nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2022‒02‒07
nineteen papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Northumbria University

  1. American Treasure and the Decline of Spain: An Augmented Synthetic Control Approach By Carlos J. Charotti; Nuno Palma; João Pereira dos Santos
  2. Grain Futures Trading During the Interwar Period: Introducing a New Dataset and Evidence By Elissa A.M. Iorgulescu; Alexander Pütz; Pierre L. Siklos
  3. The French (Trade) Revolution of 1860: Intra-Industry Trade and Smooth Adjustment By Stéphane Bécuwe; Bertrand Blancheton; Christopher Meissner
  5. New Evidence on Redlining by Federal Housing Programs in the 1930s By Price Fishback; Jonathan D. Rose; Kenneth A. Snowden; Thomas Storrs
  6. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia: The Long Run Development Effects of American Missions in Anatolia By Yasar Ersan; Ilhan Can Ozen
  7. How Do Pandemics End? Two Decades of Recurrent Outbreak Risk Following the Main Waves By Max Schroeder; Spyridon Lazarakis; Rebecca Mancy; Konstantinos Angelopoulos
  8. The Concept of Jurisprudence in Algerian Law By Hind Belkhir
  9. Gender and Justice: Women’s Participation, Settlement, and Victory in Ottoman Courts By Metin M. Cosgel; Hamdi Genç; Emre Özer; Sadullah Yıldırım
  10. The Populist Case for the Gold Standard By Kristoffer Mousten Hansen
  11. The Marginal Labor Supply Disincentives of Welfare: Evidence from Administrative Barriers to Participation By Moffitt, Robert A.; Zahn, Matthew V.
  12. Incrimination of Freedom of Conscience or How “Life Beats the Movie†By Dragos Penca
  13. On the Emergence of Cooperative Industrial and Labor Relations By A. Ricci; S. Scicchitano; M. Conti; G. Cardullo; G. Sulis
  14. Trade Persistence and Trader Identity - Evidence from the Demise of the Hanseatic League By Max Marczinek; Stephan Maurer; Ferdinand Rauch
  15. Theorizing Interest: How Did It All Begin? Some Landmarks on the Prohibition of Usury in the Scholastic Economic Thought By Irina Chaplygina; André Lapidus
  16. Music on the Wrong Side of Art By Goranka Stanic
  17. Las raíces del fracaso del “neoliberalismo” argentino By Mario Teijeiro
  18. Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past By Philip J. Glandon; Kenneth Kuttner; Sandeep Mazumder; Caleb Stroup
  19. Identifying technological trajectories in the mining sector using patent citation networks By Alessandri, Enrico

  1. By: Carlos J. Charotti; Nuno Palma; João Pereira dos Santos
    Abstract: Spain was one of the world's richest countries and a first-rank European power around 1500. Two centuries later this was no longer the case, and it would become of the poorest countries in Western Europe. In this paper, we study the long-run impact of the influx of silver from the New World since 1500 for the economic development of Spain. Compared with a synthetic counterfactual, the price level in Spain increased by up to 200% more by the mid-seventeenth century. Spain's GDP per capita outperformed other European nations for around a century: by 1600, it was close to 40% higher than in its synthetic counterfactual. However, this effect was reversed in the following 150 years: by 1750, GDP per capita was 40% lower than it would have been if Spain had not been the first-wave receiver of the American treasure.
    JEL: N13 O11 O57
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Elissa A.M. Iorgulescu; Alexander Pütz; Pierre L. Siklos
    Abstract: This paper retraces the origins of modern futures trading and provides new data researchers can use. This includes an overview of the regulatory and institutional changes during the interwar period, ones that still inspire present day regimes. To this end, we assemble a new dataset of daily trading information on grain futures contracts traded at the most dominant exchange in the 20th century, the Chicago Board of Trade. We then analyse econometrically the drivers of interwar speculative behaviour and the impact of speculators’ positions changes on the volatility of interwar grain futures prices. Our results suggest that speculators significantly adjust their positions following an increase in corn returns and a decrease in wheat futures returns. Additionally, their position changes have no effect on the volatility of prices.
