nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2022‒03‒28
seventeen papers chosen by

  1. Forced Displacement in History: Some Recent Research By Sascha O. Becker
  2. Excess Female Mortality in Early Infancy? Missing Girls in Ciudad Real and Guadalajara, 1840-1899 By Enrique Llopis; Gloria Quiroga; Felipa Sánchez Salazar; Ã ngel L. Velasco; Ana de la Fuente; Rocío García Calvo; Laura Ramos; Víctor M. Sierra
  3. Boomtowns: Local Shocks and Inequality in 1920s California By Sarah Quincy; Rowena Gray
  4. A grandes transformaciones agrarias, grandes impactos hídricos: un análisis histórico del consumo agrario de agua en España By Ana Serrano; Vicente Pinilla; Rosa Duarte
  5. Leaving the Enclave: Historical Evidence on Immigrant Mobility from the Industrial Removal Office By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Dylan Connor
  6. French domination of markets in Francophone Africa: Post-colonialism at its finest? By Kohnert, Dirk
  7. What Remains of the Cambridge Critique? Potential Conclusions and Directions for Further Research Following from Recent Investigations in Capital Theory By Schefold, Bertram
  8. Making countries small: The nationalization of districts in the United States. By Ignacio Lago
  9. The Role of Sentiment in the U.S. Economy: 1920 to 1934 By John Landon-Lane
  10. Can a country borrow forever? The unsustainable trajectory of international debt: the case of Spain By Vicente Esteve; María A. Prats
  11. Representations of the CFO in comicbook business fiction By Sébastien Rocher
  12. El pasado cuenta. El boom de los sectores aviar y porcino en España, 1955-2020 By Ernesto Clar Moliner
  13. "Measuring Discrimination in Spatial Equilibrium: 100 Years of Japan’s Invisible Race" Abstract We propose a novel approach for measuring the cost of belonging to a discriminated group based on land prices and apply it to buraku, the historically discriminated group in Japan. Buraku discrimination is distinctive in that the observed group membership changes according to geography: one is more likely to be regarded as buraku by living in certain areas (buraku areas). We incorporate this feature into a spatial equilibrium model and show that land prices of buraku areas capitalize the overall severeness of discrimination. We then utilize newly-digitized data on land prices for Kyoto spanning from 1912 to 2018 to quantify the severeness of buraku discrimination over more than 100 years. Using a spatial discontinuity design and other identification strategies, we estimate that the land price penalty of buraku areas was 51–56% in 1912 but gradually declined to 12%–18% in 2018. Thus, although buraku discrimination has substantially mitigated, it exhibits strong long-term persistence. By Atsushi Yamagishi; Yasuhiro Sato
  14. Interpolation and shock persistence of prewar U.S. macroeconomic time series: A reconsideration By Hashem Dezhbakhsh; Daniel Levy
  15. El Costo de Oportunidad del Señoreaje en Argentina By Jorge C. Avila
  16. Economists in the 2008 Financial Crisis: Slow to See, Fast to Act By Levy, Daniel; Mayer, Tamir; Raviv, Alon
  17. Market innovation in the light of actor-network theory: state of the art and managerial implications By Ronan Le Velly

  1. By: Sascha O. Becker
    Abstract: Forced displacement as a consequence of wars, civil conflicts, or natural disasters does not only have contemporaneous consequences but also long-run repercussions. This eclectic overview summarizes some recent research on forced displacement in economic history. While many of the episodes covered refer to Europe, this survey points to literature across all continents. It highlights new developments, and points to gaps in the literature.
