Artículo: The Global Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity: Nature, History, and the Role of Trade

Las instituciones son relevantes para el desarrollo, pero no lo son todo. Recientemente, Vernon Henderson, Tim Squires, Adam Storeygard y David Weil publicaron TheGlobal Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity: Nature, History, and the Role of Trade. En el abstract leemos: "We study the distribution of economic activity, as proxied by lights at night, across 250,000 grid cells of average are 560 kilometers. We first document that nearly half of the variation can be explained by a parsimonious set of physical geography attributes. A full set of country indicators only explains a further 10%. When we divide geographic characteristics into two groups, those primarily important for agriculture and those primarily important for trade, we find that the agriculture variable have relatively more explanatory power in countries that developed early and the trade variable have relatively more in countries that developed late, despite the fact that the latter group of countries are far more dependent on agriculture today. We explain this apparent puzzle in a model in which two technological shocks occur, one increasing agricultural productivity and the other decreasing transportation costs, and in which agglomeration economies lead to persistence in urban locations. In countries that developed early, structural transformation due to rising agricultural productivity began at a time when transport costs were still relatively high, so urban agglomerations were localized in agricultural regions. When transport costs fell well before structural transformation. To exploit urban scale economies, manufacturing agglomerated in relatively few, often coastal, locations. With structural transformation, these initial coastal locations grew, without formation of more cities in the agricultural interior."

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Artículo: Distance and Time Effects in Swedish Commodity Prices, 1732–1914

Mario J. Crucini y Gregor W. Smith publicaron Distance and Time Effects in Swedish Commodity Prices, 1732–1914. Su resumen nos ilustra. "We study the role of distance and time in statistically explaining price dispersion across 32 Swedish towns for 19 commodities from 1732 to 1914. The resulting large number of relative prices (502,689) allows precise estimation of distance and time effects, and their interaction. We find an effect of distance that declines significantly over time, beginning in the 18th century, well before the arrival of canals, the telegraph, or the railway."

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Artículo: The Rise and Fall of Exceptional Australian Incomes since 1800

David Greasley (University of Edinburgh) y Jakob B. Madsen (Monash University) publicaron TheRise and Fall of Exceptional Australian Incomes since 1800. En el resumen señalan: "We gauge how productivity and factor endowments shaped the rise and fall of Australia’s exceptional incomes. New measures of TFP, which include natural resource inputs, are utilized in an accounting of income growth. Further, the drivers of TFP growth are explored. Pastoralism and mining had negative TFP externalities, and we incorporate these finding into a unified accounting of incomes which distinguishes the roles of endowments and productivity. Nevertheless, TFP growth played an important role in promoting exceptional incomes between 1842-1890. Our findings favour a more balanced interpretation of Australian growth that has roles for natural resources, labour participation and productivity."

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Artículo: Australia: a Land of Missed Opportunities?

David Greasley (University of Edinburgh), Nick Hanley (University of St. Andrews), Eoin McLaughlin (University of St. Andrews) y Les Oxley (University of Waikato) publicaron el artículo Australia: a Land of Missed Opportunities?Su abstract dice "Comprehensive Investment (CI) may provide an indicator of future changes in a country’s per capita consumption. We explore the utility of the CI indicator for Australia by constructing CI data since 1861 and by estimating their relationship with changes in future consumption over periods of 50 years ahead. The CI measures include changes in natural, produced and human capital, and make allowance for exogenous technological progress.The results are used to consider how Australia’s natural capital exploitation influenced the consumption of future generations. Further, we gauge if low CI relative to other leading OECD countries resulted in lower consumption levels in Australia over time than feasible, had it saved more."

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Libro: The Information Nexus: Global Capitalism from the Renaissance to the Present

Transcribimos una reseña del reciente libro de Steven G. Marks, The Information Nexus: Global Capitalism from the Renaissance to the Present. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.  xiv + 250 pp. $28 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-107-51963-3. Steven Marks es profesor de historia en Clemson University, South Carolina, y escribió sobre historia económica y cultural de Rusia, incluyendo How Russia Shaped the Modern World (2003), y Road to Power (1991).

The Information Nexus: Global Capitalism from the Renaissance to the Present fue reseñado para EH.Net por Leonard Dudley (Université de Montréal), quien es autor de Mothers of Innovation: How Expanding Social Networks Gave Birth to the Industrial Revolution (Cambridge Scholars, 2012) y “Language Standardization and the Industrial Revolution,” Oxford Economic Papers (forthcoming).

