nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2020‒06‒29
38 papers chosen by

  1. Religion in Economic History : A Survey By Becker, Sascha O.; Rubin, Jared; Woessmann, Ludger
  2. Pandemics and asymmetric shocks: evidence from the history of plague in Europe and the Mediterranean By Alfani, Guido
  3. Internal Borders and Population Geography in the Unification of Italy By A'Hearn, Brian; Rueda, Valeria
  4. Italy and the Industrial Revolution: Evidence from Stable Employment in Rural Areas By Rota, Mauro; Weisdorf, Jacob
  5. Death, sex and fertility: Female infanticide in rural Spain, 1750-1950 By Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia; Francisco J. Marco-Gracia
  6. Private Banking in 21st Century Spain: An Introductory History By Nuria Puig; JosŽ Luis Garc’a Ruiz
  7. Pre-Colonial Warfare and Long-Run Development in India By Dincecco, Mark; Fenske, James; Menon, Anil; Mukherjee, Shivaji
  8. Bitter Sugar: Slavery and the Black Family By Bertocchi, Graziella; Dimico, Arcangelo
  9. Value creating mergers â?? British bank consolidation, 1885-1925 By Braggion, Fabio; Dwarkasing, Narly; Moore, Lyndon
  10. Denmark and Russia: What can we learn from the historical comparison of two great Arctic agricultural empires? By Elena Korchmina; Paul Sharp
  11. The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States By Giuliano, Paola; Tabellini, Marco
  12. Yield Performance of Corn under Heat Stress: A Comparison of Hybrid and Open-Pollinated Seeds during a Period of Technological Transformation, 1933-1955 By Keith Meyers; Paul Rhode
  13. The Political Economy of Indian Indentured Labour in the 19th Century By Neha Hui; Uma Kambhampati
  14. A Dane in the making of European Monetary Union - A conversation with Niels Thygesen By Ivo Maes; Sabine Péters
  15. Economic Warfare in Twentieth-Century History and Strategy By Harrison, Mark
  16. Transportation Technology, Individual Mobility and Social Mobilisation By Eric Melander
  17. Migration-prone and migration-averse places. Path dependence in long-term migration to the US By Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés; von Berlepsch, Viola
  18. 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
  19. Slow Real Wage Growth during the Industrial Revolution: Productivity Paradox or Pro-Rich Growth? By Nicholas Crafts
  20. Working for a Living? Women and Children's Labour Inputs in England, 1260-1850 By Horrell, Sara; Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
  21. A Short History of the Gender Wage Gap in Britain By Bryson, Alex; Joshi, Heather; Wielgoszewska, Bożena; Wilkinson, David
  22. Modigliani Meets Minsky: Inequality, Debt, and Financial Fragility in America, 1950-2016 By Bartscher, Alina; Kuhn, Moritz; Schularick, Moritz; Steins, Ulrike
  23. Coping with Disasters: Two Centuries of International Official Lending By Sebastian Horn; Carmen M. Reinhart; Christoph Trebesch
  24. Winners and Losers from Enclosure: Evidence from Danish Land Inequality 1682-1895 By Boberg-Fazlic, Nina; Lampe, Markus; Martinelli Lasheras, Pablo; Sharp, Paul
  25. Weber revisited: A literature review on the possible Link between Protestantism, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth By Grytten, Ola Honningdal
  26. Modigliani Meets Minsky: Inequality, Debt, and Financial Fragility in America, 1950-2016 By Alina K. Bartscher; Moritz Kuhn; Moritz Schularick; Ulrike I. Steins
  27. Four decades of household food purchases: changes in inequalities of nutritional quality in France, 1971-2010 By France Caillavet; Nicole Darmon; Flavie Létoile; Veronique Nichèle
  28. Prussia Disaggregated: The Demography of its Universe of Localities in 1871 By Becker, Sascha O.; Cinnirella, Francesco
  29. A Century of Arbitrage and Disaster Risk Pricing in the Foreign Exchange Market By Corsetti, G.; Marin, E. A.
  30. Determinantes de la participación femenina en el mercado de trabajo en la Galicia rural y urbana de 1924 By Luisa-María Muñoz-Abeledo; María-Salomé Taboada-Mella; Rosa-María Verdugo-Matés
  31. Chile’s Missing Students: Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility By Bautista, M. A.; González, F.; Martínez, L. R.; Muñoz, P.; Prem, M.
