nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2020‒11‒02
38 papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Northumbria University

  1. Religion in Economic History: A Survey By Sascha O. Becker; Jared Rubin; Ludger Woessmann
  2. An annual index of Irish industrial production, 1800-1921 By Seán Kenny; Jason Lennard and Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke
  3. J. S. Mill's Ethology and his Engagement with the 'Women's Cause' By Laura Valladao de Mattos
  4. Are ‘Flow of Ideas’ and ‘Research Productivity’ in secular decline? By Peter Cauwels; Didier Sornette
  5. The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918–20: An interpretative survey in the time of COVID-19 By Prema-chandra Athukorala; Chaturica Athukorala
  6. The determinants of wealth inequality in the Republic of Venice (1400-1800) By Alfani, Guido; Di Tullio, M; Fochesato, M
  7. The Evolutionary Origins of the Wealth of Nations By Quamrul H. Ashraf; Oded Galor; Marc P. B. Klemp
  8. British Relative Economic Decline in the Aftermath of German Unification By Crafts, Nicholas
  9. Demographic shocks and women’s labor market participation: evidence from the 1918 influenza pandemic in India By Fenske, James; Gupta, Bishnupriya; Yuan, Song
  10. The Effects of Land Redistribution: Evidence from the French Revolution By Theresa Finley; Raphaël Franck; Noel D. Johnson
  11. The Greek Revolution after 200 years. Greek refugees in Transylvania during the first year of the Greek Revolution of 1821. By Bogdan Eugen Anagnastopol
  12. Loose Cannons: War Veterans and the Erosion of Democracy in Weimar Germany By Koenig, Christoph
  13. A paradoxical convergence: French economists and the policy towards cartels from the 1870s to the eve of the Great Depression By David Spector
  14. A paradoxical convergence: French economists and the policy towards cartels from the 1870s to the eve of the Great Depression By David Spector
  15. The long wave of the Internet By Pietro Bonaccorsi; Massimo Moggi
  16. Growth factors in developed countries: A 1960-2019 growth accounting decomposition By Gilbert Cette; Aurélien Devillard; Vincenzo Spiezia
  17. Revisiting the history of welfare economics By Roger E. Backhouse; Antoinette Baujard; Tamotsu Nishizawa
  18. Epidemics, Inequality and Poverty in Preindustrial and Early Industrial Times By , Stone Center; Alfani, Guido
  19. Classical views on Environmental Economics By Richard S.J. Tol
  20. Historical Data: Where to Find Them, How to Use Them By Giuliano, Paola; Matranga, Andrea
  21. Environmental economics before Adam Smith By Richard S.J. Tol
  22. The Performance of Consumers' Cooperatives in America By Pencavel, John
  23. Populism and the First Wave of Globalization: Evidence from the 1892 US Presidential Election By Klein, Alexander; Persson, Karl Gunnar; Sharp, Paul
  24. The Emergence of Environmental Economics By Richard S.J. Tol
  25. The medium-term impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions. The case of the 1918 influenza in US cities By Guillaume Chapelle
  26. The Gradual Encroachment of Ideas: Lessons from the paradigm shift to embedded liberalism By Laurie Laybourn-Langton
  27. History of value By Richard S.J. Tol
  28. The Nature of Farming: Peasantness and entrepreneurship revisited through the lens of diverging survival strategies of farms within the same micro-territory, Wallonia, Belgium By Line Louah
  29. A silent revolution: How central bank statistics have changed in the last 25 years By Riccardo De Bonis; Matteo Piazza
  30. What aggregate data can tell us about voter turnout in Canada; did changes in the distribution of income matter? By Stephen J. Ferris; Marcel-Cristian Voia
  31. Pandemics and Protectionism: Evidence from the “Spanish” flu By Boberg-Fazlic, Nina; Lampe, Markus; Pedersen, Maja Uhre; Sharp, Paul
  32. The correspondence between Baumol and Galbraith (1957–1958) - An unsuspected source of managerial theories of the firm By Alexandre Chirat
  33. Neoclassical views on Environmental Economics By Richard S.J. Tol
  34. Savage's response to Allais as Broomean reasoning By Franz Dietrich; Antonios Staras; Robert Sugden
  35. J’Accuse! Antisemitism and Financial Markets in the time of the Dreyfus Affair By Quoc-Anh Do; Roberto Galbiati; Benjamin Marx; Miguel Serrano
  36. Political competition and legislative shirking in roll-call votes: Evidence from Germany for 1953–2017 By Marco Frank; David Stadelmann
  37. Ragnar Frisch 1933 model: And yet it rocks! By Vincent Carret
  38. The ''New Comparative Economics''. A critical review By Bruno Dallago; Sara Casagrande

  1. By: Sascha O. Becker (University, University of Warwick; CAGE; CEPR, CESifo, IZA, and ROA); Jared Rubin (Rubin: Chapman University); Ludger Woessmann (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.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Seán Kenny; Jason Lennard and Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke
    Abstract: We construct an annual index of Irish industrial output for 1800-1921, the period during which the entire island was in a political Union with Great Britain. We also construct a new industrial price index. Irish industrial output grew by an average of 1.4 per cent per annum over the period as a whole, and by 1.8 per cent per annum between 1800 and the outbreak of World War I. Industrial growth was more rapid than previously thought before the Famine, and slower afterwards. While Ireland did not experience deindustrialization either before the Famine or afterwards, its industrial growth was disappointing when considered in a comparative perspective.
    Keywords: Ireland, Industrial production, Famine, Historical national
    JEL: E01 N13 N14
    Date: 2020–10–21
  3. By: Laura Valladao de Mattos
    Abstract: This paper intends to analyze Mill’s stance concerning an important Victorian issue: the role of women in society. Mill assumed the role of protagonist in this debate: in 1866, he presented an important petition in Parliament in favor of women’s suffrage and, in 1869, he published The Subjection of Women – an important benchmark in nineteenth century feminism. I argue that underlying his position in this debate was a specific view of human nature, which located the origin of the existing differences between men and women in prevailing social institutions and habits. Mill’s ethological analysis was central to his engagement in the women’s cause on at least three levels: (i) it challenged the scientific authority of the prevailing theories, which considered gender differences innate/natural, and thus, inevitable, and opened ample space for social reform; (ii) it oriented Mill’s reform agenda concerning women by pointing out the institutions and habits that produced and sustained the existing gender inequality; (iii) it furnished ammunition for the defense of the reforms, as it anticipated the great social improvement that women’s political, social and economic emancipation would produce.
