nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2023‒11‒13
twenty papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo, Northumbria University


  1. From the edge to the heart: female employment in 19th-century Italy By Giuliana Freschi
  2. Geography, Land Ownership and Literacy: Historical Evidence from Greek Regions By Benos, Nikos; Karagiannis, Stelios; Tsitou, Sofia
  3. Slavery, coercion, and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa By Gardner, Leigh
  4. Incomes and Employment of Italian Women, 1900-1950 By Giacomo Gabbuti; Maria Gomez Leon
  5. Slavery and Britain?s industrial revolution By Stephan Heblich; Stephen J. Redding; Hans-Joachim Voth
  6. Evaluating Policy Institutions -150 Years of US Monetary Policy- By Régis Barnichon; Geert Mesters
  7. European Business Cycles and Economic Growth, 1300-2000 By Stephen Broadberry; Jason Lennard
  8. Religion and Growth By Sascha O. Becker; Jared Rubin; Ludger Woessmann
  9. A THEORETICAL DISCOURSE OF QUEEN NONESI OF ABATHEMBU: A PIONEER WOMAN LEADER BROUGHT BACK TO MEMORY By Ngcetane-Vika, Thelela Dr; Thusi, Nisi; Costa, King
  10. "The Marriage of Politics and Economy: Elite Fusion in the Age of Modernization" Abstract Modern state-building brings profound political and economic transformations, challenging established elites and opening doors for emerging ones. While previous empirical studies have explored feudal elites’ persistence and emerging elites’ struggles, limited research has examined how emerging elites integrate into existing elite networks. This study investigates the responses of old and new elites during modernization. By constructing a unique dataset detailing kinship connections among Japanese elites in 1902, 1914, and 1927, we revealed shifts in elite kinship networks and their influence on controlling political and economic resources. The findings indicate that modernization transformed the Japanese elite community, with many commoners becoming elite by 1902. Nonetheless, these new elites often found themselves isolated within that community as they lacked kinship ties with other elites. Conversely, peerage political elites already held centrality in the elite kinship network in 1902, and their influence continued to grow over time. However, by 1927, the new economic elites, initially without kinship networks, had managed to establish connections within the elite community, leading to the emergence of an expanded and hierarchical elite community, blending the old and new elites, in which an individual’s centrality in the network became closely linked to his/her political or economic position. By Tomoko Matsumoto; Tetsuji Okazaki
  11. The Empire Project: Trade Policy in Interwar Canada By Markus Lampe; Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke; Lorenz Reiter; Yoto V. Yotov
  12. Was Lucifer a Gambler? A Rational-Choice Hermeneutic of Peter Olivi’s Treatise on Demons By Azam, Jean-Paul
  13. Incentives for Private Industrial Investment in historical perspective: the case of industrial promotion and investment promotion in Uruguay (1974-2010) By Diego Vallarino
  14. The Roman Familia: A View from the Economics of Property By Benito Arruñada
  15. Replacing Customs Revenue with Taxes on Income and Domestic Consumption: The South African Experience By Andreas Freytag; Krige Siebrits
  16. Stagnation and cycles in Marx’s Circuit of Capital By Nikolaos Chatzarakis
  17. Die vergessene vierte Säule: Die Gründung von Staats und Landesbanken in der deutschen Kreditwirtschaft By Wixforth, Harald
  18. Review - Ghassan Moazzin: Foreign banks and global finance in modern China. Banking on the Chinese frontier, 1870 1919 By Liu, Yi
  19. What Makes Econometric Ideas Popular: The Role of Connectivity By Candelon, Bertrand; Joëts, Marc; Mignon, Valérie
  20. Immigration Restriction and The Transfer of Cultural Norms Over Time and Boundaries:The Case of Religiosity By Fausto Galli; Simone Manzavino; Giuseppe Russo

  1. By: Giuliana Freschi
    Abstract: Women have long been at the edge of economic history. According to Humphries (1991) and Sharpe (1995), shifting them from there ''to the heart'' goes into stages. The first stage involves recognising the extent to which the role of women has been neglected. The second stage aims to integrate women in the mainstream of economic history, with potentially revolutionary results. As stated in the introduction of the present book, the methodological challenge lies in proving that it is possible to uncover the economic culture not only in women’s writings, as many did not leave behind written records, but also in their actions. Therefore, this book goes beyond the scope of Humphries and Sharpe by placing women not only at the core of economic history but also at the centre of the economic culture of their times. The initial part of the book focuses on women who have left traces of their economic thought, not through their writings, but through their extraordinary experiences. It explores the stories of women in business, female entrepreneurs, and their untold or