  32. Blowing against the Wind? A Narrative Approach to Central Bank Foreign Exchange Intervention By Alain Naef
  33. Prussia Disaggregated: The Demography of its Universe of Localities in 1871 By Becker, Sascha O; Cinnirella, Francesco
  34. Gendered and stratified family formation trajectories in the context of Latin American migration, 1950 to 2000 By Andrés F. Castro Torres; Edith Yolanda Gutierrez Vazquez
  35. Identifying the role of women in UK farming through a systematic review of international literature By Dunne, Chloe; Siettou, Christina; Wilson, Paul
  36. Analysis of alternatives for the interaction of power structures and local communities in Russian and foreign agrarian reforms of the XX-XXI centuries By Nikulin, Alexander (Никулин, Александр)
  37. Attitude towards Immigrants: Evidence from U.S. Congressional Speeches By Bose, Neha
  38. The economic impact of climate in the long run By Richard S.J. Tol

  1. By: Becker, Sascha O. (Monash University, University of Warwick; CAGE; CEPR, CESifo, IZA, and ROA); Rubin, Jared (Chapman University); Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich and ifo Institute; CESifo, IZA, and CAGE)
    Abstract: This chapter surveys the recent social science literature on religion in economic history, covering both socioeconomic causes and consequences of religion. Following the rapidly growing literature, it focuses on the three main monotheisms—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and on the period up to WWII. Works on Judaism address Jewish occupational specialization, human capital, emancipation, and the causes and consequences of Jewish persecution. One set of papers on Christianity studies the role of the Catholic Church in European economic history since the medieval period. Taking advantage of newly digitized data and advanced econometric techniques, the voluminous literature on the Protestant Reformation studies its socioeconomic causes as well as its consequences for human capital, secularization, political change, technology diffusion, and social outcomes. Works on missionaries show that early access to Christian missions still has political, educational, and economic consequences in present-day Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Much of the economics of Islam focuses on the role that Islam and Islamic institutions played in political-economy outcomes and in the “long divergence” between the Middle East and Western Europe. Finally, cross-country analyses seek to understand the broader determinants of religious practice and its various effects across the world. We highlight three general insights that emerge from this literature. First, the monotheistic character of the Abrahamic religions facilitated a close historical interconnection of religion with political power and conflict. Second, human capital often played a leading role in the interconnection between religion and economic history. Third, many socioeconomic factors matter in the historical development of religions.
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Alfani, Guido (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: The history of plague suggests that severe pandemics can have extremely important and potentially permanent asymmetric economic consequences. However, these consequences depend upon the initial conditions and could not be foretold a priori. To support this view, this short article illustrates the ability of major plagues to cause asymmetric shocks. The Black Death might have been at the origin of the Great Divergence between western Europe and East Asia, but also within Europe it had quite heterogeneous consequences. The last great European plagues of the seventeenth century favoured the rise of North Europe to the detriment of the South. Additionally, within Italy, they had a differential impact allowing for the rise of the Sabaudian State and contributing to the decline of the Republic of Venice. The article argues that the implication for today societies facing Covid-19, is that given that the final demographic and economic consequences of this pandemic are impossible to predict, collective answers to the crisis, possibly coordinated by the EU, are highly advisable.
    Keywords: pandemics; plague; Covid-19; Black Death; Great Divergence; Little Divergence; historical demography; economic history; Italy; Europe JEL Classification:
    Date: 2020
  3. By: A'Hearn, Brian; Rueda, Valeria
    Abstract: We examine the economic impact of Italian unification from a micro-geographical perspective, asking whether the abolition of internal borders caused a redistribution of economic activity towards the former border zones, which now enjoyed improved market access. We construct a new geocoded dataset of municipal (comune) populations from the pre-unification period through to 1871. Using a difference-in-differences approach and controlling for a variety of geographic correlates including elevation and distances to ports, railway lines, and large cities, we find robust evidence of a relative acceleration in population growth â?? our proxy for economic activity â?? in comuni near the former internal borders, consistent with our market access hypothesis.
    Keywords: 19th century; Border effects; economic history; economic integration; Italy; Political Unification; spatial inequality
    JEL: J6 N33 N93 R12 R23
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Rota, Mauro; Weisdorf, Jacob
    Abstract: We provide a first-ever long-run index of wages of stable rural workers in early-modern Tuscany. These wages speak to two longstanding debates. The first concerns whether Italy's early-modern downturn was an urban phenomenon only or an all-embracing one. Our data lend support to the former, since we do not detect any downturn in our early-modern rural wages. The second debate concerns whether high-waged workers prompted the Industrial Revolution. Earlier studies in this debate have been criticised for comparing urban wages when early factories emerged in rural areas. By comparing rural wages, we find that English labour cost only 10 per cent more than their Italian counterparts in 1650, but a staggering 150 per cent more in 1800. The revised timing of the divergence between England and Italy, and its overlap with England's early mechanisation, raise a significant identification problem. Did high wages encourage mechanisation, or did mechanisation boost wages?
    Keywords: economic growth; Great Divergence; industrial revolution; living standards; prices; Stable Employment; Wage premia; wages
    JEL: I3 J3 J4 J8 N33
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia (Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Francisco J. Marco-Gracia (Universidad de Zaragoza)
    Abstract: Relying on longitudinal micro data from a Spanish rural region between 1750 and 1950, this article evidences that families mortally neglected a significant fraction of their female babies. On the one hand, baptism records exhibit exceptionally high sex ratios at birth, especially during the 19th century. On the other hand, our data shows that having no previous male siblings increased both the probability of male baptisms and female mortality during the first day of life. These findings seem to be concentrated at higher parities and among landless and semi-landless families which were subject to harsher economic conditions and therefore more likely to resort to extreme decisions under difficult circumstances. Crucially, the fact that the results are robust to employing data from birth and death registers rules out the possibility that under-registration explains this pattern. Lastly, although these practices were definitely more important during the traditional demographic regime, discriminatory patterns affecting female mortality shortly after birth were still visible during the first decades of the 20th century, thus proving that son preference continued to be a strong cultural norm within these societies.