    Keywords: J.S. Mill; Ethology; Women’s emancipation
    JEL: B12 J12 Z10
    Date: 2020–10–14
  4. By: Peter Cauwels (ETH Zürich; Director Quaerens CommV); Didier Sornette (ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC); Swiss Finance Institute; Southern University of Science and Technology; Tokyo Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: It is widely held true that fundamental scientific knowledge has been accelerating exponentially over the past centuries and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Moreover, endogenous growth theory postulates that this exponential accumulation of knowledge is the main source of the ubiquitous exponential economic growth. We test these claims by constructing two new series of knowledge indices, one representing the historical evolution of the Flow of Ideas, the other of the Research Productivity, for the time period between 1750 and 1988. Three different geographical regions are covered: 1) Continental Europe, 2) the United Kingdom, and 3) the United States; and two disciplines: a) the physical sciences, and b) the life sciences. Our main result is that scientific knowledge has been in clear secular decline since the early 1970s for the Flow of Ideas and since the early 1950s for the Research Productivity. We also observe waves coinciding with the three industrial and technological revolutions, in particular in the United Kingdom. Overall, our results support the Kuhnian theory of knowledge creation through scientific revolutions, punctuation and paradigm shifts and falsify the gradualism that lies at the basis of the currently prevailing economic paradigm of endogenous growth.
    Keywords: research productivity, knowledge accumulation, economic growth, endogenous growth, exponential growth, S-curve, technological progress, discovery, invention, innovation, scientific revolutions
    JEL: C80 H50 J24 O30 O31 O40 O50
    Date: 2020–10
  5. By: Prema-chandra Athukorala; Chaturica Athukorala
    Abstract: The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918-20—commonly known as the Spanish flu—infected over a quarter of the world’s population and killed over 50 million people. It is by far the greatest humanitarian disaster caused by infectious disease in modern history. Epidemiologists and health scientists often draw on this experience to set the plausible upper bound (the ‘worst case scenario’) on future pandemic mortality. The purpose of this study is to piece together and analyse the scattered multi-disciplinary literature on the pandemic in order to place debates on the evolving course of the current COVID-19 crisis in historical perspective. The analysis focuses on the changing characteristics of pathogens and disease over time, the institutional factors that shaped the global spread, and the demographic and socio-economic consequences
    Keywords: Spanish flu, COVID-19, pandemic, infectious
    JEL: F50 I10 O50 Z19
    Date: 2020–10
  6. By: Alfani, Guido (Dondena and Igier, Bocconi University; Stone Center for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality, City University of New York; Cage, University of Warwick); Di Tullio, M (Università di Pavia); Fochesato, M (Dondena, Bocconi University)
    Abstract: This article analyses wealth inequality in the territories of the Republic of Venice in mainland Italy during 1400-1800. The availability of a particularly large database of homogeneous local inequality measurements allows us to produce the most in-depth study of the determinants of inequality at the local level available so far for any preindustrial society. First, we explore the ability of economic development, population and the intensity of regressive taxation to explain overall inequality trends in the long run, arguing for a particularly strong impact of regressive taxation. Then, to explain inequality variation between communities, we introduce a full set of geo-morphological variables. Finally we explore the impact of the terrible 1630 plague, which killed 40% of the inhabitants of this area. Although the plague itself had only a limited egalitarian impact (if any), it was able to determine a structural break in the way in which some key variables affected inequality.
    Keywords: Economic inequality; wealth concentration; poverty; middle ages; early modern period; plague; Black Death; Italy; Republic of Venice JEL Classification:
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Quamrul H. Ashraf; Oded Galor; Marc P. B. Klemp
    Abstract: This essay explores the deepest roots of comparative economic development. It underscores the significance of evolutionary processes since the Neolithic Revolution in shaping a society’s endowment of fundamental traits, such as predisposition towards child quality, time preference, loss aversion, and entrepreneurial spirit, that have contributed to differential paths of technological progress, human-capital formation, and economic development across societies. Moreover, it highlights the indelible mark of the exodus of Homo sapiens from Africa tens of thousands of years ago on the degree of interpersonal population diversity across the globe and examines the impact of this variation in diversity for comparative economic, cultural, and institutional development across countries, regions, and ethnic groups.
    Keywords: comparative development, human evolution, natural selection, preference for child quality, time preference, loss aversion, entrepreneurial spirit, the “out of Africa” hypothesis, interpersonal diversity
    JEL: O11 N10 N30 Z10
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Crafts, Nicholas (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: From 1871 to 1913, German economic growth was faster than that of the UK. This represented a successful catch-up of the leading European economy but there was still a significant productivity gap at the end of the period. Slower UK growth should be seen as largely unavoidable but there was a serious weakness in the national innovation system. On the whole, the greater openness of the British economy was advantageous and a move to protectionist policies would have been damaging. The expansion of German industrial production and exports only had a small negative impact on UK national income.
    Keywords: economic growth; productivity performance; trade rivalry; Victorian failure JEL Classification: N13; O52
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Fenske, James (University of Warwick); Gupta, Bishnupriya (University of Warwick); Yuan, Song (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: How did the 1918 influenza pandemic affect female labor force participation in India over the short run and the medium run? We use an event-study approach at the district level and four waves of decadal census data in order to answer this question. We find that districts most adversely affected by influenza mortality saw a temporary increase in female labor force participation in 1921, an increase that was concentrated in the service sector. By 1931, this increase had been reversed. We find suggestive evidence that distress labor supply by widows and rising wages help account for these results
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Theresa Finley; Raphaël Franck; Noel D. Johnson
    Abstract: This study exploits the confiscation and auctioning off of Church property that occurred during the French Revolution to assess the role played by transaction costs in delaying the reallocation of property rights in the aftermath of fundamental institutional reform. French districts with a greater proportion of land redistributed during the Revolution experienced higher levels of agricultural productivity in 1841 and 1852 as well as more investment in irrigation and more efficient land use. We trace these increases in productivity to an increase in land inequality associated with the Revolutionary auction process. We also show how the benefits associated with the head-start given to districts with more Church land initially, and thus greater land redistribution by auction during the Revolution, dissipated over the course of the nineteenth century as other districts gradually overcame the transaction costs associated with reallocating the property rights associated with the feudal system.