    Keywords: Interwar Period, Regulation, Speculation, Grain Futures Markets, Returns Volatility
    Date: 2022–01
  3. By: Stéphane Bécuwe (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UB - Université de Bordeaux); Bertrand Blancheton; Christopher Meissner
    Abstract: The Cobden-Chevalier treaty of 1860 eliminated French import prohibitions and lowered tariffs between France and Great Britain. The policy change was largely unexpected and unusually free from direct lobbying. A series of commercial treaties with other nations followed. Post-1860, we find a significant rise in French intra-industry trade. Sectors that liberalized more experienced higher two-way trade. Our findings are consistent with the idea that trade liberalization led to "smooth adjustment" that avoided costly inter-sectoral re-allocations of factors.
    Date: 2021–09
  4. By: Vivekanand Jha
    Abstract: "The novel, “River of Smoke” (2011) is the second of Amitav Ghosh’s ambitious Ibis trilogy. The first novel is “Sea of Poppies” (2008) and the third novel is “Flood of Fire” (2015). The novel is a historical narrative about the opium trading, trafficking and addiction. It is yet another milestone and epoch-making historical novel in the history of Indian fiction which makes the readers reminisce of the bruised and pleasant past and their perpetuating repercussions even in the present. The extraordinary scholarship and erudition of Amitav Ghosh comes into display in narrating and storytelling of the novel. The novel is inundated with a host of scenes from different origins and cultures. The present article focuses on dominant characters, plot and places that this novel encapsulates in it." Key Words: Canton, China, British, opium, traders, addiction, drug, foreigner, sing-song girl.
    Date: 2021–12
  5. By: Price Fishback; Jonathan D. Rose; Kenneth A. Snowden; Thomas Storrs
    Abstract: We show that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), from its inception in the 1930s, did not insure mortgages in low income urban neighborhoods where the vast majority of urban Black Americans lived. The agency evaluated neighborhoods using block-level information collected by New Deal relief programs and the Census in many cities. The FHA's exclusionary pattern predates the advent of the infamous maps later made by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) and shows little change after the drafting of those maps. In contrast, the HOLC itself broadly loaned to such neighborhoods and to Black homeowners. We conclude that the HOLC's redlining maps had little effect on the geographic distribution of either program's mortgage market activity, and that the FHA crafted and implemented its own redlining methodology prior to the HOLC.
    Keywords: Redlining; mortgage history
    JEL: G21 J15 N22 R38
    Date: 2022–01–03
  6. By: Yasar Ersan (University of Michigan); Ilhan Can Ozen (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey)
    Abstract: The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) had a significant foothold in the Anatolian geography for the majority of the early 19th century, through their sizeable human capital intervention. Through an extensive archival work, we study the impact of human capital intervention on development outcomes. Using the spatial variation in the built and functional mission stations, we find areas closer to ABCFM missions have presently higher income by 5%-17%, and higher general development index by 0.07-0.12 standard deviation in 10 km proximity. We identify the mission impact by exploiting a placebo set from the group that was conceived but not carried out, and also an exogenous re-partition of the working region as an instrumental variable strategy. The underlying mechanisms are labor productivity in the agriculture sector, which allows for greater skill differentiation and structural transformation. Gender roles in education are also significantly transformed.
    Keywords: Middle East, American missionaries, economic development, human capital, persistence
    JEL: I25 L16 N35 N55 O10 O43 Z12
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Max Schroeder; Spyridon Lazarakis; Rebecca Mancy; Konstantinos Angelopoulos
    Abstract: The risk of recurrent outbreaks following the main waves of a pandemic has been acknowledged. We provide evidence of the scale and duration of this outbreak risk. We compile municipal public health records and use national data to model the stochastic process of mortality rates after the main pandemic waves of two historical pandemics across multiple locations. For the 1890-91 influenza pandemic in England and Wales, as well as the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in the US and eight major UK cities, we find elevated mortality risk that persists for nearly two decades. The generality of the findings suggests that, without modern means of intervention, post-pandemic outbreak risk is likely to persist for an extended period, as we demonstrate in an application to COVID-19.
