term effects of the war. Instead, the main transmission channel is the relative status of females within the household.
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Robert J. Barro
    Abstract: Non-pharmaceutical public-health interventions (NPIs) were measured by Markel, et al. (2007) for U.S. cities during the second wave of the Great Influenza Pandemic, September 1918-February 1919. The NPIs were in three categories: school closings, prohibitions on public gatherings, and quarantine/isolation. Although an increase in NPIs flattened the curve in the sense of reducing the ratio of peak to average deaths, the estimated effect on overall deaths was small and statistically insignificant. The likely reason that the NPIs were not more successful in curtailing mortality is that the interventions had an average duration of only around one month.
    JEL: I1 I15
    Date: 2020–04
  10. By: David 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
  11. By: Marwil J. Dávila-Fernández; Lionello F. Punzo
    Abstract: A long-standing interest in the relationship between inequality and sustainable growth continues to fascinate economists among other social scientists. It must be noted, however, that most empirical efforts have been focused on the income-inequality-growth nexus, while studies on wealth inequality are much more scarce. In this article, it is our purpose to fill such a gap in the literature by assessing the correspondence between the top 1 percent wealth-share and economic growth. Making use of time-series cointegration techniques, we study the experience of France and the United States between 1950 and 2014. Our estimates suggest that the growth rate of output is an inverted-U shaped function of the wealth-share of the top 1 percent. The estimated relationship is robust to variations in control variables and estimation methods. We compute a sort of optimal wealth-share, understood as the share of wealth compatible with the maximum rate of growth, and show that France is growing close to its long-run potential while the United States is significantly below it.
    Keywords: Growth, wealth inequality, top wealth-shares, France, United States
    JEL: G01 C61 D84
    Date: 2020–04
  12. By: David Escamilla-Guerrero; Moramay Lopez-Alonso
    Abstract: Abstract We evaluate the responsiveness of migrant self-selection to short-run changes in theWe evaluate the responsiveness of migrant self-selection to short-run changes in theeconomic environment. Using novel historical micro data, we estimate the initialselectivity of Mexican migration (1906-08) and focus on labor institutions as short-runadjustment channels of self-selection. We find that the first Mexican migrants werepositively self-selected on the basis of height—a proxy for physical productivity oflabor. Additionally, the US financial crisis of 1907 significantly modified self-selection.Shifts in migrant self-selection during and after the crisis were influenced by theenganche, an institution that reduced migration costs, but only for the “best†Mexicansduring “good†economic times.
    Keywords: labor migration, migrant self-selection, Panic of 1907, Mexico
    JEL: F22 J61 N36 O15
    Date: 2020–04–27
  13. By: Elena Afanasyeva; Sam Jerow; Seung Jung Lee; Michele Modugno
    Abstract: The seeds of financial imbalances are sown in times of buoyant economic growth. We study the link between macroeconomic performance and financial imbalances, focusing on the experience of the United States since the 1960s. We first follow a narrative approach to review historical episodes of significant financial imbalances and find that the onset of financial disturbances typically occurs when the economy is running hot. We then look for evidence of a statistical link between measures of macroeconomic conditions and financial imbalances. In our in-sample analysis, we find that strong economic growth is followed by a build-up of financial imbalances across all dimensions of the National Financial Conditions Index. In our out-of-sample analysis, we find that the link between strong economic performance and increases in nonfinancial leverage is particularly strong and robust. Using a structural VAR identified with narrative sign restrictions, we also demonstrate that business cycle shocks are important drivers of non financial leverage.
