YSI Economic History Graduate Webinars - Fall 2020

YSI Economic History Webinars - Fall 2020

September 2020 - January 2021

We’re launching a second webinar series in Economic History. We want to give grad students an occasion to get feedback on their ongoing work.

Webinar Series

Description

We are launching a second YSI Economic history graduate seminar. 60 minute online talks with discussion, free to everyone to sign up and participate.
It will be a good way for economic history graduate students to stay in touch and make everybody feel more energized and motivated. This would also be the occasion to get feedback on your ongoing work. It also aims to make up for all the cancelled conferences and seminars where we would have tested our research.

If you are interested to attend in the webinar please register using this form. You do not need to be registered with YSI to attend but we encourage all young scholars to join the community.

The program is as follows:

  • Sept 29: Ezra Karger, The University of Chicago, The Long-Run Effect of Public Libraries on Children: Evidence from the Early 1900s
  • Oct 13: Alejandro Ayuso, Carlos III University, Winners of Japanese colonization in Manchuria 1907-1945
  • Oct 27: Katherine Hauck, University of Arizona, Farm Production in Purchased and Homesteaded Farms in Kansas, circa 1870
  • Nov 10: Adam Frost, Harvard University, Entrepreneurial transformation of socialist China
  • Nov 24: Vitantonio Mariella, Sapienza University, Tenancy contracts and social capital at the origins of the North-South divide in Italy
  • Dec 08: Vincent Delabastita, KU Leuven, The Feudal Origins of Manorial Prosperity in 11th-century England
  • Jan 12: Iris Fu, University of California, Los Angeles, Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth Loss: Evidence from the Freedman’s Bank
  • Jan 26: Damian Clavel, Oxford University, A Miskitu Loan in the City of London?

If you have any question or feedback, please email us at eh@youngscholarsinitiative.org. We will get in touch with you as soon as we can.

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The YSI graduate seminar in Economic history is a joint collaboration between Ester Treccani, Jean Lacroix, Jordi Caum Julio, Maylis Avaro and Xabier Garcia Fuente, with support from The Young Scholars Initiative, from the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York and the Center for Finance and Development of the Graduate Institute of Geneva. Organizational details are subject to change.

UPCOMING EVENTS

There are no upcoming events in this project.

PAST EVENTS

Online

29 Sep 2020

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Ezra Karger

Ezra Karger, PhD Candidate at The University of Chicago will present his work: The Long-Run Effect of Public Libraries on Children: Evidence from the Early 1900s. Abstract:Between 1890 and 1921, Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of 1,618 public libraries in cities and towns across the United States. I link these library construction grants to census data and measure the effect of childhood access to a public library on adult outcomes. Library construction grants increased children’s educational attainment by 0.10 years, did not affect wage income, and increased non-wage income by 6%. These income effects are driven by occupational choice. Access to a public library caused children to shift away from occupations like manual labor, factory-work, and mining into more prestigious occupations like farm-ownership, clerical, and technical jobs. I show that compulsory schooling laws had parallel effects on children, increasing educational attainment, non-wage income and occupational prestige without affecting wage income. Economists often rely solely on wage income to measure the returns to education. But public libraries and compulsory schooling laws in the early 1900s increased educational attainment, non-wage income, and occupational prestige without affecting wage income.

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Online

13 Oct 2020

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Alejandro Ayuso

Alejandro Ayuso, PhD Candidate at the University Carlos III University will present his work: *Winners of Japanese colonization in Manchuria 1907-1945 * Abstract:This paper studies the Sate and business cooperation during the Japanese colonization in Manchuria 1907-1945. We use business information of the main Japanese companies operating in Manchuria and we debate on the mechanisms of cooperation with political and military elites. We find that there were two differentiated development strategies during the period of colonization according to the intensity of military intervention before and after 1932. In both periods the multinational business and the ruling elites were able to win establishing a cooperation strategy coined by the literature as Elite Exchange. This cooperation was balanced along both periods, prevailing first the commercial interests of Japanese business followed by a second period of more intense Military benefits from State control, but in both periods the elite winners stablished a balanced mix of both strategies of Business-State interactions.

