nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2023‒04‒24
thirty papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Northumbria University

  1. A Macroscope of English Print Culture, 1530-1700, Applied to the Coevolution of Ideas on Religion, Science, and Institutions By Peter Grajzl; Peter Murrell
  2. The Occupational Attainment of American Jewish Men in the Mid-19th Century By Chiswick, Barry R.; Robinson, RaeAnn H.
  3. The long-run effects of war on health: Evidence from World War II in France By Olivier Allais; Guy Fagherazzi; Julia Mink
  4. Review of “Welfare Theory, Public Action, and Ethical Values: Revisiting the History of Welfare Economics” edited by Roger E. Backhouse, Antoinette Baujard and Tamatsu Nishizawa By Igersheim, Herrade
  5. The Uneventful Reception of Mandeville’s Ideas in the Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic, or the Mysterious Case of the Missing Outrage By Hengstmengel, Joost; Verburg, Rudi
  6. Maternal Mortality and Women's Political Voice: Historical Evidence from the U.S. By Sonia Bhalotra; Damian Clarke; Joseph F. Gomes; Atheendar Venkataramani
  7. Review of “Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equity” by Claudia Goldin By Schneider, Benjamin
  8. (De facto) Historical Ethnic Borders and Contemporary Conflict in Africa By Emilio Depetris-Chauvin; Ömer Özak
  9. Anatomizing the invisible: moral philosophy and economics in Mandeville’s thought By Thiago Vargas
  10. Academic Ambitions: The First Fifteen Women Who Earned Ph.D.s from the University of California By Merritt, Karen Ph.D.
  11. Closing the price gap - Von Thünen applied to wheat markets in 18th century Spain By CERMEÑO, Alexandra L.; SANTIAGO-Caballero, Carlos
  12. The First Practical Guide to Inflation Targeting By Jonung, Lars
  13. China’s monopolization of newspaper ownership in the context of changing policies By Aya KUDO
  14. Adam Smith, Value and the Taste of Beauty By Jimena Hurtado
  15. Ricardo was surely right: the abundance of “easy†rents leads to greedy and lazy elites. A tribute to Geoff Harcourt By Palma, J. G.
  16. The March 2023 Bank Interventions in Long-Run Context – Silicon Valley Bank and beyond By Andrew Metrick; Paul Schmelzing
  17. The Nobel Family By Richard S. J. Tol
  18. The Role of Social Contact in the Infectious Disease Spreading : Evidence from the 1918 Influenza in Sweden By Qi, Xinghua
  19. Understanding the paradox of control and freedom of consumption under digital capitalism with Stafford Beer's cybernetic theory By Hannah Bensussan
  20. Review of “Credit and Crisis from Marx to Minsky” by Jan Toporowski By Rogissart, Brecht
  21. Review of “La main visible des marchés. Une histoire critique du marketing” by Thibault Le Texier By Mellet, Kevin
  22. Racial Discrimination and Lost Innovation: Evidence from US Inventors, 1895–1925 By Davide M. Coluccia; Gaia Dossi; Sebastian Ottinger
  23. Does a Progressive Wealth Tax Reduce Top Wealth Inequality? Evidence from Switzerland By Samira Marti; Isabel Martínez; Florian Scheuer; Isabel Z. Martínez
  24. El diario liberal Jornada (1944-1957) una visión de la realidad política colombiana By Amundarain, Yolimar Gil
  25. The changing and growing roles of independent central banks now do require a reconsideration of their mandate By Goodhart, Charles; Lastra, Rosa
  26. Where did Redlining Matter?: Regional Heterogeneity and the Uneven Distribution of Advantage By Xu, Wenfei
  27. Believing, belonging and understanding : religion and philosophy as narratives and practice in Adam Smith By Jimena Hurtado
  28. Downward nominal house price rigidity: Evidence from three centuries of data on housing transactions By Solveig K. Erlandsen; Ragnar Enger Juelsrud
  29. Bernard Mandeville: Wealth beyond Vice and Virtue By Jimena Hurtado
  30. Teacher Influence in Music Composition since 1450: A Replication of Borowiecki (2022) By Korpershoek, Jori; Musumeci, Marco; Stans, Renske A.; Totarelli, Maddalena

  1. By: Peter Grajzl; Peter Murrell
    Abstract: We combine unsupervised machine-learning and econometric methods to examine cultural change in 16th- and 17th-century England. A machine-learning digest synthesizes the content of 57, 863 texts comprising 83 million words into 110 topics. The topics include the expected, such as Natural Philosophy, and the unexpected, such as Baconian Theology. Using the data generated via machine-learning we then study facets of England's cultural history. Timelines suggest that religious and political discourse gradually became more scholarly over time and economic topics more prominent. The epistemology associated with Bacon was present in theological debates already in the 16th century. Estimating a VAR, we explore the coevolution of ideas on religion, science, and institutions. Innovations in religious ideas induced strong responses in the other two domains. Revolutions did not spur debates on institutions nor did the founding of the Royal Society markedly elevate attention to science.