    Keywords: Economic performance; Nonfinancial leverage; Financial imbalances; Financial stability; VARs; Sign restrictions; Narrative; Forecasting
    JEL: C32 G21 N22
    Date: 2020–04–07
  14. By: Horn, Sebastian; Meyer, Josefin; Trebesch, Christoph
    Abstract: The history of joint European bond issuance has been largely forgotten. The authors show that bonds issued and guaranteed jointly by European states are not a novel instrument, but have repeatedly been issued since the 1970s. The issuance of one-off "Coronabonds", as currently proposed, would not be unprecedented, but quite the contrary. The first European community bond was issued in 1976 to mitigate the adverse impact of the oil crisis, which threatened the viability of the European Economic Union. The funds were raised on private capital markets and then passed on to crisis countries, including Italy and Ireland. In the 1980s and 1990s community bonds were issued in favor of France, Greece and Portugal and, in 2008/2009, to support the non-Eurozone countries Hungary, Latvia and Romania. Moreover, the EFSF and ESM facilities were created after 2010 to support Eurozone members. The most important lesson from history is that, during deep crises, the European governments have repeatedly shown willingness to extend rescue funds along with substantial guarantees to other members in need. The necessary institutional arrangements were often set up flexibly and quickly. A second lesson is that the EU budget played a central role in past European bond guarantee schemes. Direct guarantees via country quotas were only the second guarantee tier, in case EU funds did not suffice, and only until 1981. Not coincidentally, the repayment of "Coronabonds" through an enlarged future EU budget is currently being discussed.
    Keywords: EU-Anleihen,Europäische Union,Globale Krise,COVID-19,Euro bonds,European Union,global crisis,COVID-19
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Jan Gromadzki
    Abstract: The communist states promoted women’s participation in the labour market and encouraged women to enter male-dominated occupations, which should have resulted in relatively low levels of occupational segregation by gender. I show that after the transition to the market economy, the level of occupational segregation by gender in Poland did not increase, but remained rather stable. I exploit the cohort and regional variation in exposure to communist propaganda to analyse the role of social norms in shaping occupational segregation by gender. The results suggest that the fostering of women’s empowerment by communist authorities may have been limited to the early phase of the communist era.
    Keywords: Occupational segregation, Gender, Economic transition, Communism, Culture
    JEL: J16 J24 P26
    Date: 2019–11
  16. By: Joshua R. Goldstein; Ronald D. Lee
    Abstract: What would a hypothetical one million US deaths in the Covid-19 epidemic mean for mortality of individuals at the population level? To put estimates of Covid-19 mortality into perspective, we estimate age-specific mortality for an epidemic claiming for illustrative purposes one million US lives, with results scalable over a broad range of deaths. We calculate the impact on period life expectancy (down 3 years) and remaining life-years (12.3 years per death), which for one million deaths can be valued at six to 10 trillion dollars. The age-patterns of Covid-19 mortality observed in other countries are remarkably similar and exhibit the typical rate of increase by age of normal mortality. The scenario of one million Covid-19 deaths is similar in scale to the decades-long HIV/AIDS and opioid-overdose epidemics but considerably smaller than the Spanish Flu of 1918. Unlike HIV/AIDS and opioid epidemics, the Covid-19 deaths will be concentrated in months rather than spread out over decades.
    JEL: J1 J10 J11
    Date: 2020–04
  17. By: Davey, Ryan
    Abstract: Debt advice, as a neoliberal variant of social welfare in the UK, highlights the introduction and repercussions of approaches to welfare that encourage, and/or rely on, financial speculation. Since the 1990s, senior managers in the debt advice sector have anticipated funding cuts by advocating co-operation with the financial industry, implying a financialised concept of social welfare that valorises the redistribution of opportunities to speculate, rather than that of wealth. Yet following cuts, ‘front-line’ debt advisers complain they are unable to provide the required level of care and compassion, leading to an increase in church-based, volunteer-run debt advice, aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable. Rather than some pre-determined political modality, the ethical concepts of welfare that caught on, and the moral qualities consequently ascribed to its beneficiaries, emerged at the interface of managers’ assessments of the viability of particular funding models with the political-economic conditions in which those models were implemented.
