ToC: Explorations Economic History
EXPLORATIONS IN ECONOMIC HISTORY ISSN 0014-4983 (Elsevier)
Editor: T. Leunig
Impact Factor, IF=1,222
ToC: Explorations Economic History, Volume 49, Issue 2, April 2012
J.L. van Zanden, B. van Leeuwen. Persistent but not consistent: The growth of national income in Holland 13471807 (p. 119)
Notes: 21; References: 63
In this paper we construct a detailed dataset of the national accounts of Holland (13471807). Using this dataset, we demonstrate that this economy was characterized by persistent economic growth caused by, depending on the period, structural change (share of industry and services in the economy increases), technological development, and factor substitution. During the entire period GDP per capita increased by on average 0.19% per year. This persistent growth, however, was highly unstable due largely to the importance of international services in the economy.
J. Edwards, S. Ogilvie. What lessons for economic development can we draw from the Champagne fairs? (p. 131)
Notes: 178; References: 71
The medieval Champagne fairs are widely used to draw lessons about the institutional basis for long-distance impersonal exchange. This paper re-examines the causes of the outstanding success of the Champagne fairs in mediating international trade, the timing and causes of the fairs' decline, and the institutions for securing property rights and enforcing contracts at the fairs. It finds that contract enforcement at the fairs did not take the form of private-order or corporative mechanisms, but was provided by public institutions. More generally, the success and decline of the Champagne fairs depended on the policies adopted by the public authorities for good or ill.
L.A. Abad, E. Davies, J. L. van Zanden. Between conquest and independence: Real wages and demographic change in Spanish America, 15301820 (p. 149)
Notes: 21; References: 78
On the basis of a newly constructed dataset, this paper presents long-term series of the price levels, nominal wages, and real wages in Spanish Latin America more specifically in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina between ca. 1530 and ca. 1820. It synthesizes the work of scholars who have collected and published data on individual cities and periods, and presents comparable indices of real wages and prices in the colonial period that give a reasonable guide to trends in the long run. We show that nominal wages and prices were on average much higher than in Western Europe or in Asia, a reflection of the low value of silver that must have had consequences for competitiveness of the Latin American economies. Labour scarcity was the second salient feature of Spanish Latin America and resulted in real wages much above subsistence and in some cases (Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina) comparable to levels in Northwestern Europe. For Mexico, this was caused by the dramatic decline of the population after the Conquest. For Bolivia, the driving force was the boom in silver mining in Potosi that created a huge demand for labour. In the case of Argentina, low population density was a pre-colonial feature. Perhaps due to a different pattern of depopulation, the real wages of other regions (Peru, Colombia and Chile) were much lower, and only increased above subsistence during the first half of the 18th century. These results are consistent with independent evidence on biological standards of living and with estimates of GDP per capita at the beginning of the 19th century.
P. Moser. Taste-based discrimination evidence from a shift in ethnic preferences after WWI (p. 167)
Notes: 35; References: 55
This paper uses program notes from the Metropolitan opera to quantify changes in ethnic preferences as a result of news of German atrocities during World War I; these data indicate that the War created a persistent shift in ethnic preferences, which effectively switched the status of German Americans from a mainstream ethnicity to an ethnic minority until the late 1920s. Difference-in-difference analyses investigate whether this shift in preferences triggered taste-based discrimination in one of the world's most elite professional settings: applications to trade at the NYSE. This analysis indicates that changes in preferences more than doubled the probability that applicants with German-sounding names would be rejected. Placebo regressions for other non-German minorities yield no evidence of taste effects. Equivalent regressions that distinguish German Jewish from other Jewish applicants, however, indicate that German Jewish applicants were similarly affected as were other Germans.
J. Annaert, F. Buelens, M.J.K. De Ceuster. New Belgian Stock Market Returns: 18321914 (p. 189)
Notes: 11; References: 55
The limited availability of high quality and computer readable data seriously impedes research in history and finance. We introduce a new monthly return series for Belgian owned equity based on Brussels Stock Market data for the period 18321914 as an improvement to the popular Drappier index. Over this period, our dataset includes 446,374 prices, 23,976 dividends, 371 stock and reverse splits (or other capital operations) on 2037 stocks of 1387 (foreign and Belgian) companies. Our dataset includes all shares and bonds but also high-quality information on prices, dividends, shares outstanding and market capitalization. In addition, company, country and sector information is available. We construct value weighted, price weighted and equally weighted indices as well as dividend yields. We find three important results. First, total nominal returns hover between 3.29% and 5.35% per annum, depending on how individual stocks are aggregated into the index. Second, dividend income constitutes the major part of total return and dividend distributions have a clear seasonal pattern. Third, the results highlight several drawbacks of the Drappier indices, especially an upward bias in expected equity performance.