    Keywords: institutions, property rights, French Revolution, Coase Theorem
    JEL: N53 O43 P14 D47
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Bogdan Eugen Anagnastopol (Babes Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca)
    Abstract: Immediately after the defeat suffered by the Greek and Romanian revolutionaries, in Dragasani, in June 1821, many of the Greeks who fought for Filiki Eteria and not only, took refuge in Transylvania, to avoid the repression of the Ottoman Empire. The two Hellenistic centres, where these refugees have found shelter and protection, were Sibiu and Brasov. Among the refugees, in addition to students and fighters of the Sacred Band of Filiki Eteria, were also intellectuals, boyar families, two of the founders of the Filiki Eteria, doctors, and high Greek dignitaries from the Romanian Principalities. From Sibiu and Brasov, Greek revolutionaries continued to spread revolutionary enthusiasm and continue their liberation struggle against the Ottoman Empire, using the resources of Greek merchants companies in these cities, which had close ties with the Hellenistic centres in Europe. In response to the large number of refugees arriving in the Austrian Empire, the refugees were placed under the supervision of local authorities who informed their superiors in Vienna.
    Keywords: Austrian Empire, Greek merchants, Filiki Eteria; Ottoman Empire, Secret society
    JEL: N93
  12. By: Koenig, Christoph (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: I study the adverse political effects of WW1 in Weimar Germany. Using novel data on WW1 veterans and an election panel from 1893-1933, I show that former soldiers are associated with a sizeable, persistent and potentially momentous shift in political preferences from left to right. Contrary to historical accounts, this shift cannot be explained by exposure to violence or other polarising post-war events. Rather, I provide suggestive evidence that war participation made veterans highly receptive to Red Menace fears of a Socialist revolution. This alienated veterans from leftwing parties and drove the majority towards inclusive, rightwing parties using anti-left platforms.
    Keywords: JEL Classification: D72, N43, N44
    Date: 2020
  13. By: David Spector (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - 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)
    Abstract: Just like in other industrial countries, cartelization was widespread in France after the 1870 decade. Cartels, and the public policy towards them, were frequently addressed in the public debate. This article deals with the stance taken by French economists on this subject until the Great Depression. Although they were divided in several groups that were in sharp disagreement on most scientific and policy issues, French economists were almost united in their lack of support for anti-cartel policy. The liberal economists'opposition stemmed from their general hostility to government intervention. Unlike in the English-speaking world, where many economists otherwise critical of government gradually became supportive of antitrust after mounting evidence had revealed the scope of certain kinds of exclusionary behavior, the French liberal economists remained constant in their opposition. The more reform-minded university professors, as well as the sociologists-economists of the Durkheimian school, were unenthusiastic about policies meant to safeguard competition because they viewed ‘excessive' market competition as destabilizing and wasteful. Finally, the most prominent experts in industrial economics, who were employed by large companies or professional organizations, also advocated a hand-off approach, in accordance with their employers'preferences.
    Date: 2020–10
  14. By: David Spector (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - 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)
    Abstract: Just like in other industrial countries, cartelization was widespread in France after the 1870 decade. Cartels, and the public policy towards them, were frequently addressed in the public debate. This article deals with the stance taken by French economists on this subject until the Great Depression. Although they were divided in several groups that were in sharp disagreement on most scientific and policy issues, French economists were almost united in their lack of support for anti-cartel policy. The liberal economists'opposition stemmed from their general hostility to government intervention. Unlike in the English-speaking world, where many economists otherwise critical of government gradually became supportive of antitrust after mounting evidence had revealed the scope of certain kinds of exclusionary behavior, the French liberal economists remained constant in their opposition. The more reform-minded university professors, as well as the sociologists-economists of the Durkheimian school, were unenthusiastic about policies meant to safeguard competition because they viewed ‘excessive' market competition as destabilizing and wasteful. Finally, the most prominent experts in industrial economics, who were employed by large companies or professional organizations, also advocated a hand-off approach, in accordance with their employers'preferences.
    Date: 2020–10
  15. By: Pietro Bonaccorsi; Massimo Moggi
    Abstract: The Internet technology has radically transformed the computer and communication world, with revolutionary effects on economic and social systems at a global level. Its invention is the result of a collective research effort performed by computer scientists and telecommunications, electrical, software and computer engineers tied together in a sort of loosely coupled community, nurtured by US federal and military research programs. In this work we systematically recollect and reframe the contributions from the technological, business and economic history of the Internet into the interpretive framework provided by the evolutionary theories of technical change. More specifically, we show how the Internet as we know it is the outcome of the evolutionary processes followed by multiple technological innovations both in its transport infrastructure and in the applications grown out of it.
    Keywords: Internet history; Technological Paradigms; Technological Revolutions.
    Date: 2020–10–05
  16. By: Gilbert Cette (BDF - banque de france - Banque de France, AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Aurélien Devillard (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Vincenzo Spiezia (OECD - The Organisation for Economic Coopération and Development)
    Abstract: Using a new and original database, our paper contributes to the growth accounting literature with three original aspects: first, it covers a long period from the early 60's to 2019, just before the COVID-19 crisis; second, it analyses at the country level a large set of economies (30); finally, it singles out the growth contribution of ICTs but also of robots. The original database used in our analysis covers 30 developed countries and the Euro Area over a long period allowing to develop a growth accounting approach from 1960 to 2019. This database is built at the country level. Our growth accounting approach shows that the main drivers of labor productivity growth over the whole 1960-2019 period appear to be TFP, non-ICT and non-robot capital deepening, and education. The overall contribution of ICT capital is found to be small, although we do not estimate its effect on TFP. The contribution of robots to productivity growth through the two channels (capital deepening and TFP) appears to be significant in Germany and Japan in the sub-period 1975-1995, in France and Italy in 1995-2005, and in several Eastern European countries in 2005-2019. Our findings confirm also the slowdown in TFP in most countries from at least 1995 onwards. This slowdown is mainly explained by a decrease of the contributions of the components 'others' in the capital deepening and the TFP productivity channels.
    Keywords: Growth,Productivity,ICTs,Robots
    Date: 2020–10
  17. By: Roger E. Backhouse (University of Birmingham and Erasmus University Rotterdam); Antoinette Baujard (Univ Lyon); Tamotsu Nishizawa (Teikyo University)
    Abstract: Our forthcoming book, Welfare Theory, Public Action and Ethical Values challenges the belief that, until modern welfare economics introduced issues such as justice, freedom and equality, economists adopted what Amartya Sen called ''welfarism.'' This is the belief that the welfare of society depends solely on the ordinal utilities of the individuals making up the society. Containing chapters on some of the leading twentieth-century economists, including Walras, Marshall, Pigou, Pareto, Samuelson, Musgrave, Hicks, Arrow, Coase and Sen, as well as lesser-known figures, including Ruskin, Hobson and contributors to the literature on capabilities, the book argues that, whatever their theoretical commitments, when economists have considered practical problems they have adopted a wider range of ethical values, attaching weight to equality, justice and freedom. Part 1 explains the concepts of welfarism and non-welfarism and explores ways in which economists have departed from welfarism when tackling practical problems and public policy. Part 2 explores the reasons for this. When moving away from abstract theories to consider practical problems it is often hard not to take an ethical position and economists have often been willing to do so. We conclude that economics needs to recognise this and to become more of a moral science.