    Keywords: cultural history, England, machine-learning, text-as-data, coevolution, VAR
    JEL: C80 Z10 N00 P10 C30
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Chiswick, Barry R.; Robinson, RaeAnn H.
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with analyzing the occupational status of American Jewish men compared to other free men in the mid-19th century to help fill a gap in the literature. It does this by using the 1/100 microdata sample from the 1850 Census of Population, the first census to ask occupation. Two independent lists of surnames are used to identify men with a higher probability of being Jewish. The men identified as Jews had a higher probability of being professionals, managers, and craft workers, and were less likely to be in farm occupations or in operative jobs. Using the Duncan Socioeconomic Index (SEI), the Jewish men have a higher SEI overall. In the multiple regression analysis, it is found that among Jewish and other free men occupational status increases with age (up to about age 44 for all men), literacy, being married, being native born, living in the South, and living in an urban area. Controlling for a set of these variables, Jews have a significantly higher SEI, which is the equivalent of about half the size of the effect of being literate. This higher occupational status is consistent with patterns found elsewhere for American Jews throughout the 20th century.
    Keywords: Jews, Occupational Status, Duncan Socioeconomic Index, 1850 Census of Population, Antebellum America, Labor Market Analysis, Human Capital
    JEL: N31 J62 J15
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Olivier Allais (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Guy Fagherazzi (LIH - Luxembourg Institute of Health); Julia Mink (ALISS - Alimentation et sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of early-life exposure to war on adult health outcomes including cancer, hypertension, angina, infarction, diabetes and obesity. We combine data from the French prospective cohort study E3N on women employed in the French National Education with historical data on World War II. To identify causal effects, we exploit exogenous spatial and temporal variation in war exposure related to the German invasion of France during the Battle of France. The number of French military casualties at the level of the postcode area serves as main measure of exposure. Our results suggest that exposure to the war during the first 5 years of life has significant adverse effects on health in adulthood. A 10 percent increase in the number of deaths per inhabitants in the individual's postcode area of birth increases the probability of suffering from any of the health conditions considered in this study by 0.08 percentage points. This is relative to a mean of 49 percent for the sample as a whole.
    Keywords: Early-life exposure, Developmental origins, World war II, Human capital development
    Date: 2021–05
  4. By: Igersheim, Herrade
    Abstract: Review of “Welfare Theory, Public Action, and Ethical Values: Revisiting the History of Welfare Economics” edited by Roger E. Backhouse, Antoinette Baujard and Tamatsu Nishizawa.
    Date: 2023–03–23
  5. By: Hengstmengel, Joost; Verburg, Rudi
    Abstract: The heated debates that Mandeville’s work inspired in Britain, France and Germany are well?documented. No such account is available for the public reception of his ideas in his country of birth, the Dutch Republic. This paper seeks to fill that void. Remarkable enough, his ideas did not cause much of a stir. Consequently, the paper proceeds to explain the divergent pattern of response from the Dutch. It is argued that his ideas were either reverting back to disputes that had already been settled or were out of touch with the general climate of opinion in the Netherlands.
