nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2022‒08‒29
twenty papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Northumbria University

  1. Reassessing women’s participation in entrepreneurial activities in the nineteenth century: A review of the literature. By Sonia Baijot; Charlotte Le Chapelain
  2. PERSECUTION, POGROMS AND GENOCIDE: A Conceptual Framework and New Evidence By Sascha O. Becker; Sharun Mukand; Ivan Yotzov
  3. Flow of Ideas: Economic Societies and the Rise of Useful Knowledge By Francesco Cinnirella; Erik Hornung; Julius Koschnick
  4. The Origins of Elite Persistence: Evidence from Political Purges in post-World War II France * By Toke Aidt; Jean Lacroix; Pierre-Guillaume Méon
  5. The Italian coal shortage: the price of import and distribution, 1861-1911 By Vania Licio
  6. Patents, Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Growth in Australia, 1860-2010 By Grant Fleming; Frank Liu; David Merrett; Simon Ville
  7. Economic Theory and Policy Today: Lessons from Barbara Wootton and the Creation of the British Welfare State By Alves, C.; Guizzo, D.
  8. Journal of Economic Literature codes classification system (JEL) By Jussi T. S. Heikkila
  9. Inflation Surges and Monetary Policy By Carl E. Walsh
  10. How does persecution affect who migrates? We analyze migrants’ self-selection out of the USSR and its satellite states before and after the collapse of Communism using census microdata from the three largest destination countries: Germany, Israel, and the United States. We find that migrants arriving before and around the time of the collapse (who were more likely to have moved because of persecution) were more educated and had better labor market outcomes in the destination than those arriving later. This change is not fully explained by the removal of emigration restrictions in the Communist Bloc. Instead, we show that this pattern is consistent with more positive self-selection of migrants who are motivated by persecution. When the highly educated disproportionately forgo migrating to enjoy the amenities of their home country, persecution can induce them to leave. By Ran Abramitzky; Travis Baseler; Isabelle Sin
  11. Australian Innovative Activity and Offshore Technology 1904 – 2016 By Grant Fleming; Frank Liu; David Merrett; Simon Ville
  12. Les transformations de la banque dans le temps long, une approche régulationniste By Yamina Tadjeddine
  13. Nobel students beget Nobel professors By Richard S. J. Tol
  14. World War II Blues: The Long–lasting Mental Health Effect of Childhood Trauma By Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel; Erdal Tekin; Belgi Turan
  15. An Econometrician amongst Statisticians: T. W. Anderson By Peter C. B. Phillips
  16. Richer and Fairer: New Brunswick Income Trends, 1976-2019 By Nettie Bonsall
  17. Local versus Imported: Understanding the Role of Colonial and Cultural Heritage in Shaping Mauritanian Consumers’ Rice Preferences By Demont, Matty; Britwum, Kofi
  18. A Long-run Transition of Japan's Inter-regional Value Chains By OKUBO Toshihiro; SASAHARA Akira
  19. A New Interpretation of Productivity Growth Dynamics in the Pre-Pandemic and Pandemic Era U.S. Economy, 1950-2022 By Robert J. Gordon; Hassan Sayed
  20. Is GDP Becoming Obsolete? The “Beyond GDP” Debate By Charles R. Hulten; Leonard I. Nakamura

  1. By: Sonia Baijot; Charlotte Le Chapelain
    Abstract: This article reviews recent literature on women entrepreneurship in the nineteenth century. We first examine the reasons why female entrepreneurship in the process of industrialization has so long remained ignored or considered at best a very marginal phenomenon. Second, this paper reviews the methods used in the recent revisionist literature in order to identify women entrepreneurs in the historical records and to assess the importance of their participation in entrepreneurial activities.
    Keywords: Women entrepreneurship, industrialization, nineteenth century.