    Keywords: Welfarism, non-welfarism, welfare, public policy, ethics, economics, individualism
    JEL: B21 B31 B41 D63 I31
    Date: 2020–10
  18. By: , Stone Center (The Graduate Center/CUNY); Alfani, Guido
    Abstract: Recent research has explored the distributive consequences of major historical epidemics, and the current crisis triggered by Covid-19 prompts us to look at the past for insights about how pandemics can affect inequalities in income, wealth, and health. The fourteenth-century Black Death, which is usually believed to have led to a significant reduction in economic inequality, has attracted the greatest attention. However, the picture becomes much more complex if other epidemics are considered. This article covers the worst epidemics of preindustrial times, from Justinian’s Plague of 540-41 to the last great European plagues of the seventeenth century, as well as the cholera waves of the nineteenth. It shows how the distributive outcomes of lethal epidemics do not only depend upon mortality rates, but are mediated by a range of factors, chief among them the institutional framework in place at the onset of each crisis. It then explores how past epidemics affected poverty, arguing that highly lethal epidemics could reduce its prevalence through two deeply different mechanisms: redistribution towards the poor, or extermination of the poor. It concludes by recalling the historical connection between the progressive weakening and spacing in time of lethal epidemics and improvements in life expectancy, and by discussing how epidemics affected inequality in health and living standards. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper Series)
    Date: 2020–10–08
  19. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: Video discussion of the history of environmental and resource economics from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill
    Keywords: environmental economics, history of economics, undergraduate, video
    JEL: B12 Q50
    Date: 2020–06
  20. By: Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Matranga, Andrea (Chapman University)
    Abstract: The use of historical data has become a standard tool in economics, serving three main purposes: to examine the influence of the past on current economic outcomes; to use unique natural experiments to test modern economic theories; and to use modern economic theories to refine our understanding of important historical events. In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the types of historical data most commonly used in economic research and discuss a variety of issues that they raise, such as the constant change in national and administrative borders; the reshuffling of ethnic groups due to migration, colonialism, natural disasters, and many other forces. We also point out which methodological advances allow economists to overcome or minimize these problems.
    Keywords: historical data, geographical data, ethnographic data, censuses
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2020–10
  21. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: History of environmental and resource economics from Zhong Guan to Francois Quesnay
    Keywords: environmental economics, history of economics, undergraduate, video
    JEL: B11 Q50
    Date: 2020–06
  22. By: Pencavel, John (Stanford University)
    Abstract: A series of observations on various types of cooperatives is constructed from intermittent surveys between 1920 and 1950 and, where possible, these are extended to recent years. These observations allow several questions to be taken up: how well have organizations that resemble consumers' cooperatives fared in the U.S. economy over the last century? ; are consumers' cooperatives viable organizations in an economy dominated by capital-owned firms? ; where have cooperatives made their mark?; what role has government played in the patterns of cooperative development? Suggestions for further research on cooperatives are proposed.
    Keywords: cooperatives, mutual organizations, utilities, medical care, agriculture
    JEL: P13 P17 N82
    Date: 2020–10
  23. By: Klein, Alexander (University of Kent, CAGE, CEPR); Persson, Karl Gunnar (University of Copenhagen); Sharp, Paul (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: The reasons for the famous agrarian unrest in the United States between 1870 and 1900 remain debated. We argue that they are, at least in part, consistent with a simple economic explanation. Falling transportation costs allowed for the extension of the frontier, where farmers received the world price minus the transaction costs involved in getting their produce to market. Many perceived these costs to be unfairly large, owing to the perceived market power of rail firms and the discriminatory practices of middlemen, with farmers closer to the frontier most affected. Consistent with this, we find that the protest, as measured by vote shares for the Populists in the 1892 Presidential elections, is negatively related to wheat prices, transportation costs, and rail network density.
    Keywords: Agriculture, globalization, Grain Invasion, populism, United States JEL Classification: F6, N51, N71
    Date: 2020
  24. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: Video discussion of the history of environmental and resource economics from Kenneth Boulding to Michael Greenstone
    Keywords: environmental economics, history of economics, undergraduate, video
    JEL: Q50
    Date: 2020–06
  25. By: Guillaume Chapelle (Sciences Po)
    Abstract: This paper uses a difference-in-differences (DID) framework to estimate the impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) used to fight the 1918 influenza pandemic and control the resultant mortality in 43 U.S. cities. The results suggest that NPIs such as school closures and social distancing, as implemented in 1918, and when applied for a relatively long and sustained time, might have reduced individual and herd immunity and the population general health condition, thereby leading to a significantly higher number of deaths in subsequent years.
    Keywords: non-pharmaceutical interventions ; 1918 influenza ; difference-in-differences ; health policies
    Date: 2020–10
  26. By: Laurie Laybourn-Langton (Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), University College London (UCL))
    Abstract: Elements of the shift to embedded liberalism are of interest for those seeking to understand how political-economic paradigms shift or to precipitate such a shift today. Two policy programmes were particularly important: structural reform of the global financial system, manifest in the creation of the Bretton Woods system; and a shift in the balance of ownership across the economy, in favour of the public sector. As in other periods, those prosecuting the shift employed a wide-ranging ‘theory of change’ that included a diversity of groups, was ultimately successful upon the election of signal governments, and which benefited from the centralised power of the post-war state and the desire of electors for change. These favourable conditions stand in direct contrast to the outlook facing current change efforts.