    Keywords: pandemics, outbreak risk, influenza, Covid-19, archive data
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Hind Belkhir (University Oran 2 Mohamed Ben Ahmed, Oran, Algeria)
    Abstract: After its independence (1962), Algeria opted for a legal system of written law attached to the Roman-Germanic family. The young republic was to generate legal innovations of which the concept of jurisprudence was to be the witness. Our contribution attempts to evaluate the concept of jurisprudence through its legal thought of French law and as defined and conceived in the tradition of the Muslim legal doctrine that was present in Algeria before and during colonization. This will give us the underline the importance of nawazil, a kind of "ruling jurisprudence", where the massail (cases) and the motivation of the resolutions of these cases are recorded. These written collections of several great Maghrebian jurisconsults inspired the decisions of the qadi (judge) in order to render the most just, equitable and rational justice possible. The place of nawazil in the practice of qadat (judgment) that existed in Algeria before and during colonization will allow us to shed light on the place of jurisprudence in Algerian law – a very poorly documented issue, indeed. An overview of the historical evolution of the legal systems that coexisted for a long time during this period will prove to be very useful.
    Keywords: jurisprudence, Algeria, nawazil, qadat, Muslim law
    Date: 2021–10
  9. By: Metin M. Cosgel (University of Connecticut); Hamdi Genç (Istanbul Medeniyet University); Emre Özer (Istanbul Medeniyet University); Sadullah Yıldırım (Marmara University)
    Abstract: We study gender’s effect on justice in Ottoman courts by analyzing differences between men and women in court participation, dispute settlement, and litigation victory. The data come from the early nineteenth century registers of the Galata and Üsküdar courts in Istanbul and the Konya and Kütahya courts in the provinces. The findings show that although the legal disputes between men dominated the courts, women were involved in about thirty percent of cases. Gender’s effect on settlement decisions varied across courts and case-types. In litigation, women were less likely than men to win as plaintiffs. Mediation analysis shows that about thirty to seventy percent of the gender gap in plaintiff victory can be attributed to differences in evidence use during trial (witness testimony, written documents, legal opinions).
    JEL: J16 K38 K4 N45
    Date: 2022–02
  10. By: Kristoffer Mousten Hansen (GRANEM - Groupe de Recherche Angevin en Economie et Management - UA - Université d'Angers - AGROCAMPUS OUEST - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - Institut National de l'Horticulture et du Paysage)
    Abstract: There have been many calls for reforming the gold standard since the end of the classical gold standard and especially since the end of Bretton Woods. While these calls have somewhat abated in recent years, this article will attempt to show that the gold standard is still a superior monetary system, and that the reform of the monetary system is still a desirable policy. We will proceed by first analyzing the shortcomings of the present fiatmoney order, indicating how it distorts the market and society through inflation, redistribution, by artificially increasing the importance of financial markets, and by hampering US industrial production in international trade. Then we will show that these problems would cease to exist under the gold standard, and we will indicate a possible reform for returning to gold in the US. Finally, we will argue that such a reform in order to be successful must become a popular crusade-i.e., it must become a populist issue.
    Keywords: gold standard,monetary policy,austrian economics,populism
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Moffitt, Robert A.; Zahn, Matthew V.
    Abstract: Existing research on the static effects of the manipulation of welfare program benefit parameters on labor supply has allowed only restrictive forms of heterogeneity in preferences. Yet preference heterogeneity implies that the marginal effects on labor supply of welfare expansions and contractions may differ in different time periods with different populations and which sweep out different portions of the distribution of preferences. A new examination of the heavily studied AFDC program uses variation in state-level administrative barriers to entering the program in the late 1980s and early 1990s to estimate the marginal labor supply effects of changes in program participation induced by that variation. The estimates are obtained from a theory-consistent reduced form model which allows for a nonparametric specification of how changes in welfare program participation affect labor supply on the margin. Estimates using a form of local instrumental variables show that the marginal treatment effects are quadratic, rising and then falling as participation rates rise (i.e., becoming more negative then less negative on hours of work). The average work disincentive is not large but that masks some margins where effects are close to zero and some which are sizable. Traditional IV which estimates a weighted average of marginal effects gives a misleading picture of marginal responses. A counterfactual exercise which applies the estimates to three historical reform periods in 1967, 1981, and 1996 when the program tax rate was significantly altered shows that marginal labor supply responses differed in each period because of differences in the level of participation in the period and the composition of who was on the program.