    Keywords: welfare; debt; advice; financialisation; neoliberalism; ES/M003825/1
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019
  18. By: Louison Cahen-Fourot (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nelo Magalhães (LADYSS - Laboratoire Dynamiques Sociales et Recomposition des Espaces - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7)
    Abstract: This paper aims at integrating macroeconomic and institutional analyses of long run dynamics of capitalism with material flow analysis. We investigate the links between accumulation and socio-metabolic regimes by studying French capitalism from a material perspective since 1948. We characterize its social metabolism both in production-and consumption-based approaches. We show that the periodization of accumulation regimes in terms of Fordism and Neoliberalism translates into material terms. The offshore materiality of Neoliberalism partly substitutes for and partly complements the more domestic material-ity inherited from Fordism. The transition phase between the two socio-metabolic regimes clearly corresponds to the emergence of the offshoring-financialization nexus of French capitalism indicating the shift from the fordist accumulation regime to the neoliberal accumulation regime. Acknowledging that socio-metabolic regimes have their own logic, we highlight strong inter-linkages between accumulation and material dynamics and discuss how materials may be instrumental in shaping accumulation regimes. This work therefore illustrates the relevance of combining institutional macroeconomics with methods and approaches derived from Ecological Economics.
    Keywords: Material Flow Analysis,Material footprint,Socio-metabolic regime,Financialization,Offshoring,Accumulation regime
    Date: 2020–04–27
  19. By: Olivier Coibion (University of Texas at Austin); Yuriy Gorodnichenko (University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics); Lorenz Kueng (University of Lugano - Faculty of Economics; Swiss Finance Institute; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management); John Silvia (Wells Fargo)
    Abstract: We study the effects and historical contribution of monetary policy shocks to consumption and income inequality in the United States since 1980. Contractionary monetary policy actions systematically increase inequality in labor earnings, total income, consumption and total expenditures. Furthermore, monetary shocks can account for a significant component of the historical cyclical variation in income and consumption inequality. Using detailed micro-level data on income and consumption, we document the different channels via which monetary policy shocks affect inequality, as well as how these channels depend on the nature of the change in monetary policy.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, income inequality, consumption inequality
    JEL: E3 E4 E5
    Date: 2020–04
  20. By: Theodore F. Figinski; Erin Troland
    Abstract: The United States government spends billions on public health insurance and has funded a number of programs to build health care facilities. However, the government runs these two types of programs separately: in different places, at different times, and for different populations. We explore whether access to both health insurance and hospitals can improve health outcomes and access to health care. We analyze a coal mining union health insurance program in 1950s Appalachia with and without a complementary hospital construction program. Our results show that the union insurance alone increased hospital births and reduced infant mortality. Once the union hospitals opened, however, the insurance and the hospitals together substantially increased the net amount of hospital beds and health care employees, with limited crowd-out of existing private hospitals. Our results suggest that hospitals can complement health insurance in underserved areas.
    Keywords: Public economics; Health care; Economic history; Urban, Rural, & Regional Economics; Health economics
    JEL: H51 I13 I18 N32 R58
    Date: 2020–04–17
  21. By: Edwyna Harris (Monash University); Sumner La Croix (University of Hawaii)
    Abstract: Great Britain established the new colony of South Australia (SA) in 1834. The immigration contract signed by assisted migrants required the SA government to provide those who could not find private sector work with employment on public works. We use new data on the compensation of unemployed and private-sector workers to examine how the SA unemployment system functioned before and after the onset of a major economic crisis in August 1840. We conclude that the unemployment system provided highly compensated relief employment to a small number of migrants prior to the crisis but as migrant numbers claiming relief employment soared between August 1840 and October 1841, the government drastically cut compensation for relief employment. The cuts occurred in tandem with the government’s release of newly surveyed rural lands, which together provided incentives and opportunities for workers to move to rural areas to seek work on newly opened farms. A comparison of the SA employment relief program with the 1843 temporary employment relief program established in the neighboring colony of New South Wales (NSW) shows that the NSW program neither established guarantees of jobs for assisted migrants unable to find work nor provided jobs for all assisted migrants without work during the 1843-1845 period.
    Keywords: relief, unemployed, South Australia, migrants, public works
    JEL: J65 N37 J38
    Date: 2020–03
  22. By: Jesse Bricker; Alice M. Henriques
    Abstract: Wealth concentration in the U.S. has increased over the past 25 years across multiple methodologies for measuring wealth. But the reasons for the increase—and the timing of the increase—are quite different. In this note, we show that most available estimates are fairly consistent in level and trend prior to the Financial Crisis. However, the timing and reasons for the sharp increase in wealth concentration during and after the crisis differ remarkably across methods. We describe some of the factors that underlie this divergence.