forgotten narratives. The follwing sections of the book will delve into the role of women in education, politics, and economics. These sections rely on sources that have not been traditionally used to study women's work, such as correspondence or unprinted material, to reconstruct the intellectual history of women who contributed to the history of economics and the economy. This portion of the book delves into debates and patterns regarding women in the labour market, utilising often overlooked sources. The present chapter reflects on the significance of re-evaluating the role of ordinary, ''everyday'' women's work in the economic development of countries (Bateman 2019). It contributes to the ongoing discussion on female labour force participation in the past and concludes that when work was available, women worked. In the applications for poor relief in the city of Florence between 1810 and 1812, families had to describe the occupational status of all their members. Hence, the applications represent a valuable source to explore female work. For instance, Maddalena and Elisabetta worked with silk when they ''had it'' or when they ''could''. The 26-year-old daughter of one of the households requesting the poor relief, bleached ''when she found it'', while her younger sister was engaged in a ''little job'' (il lavorino). Thus, it aligns with a strand of the debate that emphasises the importance of demand factors, rather than supply factors, in determining women's employment in historical perspective. However, providing new estimates of female employment in the past is outside the scope of this chapter. The main contribution is that, alongside with demand factors, also cultural ideology had a pivotal role. Thus, I focus on the tendency of women to report their occupation, and how the reporting patterns varied over time, across locations, and social classes.
    Keywords: Italy; Labour; Gender; Feminist Economics.
    Date: 2023–11–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2023/38&r=his
  2. By: Benos, Nikos; Karagiannis, Stelios; Tsitou, Sofia
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of land ownership on literacy rates in a cross-section of Greek provinces around 1900. Consistent with our theoretical framework (Galor et al., 2009), we find that the dominance of large properties has a substantial adverse effect on human capital accumulation. Thus, our evidence explains a substantial part of provincial differences in terms of human capital in early 20th century Greece for the first time. This differs from much of the literature, because Greece was at the early stages of the transition to the industrial era during the period examined.
    Keywords: Landownership - Human capital - Geography - Regional analysis
    JEL: C21 I20 N34 Q15
    Date: 2022
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:118748&r=his
  3. By: Gardner, Leigh
    Abstract: Recent debates on the economic history of the United States and other regions have revisited the question of the extent to which slavery and other forms of labor coercion contributed to the development of economic and political institutions. This article aims to bring Africa into this global debate, examining the contributions of slavery and coercion to periods of economic growth during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It argues that the coercion of labor in a variety of forms was a key part of African political economy, and thus when presented with opportunities for growth, elites turned first to the expansion of coerced labor. However, while labor coercion could help facilitate short-run growth, it also made the transition to sustained growth more difficult.
    Keywords: Africa; economic development; slavery forced labor
    JEL: J1 R14 J01
    Date: 2023–09–25
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ehl:lserod:120394&r=his
  4. By: Giacomo Gabbuti; Maria Gomez Leon
    Abstract: In this paper, we aim to address a major gap in the economic history of interwar Italy, by discussing the evolution of women's incomes and employment during this crucial period of Italian and European history. After examining the available statistical evidence, we build on recently reconstructed dynamic social tables for Italy, from 1900 to 1950, to chart trends in both gender wage gap and female labour force participation, disaggregated by major sectors. Our methodology greatly contributes to the understanding of history of women's work for pay, placing it within the broader dynamics of income inequality. This approach also allows us to shed light on the growing gap between Fascist claims and the reality of women's work: despite discriminatory laws, throughout these decades women increased their presence and visibility in all sectors, with the only exception of agriculture. Conversely, the March on Rome marked the beginning of a strong reversal in terms of gender wage gaps. We are thus able to confirm the important role played by female work in the Fascist accumulation model, characterized by wage squeezes and reduced private consumption.