    Date: 2023–03–23
  6. By: Sonia Bhalotra (University of Warwick); Damian Clarke (Universidad de Chile); Joseph F. Gomes (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Atheendar Venkataramani (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: We show that large declines in maternal mortality can be achieved by raising women's political voice. Using an event study approach, we show that the arrival of first antibiotics (sulfa drugs) in the U.S. in 1937, which were effective in treating peripartum bacterial infections, led to larger reductions in maternal mortality in states that extended suffrage to women prior to the 19th Constitutional Amendment of 1920, a national mandate that extended the franchise to all women. These findings suggest important complementarities between women's voice in politics and health-improving technologies. In terms of mechanisms, we argue that earlier suffrage and the longer history of women's political participation arising from it may have laid the groundwork for greater acceptability and quicker uptake of technologies that improved women's health. We also show that earlier suffrage led to a higher likelihood of women holding Senate seats, consistent with a channel where suffrage shaped policymaking through women leaders.
    Keywords: Maternal mortality, women's political representation, gender, suffrage, Sulfa
    JEL: I14 I15 O15
    Date: 2023–03–20
  7. By: Schneider, Benjamin
    Abstract: Review of “Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equity” by Claudia Goldin
    Date: 2023–03–23
  8. By: Emilio Depetris-Chauvin (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile); Ömer Özak (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: We explore the effect of historical ethnic borders on contemporary conflict in Africa. We document that both the intensive and extensive margins of contemporary conflict are higher close to historical ethnic borders. Exploiting variations across artificial regions within an ethnicity’s historical homeland and a theory-based instrumental variable approach, we find that regions crossed by historical ethnic borders have 27 percentage points higher probability of conflict and 7.9 percentage points higher probability of being the initial location of a conflict. We uncover several key underlying mechanisms: competition for agricultural land, population pressure, cultural similarity, and weak property rights.
    Keywords: Borders, Conflict, Intra-State Conflict, Ethnic Borders, Non-Civil Conflict, Ethnic Conflict, Territory, Property Rights, Landownership, Population Pressure, Migration, Historical Homelands, Development, Africa, Economic Development, Economic Growth, Voronoi Diagram, Voronoi Tesselation, Thiessen Tesselation
    JEL: D74 N57 O13 O17 O43 P48 Q15 Q34
    Date: 2023–02
  9. By: Thiago Vargas (PHARE - Philosophie, Histoire et Analyse des Représentations Économiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Taking as its starting point the reception of the Fable of the Bees by the philosophers of the second half of the eighteenth century, this article seeks to examine which parts of Mandeville's system "bordered upon the truth" (Smith) and were therefore useful in contributing to the formation of the political economy of commercial societies. To this end, the article is divided into three parts that address crucial aspects of the Fable's moral philosophy: the quarrel over the refinement of the arts and its link with labour, trade, and inequality; the passions and the political foundation of society; and the manner in which interests are organised.
    Keywords: Mandeville, Adam Smith, Political economy, Moral philosophy, Commercial society, Political philosophy
    Date: 2021–07–30
  10. By: Merritt, Karen Ph.D.
    Abstract: Describes the paths to the Ph.D. and the subsequent careers of the first 15 women to earn Ph.D.s from the University of California. It covers: Milicent Washburn Shinn (1898), Jessica Blanche Peixotto (1900), Alice Robertson (1902), Edna Earl Watson Bailey (1910), Annie Dale Biddle Andrews (1911), Myrtle Elizabeth Johnson (1912), Lillian Ruth Matthews (1912), Emma Phoebe Waterman Haas (1913), Anna Estelle Glancy (1913), Frances Lytle Gillepsy (1914), Rosalind Wulzen (1914), Olga Louise Bridgman (1915), Helen Margaret Gillkey (1915), Olive Swezy (1915), Irene Agnes McCulloch (1916).