    Keywords: Keywords, Marginal Treatment Effects, Welfare, Labor Supply
    JEL: I38 J22
    Date: 2022–01–19
  12. By: Dragos Penca (Legal Adviser, Bucharest, Romania, Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania)
    Abstract: During the communist dictatorship in Romania, many citizens fulfilling their compulsory military service were criminally convicted of insubordination on the grounds that they refused to join the army or because they refused to take the military oath. Among these young people, many were condemned for refusing to work on Saturday, considering the Sabbath as a day of rest. Following the December 1989 revolution, Romania compensated people sentenced to prison or other forms of persecution for political reasons through material means. In 2009, amid tensions between the Romanian state and the Religious Organization Jehovah's Witnesses, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Supreme Court in Romania, described the crime of insubordination in the army as a common law crime and not a political one, thus condemning all forms of manifestation of freedom of thought or freedom of religion as a crime of common law.
    Keywords: Hacksaw Ridge, Jehovah’s Witness, conscientious objector, Romanian law, freedom of conscience
    Date: 2021–10
  13. By: A. Ricci; S. Scicchitano; M. Conti; G. Cardullo; G. Sulis
    Abstract: We explore the long run determinants of current differences in the degree of cooperative labor relations at local level. We do this by estimating the causal effect of the medieval communes –that were established in certain cities in Centre-Northern Italy towards the end of the 11th century– and that contributed to the emergence of a cooperative attitude in the population on various proxies for current cooperative labor relations for a (repeated) cross section of Italian firms observed over the period 2010- 2018. Conditional on a large set of firm and municipality level controls, as well as a full set of province fixed effects, we find that firms located in municipalities that had been a free medieval commune now have higher current probabilities to adopt two-tier bargaining structures and to be unionized. We also report IV estimates that confirm our main results.
    Keywords: unions;Two-Tier Bargaining;Persistence;Industrial relations;Cooperation
    Date: 2022
  14. By: Max Marczinek (University of Oxford); Stephan Maurer (University of Konstanz and CEP); Ferdinand Rauch (University of Oxford, CEP and CEPR)
    Abstract: How do trade networks persist following disruptions of political networks? We study different types of persistence following the decline of the Hanseatic League using a panel of 21,590 city-level trade flows over 190 years, covering 1,425 cities. We use the Sound Toll data, a dataset collected by the Danish crown until 1857 that registered every ship entering or leaving the Baltic Sea, forming one of the most granular and extensive trade data sets. We measure trade flows by counting the number of ships sailing on a particular route in a given year and estimate gravity equations using PPML and an appropriate set of fixed effects. Bilateral gravity estimation results show that trade among former Hansa cities only shows persistence after its dissolution in 1669 for about 30 years, but this persistence is not robust across different regression specifications. However, when we incorporate the flag under which a ship is sailing and consider trilateral trade (where an observation is a combination of origin, destination, and flag), we find that trade persistently exceeds the gravity benchmark: Hansa cities continued to trade more with each other, but only on ships that were owned in another former Hansa city and thus sailed under a Hansa flag. Similar effects are found for trade among former Hansa cities and their trading posts abroad, yet again only conditional on the ship sailing under a former Hanseatic flag. Trade flows among the same pair of origin and destination cities, but under a different flag, do not show this persistence. Our main result shows that the identity of traders persists longer and more strongly than other forms of trading relationships we can measure. Apart from these new quantitative and qualitative insights on the persistence of trade flows, our paper is also of historic interest, as it provides new and detailed information on the speed of decline of trade amongst members of the Hanseatic League.
    Keywords: Hanseatic League, Hansa, Gravity
    JEL: F14 N73 N93
    Date: 2022–01–26
  15. By: Irina Chaplygina (MSU - Lomonosov Moscow State University); André Lapidus (PHARE - Philosophie, Histoire et Analyse des Représentations Économiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Goranka Stanic (Graduate engineer, School of Art and Design, Osijek, Croatia)
    Abstract: Music and dance follow human development. The beginnings of music spontaneously hit various kinds of behaving that accompanied free movement within the community. In addition to relaxation and enjoyment, music has often been used in some undesirable behavior forms by today's standards. Music encourages soldiers to raise the morale and willingness of the army to win. This act intimidated opponents—the first example of using musical instruments in the best-selling Christian book of the Bible. Today, music is wide-ranging and classified into different categories; this happens freely in other performers who may encounter hate speech. Music is used as a means of provoking and intimidating certain target groups. Depending on the country and the area, we come across numerous music examples on the wrong side. The examination refers to how to use music that should inspire and raise the values of human beings in a strange way that causes fear, panic, hiding, discrimination in some groups. These people are primarily in the minority: nationality, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, or any other isolation and mockingly aggressive attitude towards selected people. Music began to use for ideological purposes during the French Revolution, and this firefighting practice spread to Europe in the 19th century. Music by manipulation became the music of hatred towards differents and others. Beautiful and sublime, placed in the proper context, music can evoke strong emotions. The desired effect is achieved by the synergy of music and text, its persistent appearance within a particular ideology, and asocial.