    Keywords: Fascist Italy; female labour force participation; wage gaps; dynamic social tables.
    Date: 2023–11–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2023/39&r=his
  5. By: Stephan Heblich; Stephen J. Redding; Hans-Joachim Voth
    Abstract: To what extent did the wealth derived from slavery contribute to Europe?s economic growth? Stephan Heblich, Stephen Redding and Hans-Joachim Voth find that slaveholding areas of Britain were less agricultural, closer to cotton mills, and had more property wealth. Not only did the slave trade affect the geography of economic development after 1750, it also accelerated the country's industrial revolution.
    Keywords: UK Economy, Technological change, Economic geography
    Date: 2023–06–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cep:cepcnp:655&r=his
  6. By: Régis Barnichon; Geert Mesters
    Abstract: How should we evaluate and compare the performances of policy institutions? We propose to evaluate institutions based on their reaction function, i.e., on how well they reacted to the different shocks that hit the economy. We show that reaction function evaluation is possible with only two sufficient statistics (i) the impulse responses of the policy objectives to non-policy shocks, which capture what an institution did on average to counteract these shocks, and (ii) the impulse responses of the policy objectives to policy shocks, which capture what an institution could have done to counteract the shocks. A regression of (i) on (ii) —a regression in impulse response space— allows to compute the distance to the optimal reaction function, and thereby evaluate and rank institutions. We use our methodology to evaluate US monetary policy; from the Gold standard period, the early Fed years and the Great Depression, to the post World War II period, and the post-Volcker regime. We find no material improvement in the reaction function over the first 100 years, and it is only in the last 30 years that we estimate large and uniform improvements in the conduct of monetary policy.
    Keywords: optimal policy, reaction function, structural shocks, impulse responses, monetary history
    JEL: C14 C32 E32 E52 N10
    Date: 2023–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bge:wpaper:1410&r=his
  7. By: Stephen Broadberry; Jason Lennard
    Abstract: The modern business cycle features long expansions combined with short recessions, and is thus related to the emergence of sustained economic growth. It also features significant international co-movement, and is therefore associated with growing market integration and globalisation. When did these patterns first appear? This paper explores the changing nature of the business cycle using historical national accounts for nine European economies between 1300 and 2000. For the sample as a whole, the modern business cycle emerged at the end of the eighteenth century.
    Date: 2023–10–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oxf:esohwp:_209&r=his
  8. By: Sascha O. Becker (Monash University and University of Warwick); Jared Rubin (Chapman University); Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich, ifo Institute; Hoover Institution, Stanford University)
    Abstract: We use the elements of a macroeconomic production function—physical capital, human capital, labor, and technology—together with standard growth models to frame the role of religion in economic growth. Unifying a growing literature, we argue that religion can enhance or impinge upon economic growth through all four elements because it shapes individual preferences, societal norms, and institutions. Religion affects physical capital accumulation by influencing thrift and financial development. It affects human capital through both religious and secular education. It affects population and labor by influencing work effort, fertility, and the demographic transition. And it affects total factor productivity by constraining or unleashing technological change and through rituals, legal institutions, political economy, and conflict. Synthesizing a disjoint literature in this way opens many interesting directions for future research.