    Keywords: Sex ratios, Infant mortality, Infanticide, Gender discrimination
    JEL: I14 I15 J13 J16 N33
    Date: 2020–06
  6. By: Nuria Puig (Departamento de Econom’a Aplicada, Estructura e Historia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain); JosŽ Luis Garc’a Ruiz (Departamento de Econom’a Aplicada, Estructura e Historia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: At the start of the 21st century we began to talk about "private banking" in Spain as a way to identify entities that served very wealthy clients, seeking to find products for their financial savings with a good combination of profitability and risk. This private banking had little to do with the dominant one in the 20th century, where the concept was simply opposed to "public banking". The large deposit banks created private banking sections, to distinguish it from "personal banking" (for well-off, but not wealthy, clients) and the rest of commercial banking. This segmentation worked well until the outbreak of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, where wealthier clients felt they were not receiving the special treatment they expected, as they did not represent but a small fraction of the interests at stake. It was time for independent private banking. This working paper provides a historical interpretation of the phenomenon of private banking today, exposing its roots in European merchant banks and US investment banks and the difficulties of this kind of banking to succeed in a country like Spain, where the stock markets had little development before the 1988 reform.
    Keywords: Banking history, financial markets history, Global Financial Crisis
    JEL: D52 G21 G23 G24
    Date: 2020–06
  7. By: Dincecco, Mark (University of Michigan); Fenske, James (University of Warwick); Menon, Anil (University of Michigan); Mukherjee, Shivaji (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between pre-colonial warfare and long-run development patterns in India. We construct a new geocoded database of historical interstate conflicts on the Indian subcontinent, from which we compute measures of local exposure to pre-colonial warfare. We document a positive and significant relationship between pre-colonial conflict exposure and local economic development across India today. This result is robust to numerous checks, including controls for geographic endowments, initial state capacity, colonial-era institutions, ethnic and religious fractionalization, and colonial and post-colonial conflict, and an instrumental variables strategy that exploits variation in pre-colonial conflict exposure driven by cost distance to the Khyber Pass. Drawing on rich archival and secondary data, we show that districts that were more exposed to pre-colonial conflict experienced greater local pre-colonial and colonial-era state-making, and less political violence and higher infrastructre investments in the long term. We argue that reductions in local levels of violence and greater investments in physical capital were at least in part a function of more powerful local government institutions.
    Keywords: Warfare ; Economic Development ; State Capacity ; Public Goods ; India ; History JEL codes: N45 ; O11 ; P48 ; H11
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Bertocchi, Graziella; Dimico, Arcangelo
    Abstract: We empirically assess the effect of historical slavery on the African American family structure. Our hypothesis is that female single headship among blacks is more likely to emerge in association not with slavery per se, but with slavery in sugar plantations, since the extreme demographic and social conditions prevailing in the latter have persistently affected family formation patterns. By exploiting the exogenous variation in sugar suitability, we establish the following. In 1850, sugar suitability is indeed associated with extreme demographic outcomes within the slave population. Over the period 1880-1940, higher sugar suitability determines a higher likelihood of single female headship. The effect is driven by blacks and starts fading in 1920 in connection with the Great Migration. OLS estimates are complemented with a matching estimator and a fuzzy RDD. Over a linked sample between 1880 and 1930, we identify an even stronger intergenerational legacy of sugar planting for migrants. By 1990, the effect of sugar is replaced by that of slavery and the black share, consistent with the spread of its in uence through migration and intermarriage, and black incarceration emerges as a powerful mediator. By matching slaves' ethnic origins with ethnographic data we rule out any in uence of African cultural traditions.
    Keywords: Black family,slavery,sugar,migration,culture
    JEL: J12 J47 N30 O13 Z10
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Braggion, Fabio; Dwarkasing, Narly; Moore, Lyndon
    Abstract: The British banking sector had many small banks in the mid-nineteenth century. From around 1885 until the end of World War One there was a process of increasingly larger mergers between banks. By the end of the merger wave the English and Welsh market was highly concentrated, with only five major banks. News of a merger brought a persistent rise in the share prices of both the acquiring and the target bank (roughly 1% and 7%, respectively). Non-merging banks, especially those whose local market concentration rose as a result of the merger, saw their stock prices rise.
    Keywords: Banking; Great Britain; mergers and acquisitions
    JEL: G34 N23 N24
    Date: 2020–04
  10. By: Elena Korchmina (NYU Abu Dhabi, Higher School of Economics (Moscow)); Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: We propose that the “historically relevant” comparison of the Danish and Russian Empires from the early eighteenth century until the First World War presents a useful starting point for a promising research agenda. We motivate the comparison, noting that the two empires enjoyed striking geographical, political and institutional similarities. Beyond this, we also demonstrate that the two empires were bound together by war, royal marriage, and migration. We suggest some examples of what might be investigated, with a particular focus on agriculture, due to its importance to both Danish and Russian economic history. Finally, we zoom in on the role Danish experts played for developing the Russian butter industry.
    Keywords: Agriculture, comparative studies, Denmark, Russia
    JEL: N01 N53 N73 N93
    Date: 2020–06
  11. By: Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Tabellini, Marco (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: We test the relationship between historical immigration to the United States and political ideology today. We hypothesize that European immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state, and that this had a long-lasting effect on the political ideology of US born individuals. Our analysis proceeds in three steps. First, we document that the historical presence of European immigrants is associated with a more liberal political ideology and with stronger preferences for redistribution among US born individuals today. Next, we show that this correlation is not driven by the characteristics of the counties where immigrants settled or other specific, socioeconomic immigrants' traits. Finally, we conjecture and provide evidence that immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state from their countries of origin. Consistent with the hypothesis that immigration left its footprint on American ideology via cultural transmission from immigrants to natives, we show that our results are stronger when inter-group contact between natives and immigrants, measured with either intermarriage or residential integration, was higher. Our findings also indicate that immigrants influenced American political ideology during one of the largest episodes of redistribution in US history — the New Deal — and that such effects persisted after the initial shock.