    Keywords: Forced Displacement, Wars, Disasters, Networks
    JEL: F22 R23 D74 Q54 N30
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Enrique Llopis (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain); Gloria Quiroga (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain); Felipa Sánchez Salazar (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain); Ã ngel L. Velasco (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain); Ana de la Fuente (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain); Rocío García Calvo (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain); Laura Ramos (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain); Víctor M. Sierra (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: We deal with early-infancy mortality in Ciudad Real and Guadalajara between 1840 and 1899. Our aims are threefold: (1) To inquire whether female excess mortality took place among the neonatal, infant, and early childhood population subsets. (2) To examine the scope of under-registration in the burial and baptisms records over time. (3) To analyze the evolution of gross neonatal, infant, and early-youth mortality rates. We find that: (a) Neither baptisms sex-ratios nor death rates sex-ratios confirm the female over-mortality hypothesis in the early-infancy, although some point to a gender discrimination in terms of burial practices. (b) A meaningful under-registration of child deaths entails a downward bias in the calculation of infant and neonatal mortality rates. (c) The rise of infant mortality in inland Spain during the third quarter of the 19th century was lower than assumed by the literature.
    Keywords: gender discrimination, mortality, early infancy, Castile, 19th century
    JEL: J11 J16 N01 N33
    Date: 2022–03
  3. By: Sarah Quincy (Vanderbilt University); Rowena Gray (University of California, Merced)
    Abstract: The 1920s in the United States were a time of high income and wealth growth and rising inequality, up to the peak in 1929. It was an era of technological innovations such as electrification as well as booms in consumer durables, housing, and asset markets. The degree to which these skill-biased opportunities shaped property wealth inequality depends on how local and macro-level industrial shocks were capitalized into real estate values. We uncover the pattern for California, a state where shocks in oil, housing and stocks were large, and which has annual data on city-level property values and population counts. We show that electricity both increased values and reduced inequality in property values, while other booms had more short-lived and localized effects.
    Keywords: wealth inequality, booms, Roaring 20s
    JEL: N12 N33 N92 R31
    Date: 2022–03
  4. By: Ana Serrano; Vicente Pinilla; Rosa Duarte
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the main transformations that have taken place in the Spanish agricultural sector since the mid-19th century and their interrelation with water resources. After analyzing the most important structural changes in agriculture in the long term, the text places special emphasis on the role of the expansion of irrigation as a driver of agricultural development in Spain, and as a motor of the growing pressures on water requirements. This is followed by a study of the large-scale construction of hydraulic projects since the end of the 19th century, which was consolidated during the Franco dictatorship, as well as the recent modernization of irrigation infrastructures. Subsequently, the main indicators that show the impact that this successful (in economic terms) agricultural process has had on the volume of water used are summarized, paying attention both to the main national milestones and to the integration of Spanish agriculture and livestock farming into international markets.In short, this paper aims to offer a state of the art of the historical water-agriculture dynamics for Spain.
    Keywords: Spanish agricultural history, environmental history, virtual water, irrigation, water footprint
    JEL: N53 N54 Q25 Q56
    Date: 2022–02
  5. By: Ran Abramitzky (Stanford University); Leah Platt Boustan (Princeton University); Dylan Connor (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: We study a program that funded 39,000 Jewish households in New York City to leave enclave neighborhoods circa 1910. Compared to their neighbors with the same occupation and income score at baseline, program participants earned 4 percent more ten years after removal, and these gains persisted to the next generation. Men who left enclaves also married spouses with less Jewish names, but they did not choose less Jewish names for their children. Gains were largest for men who spent more years outside of an enclave. Our results suggest that leaving ethnic neighborhoods could facilitate economic advancement and assimilation into the broader society, but might make it more difficult to retain cultural identity.
    Keywords: New York City, urban, Jewish, ethnic neighborhoods, migration
    JEL: J15 N12 R23
    Date: 2020–06
  6. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: Francophone Africa has been dominated to date by the political, economic and cultural repercussions of France’s colonial rule. A major instrument to assert France's interests was the upkeep of a common monetary policy and currency, the CFA Franc. Although this has been increasingly resented by African politicians and economists, who wanted to replace it with a West African currency (the 'Eco') the CFA still prevails, due to the social network of French and African political leaders, the ‘messieurs Afrique’ who benefit from the system. The controversial international discussion concentrates on questions of sovereignty and formal political and economic questions. However, the rules of the informal sector proved to be at least as crucial in structuring the CFA-zone as the institutions and policies of the formal economic sector, including its monetary institutions. For decades, for example, prices of French imports were overpriced, due to protection by tied aid and other political and cultural non-tariff trade barriers. The cost of this rent-seeking was carried not only by the French Treasury, who guarantees the peg, but by the French and EU taxpayers, who financed budgetary bail-outs and development aid, and last, but not least, by the poorer African member countries and social strata. Although this applies strictly speaking only to the CFA zone, there are strong indicators that things haven't changed much since then for Francophone Africa in general. The repercussions of rent-seeking in Francophone Africa impact up to date negatively on economic performance. For example, growth levels have been significantly lower for two decades compared with Anglophone competitors.