    Keywords: Arts and Humanities, early women doctorates, university of california
    Date: 2023–04–05
  11. By: CERMEÑO, Alexandra L.; SANTIAGO-Caballero, Carlos
    Abstract: According to the literature, transaction costs are influenced by several factors, ranging from institutional differences to asymmetric information. However, testing these hypotheses requires rich data not usually available in historical sources. In this study, we use a large-scale census of 1749 to analyze price gaps of wheat across rural municipalities and their local markets in Old Castile. For the first time in the literature, we examine price gaps across 5, 163 contiguous municipalities and assess transaction costs with unprecedented detail. By employing canonical variables and testing for spatial autocorrelation, we explore the determinants of transaction costs and contribute to the ongoing debates around the "Little Divergence." Our findings not only shed light on the factors that influence transaction costs but also represent a step forward in operationalizing them. Overall, this study offers new insights into the factors that shape transaction costs and contributes to the literature on the "Little Divergence." Our analysis demonstrates the importance of rich data in testing hypotheses related to transaction costs and highlights the benefits of using historical data to inform contemporary debates in economics.
    Keywords: Price gaps, transaction costs, spatial equilibrium model, autocorrelation
    JEL: F15 N73 N93 R41
    Date: 2023–04
  12. By: Jonung, Lars (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: When Sweden left the gold standard on September 27, 1931, the Swedish government declared that the aim of monetary policy should be to stabilize the domestic purchasing power of the Swedish currency, the krona. With this step, price level targeting officially became for the first time the goal for a central bank. Soon after, the Riksbank (Bank of Sweden) sent a questionnaire to three prominent economics professors, Gustav Cassel, David Davidson and Eli Heckscher, asking for advice about the new monetary situation. In a few weeks, the Riksbank received their replies. <p> This paper presents the three reports, for decades kept as classified documents in the archives of the Riksbank. The reports give an excellent view of the monetary thinking in the early 1930s of the first generation of modern Swedish economists, prior to the outbreak of the world depression of the 1930s and the emergence of the Stockholm School in macroeconomics. The reports are strikingly modern. They deal with the central issues in the present discussion on inflation targeting, such as the choice of price index to target, the proper instrument to use, the importance of creating public credibility for the new monetary rule, potential legal changes to anchor the new standard, and the appropriate central bank response to changes in the exchange rate. In short, the three economists prepared the first practical guide to inflation targeting at the zero rate. <p> The paper also considers the impact of the reports on the policy of the Riksbank. Most strikingly, the Riksbank started to construct and collect a weekly consumer price index to use as a guide for implementing the new policy of price stabilization. This task was carried out by Dag Hammarskjöld under the guidance of Erik Lindahl.
    Keywords: Inflation targeting; price level targeting; Gustav Cassel; David Davidson; Eli Heckscher; Knut Wicksell; Dag Hammarskjöld; Erik Lindahl; the Riksbank; the Great Depression; Sweden
    JEL: B22 B25 D83 E31 E32 E50 F33 N14
    Date: 2023–04–03
  13. By: Aya KUDO (Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)
    Abstract: This paper examines the mechanism of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) monopolization of media outlets, especially newspaper ownership, from the 1950s by analyzing the process of the institutional development of newspaper ownership. The CCP’s substantial monopolization of newspaper ownership and the exclusion of private and foreign capital influence on media outlets leaves the CCP in the position of the owner of all newspapers. This study reveals institutional changes by examining the institutional development and path dependency of “newspaper owner-sponsor institutions” (主管主办单位制度) from the perspective of Historical Institutionalism. The Newspaper OwnerSponsor Institution evolved as an institution to ensure that the party owns newspapers while avoiding controversies over the property rights of newspapers. The development of the Newspaper Owner-Sponsor Institution was fostered by the threat of private and foreign capital inflows. The Newspaper Owner-Sponsor Institution has led to the stability of the control over newspapers, but the institution might generate instability because the CCP is stuck in a path dependency and cannot change the institution.
    Keywords: China, Chinese Communist Party, Newspaper, Ownership, Institution, Non-public capital
    Date: 2023–03
  14. By: Jimena Hurtado
    Abstract: The founding question in economics of how the market works, and thus, the question of value and prices, was part of a larger question on social coordination during the Enlightenment. This broader context implies an exploration of human nature and, in the case of Adam Smith, of the principles of the human mind. The interpretation of Smith's theory of value has received much attention over the years, with some claiming it as a labor theory or a cost of production theory. I propose an alternative interpretation of Smith's theory of value as an expression of social interactions, specifically through the taste of beauty, or aesthetic need.