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Online

27 Oct 2020

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Katherine Hauck

Katherine Hauck, PhD Candidate at the University of Arizona, will present her work: *Farm Production in Purchased and Homesteaded Farms in Kansas, circa 1870 * Abstract:The Homestead Act of 1862 greatly reduced the cost of federal land in the United States. Farm productivity is a function of settler characteristics at the individual level and land characteristics at the farm level. After controlling for farm-level land characteristics and individual settler characteristics, I use farm output per acre in 1870 as a proxy for farming ability and objectives. I use the method of acquisition (purchase or homestead) of neighboring farms as an IV to identify the effect of the initial method of acquisition on the subsequent value of farm production per acre in Kansas in 1870. Results show that purchasers and homesteaders used different farming strategies. Homesteaders had significantly lower productivity than purchasers before 1863, even after controlling for the length of time the farm was held, reflecting their lower risk from the lower cost of starting a farm. Purchasers after 1863 initial invested in fences and buildings, while homesteaders initially invested in crops and livestock. After 18 months after acquisition, the purchasers who remained on the land were both more productive and had a more valuable farm than homesteaders who remained. However, in the first 18 months, homesteaders were significantly more productive than purchasers, despite having a less developed farm. Purchasers initially held the land without farming it but did make improvements in terms of buildings and fences. This analysis indicates that purchasers and homesteaders diverged immediately after acquisition onto different pathways with different farming strategies. Finally, I explore several potential mechanisms forthis difference.

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Online

10 Nov 2020

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Adam Frost

Adam Frost, PhD student at Harvard University, will present his work: Entrepreneurial transformation of socialist China Abstract:China’s socialist era (1957–1980) is often described as having been void of entrepreneurial activity. Generations of scholars argued that beginning with the Communist’s victory over the Nationalists in 1949 and culminating until the establishment of collective economic institutions in 1957, private entrepreneurship was effectively purged from the Chinese economy. It was only with the introduction of market-oriented reforms in the early 1980s, that Chinese entrepreneurs began to reemerge.This paper combines novel historical and statistical methods to challenge such characterizations, demonstrating that capitalist entrepreneurship was an enduring feature of the modern Chinese economy. Specifically, the paper develops and analyzes an original dataset of more than 2,600 cases of “speculation and profiteering” that were prosecuted by local government agencies in the 1960s and 1970s. Using this data, in conjunction with state statistical aggregates, it shows that private entrepreneurial activity not only persisted throughout the entire socialist era, but that it was far greater in scale and scope than previous scholarship leads us to believe. Of the millions of entrepreneurs who were prosecuted by the socialist state, the mean individual was engaged in the production and exchange of goods whose value represented years’ of income for the median worker.Moreover, this paper reveals that the socialist state was not unified in its suppression of private entrepreneurial activity. A statistical analysis of the punishments in “speculation and profiteering” case demonstrates that local government officials did not faithfully execute central directives. Rather, they adopted overtly protectioniststrategies, sheltering entrepreneurs who were engaged in large-scale pursuits or activities that they viewed as more productive in the local economy. Collectively, these findings overturn longstanding ideas about the evolution of the modern Chinese economy and the historical antecedents of China’s market-oriented reforms.

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Online

24 Nov 2020

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Vitantonio Mariella

Vitantonio Mariella, PhD student at Sapienza University, will present his work: Tenancy contracts and social capital at the origins of the North-South divide in Italy Abstract:This paper investigates the historical determinants of social capital in Italy, widely seen at the root of the North-South divide. By focusing on the rural economic structure of Italy during the “liberal age” (1861-1911) and using several measures of social capital in the present-day, I find that areas that had a higher share of casual workers in agriculture exhibit lower civic capital today. The results are robust to the inclusion of a set of control variables. IV estimates using the presence of malaria as a source of exogenous variation rule out further concerns regarding the presence of potential endogeneity. I carry out also a spatial analysis to account for spillover effects, and the share of casual workers still retains its significance. Therefore, the effect is robust even after controlling for the fact that occasional labour agreements were not randomly determined. Finally, I explore the role of the industrial districts as a mechanism to transmit the cultural trait of cooperation through time. As they took shape where casual workers were relatively rare, I find a positive association between municipalities exhibiting high civic capital and those belonging to an industrial district.