    Keywords: political-economic paradigm; post-war consensus; embedded liberalism
    JEL: B20 E65 N12 N14 N92 N94
    Date: 2020–02
  27. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: Video discussion of the history of value
    Keywords: environmental economics, value, undergraduate, video
    JEL: B10 Q50 Q51
    Date: 2020–07
  28. By: Line Louah
    Abstract: Considerable number of studies are produced to deal with one of the most important challenges of the 21th century, which is the triple challenge of: regenerating the life supporting services provided by the Earth system, achieving food and nutrition sovereignty that leaves no one behind, and ensuring that global food systems support socio-environmental justice. This triple challenge is intrinsically linked to the Gordian knot that characterizes present-day global agriculture, at once vital and threatening to human society. In the present study, this global Gordian knot is explored through the lens of the trajectories of a few dozen farming systems, all located in a micro-territory of Wallonia (Southern Belgium) at the heart of the old industrial Europe. The agroecosystems under study are all family farms, which are among the survivors of a socio-professional group that has shrunk dramatically in just a few decades. Our broad objective is to gain insight into the tenets of transition towards sustainable farming systems in Wallonia.An exploratory research phase contributes to set the scene of our 'core research'. The exploratory study shows that three types of discourses, and two opposite paradigms, split the conversation among Walloon stakeholders on the path to improve agriculture; moreover, it suggests that transition is mainly a matter of cognitive lock-in. Our core research builds upon these premises, while the 'Peasant Principle' (put forward by J.D. van der Ploeg) stands out as its main theoretical background. Our broad objective may therefore be reformulated as 'gaining insight into the tenets of repeasantization in Wallonia'. This is addressed through three research questions, namely: 'What makes a farming system more or less peasant?'; 'What is the link between farm survival strategies and the cognitive (un)locking process?'; and 'How to support repeasantization?'. Our approach is grounded into two deep-probing field studies. The first one is empirical, and essentially stems from a sample of 23 neighbouring farm families located in a homogeneous window of Wallonia, and whose trajectories have been explored through semi-structured interviews and participant observation. The second field study is the in-depth review of what we term 'Farming Assessment Normal Science' (FANS), which refers to usual (i.e. mainstream) farm productivity assessment, with or without sustainability concerns, and encompassing both agronomic and economic farm productive performance. Following an abductive and interdisciplinary approach, we make the realities of encountered farm families dialoguing with a set of theories and disciplines all along the four chapters of the core research – this set includes the Peasant Principle, agricultural accounting, orthodox economics, economic history, (agro)ecology, heterodox economic schools, thermodynamics and psychodynamics of work.The core research begins with the first proposal framework to build a situated tool assessing farm 'peasantness degree' (PD), and framed by the Peasant Principle. The application of this framework to our Walloon case study results in a 'PD tool' specifically designed to assess the relative peasantness of farms under study. By translating the broad dimensions of the Peasant Principle into 168 very tangible situated indicators, the resulting PD tool provides a fine-grained insight on what makes a farm more or less peasant in Wallonia. Economic and agronomic productivity indicators, usually used to compare farms, had to be left out from our comparative analysis. The reflexive process inherent to the PD tool construction has thus raised the following question: 'Why usual (economic and agronomic) productivity indicators turn out to be unfit to compare farming styles?'. This emerging question is first addressed by showing that FANS is rooted into orthodox economics, meaning that, with or without sustainability concerns, usual assessment views farms through the 'Firm model', and thus relies on input-output analysis to assess farm agronomic and economic performance. Through the lenses of both, (i) the diverging realities and peasantness degrees of investigated Walloon families, and (ii) the nature of the farming process, five categories of issues affecting the validity of FANS are put forward. The first category is about practical issues, and the other categories relate to conceptual issues. The three first categories only relate to farm economic assessment, whereas the fourth and fifth categories relate to both, agronomic and economic farm productivity assessment.Altogether, these issues not solely evidence that usual productivity indicators and usual sustainability assessment provide misleading insights on farm performance, but that they provide 'bias-asymmetry' insights, that is: the more a farming style depletes the (re)productive capacity of its agroecosystem, the more its productive performance is overestimated; in contrast, the more a style cares to replenish the (re)productive capacity of its agroecosystem, the more its productive performance is underestimated. Hence we evidence that FANS tailored, and keeps sustaining, 'the productivity myth' and. As this mainstream science has (and continue to) shape(d) agricultural prescriptions and development, we also show that these are oriented towards the loss of agroecosystems' (re)productive capacity.While unveiling the productivity myth and its real-life implications, a framework drawing on the 'Flow-Fund model' (put forward by the heterodox economist N. Georgescu-Roegen) emerged as a sound alternative to assess farm productivity performance. Through the lens of the flow-fund balance, we rely on the distinctly different ways Walloon farmers manage their agroecosystem, and on the metabolic nature of the farming process, to empirically and theoretically demonstrate that: the more a farming style complies with the peasant mode, the more the farming process (or flow-fund balance) is managed with art, and coproduces negentropy; conversely, the less a farming style entails peasantness, the more the farming process is denatured, and the more entropy is by-produced. Thus, at the same time, a metabolic interpretation of the Peasant Principle is drawn up.From all these empirical and theoretical insights, the following question emerges: 'How do surviving farm families cope with decennia of prescriptions oriented towards the depletion of the (re)productive capacity of agroecosystems, and thus towards of the depletion of their own capacity to remain farmers?'. Dealing with this emerging question merges with one last aspect that needed to be addressed, namely the social phe- nomena of suffering, deactivation and suicide that undermine the modern farming world of Wallonia and beyond. Assuming that these social phenomena are closely tied, we focus on the root causes of social suffering among surviving farmers, and give the floor to the statements of encountered farm families. After highlighting strong identity markers that set Walloon farmers as a singular socio-profes-sional group, the sensitive issue of suffering is addressed through collective narratives of encountered farmers on :the post- WW2 mutation of the Walloon farming work environment towards a modern environment with increased and plural hostility. Then we propose a typology of the strategies, deployed by the investigated farmers of Piccard Wallonia, to survive such hostility. By articulating our peasantness framework and the 'psychodynamic model of work-related suffering' (put forward by Ch. Dejours), five types of survival strategies are described, and labelled according to their corresponding category of farmers: the new peasants, the TMCE-ists (i.e. conservation agriculture farmers), the racing strugglers, the lost strugglers and the near-deactivated. These insights on farmers' narratives into the plurality of the hostility, on the contrasting degrees to which it undermines farmers' psychosocial health, and on farm diverging strategies, altogether challenge the commonly held vision that economic hardship is the root cause of agricultural pro- pensity to suffering, deactivation and suicide. Instead these empirical insights verify our interpretative hypothesis, i.e. the mechanical link between farmers' suffering and their relation to prescriptions. The loss of peasantness indeed appears as a root cause of the ill-being of the modern farming world.To conclude, this work evidences that the productivity myth has given rise to the (miscalled) 'productivist' paradigm and to a system of prescriptions oriented towards the depletion of the (re)productive capacity of agroecosystems – in turn undermining the Earth system's (re)production capacity. The psychosocial health of farmers clearly is a key fund element, and its depletion appears as the ultimate bend of the vicious downward spiral fueled by the productivity myth. We furthermore conclude that the peasant mode of production stands for managing the farming process in a coherent and sustainable manner, whereas non- peasant (so-called entrepreneurial and capitalistic) modes incoherently and unsustainably denature the farming process. Hence 'completed' repeasantization appears as a negentropic process of fund replenishment, ensuring wealth coproduction at all scales – from the farm to the Earth system. 'Completed' de-peasantization (or industrialisation), for its part, appears as an entropic process of fund depletion, causing illth at all scales.On this basis, we suggest an alternative representation of agricultural modes and processes, which comes down a metabolic reconfiguration of the triangle proposed by J.D. van der Ploeg, and takes the form of a multidimensional continuum opposing two poles.The main lesson learned from this research thesis is that, to unravel the Gordian knot bound to modern agriculture, we need to break free from the productivity myth. In the face of today's challenges, the usual yet fallacious statement that 'losing peasantness may enhance farm productive performance and sustainability', is no longer be an option. To support the transition towards sustainable farming worlds, transformative support systems are needed, and such systems require to design and rely on indicators assessing the real performance of farms and agriculture. Therefore, as a perspective for further research, we propose the 'Farm Metabolism (FM) framework', i.e. a conceptual and analytical proposal that basically implies to rely on agroecosystem's flow-fund analysis. The metabolic (or biophysical) assessment framework sketched out here therefore paves the way to a strong sustainability assessment of farm productive performance. In turn, it could contribute to support the necessary repeasantization of 'modernized' farmers, for the well-being of farmers and human society as a whole.