    Keywords: France, Francophone Africa, post-colonialism, regulated market, special interests, regulatory capture, monetary policy, CFA franc, international trade, free trade area, customs union, African Studies,
    JEL: E26 E31 E42 E52 F13 F15 F22 F35 F45 F52 F54 L13 N17 N97 O17 R11 R58 Z13
    Date: 2022–02–18
  7. By: Schefold, Bertram (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitat)
    Abstract: The debate on capital theory is not any more on the discussions about the historical formation of neoclassical ideas in their original, most abstract form, but about the tools – certainly influenced by those ideas – which are used in teaching all over the world in applied economics. One focus still is on the macroeconomic aggregate production function, almost seventy years after Joan Robinson attacked this concept. It has turned out that reswitching is rare – once the most effective argument against the production function – and that an approximate surrogate production function can be constructed, using the approach of random matrices. This seems to weaken the critique, but a new one has emerged, which shows that the number of effective techniques on the envelope is small and that the possibilities of substitution between capital and labour are quite restricted in the relevant range of the rate of profit. This new turn in the debates on the critique of capital theory has recently come under attack by Fabio Petri of the University of Siena. The present paper constitutes the reply. It deals with the methodological difference between a fundamental critique, which was primarily directed against the logic of the pure late 19th century neoclassical theory and one attacking the applied uses of that theory in the form of the macroeconomic production function. It asks why the valid criticisms of the neoclassical conception of capital as a homogeneous factor seem to have had a lesser impact than the reswitching argument. It discusses reswitching and reverse capital deepening as relevant but, as far as basic commodities are concerned, rare phenomena. It assesses the usefulness of empirical input-output research in this area, mentions some results and concludes with a reflection on the recent ‘zero-substitution’ proposition.
    Keywords: Capital theory; production function; reswitching; Sraffa; employment
    JEL: B24 C62 C67 D57
    Date: 2022–03–23
  8. By: Ignacio Lago
    Abstract: I rely on data from 31,754 electoral districts in the United States from 1834 until 2016 to explore how the nationalization of politics occurs within districts. I argue that in the early stages of the American democracy local concerns were more prominent in the distant districts from the capital city than in the nearby districts, and therefore the number of parties was greater in the former than in the latter. However, these differences vanished after the New Deal, when authority was centralized. Nationalization reduced the number of parties everywhere, but above all in the most distant district from Washington, D.C.
    Keywords: Country Size; Decentralization; District; Nationalization; United States.
    JEL: H72 H74 H77
    Date: 2022–03
  9. By: John Landon-Lane (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates sentiment in the US economy from 1920 to 1934 using digitized articles from the Wall St Journal. We derive a monthly sentiment index and use a ten variable vector error correction model to identify sentiment shocks that are orthogonal to fundamentals. We show the timing and strength of these shocks and their resultant effects on the economy using historical decompositions. Intermittent impacts of up to fifteen percent on Industrial Production, ten percent on the S&P 500 and Bank loans and, thirty-seven basis points for the Credit risk spread, suggest a large role for sentiment. Select number of author(s): : 1
    Keywords: Great Depression, General Theory, Behavioural Economics
    JEL: D89 E32 E70
    Date: 2022–03–15
  10. By: Vicente Esteve (Universidad de Valencia and Universidad de Alcalá, Spain); María A. Prats (Universidad de Murcia, Spain)
    Abstract: We address the issue of the sustainability Spain's external debt, using data for the period 1970-2020. To detect episodes of potentially explosive behavior of the Spanish net foreign assets over GDP ratio and the current account balance over GDP ratio, as well as episodes of external adjustments over this long period, we employ a recursive unit root test approach. Our empirical analysis leads us to conclude that there is some evidence of bubbles in the ratio between Spanish net foreign assets and the GDP. In contrast, the evidence that the ratio between the Spanish current account balance and the GDP had explosive subperiods is very weak.The episode of explosive behavior identified in the position of net foreign assets during the period 2002-2015 was the result of the country's economic expansion 1995-2007. The results also show an external adjustment during the period 2008-2019 after the start of a cyclical economic recession.