    Keywords: Adam Smith, value, taste, aesthetics.
    JEL: A12 A13 B11 B13
    Date: 2023–03–22
  15. By: Palma, J. G.
    Abstract: Paul Krugman once said that two of the greatest analytical challenges of economic theory today (comparable to those faced by Keynes in the 1930s) were the huge deterioration of market inequality in high-income countries, and Latin America’s underperformance. The main aim of this paper is to tackle simultaneously both challenges, while adding a third: the post-1980 underperformance of advanced Western economies. This article tries to answer these three puzzles returning to Ricardo. For him, the original sin of capitalism is that it will always have rentiers lurking around in search of “easy†rents; and that under certain conditions, in a laissez-faire economy they can get the upper hand. If so, they were bound to transform capitalism into a self-destructing rentier paradise. In other words, what has happened in the West (North and South of the Equator) since their 1980s neo-liberal reforms are basically facets of one and the same phenomenon: the inequality augmenting and productivity-growth retarding impact of a specific type of rentier-based accumulation. And the key link between the two is the negative impact that increased inequality has had on investment. If so, Krugman’s puzzle would not really be much of a mystery after all! And this process of “rentierisation†―of which financialisation is just one (although leading) aspect― is now proving to be as toxic for inequality and productivity growth as for our democracy.
    Keywords: David Ricardo, Geoff Harcourt, Paul Krugman, inequality, productivity-growth, “easy†rents, rentiers’ paradise, “rentierisation†, financialisation, “reverse-catching-up†, neo-liberalism, middle-income trap, US, Western Europe, Latin America
    JEL: B00 E02 G01 N10 O11 O47 Q02
    Date: 2023–03–17
  16. By: Andrew Metrick; Paul Schmelzing
    Abstract: U.S. and European banking institutions were hit by a wave of distress in March 2023. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic reacted with an array of interventions, some targeting individual institutions, others designed to shore up the banking sector as a whole. This paper contextualizes events using a new long-run database on banking-sector policy interventions over the last eight centuries. On that basis, recent actions have already been unusual in their policy mix and size – in the database, the vast majority of events with the same pattern of interventions ultimately evolved into “systemic” bank-distress episodes.
    JEL: G01
    Date: 2023–03
  17. By: Richard S. J. Tol
    Abstract: Nobel laureates cluster together. 696 of the 727 winners of the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics belong to one single academic family tree. 668 trace their ancestry to Emmanuel Stupanus, 228 to Lord Rayleigh (physics, 1904). Craig Mello (medicine, 2006) counts 51 Nobelists among his ancestors. Chemistry laureates have the most Nobel ancestors and descendants, economics laureates the fewest. Chemistry is the central discipline. Its Nobelists have trained and are trained by Nobelists in other fields. Nobelists in physics (medicine) have trained (by) others. Economics stands apart. Openness to other disciplines is the same in recent and earlier times. The familial concentration of Nobelists is lower now than it used to be.
    Date: 2023–03
  18. By: Qi, Xinghua (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Infectious disease has always been a concern to people, especially under the current COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this paper is to find a causal relationship between social interaction and disease spreading. This paper takes the ‘Spanish Flu’ in 1918 in the background of Sweden rather than COVID to rule out some uncertainty in transmission tunnels and use railway access as proximity to social contact. Using Diff-in-Diff identification, combined with a short-term event-study design, I show that localities that have railway stations nearby are likely to have more death cases during the influenza period. I use exogenous variation in railway station emergence from initial railway plans in addition and verifying that railway indeed facilitates the disease transmission and mortality rate as well but only with limited effects.