    Abstract: Un nombre considérable d'études sont réalisées pour répondre à l'un des plus importants défis du 21ème siècle, à savoir le triple défi de parvenir à la souveraineté alimentaire et nutritionnelle de tous, de régénérer les services vitaux fournis par le système Terre, et de veiller à ce que les systèmes alimentaires globaux contribuent à la justice socio-environnementale pour tous. Ce triple défi est foncièrement lié au nœud gordien qui caractérise l'agriculture moderne :une activité vitale et menaçante à la fois pour la société humaine. Dans la présente étude, ce nœud gordien à l'échelle globale est exploré à travers le prisme des trajectoires de quelques dizaines de systèmes agricoles situés dans un micro-territoire de la Wallonie (Belgique du Sud), soit au cœur de la vieille Europe industrielle. Les agroécosystèmes étudiés sont tous des fermes familiales, et les fermiers rencontrés comptent parmis les survivants d'un groupe socioprofessionnel qui s'est considérablement réduit en quelques décennies seulement. Notre objectif général consiste à com- prendre les tenants et aboutissants de la transition vers des systèmes agricoles durables en Wallonie.Une phase de recherche exploratoire contribue à poser le contexte empirique du cœur de notre recherche. Cette étude exploratoire montre que trois types de discours, et deux paradigmes opposés, divisent la 'conversation' des acteurs wallons sur la manière d'améliorer l'agriculture; de plus, ce premier apercu empirique suggère que la transition est avant tout une question de verrou cognitif. Le cœur de notre recherche se fonde sur ces prémisses, et le 'Principe Paysan' (proposé par J.D. van der Ploeg) s'impose comme le cadre théorique principale. Notre objectif général peut dès lors être reformulé comme suit :'comprendre les tenants et aboutissants de la repaysannisation wallonne. Pour ce faire, trois questions de recherche sont posées :'En quoi un système agricole wallon est-il plus ou moins paysan qu'un autre ?', 'Quel est le lien entre les stratégies de survie des familles agricoles et le processus de (dé)verrouillage cognitif ?', et 'Comment favoriser le processus de repaysannisation ?'. Notre approche est fondée sur deux études de cas approfondies. La première est empirique, et concerne essentiellement un échantillon de 23 familles agricoles voisines, situées dans une fenêtre homogène de Wallonie ;leurs trajectoires ont été explorées par des entretiens semi-structurés et de l'observation participante. Notre deuxième étude de cas est un examen approfondi de ce que nous appelons la 'science normale de l'évaluation des fermes' (FANS, en anglais), c’est-à-dire l'évaluation scientifique usuelle de la productivité des fermes, dans le cadre ou non d'une évaluation de durabilité, et qui concerne à la fois la performance agronomique et économique des fermes. De par l'abductivité et l'interdisciplinarité qui caractérisent notre approche, nous faisons dialoguer les réalités des familles agricoles rencontrées avec un ensemble de théories et de disciplines tout au long des quatre chapitres qui forment le coeur de notre recherche – cet ensemble inclut le Principe Paysan, la comptabilité agricole, l'économie orthodoxe, l'histoire économique, l'(agro)écologie, des écoles économiques hétérodoxes, la thermodynamique et la psychodynamique du travail.Le cœur de la recherche débute avec la proposition d'une démarche analytique fondée sur le Principe Paysan, et visant à construire un outil comparatif du 'degré de paysanneté' (DP) de fermes. L'application de cette démarche donne lieu à un 'outil DP' adapté au contexte spécifique de notre étude de cas wallon. Cet outil traduit les dimensions générales du Pincipe Paysan en 168 indicateurs 'situés' très concrets, permettant ainsi de fournir un aperçu finement détaillé de ce qui rend une ferme wallonne plus ou moins paysanne qu'une autre. Les indicateurs de productivité agronomique et économique usuellement utilisés pour comparer les fermes, n'ont pas pu être inclus dans notre analyse comparative. Le processus réflexif inhérent à la construction de l'outil DP a ainsi soulevé la question suivante :'Pourquoi les indicateurs usuels de productivité agricole se sont-ils révélés inadaptés à la comparaison des styles agricoles ?'.Cette question émergeante est d'abord abordée en montrant que FANS est ancré dans l'économie orthodoxe. Cela implique que la manière usuelle d'évaluer les fermes – qu'il s'agisse ou non d'une évaluation de durabilité – utilise le 'modèle de la Firme' et, dès lors, se fonde sur des analyses intrants-extrants pour comparer les performances agronomiques et économiques des fermes et de l'agriculture. A travers les prismes, (i) des réalités et des degrés de paysanneté contrastés des familles agricoles enquêtées et (ii) de la nature du processus agricole, nous mettons en évidence cinq catégories de problèmes qui contestent la validité de FANS. La première catégorie se rapporte à des problèmes pratiques, et les quatre suivantes soulèvent des problèmes conceptuels. Non seulement l'ensemble de ces problèmes démontre que les indicateurs usuels de productivité (économique et agronomique) agricole, et les évaluations usuelles de durabilité agricole, donnent lieu à des arguments scientifiques erronés. Mais de plus, il est démontré que ces arguments comportent le biais-asymmétrique suivant :au plus un style agricole épuise la capacité (re)productive de l'agroécosystème, au plus sa performance productive est sur-estimée ;au contraire, au plus un style agricole veille à régénérer la capacité (re)productive de l'agroécosystème, au plus sa performance productive est sous-estimée. Nous montrons ainsi que FANS a conçu, et continue à entretenir, le 'mythe de la productivité'. Or ce mythe a façonné les prescriptions et le développement agricoles qui, par conséquent, sont orientés vers la perte de la capacité (re)productive des agroécosystèmes.Parallèlement à la mise en lumière du mythe de