    Keywords: prejudice, music, hatred, discrimination, misuse of music, the influence of music
    Date: 2021–08
  17. By: Mario Teijeiro
    Abstract: En los últimos 40 años, Argentina ha acumulado tres experiencias de política económica caracterizadas equívocamente como neoliberales; y todas ellas culminaron en fracasos estrepitosos. ¿Por qué habrían fracasado en Argentina ideas que han tenido éxito en tantos países? La intención de este ensayo es identificar cuáles fueron los principales errores y discutir las causas que los originaron, con el propósito de extraer lecciones y no repetir errores si una nueva oportunidad se presentara para aplicar ideas liberales. La metodología adoptada es una comparación histórica de las experiencias (supuestamente neoliberales) argentinas en relación con la política neoliberal paradigmática ejecutada en Chile a partir de 1973, que llevó a ese país al primer lugar de ingreso per cápita en la región. La conclusión de este ensayo es que las diferencias estuvieron fundamentalmente en las falencias notorias de las reformas estructurales argentinas y en la insistencia en políticas macroeconómicas inconsistentes, con déficits fiscales desmesurados financiados con endeudamiento externo e ingresos de capitales golondrina.
    Keywords: neoliberalismo, convertibilidad, reformas estructurales, coherencia macroeconómica
    Date: 2022–02
  18. By: Philip J. Glandon; Kenneth Kuttner; Sandeep Mazumder; Caleb Stroup
    Abstract: How is macroeconomic research conducted and what is it trying to accomplish? We explore these questions using information gleaned from 1,894 articles published in ten leading journals. We find that over the past 40 years there has been a growing emphasis on increasingly sophisticated quantitative theory, such as DSGE modeling, and papers employing these methods now account for the majority of articles in macro journals. The shift towards quantitative theory is mirrored by a decline in the use of econometric methods to test economic hypotheses. Econometric techniques borrowed from applied microeconomics have to a large extent displaced time series methods, and empirical papers increasingly rely on micro and proprietary data sources. Market imperfections are pervasive, and the amount of research involving financial frictions has increased significantly in the past ten years. The frequency with which non-macro JEL codes appear in macro articles indicates a great deal of overlap between macroeconomics and other fields.
    JEL: A11 A14 B22 B41 E00
    Date: 2022–01
  19. By: Alessandri, Enrico (Bocconi University, Milan, and University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino)
    Abstract: This paper uses patent citation networks to study technological change in the mining industry between 1970 and 2015. The analysis is undertaken at both the aggregate level by jointly considering all mining-related technological fields, and at the micro-level of patents in nine sub-fields, representing specific technological "sub-trajectories". Consistent with previous literature focused on other technological domains, we find that innovation patterns in the mining sector are "technology bounded", i.e. largely shaped by patenting activities carried out in a very limited range of mining technological fields, even though we detect a shift from exploration to environmental mining technologies (emergence of a new technological paradigm). In addition, we examine two aspects of technical change that have been largely disregarded in extant research: the geographical patterns of inventive activities and the role of key applicants in such patterns. We show that core mining patents and leading inventors involved originate almost exclusively from the US, so that trajectories appear to be heavily "geographically bounded", revealing that developing resource-abundant countries lag behind the technological frontier in mining. Moreover, only a few applicant firms are responsible for most inventive activities reflecting a highly concentrated oligopolistic structure, hence characterising trajectories as "applicant bounded". Similar results are observed at the level of sub-trajectories, although with some relevant exceptions, hence suggesting that a substantial heterogeneity exists within the industry and across mining-related technologies.
    Keywords: Technological trajectories, Technological sub-trajectories, Mining technologies, Geography of innovation, Patents, International technological frontier
    JEL: O31 L72 F23 R11
    Date: 2021–12–08

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