    JEL: N13 N83
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Sascha O. Becker (Monash U and U Warwick, CAGE, CEHANU, CEPR, CESifo, CReAM, ifo, IZA, ROA, and SoDaLabs); Sharun Mukand (U Warwick and CAGE); Ivan Yotzov (U Warwick and CAGE)
    Abstract: Persecution, pogroms, and genocide have plagued humanity for centuries, costing millions of lives and haunting survivors. Economists and economic historians have recently made new contributions to the understanding of these phenomena. We provide a novel conceptual framework which highlights the inter-relationship between the intensity of persecution and migration patterns across dozens of historical episodes. Using this framework as a lens, we survey the growing literature on the causes and consequences of persecution, pogroms, and genocide. Finally, we discuss gaps in the literature and take several tentative steps towards explaining the differences in survival rates of European Jews in the 20th century.
    Keywords: Genocide, Persecution, Migration, Immigration restrictions, Exit or Voice
    JEL: D74 F22 F51 N4 O15 R23
    Date: 2022–08
  3. By: Francesco Cinnirella; Erik Hornung; Julius Koschnick
    Abstract: Economic societies emerged during the late eighteenth-century. We argue that these institutions reduced the costs of accessing useful knowledge by adopting, producing, and diffusing new ideas. Combining location information for the universe of 3,300 members across active economic societies in Germany with those of patent holders and World’s Fair exhibitors, we show that regions with more members were more innovative in the late nineteenth-century. This long-lasting effect of societies arguably arose through agglomeration economies and localized knowledge spillovers. To support this claim, we provide evidence suggesting an immediate increase in manufacturing, an earlier establishment of vocational schools, and a higher density of highly skilled mechanical workers by mid-nineteenth century in regions with more members. We also show that regions with members from the same society had higher similarity in patenting, suggesting that social networks facilitated spatial knowledge diffusion and, to some extent, shaped the geography of innovation.
    Keywords: economic societies, useful knowledge, knowledge diffusion, innovation, social networks
    JEL: N33 O33 O31 O43
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Toke Aidt (Faculty of Economics - CAM - University of Cambridge [UK]); Jean Lacroix (RITM - Réseaux Innovation Territoires et Mondialisation - Université Paris-Saclay); Pierre-Guillaume Méon (Centre d'Etudes Economiques et Sociales de l'Environnement-Centre Emile Bernheim - ULB - Université libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: This paper studies a new mechanism that allows political elites from a non-democratic regime to survive a democratic transition: connections. We document this mechanism in the transition from the Vichy regime to democracy in post-World War II France. The parliamentarians who had supported the Vichy regime were purged in a two-stage process where each case was judged twice by two different courts. Using a difference-indifferences strategy, we show that Law graduates, a powerful social group in French politics with strong connections to one of the two courts, had a clearance rate that was 10 percentage points higher than others. This facilitated the persistence of that elite group. A systematic analysis of 17,589 documents from the defendants' dossiers is consistent with the hypothesis that the connections of Law graduates to one of the two courts were a major driver of their ability to avoid the purge. We consider and rule out alternative mechanisms.
    Keywords: Purges,Political transitions,Elite persistence,Connections JEL Codes: D73,K40,N44,P48
    Date: 2022–05–24
  5. By: Vania Licio
    Abstract: This paper estimates a measure of coal price for all NUTS3 Italian provinces between 1861 and 1911. Italy was a latecomer country and its late industrialization was characterized by the absence of coal in a time where the steam engine powered factory work. The new variable accounts for the main input factor of the manufacturing production during that period in which the Italian economy registered a long-term growth of GDP and an increase in its industrial activity. The infrastructural scarcity and the uneven water endowment, that still today rule the di erences between northern and southern Italy, were responsible for the di erent weight the price of coal had across the country
    Keywords: Coal; Italy; Provinces; Railways; Infrastructure; Transport costs
    JEL: N13 N53 N73 N93 O13 Q41
    Date: 2022–03
  6. By: Grant Fleming; Frank Liu; David Merrett; Simon Ville
    Abstract: We examine the long run relationship between innovation and economic development in Australia, using 150 years of data on patenting activity, and aggregate and sectoral economic indicators. Our initial results point to several important causal relationships, particularly the effects of patents on real GDP and of private capital formation on patents. We delve deeper at the sector level and find important causal relationships of patents with real foreign direct investment (FDI) since World War Two. Australia’s dependence on FDI for private capital formation served as an important stimulus for knowledge creation in key sectors including agriculture and mining.