    Keywords: religion, growth, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, preferences, norms, institutions, capital, saving, financial development, human capital, education, population, labor, demography, fertility, total factor productivity, technological change, rituals, political economy, conflict
    JEL: Z12 O40 N30 I25 O15
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:chu:wpaper:23-09&r=his
  9. By: Ngcetane-Vika, Thelela Dr (Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa); Thusi, Nisi; Costa, King (Global Centre for Academic Research)
    Abstract: Queen Nonesi of abaThembu was one of the outstanding women leaders from amongst the Xhosa people during the difficult days of the colonial epoch. She led her people with bravery and fortitude during those turbulent times. She was also able to save her people from losing their land more than once through her negotiation and diplomatic skills. She died in 1880 at the age of 65 after leading her people for almost 40 years. Thus, a juxtaposition of the current narrative on women leadership against the portrayal of her life history and leadership acumen, tenacity and intentionality warrants the foregoing research question: Can Queen Nonesi be celebrated as a champion of women leadership by contemporary African women as they seek to assert their God-given right to lead? Using a narrative synthesis hinged upon Ubuntu philosophy, this piece is the first of a sequel that focusses on Southern Women Leaders and their impact on contemporary leadership strategies. This study holds several significant implications. Firstly, it aims to shed light on the historical contributions of women leaders from the Xhosa people, challenging the dominant narrative that often overlooks or marginalizes their roles. By highlighting Queen Nonesi's achievements, the study seeks to foster a greater appreciation for the leadership capabilities of African women. Secondly, the study seeks to inspire contemporary African women who are striving to assert their right to lead. By examining Queen Nonesi's leadership qualities and strategies, the research aims to provide valuable insights and lessons that can inform and empower women leaders today. Lastly, the study's utilization of Ubuntu philosophy as a guiding framework offers a unique perspective on leadership. By emphasizing the communal aspects of leadership and the interconnectedness of individuals, the research aims to promote a more inclusive and collaborative approach to leadership in contemporary African contexts.
    Date: 2023–10–24
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:osf:africa:th7ps&r=his
  10. "The Marriage of Politics and Economy: Elite Fusion in the Age of Modernization" Abstract Modern state-building brings profound political and economic transformations, challenging established elites and opening doors for emerging ones. While previous empirical studies have explored feudal elites’ persistence and emerging elites’ struggles, limited research has examined how emerging elites integrate into existing elite networks. This study investigates the responses of old and new elites during modernization. By constructing a unique dataset detailing kinship connections among Japanese elites in 1902, 1914, and 1927, we revealed shifts in elite kinship networks and their influence on controlling political and economic resources. The findings indicate that modernization transformed the Japanese elite community, with many commoners becoming elite by 1902. Nonetheless, these new elites often found themselves isolated within that community as they lacked kinship ties with other elites. Conversely, peerage political elites already held centrality in the elite kinship network in 1902, and their influence continued to grow over time. However, by 1927, the new economic elites, initially without kinship networks, had managed to establish connections within the elite community, leading to the emergence of an expanded and hierarchical elite community, blending the old and new elites, in which an individual’s centrality in the network became closely linked to his/her political or economic position.
    By: Tomoko Matsumoto (Institute of Arts and Sciences, Tokyo University of Science); Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Date: 2023–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tky:fseres:2023cf1221&r=his
  11. By: Markus Lampe; Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke; Lorenz Reiter; Yoto V. Yotov
    Abstract: This paper uses a new dataset on the universe of Canadian imports and tariffs between 1924 and 1936, disaggregated into 1697 goods originating in 112 countries, to analyze the impact on Canadian imports of interwar Canadian trade policy, including the 1932 Ottawa trade agreements. Rather than use a dummy variable approach, we compute the impact of individual tariffs which varied substantially across goods, trade partners, and time. We develop a novel method of controlling for multilateral resistances in the context of a one-country dataset, and perform a variety of counterfactual exercises to determine the impact of tariffs on trade flows. The overall impact of post-1929 tar iff shifts, including the 1932 agreements, was relatively small, reflecting the fact that Canadian trade policy was already highly protectionist: trade agreements can have het erogenous effects on participants because the shocks involved are different. Compared with a free trade counterfactual, the impact of the overall structure of protection on the level and composition of trade was large.