la productivité et de ses implications réelles, un cadre s'inspirant du 'modèle Flow-Fund' (formalisé par N. Georgescu-Roegen) laisse entrevoir une alternative prometteuse pour évaluer la productivité (agronomique et économique) réelle des fermes. A travers le prisme de la balance flow-fund, nous nous fondons sur les manières distinctement différentes dont les fermiers wallons gèrent leur agroécosystème, et sur la nature métabolique du processus agricole, pour démontrer empiriquement et théoriquement l'argument suivant :au plus un style agricole est proche du mode paysan, au plus le processus agricole (ou la balance flow-fund) est géré(e) avec art et co-produit de la néguentropie ;à l'inverse, au moins le style est paysan, au plus le processus agricole est dénaturé et au plus de l'entropie est coproduite. Ainsi, dans le même temps, nous établissons une interprétation métabolique du Principe Paysan.De tous ces constats empiriques et théoriques, la question suivante émerge :'Comment les familles agricoles qui ont survécu font-elles face aux décennies de prescriptions orientées vers l'épuisement de la capacité (re)productive de leurs agroécosystèmes, et donc vers l'épuisement de leur capacité à demeurer fermiers ?'. Cette question rejoint un dernier aspect qu'il était nécessaire d'aborder, à savoir les phénomènes sociaux de souffrance, de désactivation et de suicide qui minent le monde agricole moderne de Wallonie et d'ailleurs. Partant du postulat que ces phénomènes sociaux sont étroitement liés, nous nous concentrons sur les causes profondes de la souffrance sociale des fermiers subsistants, en veillant tout particulèrement à laisser la parole aux familles et fermiers que nous avons côtoyés. Nous commençons par souligner des marqueurs identitaires forts qui montrent que les agriculteurs wallons, au delà de leur hétérogénéité, forment un groupe socio-professionnel singulier. La question épineuse de la souffrance est abordée à travers le récit collectif des fermiers sur la mutation d'après-guerre, de l'environnement de travail agricole vers un environnement moderne caractérisé par une hostilité accrue et plurielle. Nous proposons alors une typologie des stratégies, déployées par les fermiers enquêtés de Wallonie picarde, pour subsister face à une telle hostilité. L'exercice typologique se fonde sur l'articulation de notre cadre de paysanneté et sur le 'modèle dynamique de la souffrance psychique au travail' (proposé par Ch. Dejours), mettant en évidence cinq types de stratégies de survie. Celles-ci sont désignées par la catégorie de fermiers qui leur est associée :les nouveaux paysans, les TMCE-istes (soit les fermiers en agriculture de conservation), les fonceurs à leur perte, et les désorientés. Cet aperçu empirique sur des récits et des stratégies de fermiers, réfute la vision communément véhiculée selon laquelle les difficultés économiques sont la cause profonde de la propension agricole à la souffrance, à la désactivation et au suicide. En revanche, cet aperçu confirme notre hypothèse interprétative, à savoir :l'existence d'un lien mécanique entre souffrance des fermiers et leur rapport aux prescriptions. La perte de paysanneté apparaît en effet comme une cause profonde du mal-être du monde agricole moderne. Pour conclure, ce travail démontre que le mythe de la productivité a engendré le paradigme (appelé à tort) 'productiviste' et le système de prescriptions agricoles qui dominent le monde agricole et l'orientent vers l'érosion de la capacité reproductive des agroécosystèmes – contribuant ainsi à l'érosion de la capacité reproductive du système Terre. La santé psychosociale des fermiers émerge clairement comme un des élément-clé du fund des agroécosystèmes, et son érosion apparaît comme le stade ultime de la spirale délétère alimentée par le mythe de la productivité. Nous parvenons également à la conclusion que le mode de production paysan signifie gérer le processus agricole de manière cohérente et durable; les modes non paysans (dits entrepreneuriaux et capitalistiques) eux dénaturent le processus agricole de manière incohérente et non durable. La repaysannisation 'aboutie' apparaît ainsi comme un processus néguentropique, producteur de richesse à tous les niveaux – du système agricole à celui de la Terre. La dépaysannisation (ou industrialisation) avancée des agroécosystèmes apparaît comme un processus entropique d'épuisement du fund, hautement producteur de coûts et de maux ('illth' en anglais) à tous les niveaux. C'est sur cette base, que nous proposons une représentation alternative des modes et processus agricoles. Essentiellement, cette représentation est une reconfiguration métabolique du triangle proposé par J.D. van der Ploeg, et se présent sous la forme d'un continuum multidimensionnel opposant deux pôles.La principale leçon tirée de cette thèse se résume ainsi :pour trancher le nœud gordien de l'agriculture moderne, il faut rompre avec le mythe de la productivité. Face aux défis actuels, l'argument usuel selon lequel 'la perte de paysanneté permet d'accroître les performances productives et la durabilité des fermes', n'est plus une option. Pour favoriser la transition vers des mondes agricoles durables, des systèmes de soutien transformateurs sont nécessaires, et ces systèmes requièrent de s'appuyer sur des indicateurs aptes à évaluer la performance réelle des styles agricoles et de l'agriculture. Nous proposons, en tant que perspective de recherche, le cadre 'Métabolisme de Ferme'. Cette proposition conceptuelle et analytique implique de se fonder sur des analyses flow-fund au niveau des agroécosystèmes, ouvrant ainsi la voie à une évaluation de la performance productive réelle des styles agricoles, et ce dans une perspective de durabilité forte. Le cadre 'Métabolisme de Ferme' pourrait dès lors contribuer à soutenir la repaysannisation des agroécosystèmes 'modernisés', nécessaire au bien-être des fermiers et à celui de l'ensemble de la société humaine.