    Keywords: external imbalances; sustainability; intertemporal external budget constraint; explosiveness; recursive unit root test
    JEL: F32 F36 F37 F41 C22
    Date: 2022–03
  11. By: Sébastien Rocher (CEREFIGE - Centre Européen de Recherche en Economie Financière et Gestion des Entreprises - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: This article presents the results of a study of public representations of the chief financial officer in comicbook business fiction. From an analysis of 11 characters, 4 profiles have been identified: the realist, observing the possibilities of the company from its accounting situation; the inventive, proposing external growth opportunities to the manager; the profiteer, abusing his position of power within the company; and the fraudster, involved in financial scandals. It emerges from this typology that dishonesty characterizes most of the characters, and that the CFO is, in the imagination, the one who contributes to spreading a financial logic that benefits the shareholder, without considering the consequences on the other actors of the company. This image seems to be the consequence of the financial scandals that animated the economic world in the early 2000s, with the CFO becoming the target of a criticism of capitalism conveyed in the comicbooks studied.
    Abstract: Cet article présente une analyse des représentations du directeur administratif et financier dans des fictions d'affaires en bandes dessinées. A partir d'une analyse de 11 personnages, 4 profils ont été identifiés : le réaliste, conseillant le dirigeant à partir de la situation comptable de l'entreprise; l'inventif, proposant au dirigeant des possibilités de croissance externe; le profiteur, abusant de sa position hiérarchique; le fraudeur, impliqué dans des scandales financiers. Il ressort de cette typologie que la malhonnêteté caractérise le plus grand nombre de personnages, et que le DAF est, dans l'imaginaire, celui qui contribue à diffuser une logique financière bénéficiant à l'actionnaire, sans considérer les conséquences sur les autres acteurs de l'entreprise. Cette image semble être la conséquence des scandales financiers qui ont animé le monde économique au début des années 2000, le DAF devenant la cible d'une critique du capitalisme véhiculée dans les bandes dessinées étudiées.
    Keywords: CFO,Business fiction,image,comicbooks,DAF,Fiction d'affaires,bandes dessinées
    Date: 2021
  12. By: Ernesto Clar Moliner
    Abstract: This work analyses the boom in the chicken and pork businesses in Spain from the mid-20th century until 2020. Its aim is to highlight the similarities and differences in the courses taken in the long term, verifying the strengths and weaknesses of both models and drawing conclusions in relation to the agribusiness system. The influence of chicken and pork in the booming Spanish meat sector is first analysed from the three perspectives of livestock farming, industry, and business. This is followed by a brief observation on the impact of both forms of intensive livestock farming on Spain’s domestic consumption and foreign trade. The following section analyses the strengths shared by the two livestock businesses, with a special focus on their competitiveness for both the domestic and international markets. Finally, the differences in the evolution of both sectors are identified from the perspective of food supply models in which the expansion of intensive livestock farming took place: until the 1980s a predominance of economies of scale based on homogeneous products at low cost, and in the last four decades the so-called economies of scope, based on differentiated products with high value-added and high quality.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Poultry, Pig, Spain, vertical integration
    JEL: N N5 N50 N54
    Date: 2022–03
  13. By: Atsushi Yamagishi (Faculty of Economics, Princeton University); Yasuhiro Sato (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
  14. By: Hashem Dezhbakhsh (Department of Economics, Emory University, USA); Daniel Levy (Department of Economics, Emory University, USA; Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, Israel; Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis; International Centre for Economic Analysis, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada; International School of Economics, Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
    Abstract: The U.S. prewar output series exhibit smaller shock-persistence than postwar-series. Some studies suggest this may be due to linear interpolation used to generate missing prewar data. Monte Carlo simulations that support this view generate large standard-errors, making such inference imprecise. We assess analytically the effect of linear interpolation on a nonstationary process. We find that interpolation indeed reduces shock-persistence, but the interpolated series can still exhibit greater shock-persistence than a pure random walk. Moreover, linear interpolation makes the series periodically nonstationary, with parameters of the data generating process and the length of the interpolation time-segments affecting shock-persistence in conflicting ways.
