YSI - Economic History Graduate Webinar - Fall 2021
Online Economic History Seminars with EHES
September 2021 - January 2022
The Fall 2021 series of the Economic History Graduate Webinar
We are launching a fourth YSI-EHES Economic History Graduate Webinar this Fall. As in previous editions, we provide a platform for young researchers to present their ongoing work and get feedback from senior scholars. The online format made exchanges from people from different regions and research areas possible, offering early stage researchers an important venue in these times of disconnection. As social distancing remains a reality, so does connecting online to reach out to the community.
If you are interested to attend in the webinar series please register using this form. If you registered for one of the previous events, you do not need to register again. Registered participants will receive a zoom link 24h before the event.
We encourage all young scholars to also join the YSI community.
The program is as follows:
Oct. 26: Felix Schaff, London School of Economics, The Unequal Spirit of the Protestant Reformation: Religious Confession and Wealth Distribution in Early Modern Germany. Chair: Mark Koyama (George Mason University).
Nov. 2: Casey Petroff, Harvard University, Conflict Technology As a Catalyst of State Formation. Chair: Massimiliano G. Onorato (University of Bologna).
Nov. 9: Lukas Althoff, Princeton University, The Geography of Black Economic Progress After Slavery. Chair: Suresh Naidu (Columbia)
Nov. 16: Pawel Charasz, Duke University, Burghers into Peasants: Political Economy of City Status in Congress Poland. Chair: Fabian Wahl (University of Hohenheim)
Nov. 23: Michael Chanda Chiseni, Lund University, Lead Us Besides Still Waters: Missionary Expansion in Northern Rhodesia 1924-1953. Chair: tbc.
Nov. 30: Jean-Laurent Cadorel, Paris School of Economics, An International Monetary Explanation of the 1929 Crash of the New York Stock Exchange
Chair: Eugene White (Rutgers University)
NEW DATE: Dec. 14: Haikun Zhan, University of Melbourne, Central Administration and the Rise of Local Institutions: Evidence from Imperial China. Chair: tbc.
If you have any question or feedback, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get in touch with you as soon as we can.
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 European Historical Economics Society. Organizational details are subject to change.
There are no upcoming events in this project.
26 Oct 2021
Felix Schaff, PhD Candidate from the London School of Economics will present his paper The Unequal Spirit of the Protestant Reformation: Religious Confession and Wealth Distribution in Early Modern Germany. ABSTRACT:This paper studies the impact of the Protestant Reformation on wealth inequality in confessionally divided Germany, between 1400 and 1800. The Reformation exacerbated inequality. Yet I do not find evidence of higher top wealth shares in Protestant communities, contrary to the argument of Max Weber about Protestant capital accumulation. Instead, using Difference-in-Differences and an Instrumental Variable strategy, I find a negative effect of the Reformation on the wealth shares of lower classes: poor people became comparatively poorer. The result is driven by the confiscation and reallocation of economic resources away from poor relief, and the introduction of novel, secular but exclusionary and ungenerous poor relief institutions in Protestant communities. These brought about a new low-redistribution equilibrium. The inegalitarian character of Protestantism, typically found in contemporary societies, can be traced back to the beginning of the Reformation in the sixteenth century.Learn more
2 Nov 2021
Casey Petroff, PhD candidate from Harvard University, will present the paper jointly written with Michael-David Mangini * Conflict Technology As a Catalyst of State Formation*. Abstract:The rise of the modern European state coincided with the arrival of a new technology, artillery, that rendered previous urban fortifications obsolete. We examine the role that this shift in offensive-defensive technological capabilities played in reshaping the political landscape of Europe using detailed data on city-level urban defensive investment, the locations of artillery manufacturers, changing locations of national borders, and battle sites. We propose that the gunpowder revolution created a threat of conquest that could only be mitigated at extreme cost. This incentivized the agglomeration of territory into national states with unprecedented political authority in order to better finance the newly necessary expenses of defense and coordinate inter-city security cooperation. We find that after the development of gunpowder technology, new defensive investments were more likely to be located in areas where borders disappeared, closer to politically relevant national borders, and were more likely to be the targets of conflict. These findings highlight the changing strategic significance of cities in an era characterized by the formation of modern nation-states.Learn more
9 Nov 2021
Lukas Althoff PhD candidate from Princeton University will present his article: The Geography of Black Economic Progress After Slavery. If you are interested to attend in the webinar series please register using this form. If you registered for one of the previous events, you do not need to register again. Registered participants will receive a zoom link 24h before the event. Abstract:With slavery ending in 1865, four million people (90 percent of the Black population) were freed. How has the socioeconomic status of Black Americans who were enslaved up to 1865 evolved compared to those who were already free before the Civil War? To answer this question, we propose a new strategy to accurately identify descendants of free and enslaved Black Americans in Census data. Our strategy builds on the fact that before 1870, only free Black Americans were recorded. Using linked full-count Census data and administrative death records, we construct family histories for both free Black Americans (1850-2005) and formerly enslaved Black Americans (1870-2005). We find that the socioeconomic disadvantage faced by the formerly Enslaved persisted across all generations in our sample. In 2000, the gap between descendants of the Free and the Enslaved accounts for half of the Black-white gap in income and wealth. We show that the persistence in this gap is driven by the fact that enslaved ancestors were endowed with locations of slow Black economic progress after slavery. Using the circumstance that the Enslaved did not enjoy freedom of movement before 1865, we identify each Southern county’s intergenerational effect on their descendants. The effects are large and persistent. A county's intergenerational effect is tightly linked to whether it provided education to a large fraction of Black children during the Reconstruction Era (1870).Learn more