    Keywords: immigration, culture, political ideology, preferences for redistribution
    JEL: D64 D72 H2 J15 N32 Z1
    Date: 2020–05
  12. By: Keith Meyers; Paul Rhode
    Abstract: Starting in the 1930s, commercial hybrid corn seeds rapidly replaced the once predominant open-pollinated varieties planted by farmers. By the mid-1950s almost all corn grown in the United States was of hybrid varieties. Observers have argued that the drought tolerant qualities of these hybrids were a major factor driving farmers’ decisions regarding hybrid adoption, but there is little statistical evidence to substantiate this assertion. Hybrid seeds exhibited other attractive qualities, such as improved performance during prime weather conditions, resistance to wind damage, and increased suitability toward mechanized harvesting. Using historical evidence from Zvi Griliches’s archival records, we reconstruct data on hybrid corn adoption and yields at a more disaggregated geographic level than previously available. We match these data with historical weather records to measure the extent to which hybrid seeds mediated the adverse effects of extreme heat. Our findings suggest that hybrid corns grown in Iowa from 1928 to 1942 did exhibit heat tolerance relative to open-pollinated varieties. This result is unique to Iowa as this reduced temperature sensitivity does not appear when comparing hybrid and open-pollinated grown in other states.
    JEL: N12 O3 Q16 Q55
    Date: 2020–05
  13. By: Neha Hui (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Uma Kambhampati (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: Abolition of slavery in British Colonies led to the facilitation of Indian indentured migration by the British Government. This form of migration came about when the discourse of economic freedom and individual liberty strongly resonated in British political-economy circles, following the work of Smith and Mill. We analyse how unfreedom in indentured labour was rationalised when the rhetoric of freedom was essential to the dominant intellectual milieu. We argue that indentured labour was a compromise between slavery and free labour because it facilitated free trade and some freedom of movement but was harder to justify in terms of individual liberty.
    Keywords: Classical political economy, Economic freedom, Individual liberty, Indentured labour, Slavery, Migration, Adam Smith, JS Mill
    JEL: B12 B13 J61 J70 N43 N36
    Date: 2020–06–17
  14. By: Ivo Maes (Research and Economics Department - National Bank of Belgium and Robert Triffin Chair, Université catholique de Louvain and ICHEC Brussels Management School.); Sabine Péters (Professor at ICHEC Brussels Management School)
    Abstract: Niels Thygesen (born 1934) played for nearly five decades an influential role in the process of economic and monetary integration in Europe. He is especially known as a member of the Delors Committee and as the first Chair of the European Fiscal Board. As part of a research program on collecting memories, this paper publishes the results of several interviews with him. His early life offers insightful observations on Danish attitudes towards Europe and on the development of the economics profession in the postwar years (he was close to Nobel Prize laureates as Franco Modigliani and Milton Friedman). Thygesen’s involvement with the process of European monetary integration really started in 1974 with his membership of the Marjolin Committee (which provided an assessment of the failure of the 1970 Werner Report). Since then he has been involved in a multitude of committees and initiatives, like the OPTICA groups, the All Saints Day Manifesto, the Trilateral Commission, the Committee for Monetary Union in Europe (an initiative of Giscard and Schmidt) and the Euro50 Group.
    Keywords: Niels Thygesen, economic and monetary union, Delors Report, European Fiscal Board.
    JEL: A11 B22 E60 F50 N74
    Date: 2020–05
  15. By: Harrison, Mark
    Abstract: In two world wars, both sides committed substantial resources to economic warfare. Before the event, influential thinkers believed that the threat of blockade (and later of bombing) would deter aggression. When war broke out, they hoped that economic action might bring the war to a close without the need for a conclusive military struggle. Why were they disappointed, and what was the true relationship between economic warfare and combat between military forces? The answer to this question depends on the effects of economic warfare, which can be understood only after considering the adversary's adaptation. When the full range of adaptations is considered, it becomes clear that economic warfare and combat were usually strategic complements; they acted together and did not substitute for each other. The paper examines this question both in breadth and more narrowly, focusing on the Allied air campaign against Germany in World War II. There are implications for history and policy.
    Keywords: Blockade; economic sanctions; economic warfare; Strategy; substitution; War of Attrition; World War I; World War II
    JEL: H56 N44
    Date: 2020–04
  16. By: Eric Melander (University of Namur and CAGE)
    Abstract: How do reductions in interaction costs shape the diffusion of social movements? In this paper, I use a natural experiment from Swedish history to answer this question. During the thirty-year period 1881-1910, Swedish society underwent two transformative developments: the large-scale roll-out of a national railway network and the nascence of grassroots social movements which came to dominate economic, social and political spheres well into the twentieth century. Using exogenous variation in railway access arising from initial plans for the network, I show that well-connected municipalities were more likely to host a local movement and subsequently saw more rapid membership growth and a greater number of distinct organisations. The mobility of individuals is key: results are driven by passenger arrivals into connected municipalities, not freight arrivals. I implement a market access framework to show that, by reducing least-cost distances between municipalities, railways intensified the influence exerted by neighbouring concentrations of membership, thereby enabling social movement spread.