    Keywords: Linear Interpolation, Random Walk, Shock-Persistence, Nonstationary series, Periodic nonstationarity, Stationary series, Prewar US Time Series
    JEL: C01 C02 E01 E30 N10
    Date: 2022–03
  15. By: Jorge C. Avila
    Abstract: En los últimos veinte años, cada vez que se propone la dolarización oficial de la economía argentina la invariable respuesta enfatiza la pérdida del señoreaje, y la propuesta se descarta. Pero todo bien supone un costo. ¿Cuál es el costo de oportunidad del señoreaje? Aquí estimamos tanto el costo que implica conservar el señoreaje como su beneficio. Nuestra conclusión es que el costo superaría ampliamente al beneficio. In the last twenty years, every time someone puts forward the official dollarization of the Argentine economy, the usual answer emphasizes the loss of seigniorage, and the proposal is discarded. Yet every good has a cost. Which is the opportunity cost of seigniorage? We estimate here both the cost involved in keeping the seigniorage and its benefit. We conclude that the cost would be much higher than the benefit.
    JEL: E49
    Date: 2022–02
  16. By: Levy, Daniel; Mayer, Tamir; Raviv, Alon
    Abstract: We study the economics and finance scholars’ reaction to the 2008 financial crisis using machine learning language analyses methods of Latent Dirichlet Allocation and dynamic topic modelling algorithms, to analyze the texts of 14,270 NBER working papers covering the 1999–2016 period. We find that academic scholars as a group were insufficiently engaged in crises’ studies before 2008. As the crisis unraveled, however, they switched their focus to studying the crisis, its causes, and consequences. Thus, the scholars were “slow-to-see,” but they were “fast-to-act.” Their initial response to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is consistent with these conclusions.
    Keywords: 2008 Financial Crisis; Financial Crises; Economic Crisis; Great Recession; Textual Analysis; LDA Topic Modeling; Dynamic Topic Modeling; Machine Learning; Securitization; Repo; Sudden Stop
    JEL: A11 C38 C55 E32 E44 E52 E58 F30 G01 G20 G21 G28
    Date: 2022–02–13
  17. By: Ronan Le Velly (UMR Innovation - Innovation et Développement dans l'Agriculture et l'Alimentation - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - Montpellier SupAgro - Centre international d'études supérieures en sciences agronomiques - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: In this review article, the author explains that actor-network theory comprehends market innovation as a joint reconfiguration of the different socio-technical components of the market. He then distinguishes eight "framing" processes identified in the literature and thus proposes a typology of concrete practices of market innovation. Finally, he specifies the contributions and limits of this perspective and highlights its managerial implications.
    Abstract: Dans cet article de synthèse, l'auteur explique que l'ancrage dans la théorie de l'acteur-réseau amène à concevoir l'innovation marchande comme une reconfiguration conjointe des différentes composantes sociotechniques du marché. Il distingue ensuite huit processus de "cadrage" identifiés dans la littérature et propose ainsi une grammaire des pratiques concrètes de constitution des marchés innovants. Il précise enfin les apports et limites de cette perspective et en souligne les implications managériales.
    Keywords: Théorie de l'acteur-réseau,Innovation
    Date: 2021

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