    Keywords: disease spreading ; railways ; 1918 Influenza ; Sweden JEL classifications: Y40
    Date: 2023
  19. By: Hannah Bensussan (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - LABEX ICCA - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPCité - Université Paris Cité - Université Sorbonne Paris Nord - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université Sorbonne Paris Nord)
    Abstract: Studies on the digitalization of markets and economic relations provide contrasting statements on its impact on consumers: it seems to have enhanced both control and freedom of these actors. This paper proposes to understand this paradox through the lens of Stafford Beer's cybernetic theory. We read the literature on digitalization and consumption at the light of Beer's concepts of regulated variety, regulatory variety and recursion, three concepts at the source of Beer's understanding of control and freedom. These concepts, we argue, allow to show the conditioned rise of consumers' freedom to the purpose of control in capitalist orders, i.e., commodity circulation and capital accumulation.
    Keywords: Control, freedom, consumption, digital capitalism
    Date: 2023–03–29
  20. By: Rogissart, Brecht
    Abstract: Review of “Credit and Crisis from Marx to Minsky” by Jan Toporowski.
    Date: 2023–03–23
  21. By: Mellet, Kevin
    Abstract: Review of “La main visible des marchés. Une histoire critique du marketing” by Thibault Le Texier
    Date: 2023–03–23
  22. By: Davide M. Coluccia; Gaia Dossi; Sebastian Ottinger
    Abstract: How can racial discrimination harm innovation? We study this question using data on US inventors linked to population censuses in 1895-1925. Our novel identification strategy leverages plausibly exogenous variation in the timing of lynchings and the name of the victims. We find an immediate and persistent decrease in patents granted to inventors who share their names with the victims of lynchings, but only when victims are Black. We hypothesize that lynchings accentuate the racial content of the victim’s name to patent examiners, who do not observe inventor race from patent applications. We interpret these findings as evidence of discrimination by patent examiners and provide evidence against alternative mechanisms.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Innovation; Lynchings;
    JEL: J15 N31 N32 O11 O31
    Date: 2023–03
  23. By: Samira Marti; Isabel Martínez; Florian Scheuer; Isabel Z. Martínez
    Abstract: Like in many other countries, wealth inequality has increased in Switzerland over the last fifty years. By providing new evidence on cantonal top wealth shares for each of the 26 cantons since 1969, we show that the overall trend masks striking differences across cantons, both in levels and trends. Combining this with variation in cantonal wealth taxes, we then estimate an event study model to identify the dynamic effects of reforms to top wealth tax rates on the subsequent evolution of wealth concentration. Our results imply that a reduction in the top marginal wealth tax rate by 0.1 percentage points in-creases the top 1% (0.1%) wealth share by 0.9 (1.2) percentage points five years after the reform. This suggests that wealth tax cuts over the last 50 years explain roughly 18% (25%) of the increase in wealth concentration among the top 1% (0.1%).
    Keywords: wealth tax, inequality, top wealth shares
    JEL: H23 H24 D31
    Date: 2023
  24. By: Amundarain, Yolimar Gil
    Abstract: En Colombia, la pugna por el poder entre liberales y conservadores no tuvo límites durante la primera mitad del siglo XX; la violencia condujo a oleadas de migraciones, desapariciones y persecuciones. Ante este panorama, surge la figura de Jorge Eliecer Gaitán de las filas del Partido Liberal quien rápidamente sobresale como líder populista, paralelamente crea el diario Jornada el cual se convirtió en un actor político que expresa en sus líneas todos los actos irregulares del gobierno conservador. Sin embargo, la muerte del líder del movimiento gaitanista obligó al diario a reestructurarse ante la censura y la persecución para mantener su circulación hasta llegar al punto de apoyar la dictadura militar de Gustavo Rojas Pinilla enemigo del diario en tiempos de Gaitán pero que representó la única salida ante el panorama de violencia
    Date: 2021–12–30
  25. By: Goodhart, Charles; Lastra, Rosa
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyse why the changing and growing roles of independent Central Banks now do require a reconsideration of their mandate.