    Keywords: Peasant Principle; Agriculture transition; Psychodynamics of farming work; Wallonia; Q methodology; Agricultural accounting; Peasantness assessment; Agricultural productivity assessment; Weak sustainability; Agricultural suffering; Farm metabolism; Agroecology; Farm Assessment Normal Science; Orthodox economics; Productivity myth; Flow-fund model
    Date: 2020–09–10
  29. By: Riccardo De Bonis (Bank of Italy); Matteo Piazza (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This work provides a comprehensive overview of the giant leap made by European central bank statistics over the last quarter century. We illustrate, first, the work that led to a brand new set of central bank statistics for the implementation of the common monetary policy in the euro area. We then focus on the most significant developments brought up by the financial crisis and by the institutional changes that accompanied it. The final part look at challenges lying ahead for official statistics, namely how to deal with digitalization and globalization.
    Keywords: Central bank statistics, data harmonisation
    JEL: C82 E59
    Date: 2020–09
  30. By: Stephen J. Ferris (Department of Economics, Carleton University); Marcel-Cristian Voia (Department of Economics, University of Orleans)
    Abstract: Canada, like many developed economies, has experienced a decline in voter turnout since the early 1990s. This paper examines the extent to which aggregate data can explain the movement of voter turnout over time. Time series concerns suggest that OLS results indicating that changes in constituency size, the proportion of the population registered to vote, the degree of wealth inequality, the degree of political competition and the evolving interests of younger voters can all help to explain a good portion voter turnout over the post 1976 time period may be spurious. ARDL re-estimation re-establishes a narrower form of cointegration, confirming a number of hypotheses while rejecting the hypotheses that changes in the proportion of young people in the electorate and voter alienation, as proxied by the Gini coefficient, have played a significant role in affecting voter turnout in Canada.
    Keywords: voter turnout
    JEL: D72 D78 H62
    Date: 2020–10
  31. By: Boberg-Fazlic, Nina (University of Southern Denmark); Lampe, Markus (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, CEPR); Pedersen, Maja Uhre (University of Southern Denmark); Sharp, Paul (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)
    Abstract: The impact of COVID-19 on recent tendencies towards international isolationism has been much speculated on but remains to be seen. We suggest that valuable evidence can be gleaned from the “Spanish” flu of 1918-20. It is well-known that the world fell into a protectionist spiral following the First World War, but scholars have almost exclusively ignored the impact of the pandemic. We employ a difference-in-differences strategy on data for Europe and find that excess deaths had a significant impact on trade policy, independent of the war. A one standard deviation increase in excess deaths during the outbreak implied 0.022 percentage points higher tariffs subsequently, corresponding to an increase of one third of a standard deviation in tariffs. Health policy should aim to avoid the experience of the interwar period and consider the international macroeconomic impact of measures (not) taken.
    Keywords: Pandemics, protectionism, trade JEL Classification: F13, I19, N74
    Date: 2020
  32. By: Alexandre Chirat (CRESE, Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté)
    Abstract: Baumol’s impact on the development of managerial theories of the firm is investigated here through material found in Galbraith’s archives. In 1957 Galbraith published a paper claiming that the impact of macroeconomic policies varies with market structures (competitive versus oligopolistic). This publication prompted Baumol (1958b) to send Galbraith a manuscript dealing extensively with a crucial question of managerial theories of the firm, namely, the “trade-off” between sales and profits. I argue that Baumol’s critiques and Galbraith’s answers largely explain the way Baumol (1958a, 1959) framed his alternative model of the behavior of big corporations. He reasoned in terms of maximization of sales with a profit constraint as their main objective. In return, Business Behavior, Value and Growth fostered the development of Marris’s (1964) and Galbraith’s (1967) theories of the corporation. Contrary to the narrative by Tullock (1978) in which the sales maximization hypothesis has two main branches – Baumol for the one and Galbraith-Marris for the other – I argue here that these branches are at least partially connected.
    JEL: B21 B22 D21 D43
    Date: 2020–10
  33. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: Video discussion of the history of environmental and resource economics from William Stanley Jevons to Arthur Cecil Pigou
    Keywords: environmental economics, history of economics, undergraduate, video
    JEL: B13 Q50
    Date: 2020–06
  34. By: Franz Dietrich (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, Paris School of Economics); Antonios Staras (Institute of Economics - Cardiff University); Robert Sugden (School of Economics - University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: Leonard Savage famously contravened his own theory when first confronting the Allais Paradox, but then convinced himself that the had made an error. We examine the formal structure of Savage's ‘error-correcting’ reasoning in the light of (i) behavioural economists' claims to identify the latent preferences of individuals who violate conventional rationality requirements and (ii) John Broome's critique of arguments which presuppose that rationality requirements can be achieved through reasoning. We argue that Savage's reasoning is not vulnerable to Broome's critique, but does not provide support for the view that behavioural scientists can identify and counteract errors in people's choices
    Keywords: Savage; Allais Paradox; Broome; rationality; reasoning; behavioural economics
    JEL: B41 C18 D01 D81 D90
    Date: 2020–05
  35. By: Quoc-Anh Do (Northwestern University [Evanston]); Roberto Galbiati (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Benjamin Marx (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Miguel Serrano (UC3M - Universidad Carlos III de Madrid [Madrid])
    Date: 2020–10–05
  36. By: Marco Frank; David Stadelmann
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of elected competitors from the same constituency on legislative shirking in the German Bundestag from 1953 to 2017. The German electoral system ensures that there is always at least one federal legislator per constituency with a varying number of elected competitors from the same constituency from zero to four. We exploit the exogenous variation of elected competitors by investigating changes in competition induced by legislators who leave parliament during the legislative period and their respective replacement candidates in an instrumental variables setting with legislator fixed effects. The existence of elected competitors from the same constituency decreases absence rates in roll-call votes by about 6.1 percentage points, which corresponds to almost half of the mean absence rate in our sample. This effect is robust to the inclusion of other measures for political competition.
    Keywords: Political Competition; Accountability; Absence; Rent Seeking; Political Representation
    JEL: D72 D78 H11
    Date: 2020–10
  37. By: Vincent Carret (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - IEP Lyon - Sciences Po Lyon - Institut d'études politiques de Lyon - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article provides an analytical solution to Frisch's 1933 model. The Laplace transform and its inverse prove valuable to obtain an expression for the different components that make up Frisch's original solution. It also sheds a new light on the argument in Zambelli (2007), where the author argues that this model does not fluctuate. Unlike Zambelli, we show that we can obtain cyclical solutions. This work provides new insights on the vision contained in the model. It turns out that this vision was much larger than what is often remembered, in particular, we can show that Frisch tried to construct a model that would intertwine both cycles and growth. In addition, we are able to reconsider the link between Frisch's early work in statistics and the birth of macrodynamic models.
    Date: 2020–10–16
  38. By: Bruno Dallago; Sara Casagrande
    Date: 2020

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