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Online

8 Dec 2020

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Vincent Delabastita

Vincent Delabastita, PhD student at KU Leuven, will present his work: The Feudal Origins of Manorial Prosperity in 11th-century England Abstract:Does the prosperity of medieval manors depend on their position in the feudal system? How large are these effects? And what are the economic mechanisms behind it? To answer these questions, we estimate an econometric interactions model on data derived from the Domesday Book, a unique country-wide survey conducted by William the Conqueror two decades after the Battle of Hastings. Domesday Book presents researchers with a unique insight into the feudal structure of a medieval society and the functioning of manorial economies. Using this source, we reinterpret the 11th-century English feudal system as a network in which manors are linked to one another based on their common ownership structure. Our results reveal the existence of external economies of scale: manorial prosperity was closely intertwined with the fortune of their feudal peers, even after including rich agricultural and geographic controls. We decompose these significant, positive interaction effects into two mechanisms: scale and productivity spill-overs. The latter are interpreted as common management structures and knowledge transfers in an information-constrained feudal world.

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Online

12 Jan 2021

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Iris Fu

Iris Fu, Phd student at the University of California, Los Angeles, will present her work: Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth Loss: Evidence from the Freedman’s Bank Abstract:This paper provides a comprehensive analyses of the intergenerational effects of negative shock in wealth for African Americans by examining a historical episode, the failure of the Freedman’s Bank (1865-1874), which resulted in the loss of deposits for approximately 100,000 depositor. I collect individual-level bank depositor records and conduct follow-up of the descendants’ educational and occupational outcomes through the 1880 and 1900 Censuses. To estimate the causal effect of depositing, I employ an instrumental variable strategy which exploits county-level differences in the take up rate in banking. I find that children of depositors were more likely to be literate than children of non-depositors. The effect is explained by the positive intergenerational effects from financial literacy and inclusion, whichoutweighs the negative impact of the wealth loss.

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Online

26 Jan 2021

Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Damian Clavel

Damian Clavel, Post-doctoral Fellow at Oxford University, will present his work: A Miskitu Loan in the City of London? Abstract:This paper provides a case study centered on George Frederic, the king of the Miskitu (in present Honduras and Nicaragua) in the first decades of the 19th century. Putting together scattered archival material found on both sides of the Atlantic reveals how this particular American Indigenous polity sought to finance its political and commercial independence through the London-based capital market. Concentrating on a marginal actor seldom considered by economic historians allows moving away from Eurocentric historiographies studying early dynamics of financial and commercial globalization. It also sheds light on the global financial influence American Indigenous actors sought to have in a politically and commercially reshaped Atlantic world.

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Working groups
  • Economic History
Project Organizers
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Maylis Avaro

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Jean Lacroix

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Ester Treccani

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Xabier Garcia Fuente

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Jordi Caum Julio

For questions, the Project Organizers.

YSI Webinar

YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Ezra Karger

September 29 2020, 15:00

Ezra Karger, PhD Candidate at The University of Chicago will present his work: The Long-Run Effect of Public Libraries on Children: Evidence from the Early 1900s.

Abstract:
Between 1890 and 1921, Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of 1,618 public libraries in cities and towns across the United States. I link these library construction grants to census data and measure the effect of childhood access to a public library on adult outcomes. Library construction grants increased children’s educational attainment by 0.10 years, did not affect wage income, and increased non-wage income by 6%. These income effects are driven by occupational choice. Access to a public library caused children to shift away from occupations like manual labor, factory-work, and mining into more prestigious occupations like farm-ownership, clerical, and technical jobs. I show that compulsory schooling laws had parallel effects on children, increasing educational attainment, non-wage income and occupational prestige without affecting wage income. Economists often rely solely on wage income to measure the returns to education. But public libraries and compulsory schooling laws in the early 1900s increased educational attainment, non-wage income, and occupational prestige without affecting wage income.

Recording

No recording available.

Time & Date

Start: September 29 2020, 15:00*

Duration: 60 minutes

*Time is displayed in your local time zone (Africa/Abidjan).

Presenters
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Ezra Karger

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Topic: YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar: Ezra Karger

Time: September 29 2020, 15:00 (Timezone: Africa/Abidjan)

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