    Keywords: social movements, railways, collective action, interaction costs, market access JEL Classification: D71, D83, N33, N73, O18, R40, Z13
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés; von Berlepsch, Viola
    Abstract: Does past migration beget future migration? Do migrants from different backgrounds, origins and ethnicities, and separated by several generations always settle - in a path dependent way - in the same places? Is there a permanent separation between migration-prone and migration-averse areas? This paper examines whether that is the case by looking at the settlement patterns of two very different migration waves to the United States (US), that of Europeans at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries and that of Latin Americans between the 1960s and the early 21st century. Using Census data aggregated at county level, we track the settlement pattern of migrants and assess the extent to which the first mass migration wave has determined the later settlement pattern of Latin American migrants. The analysis, conducted using ordinary least squares, instrumental variable and panel data estimation techniques, shows that past US migration patterns create a path dependence that has conditioned the geography of future migration waves. Recent Latin American migrants have flocked, once other factors are controlled for, to the same migration prone US counties where their European predecessors settled, in spite of the very different nature of both migration waves and a time gap of three to five generations.
    Keywords: Counties; Europe; Latin America; long-term; migration; migration waves; US
    JEL: F22 J15 O15 R23
    Date: 2020–04
  18. By: Becker, Sascha O. (Monash University, University of Warwick ; CEPR, CESifo, IZA, CAGE, and ROA); Mergele, Lukas (ifo Institute at the University of Munich ; CESifo); Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich and ifo Institute ; CESifo, IZA, CAGE, and ROA)
    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
    Keywords: political systems ; communism ; preferences ; culture ; Germany JEL Classification: D72 ; H11 ; P26 ; P36 ; N44
    Date: 2020
  19. By: Nicholas Crafts (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: I examine the implications of technological change for productivity, real wages and factor shares during the industrial revolution using recently available data. This shows that real GDP per worker grew faster than real consumption earnings but labour’s share of national income changed little as real product wages grew at a similar rate to labour productivity in the medium term. The period saw modest TFP growth which limited the growth both of real wages and of labour productivity. Economists looking for an historical example of rapid labour-saving technological progress having a seriously adverse impact on labour’s share must look elsewhere.
    Keywords: Engels’ pause; factor shares; industrial revolution; labour productivity; real wages. JEL Classification: N13; O33; O47
    Date: 2020
  20. By: Horrell, Sara; Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
    Abstract: We consider the living standards, supplies of child-labour, and poor-relief needs among intact and broken working-class families of various sizes in historical England. We estimate family incomes without resort to the usual day wages and ahistorical assumptions about male labour inputs. We also incorporate women and children's wages and labour alongside consumption smoothing using a life-cycle approach. Living standards varied considerably over time and by family structure and dependency ratio. Small and intact families enjoyed high and rising living standards after 1700. Large and broken families depended on child labour and poor relief up until 1830.
    Keywords: Child labour; Consumption Smoothing; Costs-of-Living; Dependency Ratio; Life Cycle; living standards; Poor Relief; prices; wages
    JEL: J22 N13 O10
    Date: 2020–04
  21. By: Bryson, Alex (University College London); Joshi, Heather (University College London); Wielgoszewska, Bożena (University College London); Wilkinson, David (University College London)
    Abstract: After shrinking dramatically during World War Two the gender wage gap (GWG) narrowed again in the early 1970s due to the Equal Pay Act. The GWG has closed across birth cohorts at all points in the adult life-cycle but remains. Within birth cohort it rises to middle age before falling again. Among those born in 1958, the raw GWG was 16 percentage points among workers aged 23, rising to 35 percentage points at 42. Among those born in 1970 the gaps were 9 and 31 percentage points at age 26 and age 42 respectively. Differences in men's and women's work experience in mid-life account for much but not all of the raw gap in both cohorts. The GWG is a little larger early in the life cycle when accounting for non-random selection into employment but selection plays no role later in life. Policy options for closing the remaining gap are considered.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, labour force participation, birth cohorts, employment selection, sample attrition
    JEL: J16 J2 J3
    Date: 2020–05
  22. By: Bartscher, Alina; Kuhn, Moritz; Schularick, Moritz; Steins, Ulrike
    Abstract: This paper studies the secular increase in U.S. household debt and its relation to growing income inequality and financial fragility. We exploit a new household-level dataset that covers the joint distributions of debt, income, and wealth in the United States over the past seven decades. The data show that increased borrowing by middle-class families with low income growth played a central role in rising indebtedness. Debt-to-income ratios have risen most dramatically for households between the 50th and 90th percentiles of the income distribution. While their income growth was low, middle-class families borrowed against the sizable housing wealth gains from rising home prices. Home equity borrowing accounts for about half of the increase in U.S. household debt between the 1970s and 2007. The resulting debt increase made balance sheets more sensitive to income and house price fluctuations and turned the American middle class into the epicenter of growing financial fragility.
    Keywords: financial fragility; Household Debt; Household portfolios; inequality
    JEL: D14 D31 E21 E44
    Date: 2020–04
  23. By: Sebastian Horn; Carmen M. Reinhart; Christoph Trebesch
    Abstract: Official (government-to-government) lending is much larger than commonly known, often surpassing total private cross-border capital flows, especially during disasters such as wars, financial crises and natural catastrophes. We assemble the first comprehensive long-run dataset of official international lending, covering 230,000 loans, grants and guarantees extended by governments, central banks, and multilateral institutions in the period 1790-2015. Historically, wars have been the main catalyst of government-to-government transfers. The scale of official credits granted in and around WW1 and WW2 was particularly large, easily surpassing the scale of total international bailout lending after the 2008 crash. During peacetime, development finance and financial crises are the main drivers of official cross-border finance, with official flows often stepping in when private flows retrench. In line with the predictions of recent theoretical contributions, we find that official lending increases with the degree of economic integration. In crises and disasters, governments help those countries to which they have greater trade and banking exposure, hoping to reduce the collateral damage to their own economies. Since the 2000s, official finance has made a sharp comeback, largely due to the rise of China as an international creditor and the return of central bank cross-border lending in times of stress, this time in the form of swap lines.