Y. Stolz, J. Baten. Brain drain in the age of mass migration: Does relative inequality explain migrant selectivity? (p. 205)
Notes: 31; References: 54
Brain drain is a core economic policy problem for many developing countries today. Does relative inequality in source and destination countries influence the brain-drain phenomenon? We explore human capital selectivity during the period 18201909.We apply age heaping techniques to measure human capital selectivity of international migrants. In a sample of 52 source and five destination countries we find selective migration determined by relative anthropometric inequality in source and destination countries. Other inequality measures confirm this. The results remain robust in OLS and ArellanoBond approaches. We confirm the RoyBorjas model of migrant self-selection. Moreover, we find that countries like Germany and UK experienced a small positive effect, because the less educated emigrated in larger numbers.
L. Chaudhary, A. Musacchio, S. Nafziger, S. Yan. Big BRICs, weak foundations: The beginning of public elementary education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (p. 221)
Notes: 71; References: 123
Our paper provides a comparative perspective on the development of public primary education in four of the largest developing economies circa 1910: Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). These four countries encompassed more than 50% of the world's population in 1910, but remarkably few of their citizens attended any school by the early 20th century. We present new, comparable data on school inputs and outputs for BRIC drawn from contemporary surveys and government documents. Recent studies emphasize the importance of political decentralization, and relatively broad political voice for the early spread of public primary education in developed economies. We identify the former and the lack of the latter to be important in the context of BRIC, but we also outline how other factors such as factor endowments, colonialism, serfdom, and, especially, the characteristics of the political and economic elite help explain the low achievement levels of these four countries and the incredible amount of heterogeneity within each of them.
B. Pistoresi, A. Rinaldi. Exports, imports and growth: New evidence on Italy: 18632004 (p. 241)
Notes: 16; References: 103
The nexus between trade and economic growth in Italy has been widely debated by historiography. However, there are no long run analyses on this topic that cover the whole span from Unification to present days. This paper contributes to fill this gap by investigating the relationship between real exports, imports and GDP in Italy from 1863 to 2004 by using cointegration analysis and causality tests. The outcome suggests that these variables comove in the long run but the direction of causality varies across time. In the period prior to the First World War import growth led GDP growth that in turn led export growth. Conversely, in the post-Second World War period we have a strong bidirectionality between imports and exports consequent on the increase in intra-industry trade. We also find a weak support for export-led growth and growth-led imports. This suggests that exports were not the only or the main driver of economic growth. There was probably a multiplicity of factors at work, among which high rates of capital formation and the expansion of internal demand probably stood out.
J. Martinez-Galarraga. The determinants of industrial location in Spain, 18561929 (p. 255)
Notes: 55; References: 102
During the 19th century, the Spanish economy went through the early stages of the industrialisation process. This process developed in parallel to the growing market integration of goods and factors as a result of the liberal reforms and the construction of the railway network, with the subsequent fall in transport costs. In that period, there were major changes in the pattern of industrial location across Spain, with an increasing spatial concentration of industrial activities between the 1850s and the Spanish Civil War (193639) and a deeper regional specialisation. What were the forces behind these changes? On the theoretical side, the HeckscherOhlin model suggests that the spatial distribution of economic activity is determined by comparative advantage due to factor endowments. In turn, New Economic Geography models show the existence of a bell-shaped relationship between the process of market integration and the degree of concentration of industrial activity in the territory. This paper examines empirically the determinants of industrial location in Spain between 1856 and 1929 estimating a model that nests both HeckscherOhlin and NEG factors and tests the relative strength of these forces, since they are not mutually exclusive and might be at work simultaneously. The analysis of the results shows that both comparative advantage and NEG-type mechanisms were determinant drivers of industrial location in Spain, although their relative strength changed over time.
E. Heckscher (1879-1952)
B. Ohlin (1899-1979)
EXPLORATIONS IN ECONOMIC HISTORY ISSN 0014-4983 (Elsevier)
Editor: T. Leunig
Impact Factor, IF(2011)=o,935
ToC: Explorations Economic History, Volume 49, Issue 3, July 2012
A. M. Carlos, F.D. Lewis. Smallpox and Native American mortality: The 1780s epidemic in the Hudson Bay region (p. 277)
Notes: 57; References: 59
The smallpox epidemic of 1781â"82 in the Hudson Bay region is said to have devastated the native population, causing mortality of at least 50%. We reassess this claim using a four-pronged approach. First, we total smallpox deaths reported by two fur trading posts that were in the midst of the epidemic. Second, we review case fatality rates in other smallpox outbreaks, and discuss the likely incidence of the disease among Native Americans. Third, we analyse trade during the period of the epidemic. Fourth, we estimate the native population prior to the epidemic based on the carrying capacity of the region. All four approaches lead to a similar conclusion. Mortality from smallpox was likely under 20%, which is much less than previously asserted.