16 Nov 2021
Pawel Charasz PhD candidate from Duke University will present his paper Burghers into Peasants: Political Economy of City Status in Congress Poland. If you are interested to attend in the webinar series please register using this form. If you registered for one of the previous events, you do not need to register again. Registered participants will receive a zoom link 24h before the event. Abstract:Throughout history, European towns were granted a ‘city’ status that transferred political power to burghers and democratized governance, driving urban development. I argue that institutions privileging urban at the expense of landed elites may generate better outcomes even in the absence of democracy and may actually outperform democracy if it leads to political control by landed elites. Using original town-level data, I draw on evidence from an 1869 reform in Congress Poland which deprived three-quarters of the 452 cities of their city status, giving political rights to landed but not urban elites. I show that degraded cities experienced a 64 percentage points slower population growth over the next 40 years. City status was associated with greater public goods provision and more effective judiciary in remaining cities, and contributed to a relative agrarianization of degraded cities. I discuss implications for our understanding of the role of inclusive institutions in promoting development.Learn more
23 Nov 2021
Michael Chanda Chiseni
Michael Chanda Chiseni, PhD candidate from Lund University will present his article: Lead Us Besides Still Waters: Missionary Expansion in Northern Rhodesia 1924-1953. If you are interested to attend in the webinar series please register using this form. If you registered for one of the previous events, you do not need to register again. Registered participants will receive a zoom link 24h before the event. Abstract:In this paper, I analyze the determinants of missionary expansion in Northern Rhodesia from 1924 to 1953. I construct two spatial panel datasets from newly collected information on mission stations and missionary hospitals that capture the expansion of mission stations from 1924-1948 and missionary hospitals from 1933-1953. Using these data, I show that the expansion of missionary stations and hospitals was not arbitrary; the selection of locations for missionary stations and hospitals was significantly driven by various economic, geographic and agricultural factors. I also argue in this paper that because missionary stations were established earlier than hospitals, and hospitals required more financial and human resource investments than mission stations, some of the factors that were important for the initial expansion of mission stations were not significant for the later expansion of missionary hospitals. The resultspresented in this paper show that proximity to the railway line and mines, urbanization and soil productivity were important for the initial expansion of missionary stations and did not significantly influence the expansion of missionary hospitals.Learn more
30 Nov 2021
Jean-Laurent Cadorel, PhD candidate from the Paris School of Economics will present his paper: An International Monetary Explanation of the 1929 Crash of the New York Stock Exchange. If you are interested to attend in the webinar series please register using this form. If you registered for one of the previous events, you do not need to register again. Registered participants will receive a zoom link 24h before the event. Abstract:The crash of the New York Stock Exchange in October 1929 was a liquidity crisis caused by the removal of brokers’ loans. Based on high-frequency data, this paper documents how the Bank of England’s unexpected September discount rate rise attracted short-term international capital flows. The rate risehad such exceptional effects because it caused a reallocation of gold reserves, attracting gold from the Americas to Europe, threatening some Latin American countries’ participation in the gold standard, depreciating the value of their debts in New York, and reducing bondholders’ willingness to lend.Learn more
14 Dec 2021
Haikun Zhan, PhD candidate from the University of Melbourne will present her paper: Central Administration and the Rise of Local Institutions: Evidence from Imperial China. If you are interested to attend in the webinar series please register using this form. If you registered for one of the previous events, you do not need to register again. Registered participants will receive a zoom link 24h before the event. Abstract:In this paper, I study whether a strong centralized state facilitated the development of local institutions in Imperial China from 1000 A.D. to 1900 A.D. I exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the state administrative capacity in the local area induced by regime changes. Using a prefecture-level panel dataset, I find that local institutions flourished when the state administrative capacity was strong and prevalent. This is likely because a strong centralized state could better co-opt these local institutions, granting local institutions political power. Further investigation reveals that regions with relatively weaker state administrative capacity did not receive more public goods from the central state. This illustrates an important development issue: places with weak centralized states lack both state direct public goods provisions and local institutions to coordinate public goods provision and social capital formation and might face more developmental difficulties.Learn more
- Economic History
Xabier Garcia Fuente
Jordi Caum Julio
For questions, the Project Organizers.