    JEL: E42 E5 F02 F3 F35 G01 G15 N1 N20
    Date: 2020–06
  24. By: Boberg-Fazlic, Nina (University of Southern Denmark); Lampe, Markus (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, CEPR); Martinelli Lasheras, Pablo (Universidad Carlos III Madrid); Sharp, Paul (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: There is a vast literature on the effects of land inequality and agrarian reforms, but little on the origins of this inequality. We exploit a new and unique parish-level database of land inequality in Denmark, from 1682 to 1895, during which period there was comprehensive land reform and enclosure. We demonstrate that inequality increased after land reform in areas with more productive land, measured using contemporary tax assessments. We instrument for land quality using glacial and postglacial sediment soil types. We propose a mechanism whereby agrarian reforms allowed areas with better soil quality to realize greater productivity gains. Malthusian mechanisms and internal migration then led to greater population increases in more fertile areas, leading to a larger share of smallholders and landless laborers. We present evidence for this mechanism in part from population density revealed by censuses. After the reforms, the geographical pattern of inequality remained strikingly constant, although population and inequality continued to grow throughout the nineteenth century.
    Keywords: Denmark, enclosures, land inequality JEL Classification: O13, N53, Q15
    Date: 2020
  25. By: Grytten, Ola Honningdal (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: The present paper looks at the Weber-Tawney thesis on the positive link between Protestant ethic and economic growth. Both scholars observed that Protestant areas in the Western world seemed to gain faster and more wealth than areas with less Protestants, and largely explained this by a special mentality fostering entrepreneurship in Protestant thinking. By conducting a literature study of research in the area, the paper concludes that despite wide debate, there is a significant acceptance that there is a statistical link between religious affiliation and growth. However, scholars tend to disagree on the causal relationships. Still, the bulk of the literature seems to agree that the Reformation paved way for entrepreneurship and economic growth in one way or another. The paper seeks to map the most important explanations and the arguments behind them.
    Keywords: Weber; Reformation; Protestantism; Entrepreneurship; Economic Growth
    JEL: B15 B25 N10 N30 N90 O10 O40 O47 P10 P30 P41 P47 P50
    Date: 2020–06–04
  26. By: Alina K. Bartscher; Moritz Kuhn; Moritz Schularick; Ulrike I. Steins
    Abstract: This paper studies the secular increase in U.S. household debt and its relation to growing income inequality and financial fragility. We exploit a new household-level dataset that covers the joint distributions of debt, income, and wealth in the United States over the past seven decades. The data show that increased borrowing by middle-class families with low income growth played a central role in rising indebtedness. Debt-to-income ratios have risen most dramatically for households between the 50th and 90th percentiles of the income distribution. While their income growth was low, middle-class families borrowed against the sizable housing wealth gains from rising home prices. Home equity borrowing accounts for about half of the increase in U.S. household debt between the 1970s and 2007. The resulting debt increase made balance sheets more sensitive to income and house price fluctuations and turned the American middle class into the epicenter of growing financial fragility.
    Keywords: household debt, inequality, household portfolios, financial fragility
    JEL: E21 E44 D14 D31
    Date: 2020
  27. By: France Caillavet (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Nicole Darmon (UMR MOISA - Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CIHEAM-IAMM - Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes - Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier - CIHEAM - Centre International de Hautes Études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Montpellier SupAgro - Centre international d'études supérieures en sciences agronomiques); Flavie Létoile (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Veronique Nichèle (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)
    Abstract: Socioeconomic inequalities affect all areas of consumption. Disparities in food consumption have nutritional consequences that may contribute to social inequalities in health. Drawing on 40 years of representative data at the household level (1971-2010), this paper examines changes in the major food groups and nutritional quality in at-home consumption by income and education. In a global trend of improving nutritional quality over the period, the study provides evidence of a positive trend for all income quartiles and for four levels of education. Inequalities were significant at the beginning of the period but on the decline in the 2000s: they were very pronounced between education levels in the 1970s but appear to be on the verge of disappearing by 2010; according to income level, they were limited and on the decline until 2010, but still persist.
    Abstract: Les inégalités socioéconomiques affectent tous les domaines de la consommation. Les disparités de consommation alimentaire ont des conséquences en termes nutritionnels, pouvant contribuer aux inégalités sociales de santé. En nous appuyant sur 40 années de données représentatives au niveau des ménages (1971-2010), nous étudions l'évolution des grands groupes d'aliments et de la qualité nutritionnelle de la consommation au domicile selon le revenu et le niveau d'éducation. Dans une tendance globale d'amélioration de la qualité nutritionnelle sur la période, nous constatons une évolution favorable pour tous les quartiles de revenu et pour quatre niveaux d'éducation. Les inégalités, importantes en début de période, s'amenuisent dans les années 2000 : très marquées selon le niveau d'éducation dans les années 1970, elles semblent près de disparaître en 2010 ; selon le niveau de revenu, elles sont modérées et décroissent jusqu'en 2010 mais subsistent néanmoins.