    Date: 2023–05–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oxf:esohwp:_208&r=his
  12. By: Azam, Jean-Paul
    Abstract: This paper presents an interpretation of the main arguments used in Peter Olivi’s Treatise on Demons, published circa 1295 in Narbonne, Languedoc, within a rational-choice framework. This book has been widely praised as a landmark in the philosophical literature on personhood and personal freedom, since it was (re)discovered about a century ago. In it, Olivi discusses most of the relevant classical and medieval literature on this topic before stating his own position. In the scholastic tradition, the book does not make for easy reading. Moreover, it is evidently a “work in progress”, as pointed out by the translator. Many paragraphs end with “Ergo, etc.”, suggesting that he planned to add something, but could not find time enough for that. He died in 1298, aged 50. This paper offers a simple game-theoretic model aimed at articulating Olivi’s main arguments in a consistent rational choice framework, supported by many quotes translated from French into English by me. It suggests that the “fall of the devil” is used as a parable on human freedom and agency, given a set of incentives strategically chosen by “God” to minimize the number of “sinners”, with some potential interference by “Lucifer”.
    JEL: B11 B30 P48 Z12
    Date: 2023–10–26
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tse:wpaper:128653&r=his
  13. By: Diego Vallarino
    Abstract: Using as a central instrument a new database, resulting from a compilation of historical administrative records, which covers the period 1974-2010, we can have new evidence on how industrial companies used tax benefits, and claim that these are decisive for the investment decision of the Uruguayan industrial companies during that period. The aforementioned findings served as a raw material to also affirm that the incentives to increase investment are factors that positively influence the level of economic activity and exports, and negatively on the unemployment rate.
    Date: 2023–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:arx:papers:2310.07738&r=his
  14. By: Benito Arruñada
    Abstract: This chapter presents an analytical framework that draws upon the economics of personal and real rights, which helps in understanding the institutions of the Roman familia. The discussion proceeds in four stages. First, it outlines the central tenets of the theory, which regards the formalization of transactions as a critical, secondary, public “contractual” step for creating a tradable legal commodity, specifically robust property (real) rights that are enforceable in rem against everyone but do not increase transaction costs. Second, it applies the theory to the marriage contract, a fundamental component of family law. Third, the chapter examines some of the primary features of Roman personal contracting from this analytical perspective, particularly the standard transactions related to the Roman familia, which is better comprehended as a household than as a mere family. Lastly, it focuses on one of the main features of Roman family law: the dowry, explaining the tendency to enforce it as a right in rem.
    Keywords: economics of ancient law, economics of ancient societies, economic analysis of Roman law, Law and Economics, family law, dowry, Property rights, transaction costs, personal exchange, New Institutional Economics
    JEL: D1 D23 K11 K12 K36 L22 N13 O17 P48
    Date: 2023–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bge:wpaper:1407&r=his
  15. By: Andreas Freytag; Krige Siebrits
    Abstract: The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was signed by 54 member states of the African Union and is the largest free trade area in the world. Among other things, dismantling tariffs will have effects on public revenues in member states; this will require a revenue transition from customs duties to other forms of public revenues such as income and value added taxes. This transition may be a politically difficult process. This paper analyses the process of revenue transition in South Africa after World War I and after the end of the Apartheid regime to improve understanding of the constraints to and effects of such a revenue transition. The transition in South Africa from a tax revenue structure anchored by customs revenue to one dominated by income taxes and taxes on domestic consumption was a protracted and unplanned process. The general revenue needs of the government led to the introduction of income taxes in 1914 and a broad-based consumption tax in 1979. In addition, excise taxes have been in use ever since the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910 and in recent times have become increasingly important for other purposes as well. Along with the shift in the role of customs duties from revenue-generating to protective instruments and fairly extensive use of non-tariff barriers, these developments meant that import taxes became markedly less important tax handles during the course of the 20th century. As a result, the revenue implications of the trade liberalisation process in the early 1990s were minor, and the implementation of AfCFTA would not be a large shock to government revenue in South Africa either.