En la reseña que realizó Dudley de la obra de Marks leemos "In this disruptive study, Clemson University historian Steven Marks redefines capitalism by breathing new life into concepts recycled from nineteenth-century German sociology. In 1877 a young German philosopher, Ferdinand Tönnies, published Community and Civil Society, a book based on his habilitation thesis. Tönnies contrasted two types of social structure, each of which he had come to know during the preceding years of dramatic and often violent change in German society.  The Gemeinschaft, or community, was an “organic” society like that of the small town in an agricultural region of northern Germany where he had grown up. Here relationships were “natural,” governed by the proximity of family, neighbors and friends. In contrast, the Gesellschaft, or civil society, was the “mechanical” industrial society like that of the cities he had come to know as a student living in different regions of Germany. Whereas relationships in theGemeinschaft were governed by familiarity and custom, those in the capitalist Gesellschaft were determined by markets and prices.

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Artículo: How Rome enabled impersonal markets

El paper How Rome enabled impersonal markets fue publicado por Benito Arruñada, quien consigna en el abstract: "Impersonal exchange increases trade and specialization opportunities, encouraging economic growth. However it requires the support of sophisticated public institutions. This paper explains how Classical Rome provided such support in the main areas of economic activity by relying on public possession as a titling device, enacting rules to protect innocent acquirers in agency contexts, enabling the extended family to act as a contractual entity, and diluting the enforcement of personal obligations which might collide with impersonal exchange. Focusing on the institutions of impersonal exchange, it reaches a clear positive conclusion on the market-facilitating role of the Roman state because such institutions have unambiguously positive effects on markets. Moreover, being impersonal, these beneficial effects are also widely distributed across society instead of accruing disproportionately to better-connected individuals."

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Artículo: Clans, Guilds, and Markets: Apprenticeship Institutions and Growth in the Pre-Industrial Economy

David de la Croix, Matthias Doepke y Joel Mokyr han publicado Clans, Guilds, and Markets: Apprenticeship Institutions and Growth in the Pre-Industrial Economy. Su resumen destaca "In the centuries leading up to the Industrial Revolution, Western Europe gradually pulled ahead of other world regions in terms of technological creativity, population growth, and income per capita. We argue that superior institutions for the creation and dissemination of productive knowledge help explain the European advantage. We build a model of technological progress in a pre-industrial economy that emphasizes the person-to-person transmission of tacit knowledge. The young learn as apprentices from the old. Institutions such as the family, the clan, the guild, and the market organize who learns from whom. We argue that medieval European institutions such as guilds, and specific features such as journeymanship, can explain the rise of Europe relative to regions that relied on the transmission of knowledge within extended families or clans."

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Blogs: The exchange: Libros!

Nuevamente en The Exchange nos ofrecen una nutrida lista de libros publicados en papel que vale la pena revisar, incluyen entre otros:

Emily Erikson, Between Monopoly and Free Trade: The English East India Company, 1600–1757 (Princeton University Press, August 2016 [2014]) [BHC Gomory Prize Winner]

Peter Burroughs and A. J. Stockwell, eds., Managing the Business of Empire: Essays in Honour of David Fieldhouse (Routledge, July 2016 [1998])

Adam Clulow, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan (Columbia University Press, June 2016 [2013])

Béatrice Craig, Backwoods Consumers and Homespun Capitalists: The Rise of a Market Culture in Eastern Canada (University of Toronto Press, May 2016 [2009])

Richard Edwards and Trevor Boyns, A History of Management Accounting: The British Experience (Routledge, August 2016 [2012])

Dennis O. Flynn, A. J. H. Latham, and Sally M. Miller, eds., Studies in the Economic History of the Pacific Rim (Routledge, July 2016 [1997])

Jeffry A. Frieden, Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy (Princeton University Press, August 2016 [2014])

William Guanglin Liu, The Chinese Market Economy, 1000-1500 (SUNY Press, July 2016 [2015])

Christina Lubinski, Jeffrey Fear, and Paloma Fernández Pérez, eds. Family Multinationals: Entrepreneurship, Governance, and Pathways to Internationalization (Routledge, August 2016 [2013])

Pamela H. Smith, The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (Princeton University Press, August 2016 [1994])

Anoush Fraser Terjanian, Commerce and Its Discontents in Eighteenth-Century French Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, August 2016 [2012])

Kazuo Usui, Marketing and Consumption in Modern Japan (Routledge, August 2016 [2014])

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Artículo: Three-generation Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940: The Role of Maternal and Paternal Grandparents

Claudia Olivetti, M. Daniele Paserman y Laura Salisbury publicaron Three-generation Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940: The Role of Maternal and Paternal Grandparents. Ellos lo resumen "This paper estimates intergenerational elasticities across three generations in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We extend the methodology in Olivetti and Paserman (2015) to explore the role of maternal and paternal grandfathers for the transmission of economic status to grandsons and granddaughters. We document three main findings. First, grandfathers matter for income transmission, above and beyond their effect on fathers' income. Second, the socio-economic status of grandsons is influenced more strongly by paternal grandfathers than by maternal grandfathers. Third, maternal grandfathers are more important for granddaughters than for grandsons, while the opposite is true for paternal grandfathers. We present a model of multi-trait matching and inheritance that can rationalize these findings."

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