    Keywords: accountability; central banking; financial stability; independence; monetary policy
    JEL: M40 J1
    Date: 2023–02–27
  26. By: Xu, Wenfei
    Abstract: This article analyses the regional variation in outcomes of a seemingly standardized federal neighborhood valuation principle used in home mortgage insurance grading. The objective is to highlight the contingent discriminatory and economic conditions that mediated heterogeneous housing outcomes across different parts of the United States. How did city and regional economic and demographic growth patterns vary before and during the mortgage insurance program implemented through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)? How may this have shaped loan guarantee patterns? How does pre-existing racial housing discrimination relate to outcomes? Adopting an orientation that centers on Whiteness and the benefits of mortgage finance for certain groups and neighborhoods, this analysis uses a Bayesian hierarchical framework to investigate the degree of the FHA’s influence between 1940 and 1970, here proxied by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation maps, on A or B (“AB”) graded neighborhoods versus C graded neighborhoods in different cities. This article studies how home values and homeownership changes over time and whether there regional variation in the influence of these grades. It also studies what longitudinal socioeconomic patterns might explain the persistence or decline of the AB effect over time. Findings show cities in the West Coast, Southwest, and Northern Central United States that saw the most housing construction also had the highest proportions of FHA loans to overall dwelling units. There is also a distinctive consistency and persistence of benefit on home value and homeownership to AB graded neighborhoods in these cities, possibly owing to regional shifts in the industrial landscape.
    Date: 2023–03–07
  27. By: Jimena Hurtado
    Abstract: Adam Smith included understanding and belonging among basic human needs. Humans have spiritual and material needs that they can satisfy through coordination and cooperation, both need communication. Religion and philosophy emerge when people communicate the explanations they have of their surroundings and their interactions. They represent shared beliefs and inform behavior that allow people to understand and belong. Religion and philosophy, provide tranquility of mind and satisfy the desire to be loved and loveable.
    Keywords: Adam Smith, Religion, Philosophy, Beliefs, Communities.
    JEL: A13 B12 B31
    Date: 2023–03–22
  28. By: Solveig K. Erlandsen; Ragnar Enger Juelsrud
    Abstract: By analyzing housing data from the period 1850 to 2019 in Norway, we find evidence of downward nominal house price rigidity. More specifically, we document that there is a marked fraction of repeat-sales housing transactions with a zero nominal price change and show that this fraction increases in housing market downturns. While the former result reveals a rigidity in nominal house prices, the latter suggests that the direction of it is predominantly downward.
    Keywords: House prices, Repeat sales transaction data, Price rigidity, Monetary policy, Financial crisis
    JEL: R31 E30 N13 N14
    Date: 2023–01
  29. By: Jimena Hurtado
    Abstract: Bernard Mandeville denounced the moral philosophy of his times, its theoretical and practical dimensions, as elitist and contrary to human nature. The explanations and recommendations derived from this moral philosophy, according to Mandeville, were inadequate to understand and govern commercial society. Mandeville scrutinized existing theories about human nature, confronted them with what he presented as facts and unraveled their contradictions. This leads to Mandeville's challenge: accepting things as they are or assuming the responsibility of transformation. This is the challenge I explore in this paper. We can continue to live in a highly unequal society based on pride and shame or we can create incentives that will lead to a different calculation of passions in line with a Utilitarian criterion.
    Keywords: Bernard Mandeville, moral philosophy, Utilitarianism.
    JEL: A13 B11 B31
    Date: 2023–03–22
  30. By: Korpershoek, Jori; Musumeci, Marco; Stans, Renske A.; Totarelli, Maddalena
    Abstract: Borowiecki (2022) studies the influence of teachers on the style of their students in the domain of musical composition. The author finds that realized student-teacher pairs are on average 0.2-0.3 standard deviations more similar to unrealized, but possible, studentteacher pairs. In this report we provide the results of our replication of Borowiecki (2022). We direct our attention to the following tasks: 1) Replicating the outcome variables used in the paper, starting from the raw data, and generating alternative measures of similarity between students and teachers 2) Testing the validity of the random teacher-student pairing, a key assumption for the validity of the estimation strategy employed in the paper. We can replicate most of the outcome variables, but not all of them, due to incomplete raw data. Our alternative measures of similarity confirm the robustness of the original results. We find significantly different characteristics between paired and unpaired students, suggesting that matching between students and teachers does not occur randomly. However, controlling for these characteristics in the main regressions leads to quantitatively similar results to the ones reported in the original paper.
    Date: 2023

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