    Keywords: nutritional quality,income,education,socioeconomic inequalities,food purchases,revenu,qualité nutritionnelle,inégalités socioéconomiques,achats alimentaires,Mots-clefs : inégalités socioéconomiques,éducation Keywords: socioeconomic inequalities
    Date: 2019
  28. By: Becker, Sascha O.; Cinnirella, Francesco
    Abstract: We provide, for the first time, a detailed and comprehensive overview of the demography of more than 50,000 towns, villages, and manors in 1871 Prussia. We study religion, literacy, fertility, and group segregation by location type (town, village, and manor). We find that Jews live predominantly in towns. Villages and manors are substantially segregated by denomination, whereas towns are less segregated. Yet, we find relatively lower levels of segregation by literacy. Regression analyses with county-fixed effects show that a larger share of Protestants is associated with higher literacy rates across all location types. A larger share of Jews relative to Catholics is not significantly associated with higher literacy in towns, but it is in villages and manors. Finally, a larger share of Jews is associated with lower fertility in towns, which is not explained by differences in literacy.
    Keywords: Fertility; Literacy; Prussia; religion; Segregation
    JEL: I21 J13 J15 N33 Z12
    Date: 2020–04
  29. By: Corsetti, G.; Marin, E. A.
    Abstract: A long-standing puzzle in international finance is that a positive interest rate differential systematically forecasts an exchange rate appreciation - the Uncovered Interest Parity (UIP) puzzle. Hence, a carry trade portfolio long in high yield currency bonds funded by borrowing in low yield currencies can be expected to yield positive profits. Following the Great Financial Crisis, however, the sign of the puzzle has changed - positive differentials forecast excessive depreciation - and carry trade has withered after the large losses suffered by investors in 2007-2008. In this paper, we use a century-long time series for the GBP/USD exchange rate to show that a sign switch is neither new, nor, arguably, a new puzzle. First, it is not new in the data|by virtue of a long sample featuring infrequent, non-overlapping currency crashes, we document that switches systematically occur in crises such as the Great Depression in the 1930s and the exchange rate turmoil of the 1990s. However, UIP deviations, sharp in either direction for short - to medium-horizon portfolios, remain small to almost negligible for long-horizon investment portfolios. Second, we argue that our century-long evidence is consistent with models featuring a time-varying probability of disasters or 'Peso events,' specified so to account for the difference in UIP deviations in crisis and normal times, as well as for a decreasing term structure of carry trade returns that on average characterize the data.
    Keywords: Uncovered Interest Parity, Peso Problem, Great Depression, Currency Crises, Carry Trade, Fama Puzzle
    JEL: F31 F41 G15
    Date: 2020–03–24
  30. By: Luisa-María Muñoz-Abeledo (USC - Universidade de Santiago de Compostela [Spain]); María-Salomé Taboada-Mella (USC - Universidade de Santiago de Compostela [Spain]); Rosa-María Verdugo-Matés (USC - Universidade de Santiago de Compostela [Spain], LAM - Les Afriques dans le monde - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article provides new data on the female labour activity rate, obtained by analysing the determinants of female participation in rural and urban labour markets in Galicia in 1924. We selected five municipalities (two cities and three towns) to represent different economic models. The two larger hubs are A Coruña, a city with industry, services and a commercial port; and Ourense, a provincial capital in the interior of the region. The smaller, more rural municipalities analysed are Bueu, a good example of the region's industrialization model focused on fishing, fish processing; Padrón, which combines agriculture, textiles, and tanning sectors; and Nigrán, which is eminently agrarian. By combining demographic data (Nominative Population Census of 1924) with other sources, this article corrects the female activity rate in agriculture and the fish-processing industry. The revised female labour participation rates are higher, surpassing 50% in rural municipalities and 30% in cities. We also analyse rural and urban labour markets from a gender perspective, identifying the main male and female occupations. Finally, this research explores the accuracy of the predominance of the "male breadwinner" model in this region in the 1920s.
    Abstract: Este artículo ofrece nuevos datos sobre la tasa de actividad femenina mediante el análisis de los determinantes de participación de las mujeres en el mercado laboral de Galicia en 1924. En esta investigación se eligieron cinco munici-pios con modelos económicos diferentes: dos ciudades y tres pueblos. Las ciudades son A Coruña, puerto comercial, industrial y de servicios, y Ourense, una capital del interior de la región. Los municipios rurales analizados son: Bueu, que modeliza la in-dustrialización del litoral, centrado en la pesca y su transformación; Padrón, que com-bina agricultura, textil y curtidos; y finalmente, Nigrán, eminentemente agrario. Combinando datos demográficos (el padrón de 1924) con otras fuentes, este artículo co-rrige el subregistro de la actividad femenina en la agricultura y en la industria de trans-formación de pescado, al obtener tasas que superan el 50% en los municipios rurales y el 30% en los urbanos. Además, el artículo analiza el funcionamiento de los mercados de trabajo del mundo rural y urbano desde una perspectiva de género, identificando las principales ocupaciones masculinas y femeninas. Por último, explora si se cumple el mo-delo del hombre como principal sustentador de pan en los hogares de la región en los años veinte del siglo XX.