    Date: 2022–08
  7. By: Alves, C.; Guizzo, D.
    Abstract: This article investigates Barbara Wootton’s contribution to the creation of the welfare state in Britain through her interpretation and adaptation of economic theory to support social policy. It revisits Wootton’s Lament for Economics (1938) and explores unpublished archives showing her considerable engagement in public discussions on government spending, employment, poverty alleviation and her interaction with William Beveridge’s epoch defining welfare plan for Britain. We claim that her critique of economic theory for being an abstract science confined to equilibrium states, combined with her acute observation of social reality, allowed Wootton to cut free from established modes of economic thought. This laid the foundation for pioneering insights justifying an interventionist welfare state based on real-world issues and concepts of social justice, rather than self-interest and market failure principles.
    Keywords: Economic Methodology, Market Failure, Neoclassical Economics, Social Policy, Welfare State
    JEL: B22 B31 B41
    Date: 2022–08–12
  8. By: Jussi T. S. Heikkila
    Abstract: The Journal of Economic Literature codes classification system (JEL) published by the American Economic Association (AEA) is the de facto standard classification system for research literature in economics. The JEL classification system is used to classify articles, dissertations, books, book reviews, and working papers in EconLit, a database maintained by the AEA. Over time, it has evolved and extended to a system with over 850 subclasses. This paper reviews the history and development of the JEL classification system, describes the current version, and provides a selective overview of its uses and applications in research. The JEL codes classification system has been adopted by several publishers, and their instructions are reviewed. There are interesting avenues for future research as the JEL classification system has been surprisingly little used in existing bibliometric and scientometric research as well as in library classification systems.
    Date: 2022–07
  9. By: Carl E. Walsh (Distinguished Professor Economics Emeritus, Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Honorary Adviser to the IMES (E-mail:
    Abstract: Similarities between the 1960s and 1970s raise concerns that central banks are repeating mistakes that led to the Great Inflation. Two explanations for this earlier period of inflation, that it was due to shocks and special factors or that it was the result of political pressures on monetary policy, seem particularly relevant today. Major central banks such as the Federal Reserve and the ECB have been slow to react to the surge in inflation due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. I investigate the consequences of policy delay and the impact of a more aggressive reaction, conditional on policy being delayed. In assessing the persistence of inflation shocks and in dealing with uncertainty about inflation dynamics, policymakers seem to be ignoring lessons from the literature on monetary policy in the face of model uncertainty.
    Keywords: Inflation, Monetary policy, COVID-19
    JEL: E31 E52 E58
    Date: 2022–07
  10. By: Ran Abramitzky (Stanford University); Travis Baseler (University of Rochester); Isabelle Sin (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Keywords: refugee migration, persecution, migrant selection, Communist Bloc
    JEL: F22 J6 N30 N32 N34
    Date: 2022–07
  11. By: Grant Fleming; Frank Liu; David Merrett; Simon Ville
    Abstract: Australia has been a large consumer of patented offshore technology, which has led several authors to criticise the domestic innovation system. We deploy a new dataset of 1.4 million patent applications across a century to evaluate empirically this perspective. Our results reveal that Australians held an important though diminishing share of patents and indicate the shifting contribution among other nations. Using revealed technology advantage, we show that local patenting focussed on areas key to the growth of the Australian economy.
    Keywords: Innovation System; Patents; Revealed Technological Advantage; Australia; Natural Resources
    JEL: O13 O31 N77
    Date: 2022–08
  12. By: Yamina Tadjeddine
    Abstract: La théorie de la régulation nous donne un cadre pour caractériser l’organisation bancaire banques à l’interface de quatre systèmes appelés de formes institutionnelles (Boyer, 2015) : la forme de concurrence, la forme de l’Etat, la forme monétaire et le régime monétaire international. Elle identifie plusieurs régimes d’accumulation sur lesquels nous nous appuierons : concurrentiel du XIXème siècle ; fordiste 1930 – 1980 ; financiarisé 1990 – 2020. A travers cette grille théorique, l’article propose de suivre les transformations de l’organisation bancaire du XIXème siècle à aujourd’hui.