N. Canaday, M. Jaremski. Legacy, location, and labor: Accounting for racial differences in postbellum cotton production (p. 291)
Notes: 25; References: 36
Many postbellum southern farms specialized in cotton, but black-operated farms planted much larger shares of cotton than white-operated farms. This paper tests various explanations for the pattern of specialization using 1879 farm-specific data. We find that the cross-sectional racial variation in cotton share is largely explained by location and on-farm labor supply conditions, consequences of the legacy of slavery, rather than debt constraints.
R. Edvinsson. The international political economy of early modern copper mercantilism: Rent seeking and copper money in Sweden 1624â"1776 (p. 303)
Notes: 10; References: 34
In 1624â"1776 Sweden minted intrinsic value copper coins, alongside silver coins. One purpose behind introducing the copper standard was to use its monopoly position at the European markets to manipulate the international copper prices, implementing a kind of copper mercantilism. This paper presents a model of an early modern copper monopolist that could price discriminate between two different uses for copper: copper for export and copper for minting. The paper concludes that authorities did not completely conform to this rent-seeking model, since there were also other considerations behind minting policy, such as providing a stable monetary system. The model shows that under profit-maximisation minting should have been even higher and the price of copper money lower, but at periods minting and prices approached the optimal state. In the 17th century, the market for copper money was probably too small relative the huge copper production, but by the 1720s and 1730s, when copper production had declined, the copper standard functioned more smoothly.
J. Parman. Good schools make good neighbors: Human capital spillovers in early 20th century agriculture (p. 316)
Notes: 39; References: 59
Formal schooling has a significant impact on modern agricultural productivity but there is little evidence quantifying the historical importance of schools in the early development of the American agricultural sector. I present new data from the Midwest at the start of the twentieth century showing that the emerging public schools were helping farmers successfully adapt to a variety of agricultural innovations. I use a unique dataset of farmers containing detailed geographical information to estimate both the private returns to schooling and human capital spillovers across neighboring farms. The results indicate that public schools contributed substantially to agricultural productivity at the turn of the century and that a large portion of this contribution came through human capital spillovers. These findings offer new insights into why the Midwest was a leader in the expansion of secondary education.
T. Cvrcek. America's settling down: How better jobs and falling immigration led to a rise in marriage, 1880â"1930 (p. 335)
Notes: 37; References: 30
The early 20th century was a period of rising marriage rate and falling age at marriage. This was due to two factors affecting men. First, men's improving labor market prospects made them more attractive as marriage partners. Second, immigration had a dynamic effect on search costs. In the short-run, it fragmented the marriage market, making it harder to find a partner of one's preferred background. The high search costs led to less marriage and later marriage in the 1890s. In the long-run, as immigration declined, immigrants' descendants integrated with American society. This reduced search costs and increased the marriage rate.
M. Oak, A.V. Swamy. Myopia or strategic behavior? Indian regimes and the East India Company in late eighteenth century India (p. 352)
Notes: 30; References: 43
The East India Company's conquest of India was facilitated by the behavior of its Indian rivals who not only did not ally against it, but often supported it militarily. Historians have typically attributed this to myopia, the failure to understand the long-term threat represented by the Company. We examine the negotiations leading up to a key conflict, the Third Mysore War, and find that the Company's allies were not myopic. The British parliament had, in 1784, passed Pitt's India Act, which limited the scope for unprovoked military aggression by the Company in India. This had changed the behavior of the Company, making its promises more credible. This enhanced credibility made it possible for the Company to secure as allies Indian regimes that were acting strategically in their self-interest. This is a new explanation for an old puzzle.
East India House (1817)
C. Lee. Military service and economic mobility: Evidence from the American civil war (p. 367)
Notes: 24; References: 37
How did geographic and occupational mobility after the Civil War differ between Union Army veterans and nonveterans? By 1880, Union veterans were more likely to migrate to a different state or region than nonveterans. The higher geographic mobility of veterans is likely attributable to their experience of traveling away from their hometowns while in service. Union veterans who held unskilled jobs prior to enlistment were more likely to move up to white-collar or farming jobs by 1880 than unskilled nonveterans. In contrast, unskilled veterans were less likely to become artisans than nonveterans. The differences in occupational mobility by veteran status might be explained by the effects of military experiences such as learning from comrades in the company.