    Date: 2019–10–16
  31. By: Bautista, M. A.; González, F.; Martínez, L. R.; Muñoz, P.; Prem, M.
    Abstract: Hostile policies towards higher education are a prominent feature of authoritarian regimes. We study the capture of higher education by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile following the 1973 coup. We find three main results: (i) cohorts that reached college age shortly after the coup experienced a large drop in college enrollment as a result of the systematic reduction in the number of openings for incoming students decreed by the regime; (ii) these cohorts had worse economic outcomes throughout the life cycle and struggled to climb up the socioeconomic ladder, especially women; (iii) children with parents in the affected cohorts also have a substantially lower probability of college enrollment. These results demonstrate that the political capture of higher education in non-democracies hinders social mobility and leads to a persistent reduction in human capital accumulation, even after democratization
    Keywords: Dictatorship, higher education, social mobility, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: I23 I24 I25 P51
    Date: 2020–05–13
  32. By: Alain Naef (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: Few studies on foreign exchange intervention convincingly address the causal effect of intervention on exchange rates. By using a narrative approach, I address a major issue in the literature: the endogeneity of intraday news which influence the exchange rate alongside central bank operations. Some studies find that interventions work in up to 80% of cases. Yet, by accounting for intraday market moving news, I find that in adverse conditions, the Bank of England managed to influence the exchange rate only in 8% of cases. I use both machine learning and human assessment to confirm the validity of the narrative approach.
    Keywords: intervention, foreign exchange, natural language processing, central bank, Bank of England.
    JEL: F31 E5 N14 N24
    Date: 2020–06
  33. By: Becker, Sascha O (Monash University, University of Warwick, CAGE, CEPR, CESifo, and ROA); Cinnirella, Francesco (University of Bergamo, Danish Institute of Advanced Study, CAGE, CESifo and CEPR.)
    Abstract: We provide, for the first time, a detailed and comprehensive overview of the demography of more than 50,000 towns, villages, and manors in 1871 Prussia. We study religion, literacy, fertility, and group segregation by location type (town, village, and manor). We find that Jews live predominantly in towns. Villages and manors are substantially segregated by denomination, whereas towns are less segregated. Yet, we find relatively lower levels of segregation by literacy. Regression analyses with county-fixed effects show that a larger share of Protestants is associated with higher literacy rates across all location types. A larger share of Jews relative to Catholics is not significantly associated with higher literacy in towns, but it is in villages and manors. Finally, a larger share of Jews is associated with lower fertility in towns, which is not explained by differences in literacy
    Keywords: Religion; Segregation; Literacy; Fertility; Prussia JEL Classification: J13; J15; I21; N33; Z12
    Date: 2020
  34. By: Andrés F. Castro Torres (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Edith Yolanda Gutierrez Vazquez
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  35. By: Dunne, Chloe; Siettou, Christina; Wilson, Paul
    Abstract: Women play an imperative role in the economic strengthening and sustainability of the agricultural sector, yet very little economic research documents the role and contribution of farming women in developed countries. Through an interdisciplinary systematic literature review of 184 international peer-reviewed, English-language studies between 1970 and 2020 we identify the effect gendered discourses have elicited within developed countries and present how this has shaped women’s economic contribution and visibility within UK agriculture. The study reveals key economic differences both between men and women, and within women as a group, with factors such as access to land, education, organisation and policy driving these differences. Strategies impacting women’s economic agency are also evaluated in the context of wider policy. The outcomes of this study increase understanding of factors shaping women’s economic contribution and visibility in UK agriculture and will inform further research investigating female participation in agricultural business management and decision making.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management
    Date: 2020–04
  36. By: Nikulin, Alexander (Никулин, Александр) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The research aims at identifying the key Russian and foreign alternative directions of rural development in the 20th century related to the transformation of its basic elements such as large (corporate/collective) and small (family) agricultural production, agricultural and non-agricultural activities in rural areas, state administration and self-government in rural areas, and long-term demographic and social-economic trends of rural development. The retrospective and futurological study of the interaction of social-economic institutions of rural development allows, first, to reveal the challenges of multipolar rural differentiation typical for all BRICS countries to a greater or lesser extent; second, to identify the obvious strategic and interconnected directions of the agrarian policies of the BRICS countries.
    Date: 2020–03
  37. By: Bose, Neha (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Immigration and attitudes towards immigration have been key features in economic development and political debate for decades. It can be hard to disentangle true beliefs about immigrants even where we have seemingly strong evidence such as the voting records of politicians. This paper builds an “immigration corpus” consisting of 24,351 U.S. congressional speeches relevant to immigration issues between 1990-2015. The corpus is used to form two distinct measures of attitude towards immigrants - one based on sentiment (or valence) and one based on the concreteness of language. The lexical measures, particularly sentiment, show systematic variation over time and across states in a manner consistent with the history and experiences of immigrants in the USA. The paper also computes a speaker specific measure of sentiment towards immigrants which is found to be a significant positive predictor of voting behaviour with respect to immigration related bills. Applying a Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic odelling algorithm provides further insight into how different topics (such as border security or national security) have risen and fallen in importance over time in the face of key events such as 9/11.
    Date: 2020
  38. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: Early scholars were convinced that geography is destiny, that climate determines the human condition. Current economists by and large argue that institutions are destiny, that the only thing that matters to humans are other human beings. Neither position is tenable. I review the literature and present new empirical evidence that shows that climate does have a significant effect on development, that this effect is mediated by institutions, and that the effect shrinks with affluence.
    Keywords: climate, development
    JEL: N10 O10 O44 Q54
    Date: 2020–06

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.