    Date: 2020–02–20
  23. By: Hayafuji, Masahiro
    Abstract: This paper reviews the main developments of trade and related policies and measures in the Asia and Pacific region during the 30 years since establishment, in 1989, of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). The objectives of the TPRM include facilitating the smooth functioning of the multilateral trading system by enhancing the transparency of WTO Members' trade policies. Reviews take place in the General Council, operating as the Trade Policy Review Body as peer-group assessments. This paper aims to identify the main trade liberalization/reform measures adopted over the 30 years and, to the extent possible, their developments, including adoption and abolition. The main source of information is the documentation used for the WTO trade policy reviews (TPRs) of 30 Members within the Asia-Pacific region, in particular, the reports by the Secretariat. Between 1989 and August 2019, 132 reviews for these Members were conducted; all documents used for the TPRs are available in the public domain.
    Keywords: trade policy review,trade policies,trade restrictions,trade facilitation
    JEL: F13 F14 F61
    Date: 2020
  24. By: Ibáñez Colomo, Pablo; Kalintiri, Andriani
    Abstract: This article describes, and puts in context, the evolution of the enforcement practice of the European Commission in the area of EU antitrust law (Articles 101 and 102 TFEU). It considers all formal decisions adopted in the period between 1966 – when the European Court of Justice delivered the two seminal rulings that marked the discipline – and the end of 2017. The article classifies Commission decisions in accordance with four enforcement paradigms. The descriptive statistics show that the cases that the Commission chooses to prioritise have changed over the years. First, enforcement has progressively moved towards the core and the outer boundaries of the system. Second, it has become policy-driven rather than law-driven. Third, the nature of the cases chosen by the Commission is consistent with its commitment to a ‘more economics-based approach’ to enforcement. Finally, these cases signal a move towards a more ambitious stage in the process of the integration of Member States’ economies.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2020–03–01
  25. By: Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: Regions and cities face unceasing pressures to adapt in response to processes of globalization, changes in industrial production, and new patterns of migration and trade. At the same time, the dominant development policies are proving less than capable of providing answers to these challenges. Strategies based on a mix of physical and human capital and technology have not succeeded in dealing with growing territorial inequality and its treacherous economic, social and political consequences. There is thus an urgent need to understand why territorial divergence occurs and why there is what seems to be a growing decline in the returns of public intervention targeting economic development. In the search for answers, scholars have turned to the examination of institutions. But despite progress in our grasp of how institutions affect development, crucial knowledge gaps remain. This paper reviews recent progress in our understanding of the role of institutions for development, unveils the most important gaps, and proposes a series of avenues to improve how a better understanding of how institutions shape regional and urban development can lead to more efficient development policies.
    Keywords: institutions; government quality; public policies; regions; cities
    JEL: R14 J01 N0
    Date: 2020–03–24
  26. By: Madsen, Jakob Brøchner; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: A core mechanism of unified growth theory is that accelerating technologicalprogress induces mass education and, in interaction with child quantity-quality substitution, a decline in fertility. Using unique new data for 21 OECD countries over theperiod 1750-2000, we test, for the first time, the validity of this core mechanism of unified growth theory. We measure a country's technological progress as patents per capita, genetic-distance weighted foreign patents, and investment in machinery, equipment and intellectual property products. Controlling for other confounders like income, mortality, thegender wage gap, indicators for child labor, compulsory schooling, and time- and country-fixed effects, we establish a strong positive impact of technological progress on investmentsin education and a strongly negative one on fertility. Using two-stage regressions, we assess the child quantity-quality substitution that can be motivated by technological change. We estimate that a 10 percent increase of enrollment in primary and secondary school isassociated with a decline of the general fertility rate by 3 to 4 percent.
    Keywords: technological progress,fertility,education,quantity-quality trade-off,unifiedgrowth theory
    JEL: O40 O30 N30 J10 I25
    Date: 2020

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