    Keywords: Institution, Ecole de la régulation, Banque, Capitalisme.
    JEL: B52 G21
    Date: 2022
  13. By: Richard S. J. Tol
    Abstract: It is unclear whether the hierarchy in the economics profession is the result of the agglomeration of excellence or of nepotism. I construct the professor-student network for laureates of and candidates for the Nobel Prize in Economics. I study the effect of proximity to previous Nobelists on winning the Nobel Prize. Conditional on being Nobel-worthy, students and grandstudents of Nobel laureates are not significantly more or less likely to win. Professors of Nobel Prize winners, however, are significantly more likely to win.
    Date: 2022–07
  14. By: Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel; Erdal Tekin; Belgi Turan
    Abstract: There has been a revival of warfare and threats of interstate war in recent years as the number of countries engaged in armed conflict surged dramatically, reaching to levels unprecedented since the end of Cold War. This is happening at a time when the global burden of mental health illness is also on the rise. We examine the causal impact of early life exposure to warfare on long–term mental health, using novel data on the amount of bombs dropped in German cities by Allied Air Forces during World War II (WWII) and German Socioeconomic Panel. Our identification strategy leverages a generalized difference-in-differences design, exploiting the plausibly exogenous variation in the bombing intensity suffered by German cities during the war as a quasi-experiment. We find that cohorts younger than age five at the onset of WWII or those born during the war are in significantly worse mental health later in life when they are between ages late 50s and 70s. Specifically, an increase of one-standard deviation in the bombing intensity experienced during WWII is associated with about a 10 percent decline in an individual’s long–term standardized mental health score. This effect is equivalent to a 16.8 percent increase in the likelihood of being diagnosed with clinical depression. Our analysis also reveals that this impact is most pronounced among the youngest children including those who might have been in-utero at some point during the war. Our investigation further suggests that measures capturing the extent of destruction in healthcare infrastructure, the increase in the capacity burden of the healthcare system, and wealth loss during WWII exacerbate the adverse impact of bombing exposure on long–term mental health, while the size of war relief funds transferred to municipalities following the war has a mitigating impact. Our findings are robust across a variety of empirical checks and specifications. With the mental health impact of childhood exposure to warfare persisting well into the late stages of life, the global burden of mental illness may be aggravated for many years to come. Our findings imply that prioritizing children and a long–term horizon in public health planning and response may be critical to mitigating the adverse mental health consequences of exposure to armed conflict.
    JEL: H56 I10 I12 I18
    Date: 2022–07
  15. By: Peter C. B. Phillips (Cowles Foundation, Yale University, University of Auckland, Singapore Management University, University of Southampton)
    Abstract: T. W. Anderson did pathbreaking work in econometrics during his remarkable career as an eminent statistician. His primary contributions to econometrics are reviewed here, including his early research on estimation and inference in simultaneous equations models and reduced rank regression. Some of his later works that connect in important ways to econometrics are also briefly covered, including limit theory in explosive autoregression, asymptotic expansions, and exact distribution theory for econometric estimators. The research is considered in the light of its influence on subsequent and ongoing developments in econometrics, notably confidence interval construction under weak instruments and inference in mildly explosive regressions.