    Keywords: free trade agreements, revenue transition, taxes, South Africa
    JEL: H20 H27
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ces:ceswps:_10698&r=his
  16. By: Nikolaos Chatzarakis (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research, USA)
    Abstract: Marx’ circuit of capital describes the circular process of transformation of money to commodities and of commodities to money, the unified process of capital turnover from production to exchange. It becomes the prime tool Marx used to analyze the process of labor, the reproduction and accumulation of capital, and the possibility and actuality of crises in the capitalist mode of production. In a paper in 1982 and two books is 1986, Foley formulated a mathematical model for the circuit of capital. In the present work, we reformulate this model into a closed and autonomous dynamical system and we proceed to analyze its phase space; not surprisingly, this model resembles the famous epidemiological models, used to describe a similar circular process for the spread of a disease. The equilibrium points of the system reveal the cases for a ‘normal’ phase of expansion, as well as for an ‘excess capital’ crisis; the shift of stability from the one to the other reveals a possibility theory of crisis as a secular stagnation process, while the shift from stability to cycles reveals an actuality theory of short-run fluctuations due to ‘excess commodities’ and ‘excess money’.
    Keywords: Circuit of capital, capital accumulation, economic crisis, financialization
    Date: 2023–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:new:wpaper:2310&r=his
  17. By: Wixforth, Harald
    Keywords: banks under governmental rule and control, credit economy, banking system Germany, economic constitution, Reichs-Kredit-Gesellschaft
    JEL: N23 N24 G21
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:ibfpps:0423&r=his
  18. By: Liu, Yi
    Date: 2023
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:ibfpps:0323&r=his
  19. By: Candelon, Bertrand (Université catholique de Louvain, LIDAM/LFIN, Belgium); Joëts, Marc; Mignon, Valérie
    Abstract: This paper aims to identify the factors contributing to the diffusion of ideas in econometrics by paying particular attention to connectivity in content and social networks. Considering a sample of 17, 260 research papers in econometrics over the 1980-2020 period, we rely on Structural Topic Models to extract and categorize topics relevant to key domains in the discipline. Using a hurdle count model, we show that both content and social connectivity among the authors (i.e., social connectivity) enhance the likelihood of non-zero citation counts and play a key role in shaping the diffusion of econometric ideas. We also find that high topic connectivity augmented by robust social connectivity among authors or authoring teams further enhances econometric ideas’ diffusion success.
    Keywords: Connectivity ; Idea diffusion ; Econometric publications ; Citations ; Structural Topic Model ; Hurdle count model
    JEL: C01
    Date: 2023–10–17
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ajf:louvlf:2023005&r=his
  20. By: Fausto Galli (University of Salerno); Simone Manzavino (University of Salerno); Giuseppe Russo (University of Salerno, CSEF, and GLO)
    Abstract: We study the effect of an immigration ban on the self-selection of immigrants along cultural traits, and the transmission of these traits to the second generation. We show theoretically that restricting immigration incentivizes to settle abroad individuals with higher attachment to their origin culture, who, under free mobility, would rather choose circular migration. Once abroad, these individuals tend to convey their cultural traits to their children. As a consequence, restrictive immigration policies can foster the diffusion of cultural traits across boundaries and generations. We focus on religiosity, which is one of the most persistent and distinctive cultural traits, and exploit the 1973 immigration ban in West Germany (Anwerbestopp) as a natural experiment. Through a diff-in-diff analysis, we find that second generations born to parents treated by the Anwerbestopp show higher religiosity.
    Keywords: second-generation immigrants, religiosity, immigration policy, cultural transmission.
    JEL: D91 F22 J15 K37 Z13
    Date: 2023–09–29
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:sef:csefwp:683&r=his

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