    Keywords: Asymptotic expansions, Confidence interval construction, Explosive autoregression, LIML, Reduced rank regression, Simultaneous equation models, Weak identification regression, MA unit root, Trend regression, Wald statistic
    JEL: C23
    Date: 2022–06
  16. By: Nettie Bonsall
    Abstract: This report provides a detailed analysis of income trends in New Brunswick over the past four decades. Although income was much lower in New Brunswick than at the national level between 1981 and 2019, the gap narrowed over that period thanks to stronger growth in income in New Brunswick. By 2019, the size of the income gap had fallen to 23 per cent based on real GDP per capita, to 12 per cent based on personal income (which includes government transfers), and to 10 per cent based on personal disposable income (which includes government transfers and tax). The income gap between New Brunswick and Canada also shrank as measured per economic unit (economic families and unattached individuals) between 1976 and 2019. From 2000 to 2019, a period of strong real income growth in both New Brunswick and Canada, the gap between the rich and poor in New Brunswick also narrowed, as after-tax income inequality decreased and poverty rates fell. On the other hand, the wealth gap between Canada and New Brunswick widened between 1999 and 2019.
    Keywords: New Brunswick, income
    Date: 2021–10
  17. By: Demont, Matty; Britwum, Kofi
    Keywords: Research Methods/Statistical Methods, Marketing, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2022–08
  18. By: OKUBO Toshihiro; SASAHARA Akira
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of Japan’s inter-regional value chains using input-output tables from 1960 to 2005. We measure the degree of inter-regional production linkages based on various statistics including (1) the outsourcing index, (2) upstreamness, (3) downstreamness, and (4) empirical comparative advantages. The results show that, in most sectors, the expansion of inter-regional value chains slowed down after the 1990s, when imports from overseas started to increase rapidly. We also find that the value chains in the transport equipment sector have expanded exceptionally. This sectoral heterogeneity is confirmed by all the measures used in this study.
    Date: 2022–07
  19. By: Robert J. Gordon; Hassan Sayed
    Abstract: The dismal decade of 2010-19 recorded the slowest productivity growth of any decade in U.S. history, only 1.1 percent per year in the business sector. Yet the pandemic appears to have created a resurgence in productivity growth with a 4.1 percent rate achieved in the four quarters of 2020. This paper provides a unified framework that explains productivity growth in both the pre-pandemic and pandemic-era U.S. economy. The key insight is that in their panicked reaction to the collapse of output in the 2008-09 recession, business firms overreacted with “excess layoffs,” adjusting hours to the output decline with a far higher elasticity than normal. Our regression analysis, which allows post-recession rehiring that gradually unwinds the excess layoffs, explains why productivity growth was countercyclical in 2009 and why it was so slow in 2010-16 as rehiring boosted hours growth. Post-sample simulations explain why productivity growth was so high in 2020 and why it fell to only 0.6 percent in the five quarters of 2021-22. The paper includes implications for the future long-term evolution of productivity growth in the business sector and total economy. A new data file on quarterly productivity levels and changes for 17 industries provides new perspectives for 2006-22 and particularly for the nine pandemic quarters of 2020-22. Positive pandemic-era productivity growth can be entirely explained by a surge in the performance of work-from-home service industries, while goods industries soared and then slumped, while contact services recorded strongly negative productivity growth throughout 2020-22.
    JEL: E22 E24 O4
    Date: 2022–07
  20. By: Charles R. Hulten; Leonard I. Nakamura
    Abstract: GDP is a closely watched indicator of the current health of the economy and an important tool of economic policy. It has been called one of the great inventions of the 20th Century. It is not, however, a persuasive indicator of individual wellbeing or economic progress. There have been calls to refocus or replace GDP with a metric that better reflects the welfare dimension. In response, the U.S. agency responsible for the GDP accounts recently launched a “GDP and Beyond” program. This is by no means an easy undertaking, given the subjective and idiosyncratic nature of much of individual wellbeing. This paper joins the Beyond GDP effort by extending the standard utility maximization model of economic theory, using an expenditure function approach to include those non-GDP sources of wellbeing for which a monetary value can be established. We term our new measure expanded GDP (EGDP). A welfare-adjusted stock of wealth is also derived using the same general approach used to obtain EGDP. This stock is useful for issues involving the sustainability of wellbeing over time. One of the implications of this dichotomy is that conventional cost-based wealth may increase over a period of time while welfare-corrected wealth may show a decrease (due, for example, to strongly negative environmental externalities).
    JEL: C43 C51 C82 O47
    Date: 2022–07

This nep-his issue is ©2022 by Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.